Health studies consistently reveal that minority women suffer disproportionately from chronic diseases and related disabilities. In addition, a significant number of minority females do not have access to needed support services for preventive health and quality of life issues such as life cycle changes, combating and dealing with stress and parenting. These issues framed the creation of the Health Ministry Program for Women, a women's health movement designed to improve health education and disease prevention in vulnerable communities. In 2000, Keystone Mercy Health Plan launched the Health Ministry Program in Philadelphia. In the fall of 2002, the annual program was expanded to South Carolina.
The Health Ministry Program for Women aims to empower and encourage minority women to embrace a healthy lifestyle. The goals are to:
- Recognize and explore the challenges of maintaining a healthy mind, body and spirit.
- Identify and promote the options for effectively coping with health issues and challenges.
- Provide a non-threatening environment in the communities we serve.