ST. LOUIS — Faith leaders across St. Louis are coming together to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus in their congregations and communities.
During the pandemic, the city's health director Dr. Fred Echols started reaching out to influential clergy members to discuss the virus’s impact and identify available resources that could benefit the faith community, according to a press release.
“To improve health outcomes in the city, we must move away from offering health improvement solutions (developed in silos) to the community and move towards working with the community to develop effective solutions,” Echols said in the release. “The faith community can be instrumental in helping us make that transition.”
Echols formed the Clergy Advisory Board and they meet twice a month.
"People are unnecessarily becoming infected with the virus," said Bishop Lawrence M. Wooten, pastor at Williams Temple Church of God in Christ. "Dr. Echols is helping to direct our efforts at informing our congregations about safety precautions, testing, and where to go for resources and medical help. We look forward to working with him in the future on other public health issues.”
The Clergy Advisory Board includes Dr. Kanika Turner, Bishop Lawrence M. Wooten, Bishop Nelson Watts Jr., Rev. Cornelius Moore, Rev. Anthony Witherspoon, Rev. Richard McDuffie, Rev. Dr. Julius Sims, Rev. B. T. Rice, Evangelist Pam Rice, and Rev. Roderick Burton.
Additional community leaders who served on the board include Lisa Potts, with the St. Louis Mental Health Board; Rose Jackson of the Behavioral Health Network; and Bonnie Reece, Executive Director of Hope House STL.