Clergy are Invited to Attend Diabetes Prevention Leadership Summit

The IFLC, together with the Southeast Michigan Hospital Collaborative (SEMI-HC) and Greater Detroit Area Health Council (GDAHC) wants to let our clergy from all faiths know that we care about your health and well-being.

That is why we invite you to attend the upcoming Diabetes Prevention Leadership Summit as a faith leader representative. Tuesday, March 24th at the Federal Reserve Bank at 1600 E, Warren in Detroit from 8:00 am to 1:00 p.m.

The Summit is an opportunity to join with other leaders from healthcare, employers and faith and community-based organizations to address the challenge of preventing diabetes and promoting the effective Diabetes Prevention Program.

Though attendance is by invitation only to area clergy, it is the hope of (SEMI-HC), the GDAHC and IFLC that clergy who participate can then go back to their congregations with a wealth of knowledge about the importance of preventing chronic diseases such as diabetes and set an example for their congregants on the importance of taking care of the whole self: body and spirit.

While working long hours and tending to the needs of their congregants, clergy often neglect their own health. Working in ministry is stressful and not finding the time to eat right and exercise takes a toll.

The declining health of clergy has been studied and documented. For example, a 2019 Wespath survey of 1,200 Methodist clergy found that 81 percent are overweight or obese, up from 78 in 2012. But the good news is that the survey concluded that Methodist clergy are getting more exercise: 4.75 hours each week, that’s more than the average American, who only exercise 2.75 hours weekly.

Another decade-long study by the Duke’s Clergy Health Initiative (CHI) that focused on southern pastors found that an increasing number of this population suffers from diabetes, arthritis, asthma, heart disease, and other chronic conditions. But these ailments are not limited to Methodist pastors and can be found in clergy populations of all faiths.

“Faith leaders, by their nature … tend to neglect their own health as they put everyone else’s needs ahead of their own,” said Lisa Mason, GDAHC’s vice president for program partnerships. “What more powerful way is there to lead their faith congregation members than to set the example and lead the way? By enrolling in a Diabetes Prevention Workshop, we hope their faith community members will be inspired to do the same for themselves.”

By attending the Summit, clergy can go back to their congregations to help raise awareness about prediabetes and the national Diabetes Prevention Program that’s been proven to work. The Diabetes Prevention Resource Center can help people understand what prediabetes is, how to find out if they have it and what to do about if they do have it.

There is no cost but clergy must register by clicking this link. Breakfast and lunch will be served.