Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 52, Issue 2, pp 368–385

Engaging the Faith Community for Public Health Advocacy: An Agenda for the Surgeon General

Philosophical Exploration

Abstract

This article proposes an agenda for the Surgeon General of the United States that is consonant with the traditional public health approach of “upstream” and “midstream” intervention addressing social and institutional determinants of health. Accordingly, this features a prominent role for expanded partnerships between the faith-based and public health sectors. Such an agenda would revise the current status quo for the Surgeon General, whose celebrated bully pulpit is currently focused more on encouraging “downstream” compliance with federal guidelines related to lifestyle behavior modification. A new faith-based agenda, by contrast, could more effectively advocate for core features of the traditional public health ethic, including primary prevention, the multiple determinants of population health, communitarianism and social justice, and a global perspective, supported by the historic prophetic role of the faith traditions.

Keywords

Religion Faith Surgeon General Public health Prevention 

References

  1. Barnes, P. A., & Curtis, A. B. (2009). A national examination of partnerships among local health departments and faith communities in the United States. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, 15, 253–263.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Barry, P. Z. (1975). Individual versus community orientation in the prevention of injuries. Preventive Medicine, 4, 47–56.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Berger, N. (Ed.). (1995). Jews and medicine: Religion, culture, science. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society.Google Scholar
  4. Bopp, M., & Fallon, E. A. (2013). Health and wellness programming in faith-based organizations: A description of a nationwide sample. Health Promotion Practice, 14, 122–131.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Callahan, D., & Jennings, B. (2002). Ethics and public health: Forging a strong relationship. American Journal of Public Health, 92, 169–176.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Campbell, A., & Wallace, B. C. (2008). A supplementary education model rooted in an academic, community, and faith-based coalition: Closing the education and health gaps. In B. C. Wallace (Ed.), Toward equity in health: A new global approach to health disparities (pp. 491–506). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  7. Campbell, M. K., Hudson, M. A., Resnicow, K., Blakeney, N., Paxton, A., & Baskin, M. (2007). Church-based health promotion interventions: Evidence and lessons learned. Annual Review of Public Health, 28, 213–234.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chatters, L. M. (2000). Religion and health: Public health research and practice. Annual Review of Public Health, 21, 335–367.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chatters, L. M., Levin, J. S., & Ellison, C. M. (1998). Public health and health education in faith communities. Health Education and Behavior, 25, 689–699.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Checkoway, B. (1995). Six strategies of community change. Community Development Journal, 30, 2–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Commissioned Officers Association. (2009). Galson names acting ASH: Dr. Sanjay Gupta emerges as leading contender for Surgeon General. COA Frontline, 46(1), 1–18.Google Scholar
  12. Council on Education for Public Health. (2011). Accreditation criteria: Schools of public health. Washington, DC: CEPH: Council on Education for Public Health. Retrieved March 13, 2013, from: http://web.archive.org/web/20120125211944/http://www.ceph.org/pdf/SPH-Criteria-2011.pdf.
  13. DeHaven, M. J., Hunter, I. B., Wilder, L., Walton, J. W., & Berry, J. (2004). Health programs in faith-based organizations: Are they effective? American Journal of Public Health, 94, 1030–1036.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dell, J. L., & Whitman, S. (2011). A history of the movement to address health disparities. In S. Whitman, A. M. Shah, & M. R. Benjamins (Eds.), Urban health: Combating disparities with local data (pp. 8–30). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  15. den Dulk, K. R., & Hertzke, A. D. (2006). Conclusion: Themes in religious advocacy. In E. L. Cleary & A. D. Hertzke (Eds.), Representing God at the statehouse: Religion and politics in the American states (pp. 225–241). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar
  16. Diez Roux, A. V. (2012). Conceptual approaches to the study of health disparities. Annual Review of Public Health, 33, 41–58.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Eng, E., Hatch, J., & Callan, A. (1985). Institutionalizing social support through the church and into the community. Health Education Quarterly, 12, 81–92.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Evans, C. A, Jr. (1995). President’s column: Links to faith may help public health. The Nation’s Health, 25(1), 2.Google Scholar
