Linking Health and Spirituality to Tackle COVID-19
With a focus on supporting the Black and African American community, the Houston–based Institute for Spirituality and Health at the Texas Medical Center partnered with the regional body of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church to hold an educational Town Hall meeting on Zoom and Facebook Live. The Town Hall featured a panel of physicians and a health educator from Harris County Medical Society, American Heart Association National HQ, and Houston Health Department, who engaged community members in a rich conversation about COVID-19. The lively interactions debunked commonly held vaccination myths, while providing additional accurate health information to participants. Almost 1000 people watched in person or via the recording. The Town Hall was soon followed by a pop-up vaccination clinic hosted by the historic Brown Chapel AME Church. Clergy, including the Bishop over the AME Tenth District (Texas), the regional Presiding Elder, and lay-leaders alike expressed enthusiasm about the event, and the organization plans for more, similar events in the future.