Healthfirst inaugurates Healthfirst Interfaith Council in New York
New York City, May 12, 2023 – Healthfirst, a prominent healthcare organization, marked a significant milestone as they inaugurated the Healthfirst Interfaith Council. The council, established to confront pressing social challenges, held its inaugural meeting on May 12 with religious leaders and members of the Healthfirst team in attendance.
“We are thrilled to establish the Healthfirst Interfaith Council, bringing together esteemed religious leaders and community advocates to address the critical social challenges we face,” stated Dr. Paul Amajor, a representative from Healthfirst. “By fostering collaboration and leveraging the collective wisdom of faith communities, we believe we can make a lasting impact on the well-being of individuals and families across New York City.”
While addressing members at the inaugural meeting, Rev. Phillip Falayi, whose idea brought about the council, said, “Thank you all so much for attending, making our collective vision a clear and bright reality. The time is truly now to work and pray together for our communities – and to do so from a position of our own optimal health and wellness. This is the beginning of a long partnership with you to address the health inequities in our communities.”
During the meeting, religious leaders expressed their unwavering dedication to finding sustainable solutions to these pressing challenges. Rabbi Bob Kaplan, a community activist from JCRC New York, emphasized the importance of unity and collaboration, stating, “By partnering with other faith organizations and engaging directly with the community, we can pave the way for positive change.”
Echoing this sentiment, Pastor Edward Hinds highlighted the power of a holistic approach, remarking, “Our mission is to heal and empower communities impacted by gun violence. It’s essential to recognize that healthcare plays a crucial role in this process.”
The Healthfirst Interfaith Council identified food insecurity as a primary focus area. “Collaboration is key to addressing the issue of food insecurity that affects so many vulnerable individuals and families,” emphasized Rev. Kimberly Headley, who has worked closely with Healthfirst on community engagement initiatives. “Through joint efforts and innovative solutions, we can make a significant difference in improving access to nutritious food.”
Healthcare access emerged as another critical topic of discussion. Dr. Sidney Hankerson, a researcher specializing in community engagement, stressed the importance of raising awareness and education. “Reducing racial disparities in mental health is a shared goal. By working together, we can enhance access to healthcare services for underserved communities,” said Dr. Hankerson.