Michael Smith

by Michael Smith


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Empowerment: the Foundation of Sustainable Health Improvement

No single factor enhances the likelihood of sustained improvement in the health of a person, family or community more than empowerment: affirming and engaging the dignity, strengths, experience, vision, and resources of those we are called to serve. This session will review the practical as well as biblical and theological reasons that empowerment is an essential ingredient in every Christian health ministry. It will offer practical guidelines for making our health ministries more empowering.
We will approach the session by:
• What does empowerment mean and why is it important from a Christian perspective?
• Together trace the relationship of empowerment to improving health
• Drawing from research on empowerment in which the presenter participated along with faculty from Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University and other ministry colleagues, provide an overview of ways that NGOs and faith-based organizations define, operationalize and measure empowerment
• Involve participants in identifying and overcoming obstacles to empowerment in health missions
• Propose and then collectively refine a set of guidelines for planning medical missions that contribute optimally to empowerment; and a parallel set of guidelines for evaluating empowerment outcomes
• Collectively identify resources and best practices in the area of empowerment in health ministries

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