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Regional Faith-Based Conference “Transcending Boundaries: Improving the Health of Our Community” To Be Held April 28


Leaders and volunteers from health, human services, business, education and faith institutions are invited to come together for “Transcending Boundaries: Improving the Health of Our Community,” Tuesday, April 28, 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., at the Holiday Inn Convention Center, 441 Electronics Pkwy., Liverpool. The program’s goal is to increase the programmatic capacity of faith and other leaders by exploring how partnerships and collaborations can address the health needs of minority populations.

The conference begins at 8:30 a.m. with registration and a networking breakfast. At 10 a.m., Rev. Edwin C. Sanders, II. will deliver the morning keynote address. Rev. Sanders is Senior Servant and Founder of Metropolitan Interdenominational Church in Nashville, a diverse congregation that has developed outreach ministries in substance abuse, advocacy for children, sexual violence, harm reduction and HIV/AIDS services (the later through the First Response Center, which Rev. Sanders founded in 1992). Workshop Session 1, beginning at 10:45 a.m., will focus on health issues and youth programming.

Following lunch, at 12:45 p.m., Rev. Dr. Franklyn W. Richardson, Senior Pastor of the historic Grace Baptist Church, Mt. Vernon, NY, will address the conference. A community builder and organizer for decades, Dr. Richardson has played a pivotal role in grassroots efforts to re-establish a cultural bridge between community and education. He has advocated for equitable opportunities in public education in Mount Vernon and has been involved in the brick and mortar realities of housing development. His insightful guidance is responsible for two Grace Church-related Community Development Corporations which have constructed more than 65 million dollars in affordable housing. Following a panel discussion from 1:45 to 3:15 p.m., Workshop Session II will examine capacity development and community collaborations.

Early bird registrations at $30 per person must be paid by April 3, while the regular conference fee of $40 applies up to April 22. Registration and payment can be made online at or by contacting Candace Murray, senior planner, Central New York Health Systems Agency, at 315/472-8099 or emailing A limited number of scholarships are available, with priority given to faith leaders and representatives with demonstrated need. Contact Murray for details. Discounted rooms are available at the Holiday Inn, Liverpool; call 315/457-1122 for reservations.

The conference is a product of a partnership between local church leaders and representatives from faith coalitions and health and human service organizations. Conference Co-Chairs are Rev. Dr. Leslie J. Johnson, pastor, Tucker Missionary Baptist Church, and Rev. Colette Matthews, pastor, New Covenant Baptist Church, both in Syracuse. According to Rev. Johnson and Rev. Matthews, participants will learn about the impact of infectious and chronic disease on our community; programs and methods to develop youth programs; how to organize effective health ministries and promotion programs; and the value of collaboration for successful health promotion.

Partners and supporters are Alliance of Communities Transforming Syracuse (ACTS); Crouse Hospital; Genesis Health Project, Syracuse University; Syracuse Community Health Center; Coalition of Urban Pastors; and the Central New York Health Systems Agency. This program is funded partly by a grant from the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health, to provide technical assistance to minority-serving organizations addressing the HIV/AIDS epidemic.


Health Issues

  1. Developing Relevant Health Programs within Your Organization or Church. Pamela Hunter, Director of Public & Government Relations, Syracuse Community Health Center.
  2. Mobilizing Communities for HIV Prevention: Taking a Fresh Look at the Pandemic. Wenona Wake, Project Manager, AIDS Community Resources.
  3. Spirituality & Health: Coping with Health Crises. Rev. Katherine Day, Managing Chaplain, Crouse Hospital.

Youth Programming
  1. Facilitating Healthy Dialogues with Youth around Sex and Sexuality. Jerena Barkins, Program Director, F.A.C.E.S., a program of the Syracuse Model Neighborhood Facility.
  2. Using Current Technology to Reach Today's Youth: You can't Use 8-Tracks to Reach the IPOD Generation. Reggie Siegler, Program Coordinator TAP "Tenant Assistant Program," Syracuse Housing Authority.
  3. A Practical Approach to Impacting Today's Youth: "Reach, Teach, and Touch Their Lives." Deborah Ellerbe, MSW, Ph.D. Candidate Syracuse University.


Community Collaborations
  1. Developing Meaningful Community Partnerships: "The Right Relationship is Everything." Julius D. Edwards, Onondaga County Commissioner on Human Rights.
  2. Developing Volunteers - "Recruitment & Retention.” Rev. H. Bernard, Pastor, Victory Temple Fellowship Church.
  3. Strategies for Effective Fundraising. Carrie Berse, CFRE, FAHP, President, Crouse Health Foundation.

Capacity Building
  1. Fiscal Management & 501(c)3 Development & Compliance. Odell Mays, ECQ Group.
  2. Program Development, Planning & Grant Writing (private foundations). Kris Waelder, Grant Program Manager, Crouse Hospital.
  3. Moving from Idea to Implementation: A Governmental Grant Writing Workshop. Janice Bibb-Jones, Statewide Faith-Based Coordinator, OCFS, Albany, NY


Cheryl Abrams
Crouse Hospital
Communications Department
Phone: 315/470-7123
Fax: 315/470-7232

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