Addressing cardiovascular health disparities in minnesota: Establishment of a community steering committee by FAITH! (fostering african-american improvement in total health)

Chandrika Manjunath, Oluwatomilona Ifelayo, Clarence Jones, Monisha Washington, Stanton Shanedling, Johnnie Williams, Christi A. Patten, Lisa A. Cooper, Laprincess C. Brewer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Despite its rank as the fourth healthiest state in the United States, Minnesota has clear cardiovascular disease disparities between African-Americans and whites. Culturally-tailored interventions implemented using community-based participatory research (CBPR) principles have been vital to improving health and wellness among African-Americans. This paper delineates the establishment, impact, and lessons learned from the formation of a community steering committee (CSC) to guide the Fostering African-American Improvement in Total Health (FAITH!) Program, a CBPR cardiovascular health promotion initiative among African-Americans in Minnesota. The theory-informed CSC implementation process included three phases: (1) Membership Formation and Recruitment, (2) Engagement, and (3) Covenant Development and Empowerment. The CSC is comprised of ten diverse community members guided by mutually agreed upon bylaws in their commitment to FAITH!. Overall, members considered the CSC implementation process effective and productive. A CBPR conceptual model provided an outline of proximal and distal goals for the CSC and FAITH!. The CSC implementation process yielded four lessons learned: (1) Have clarity of purpose and vision, (2) cultivate group cohesion, (3) employ consistent review of CBPR tenets, and (4) expect the unexpected. A robust CSC was established and was instrumental to the success and impact of FAITH! within African-American communities in Minnesota.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4144
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 2019



  • African-Americans
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Community steering committee
  • Community-based participatory research
  • Community-engaged research
  • Health disparities
  • Health equity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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