February was National Healthy Heart Month, and thanks to Dr. LaPrincess Brewer and local church leaders in Rochester, Minnesota, the FAITH Program promoted heart health one heart at a time.
Brewer is an assistant professor at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine’s department of cardiovascular medicine. She began her training in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland and completed the cardiology training at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.
Her focus is preventative cardiology and women’s heart health. Her research focused on risk factor modification in underserved populations. That research led to her interest in making sure underserved populations would become aware of high-risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.
These factors place African Americans at a higher risk for heart disease. “My passion is to develop interventions that can help people overcome the risk factor,” she says.
Brewer oversees the FAITH program (Fostering African American Improvement to Total Health), which collaborates with community churches to improve participant health. FAITH was originally created as part of Brewer’s public health studies at John Hopkins, where the students were challenged to come up with a community intervention to help prevent chronic disease.
“We thought about where we should go that was the center of the African American community. As a group working on the project, we decided that was the Black church,” Brewer said, adding, “The program was created with church leaders.” The church is a long-standing cornerstone of the African American community.
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SOURCE: Brandi Phillips