SRF060: The Healthy Choices Team: Addressing Nutrition at a San Antonio Mosque

Sireesha Teegala, MD


Established in 2014, El Bari Community Health Clinic provides free medical care for the underserved in San Antonio, TX. El Bari’s patients are predominantly Muslim, including a diverse population of refugees and immigrants. In 2018 and 2019 El Bari health fairs, the research team conducted community needs assessments, surveying 214 attendees to identify this population’s top health priorities and barriers. Across both years, nutrition was identified as the top health priority (53.3%).
Objective: To address nutrition as a top health concern by using community-based participatory approach
Participants: Community members age 18 and above
Setting: San Antonio mosque
Design: Pre and post quality improvement with implementation of the Healthy Choices Team, a partnership created for co-learning between the research team and community around topics of nutrition.
Intervention: Eight sessions were held over four months, guided by an evidence-based nutrition curriculum to promote healthy habits. Evaluation of intervention efficacy included pre- and post-surveys.
Main and secondary Outcomes: Through healthy choices team, researchers built sustainable trust links with Muslim community and facilitated an intervention towards healthier living. This project may help others build rapport with culturally distinct communities to ultimately improve community health.
Results: Participants (n=25) represented 8 countries and spoke 8 languages other than English. Members were mostly female (n=19) with BMI in overweight or obesity range (n=20). Post intervention, participants reported greatest improvement in confidence in choosing healthy food options at a grocery store and in making a plate with healthy portions. Members showed the least improvement in confidence in including fresh vegetables in a meal.
Conclusions Successful sessions encouraged open dialogue, communal learning, and accountability for individual goals regarding healthy food choices. Maintaining continuity with this community over the coming years will be integral to supporting positive health behavior change on both individual and community levels.
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Jack 11/21/2020

this is a great project. thanks for sharing it with NAPCRG.

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