Franck Généus (left) and Ismael Castillo, sign agreement for joint health impact projects [Photo Credit: Lisandra Vicente]

Inter-America

Inter-American Division Health Ministries, Montemorelos University Partner to Propel Community Impact Initiatives

Several joint projects will reach more than 1 million people in 2024 in Montemorelos, Nuevo Leon, Mexico

Mexico | Brenda Ceron and Libna Stevens, Inter-American Division News

A recent agreement among leaders of the Inter-American Division’s Health Ministries Department and Montemorelos University will seek to impact more than 1 million people this year. The partnership will center around the objective of improving quality of life through prevention and healthy practices, church leaders said.

“The partnership will help scaling up the reach of various successful IAD health programs based in Montemorelos University,” said Dr. Franck Généus, Health Ministries director for the Inter-American Division of Seventh-day Adventists. Some of the programs are “I Want to Live Healthy,” “I Want to Grow Healthy,” “Health at Home, Healthy Kitchen” and more, said Dr. Généus. Thanks to the partnership, it will be possible to translate the existing programs and train people for their implementation or render the materials more accessible to all, he added.

One of the ways to ensure that over 1 million people are reached is by keeping track of the community impact by local churches on a monthly or quarterly basis. Add to that the impact hospitals, clinics, and lifestyle centers have throughout the territory. “We know a large impact is reached every year, but it’s important to have accurate information so that we can continue to increase our reach with the health message,” Dr. Généus said.

“For years, Montemorelos University has had resources that have supported many core health initiatives that have impacted Mexico, and the partnership will help expand the scope of support they bring,” said Dr. Généus.

Montemorelos University, as a leading institution promoting health in Mexico, with its team of technologists, is working on an online platform that will track and compile accomplishments in health initiatives across the territory. The online platform will be available in English, Spanish, and French in early March 2024.

“We know that our churches are engaged in impacting the community through health expos, health brigades, preventive education, and the like, but for years, not enough accurate information has been properly accounted for,” said Dr. Généus. “We want that to change this year.” The change means the tallying of health community impact measures from the union, conference, mission, and local church levels is done regularly.

An additional project currently in development is an app called Health Dream, which will provide preventive health tips and eventually merge with the church’s “I Want to Live Healthy” comprehensive health initiative. The app will be managed by Montemorelos University and is intended for anyone seeking to live a healthier lifestyle.

In addition, the partnership will seek to upgrade the certification program for health promoters throughout the IAD, backed by Montemorelos University. The institution will provide training, as well as include a standardized test for health promoters and further training within the upgraded certification program online.

“This is a major leap when it comes to the church promoting health reform,” said Dr. Généus. “We have programs and resources in the IAD, and Montemorelos has a team and further resources that will be accessible to all unions for the implementation of more health impact activities in the community.”

The partnership is part of the momentum that has come about through Health Ministries for union implementation, Dr. Généus said.

Other parts of the agreement included upgrading primary health care and patient quality care in hospitals, clinics, and healthy lifestyle centers throughout the IAD. Montemorelos, through its status as a Health Promoting University (UPS), will take the lead under its director, Dr. Roel Cea, who will be managing the various projects.

Dr. Ismael Castillo, president of Montemorelos University, reaffirmed the commitment of the university to provide resources, training, and support in bringing about the projects before he signed the agreement with Dr. Généus. With the agreement, both organizations are committed to work hand in hand to offer health and wellness across the IAD.

The original version of this story was posted on the Inter-American Division website.

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