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Philly Faith in Action

August 2012

Posted on pfiaadmin

A U G U S T   2 0 1 2

In This Issue
In the News: Affordable Care Act and HIV Testing
Profile: Dr. Jennifer Stewart
Local Events
  Just click on the Facebook link above and click the “Like” button at the top right-hand corner of our page. You may need to log in to your Facebook account first. Once you like us, you’ll be able to see all that is new and exciting at Philly Faith in Action, all on your dashboard!

Starting August 1st, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires insurance companies to cover HIV testing for women as part of a broader reproductive health and wellness package. Previously, many insurance plans did not reimburse for HIV testing.  This has very important positive implications for women’s health an well-being. Read more about this and other services now covered under the Affordable Care Act below.

This newsletter also profiles Dr. Jennifer Stewart of the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Stewart conducts research about HIV prevention with faith institutions and seeks new congregations to partner on her most recent project. Read about Dr. Jennifer Stewart’s work below.
 In the News

Two new provisions in the Affordable Care Act commenced on August 1st.

New or renewing health insurance plans must now cover eight preventive services to women at no out-of-pocket cost, including annual OB-GYN exams, birth control, breast-feeding counseling, and screenings for sexually transmitted diseases and HIV.

Read the full article and watch the video here.

Affordable Care Act Could Improve Health Care for HIV-Positive People

For many people living with HIV, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will greatly improve and prolong their lives. Put simply, the current health insurance system in the United States does not work for many people living with HIV. While most working-age Americans have private health insurance, most people living with HIV do not.


The ACA has created plans that allow people with pre-existing medical conditions, including HIV, to buy health insurance. 


Read the full article here.




Profile: Dr. Jennifer Stewart, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing

By Julia Harvey

Recently, Dr. Jennifer Stewart received a phone call from a young woman she worked with in Chicago years ago who had participated in one of Stewart’s HIV/AIDS youth programs as a teenager.  Today, she’s working to bring HIV/AIDS awareness to her entire religious community.  Dr. Stewart plans to cultivate that same interest and enthusiasm with a new program in Philadelphia.

Dr. Stewart, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s College of Nursing, conducts research and programs in partnership with churches in Philadelphia. She’s currently working with several congregations to implement SISTER TO SISTER, a behavioral HIV prevention intervention for women.

Dr. Stewart’s own faith has shaped her career and community outreach, commenting: “I just feel that the church has historically had such a significant role in the lives of African Americans, myself included.  It’s a vital resource in fighting HIV. Pastors have a heart for their congregations.”  She says that when people become aware of HIV in their own community, it can engender in them a “call to action,” jumpstarting their own involvement in HIV awareness and education.

Dr. Stewart’s current research focuses on adapting and developing church-based programs focused on HIV prevention, testing promotion, and care and support of HIV infected individuals. With two different NIH grants, Dr. Stewart works with churches to develop individualized HIV prevention programs focused on testing and linking people who test positive to care.  This approach requires conducting interviews with pastors, deacons, health ministers and other clergy to construct HIV/AIDS programs that respond to the specific needs of each congregation.    

Jennifer’s greatest passion is working with youth in education.  “Just hearing how their lives are going, knowing that they are safe sexually, and knowing that they are healthy and whole, is one of the most rewarding things for me.”

When asked what the most important step is for individuals in their own religious communities who want to bring HIV/AIDS awareness to the forefront?

“Break the silence”.  Dr. Stewart stresses the importance of speaking with one’s pastor, even if they feel that it is a topic not everyone in the parish is ready to discuss.  “Engaging your pastor and other people in your congregation is difficult, I understand that.  But the dialogue is important, because this is a disease that is very real, that can happen to the person sitting next to you on the pew.”

Dr. Stewart is currently looking for participants and congregations to participate in studies focused on designing church-based HIV prevention and testing programs. Individuals will be compensated for their time. For information about how your congregation can collaborate on her projects, contact her at: or (773) 577-9902.


Local Events

The Let’s Move Youth Health Fair – Fri 8/17 & Sat 8/18
Join the Campbell AME Church for a weekend of fellowship, family fun, and fitness!
On Friday, August 17th at 7PM, “Heads Up” will present on drugs and drug-related violence. “Heads Up” is a group of narcotics experts and families who educate youth on the dangers of the drug environment.

Come out Saturday, August 18th from 10AM-3PM for a day of friends and fun! Events include line-dancing, leap frog races, and a basketball challenge sign-up. Healthy refreshments will be served, and workshops will be running all day. Workshop topics include basic health checks, nutritional discussion, healthy food selection instruction, and more!


What: Let’s Move Youth Health Fair
Where: Campbell AME Church
1657 Kinsey St.
Philadelphia, PA 19124
When: Friday, August 17th, 7PM
Saturday, August 18th, 10AM-3PM
For more information call 215-288-2748.

Silent No More! Conference – Sat 9/29, 8AM-1PM

On Saturday, September 29th from 8AM-1PM, Temple University will host the Silent No More! Conference, a free, interactive healthy living conference for African American and Latina women, at the Howard Gittis Center. Dr. Stanley R. Berger, MD of the Association of Black Cardiologists will be the keynote speaker. The day will include continental breakfast and lunch, panel discussion, line dancing and zumba, a gospel performance by Chosen Elect and more!

Those interested in attending may request registration forms by calling 215-575-5245 or by emailing Space is limited, so call or email today!

This event is sponsored by the American Heart Association in conjunction with the First District Health Commission, the Black Women’s Health Alliance, Congreso de Latinos Unidos, Inc., NAACP Philadelphia Chapter, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Omega Omega Chapter.

What: Silent No More! Conference

Where: Temple University, Howard Gittis Center


When: Saturday, September 29th, 8AM-1PM


Thank you for your continued support of the Philly Faith in Action Campaign.
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