  19. Falck, V. T., & Steele, L. (1994). Promoting the health of aging adults in the community. Journal of Community Health, 19, 389–393.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Farmer, P. (2005). Pathologies of power: Health, human rights, and the new war on the poor. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  21. Fecher, V. J. (Comp.). (1982). Religion & aging: An annotated bibliography. San Antonio: Trinity University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Foege, W. H. (2011). House on fire: The fight to eradicate smallpox. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  23. Goldberg, D. S. (2009). In support of a broad model of public health: Disparities, social epidemiology and public health causation. Public Health Ethics, 2, 70–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Goldmon, M. V., & Roberson, J. T, Jr. (2004). Churches, academic institutions, and public health: Partnerships to eliminate health disparities. North Carolina Medical Journal, 65, 368–372.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Gunderson, G. R. (2000). Backing into sacred ground. Public Health Reports, 115, 257–261.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Gunderson, G. R., & Cochrane, J. R. (2012). Religion and the health of the public: Shifting the paradigm. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Gutner, H. (2003). The Surgeon General. San Diego: Blackbirch Press.Google Scholar
  28. Hatch, J. W., & Jackson, C. (1981). North Carolina Baptist church program. Urban Health, 10, 70–71.Google Scholar
  29. Heckler, M. (1985). Report of the Secretary’s Task Force on Black and Minority Health, Vol. I: Executive summary. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.Google Scholar
  30. Holland, W. W., Detels, R., & Knox, G. (Eds.). (1991). Oxford textbook of public health, second edition: Volume 1: Influences of public health. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Institute of Medicine. (2011a). For the public’s health: Revitalizing law and policy to meet new challenges. Committee on Public Health Strategies to Improve Health, Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.Google Scholar
  32. Institute of Medicine. (2011b). For the public’s health: The role of measurement in action and accountability. Committee on Public Health Strategies to Improve Health, Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.Google Scholar
  33. Institute of Medicine. (2012). For the public’s health: Investing in a healthier future. Committee on Public Health Strategies to Improve Health, Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.Google Scholar
  34. Jenkins, C. D. (1985). New horizons for psychosomatic medicine. Psychosomatic Medicine, 47, 3–25.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Johnson, B. R. (2002). Objective hope: Assessing the effectiveness of faith-based organizations: A review of the literature. Philadelphia: Center for Research on Religion and Urban Civil Society.Google Scholar
  36. Kegler, M. C., Hall, S. M., & Kiser, M. (2010). Facilitators, challenges, and collaborative activities in faith and health partnerships to address health disparities. Health Education & Behavior, 37, 665–679.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Kegler, M. C., Kiser, M., & Hall, S. M. (2007). Evaluation findings from the Institute for Public Health and Faith Collaborations. Public Health Reports, 122, 793–802.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Kelsey, M. (1995). Healing and Christianity: A classic study [1973]. Minneapolis: Augsburg.Google Scholar
  39. Koenig, H. G., King, D. E., & Carson, V. B. (2012). Handbook of religion and health (2nd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  40. Levin, J. S. (1984). The role of the Black church in community medicine. Journal of the National Medical Association, 76, 477–483.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. Levin, J. (2012a). A faith-based agenda for the Surgeon General: Challenges and recommendations. Journal of Religion and Health, 51, 57–71.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Levin, J. (2012b). Jewish ethical themes that should inform the national healthcare discussion: A prolegomenon. Journal of Religion and Health, 51, 589–600.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Levin, J. S., & Chatters, L. M. (2008). Religion, aging, and health: Historical perspectives, current trends, and future directions. Journal of Religion, Spirituality and Aging, 20, 153–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Markens, S., Fox, S. A., Taub, B., & Gilbert, M. L. (2002). Role of black churches in health promotion programs: Lessons from the Los Angeles Mammography Promotion in Churches Program. American Journal of Public Health, 92, 805–810.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Marty, M. E., & Vaux, K. L. (Eds.). (1982). Health/medicine and the faith traditions: An inquiry into religion and medicine. Philadelphia: Fortress Press.Google Scholar
  46. Maves, P. B. (1960). Aging, religion, and the church. In C. Tibbitts (Ed.), Handbook of social gerontology: Societal aspects of aging (pp. 698–749). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  47. Messonnier, M. L., Corso, P. S., Teutsch, S. M., Haddix, A. C., & Harris, J. R. (1999). An ounce of prevention … what are the returns? Second edition, 1999. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 16, 248–263.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Mullan, F. (2004). Reagan, Clinton, tobacco, and children: An interview with C. Everett Koop [interview]. Health Affairs, 23, 180–187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. National Prevention Council. (2011). National prevention strategy: America’s plan for better health and wellness. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General.Google Scholar
