Health Ministries and Montemorelos University Partner to Help Local Communities

Several joint projects are expected to reach more than one million people in 2024.

Brenda Ceron and Libna Stevens, Inter-American Division News
Health Ministries and Montemorelos University Partner to Help Local Communities
Franck Généus (left), health ministries director of the Inter-American Division, and Ismael Castillo, president of Montemorelos University, sign an agreement for joint health impact projects to reach more than one million people across the division territory in 2024, in Montemorelos, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, on January 15. [Photo: Lisandra Vicente/ Institutional Communication]

A recent agreement between leaders of Montemorelos University and the Health Ministries Department of the Inter-American Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church (IAD) will seek to help more than one million people in 2024. The partnership will center around the objective of improving quality of life through disease prevention and health practices, church leaders said.

“The partnership will help in scaling up the reach of various successful IAD health programs based in Montemorelos University,” Franck Généus, IAD health ministries director, said. Some of the programs are “I Want to Live Healthy,” I Want to Grow Healthy,” “Health at Home, Healthy Kitchen,” and more, Généus said. Thanks to the partnership, it will be possible to translate the existing programs, train people for their implementation, and render the materials more accessible to all, he added.

One of the ways to ensure that more than one million people are reached is by keeping track of the community impact of local churches on a monthly or quarterly basis. And then, add to that the impact that hospitals, clinics, and lifestyle centers have throughout the territory, Généus said. “We know a large impact is reached every year, but it’s important to have accurate information so that we can continue to increase our reach with the health message.”

“For years, Montemorelos University has had resources that have supported many core health initiatives that have impacted Mexico, and the partnership will help expand the scope of support they bring,” Généus said.

Montemorelos University, a leading institution in promoting health in Mexico, and its team of technologists are working on an online platform that will track and compile accomplishments in health initiatives across the territory. The online platform will be available in English, Spanish, and French in early March.

“We know that our churches are engaged in impacting the community through health expos, health brigades, preventive education and the like, but for years, not enough accurate information has been properly accounted for,” Généus said. “We want that to change this year.” The change means that tallying of health community results from the union, conference, mission, and local churches is done regularly.

An additional project currently in development is an app called Health Dream, which will provide preventive health tips and will eventually merge with the church’s “I Want to Live Healthy” comprehensive health initiative. The app will be managed by Montemorelos University and is intended for anyone seeking to live a healthier lifestyle.

In addition, the partnership will seek to upgrade the certification program for health promoters throughout the IAD backed by Montemorelos University. The institution will provide training as well as include a standardized test for health promoters, and further training within the upgraded certification program online.

“This is a major leap when it comes to the church promoting health reform,” Généus said. “We have programs and resources in the IAD, and Montemorelos has a team and further resources that will be accessible to all unions for the implementation of more health impact activities in the community.”

The partnership is part of the momentum that has come about by health ministries for union implementation, Généus said.

Other parts of the agreement include upgrading primary health care and quality of patient care in hospitals, clinics, and healthy lifestyle centers throughout the IAD.

The efforts of the university,  as a Health Promoting University in Montemorelos, will be led by director Roel Cea, who will be managing the various projects.

Montemorelos University president Ismael Castillo affirmed the commitment of the university to provide resources, training, and support in bringing about the projects. With the agreement, the two organizations are committed to work hand in hand to offer health and wellness across the IAD territory.

The original version of this story was posted on the Inter-American Division news site.

Brenda Ceron and Libna Stevens, Inter-American Division News