  50. Newlin, K., Dyess, S. M., Allard, E., Chase, S., & Melkus, G. D. (2012). A methodological review of faith-based health promotion literature: Advancing the science to expand delivery of diabetes education to Black Americans. Journal of Religion and Health, 51, 1075–1097.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Numbers, R. L., & Amundsen, D. W. (Eds.). (1986). Caring and curing: Health and medicine in the Western religious traditions. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  52. Obama, B. H. (2010). Executive Order 13544 of June 10, 2010: Establishing the National Prevention, Health Promotion, and Public Health Council. Federal Register, 75, 33983–33986.Google Scholar
  53. Peterson, J., Atwood, J. R., & Yates, B. (2002). Key elements for church-based health promotion programs: Outcome-based literature review. Public Health Nursing, 19, 401–411.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Rahman, F. (1987). Health and medicine in the Islamic tradition: Change and identity. New York: Crossroad.Google Scholar
  55. Rowland, M. L., & Chappel-Aiken, L. (2012). Faith-based partnerships promoting health. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, 133, 23–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Satcher, D. (2006). The prevention challenge and opportunity. Health Affairs, 25, 1009–1011.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Sullivan, L. E. (Ed.). (1989). Healing and restoring: Health and medicine in the world’s religious traditions. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  58. Sutherland, M., Hale, C. D., & Harris, G. J. (1995). Community health promotion: The church as partner. Journal of Primary Prevention, 16, 201–216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Tulchinsky, T. H., & Varavikova, E. A. (2009). The new public health (2nd ed.). Amsterdam: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  60. Turoldo, F. (2009). Responsibility as an ethical framework for public health interventions. American Journal of Public Health, 99, 1197–1202.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2010a). Healthy People 2020. Retrieved March 13, 2013, from: http://healthypeople.gov/2020/TopicsObjectives2020/pdfs/HP2020_brochure_with_LHI_508.pdf.
  62. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2010b). Healthy People 2020: Framework. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Retrieved March 13, 2013, from: http://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/Consortium/HP2020Framework.pdf.
  63. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2011). U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps: America’s health responders: Mission and core values. Retrieved March 13, 2013, from: http://www.usphs.gov/aboutus/mission.aspx.
  64. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2012a). About Healthy People. Retrieved March 13, 2013, from: http://healthypeople.gov/2020/about/default.aspx.
  65. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2012b). Offices of the Assistant Secretary for Health: Public health offices. Retrieved March 13, 2013, from: http://www.hhs.gov/ash/public_health/indexph.html.
  66. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2012c). Transcript of the Healthy People 2020 launch 12/02/2010. Retrieved March 13, 2013, from: http://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/connect/Transcript_Full_HP2020.pdf.
  67. U.S. House of Representatives. (2007). Surgeon General Independence Act. H.R. 3447, 110th Congress, 1st Session. Retrieved March 13, 2013, from: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-110hr3447ih/pdf/BILLS-110hr3447ih.pdf.
  68. U.S. House of Representatives Office of the Law Revision Counsel. (2011). Appointment and tenure of office of Surgeon General; reversion in rank. 42 U.S.C. 205. Retrieved March 13, 2013, from: http://uscode.house.gov/uscode-cgi/fastweb.exe?getdoc+uscview+t41t42+337+119++%28surgeon%20general%29%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20.
  69. U.S. Senate. (2007). Surgeon General Integrity Restoration Act. S. 1777, 110th Congress, 1st Session. Retrieved March 13, 2013, from: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-110s1777is/pdf/BILLS-110s1777is.pdf.
  70. Wallace, R. B. (Ed.). (2008). Maxcy-Rosenau-Last public health and preventive medicine [1913] (15th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Medical.Google Scholar
  71. White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. (2011). Partnerships for the common good: A partnership guide for faith-based and neighborhood organizations. Washington, DC: The White House.Google Scholar
  72. Wright, M. V. (1998). The Surgeon General of the United States. CRS Report for Congress (97-570 C). Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, The Library of Congress.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Studies of ReligionBaylor UniversityWacoUSA

Personalised recommendations