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Program Aims To Curb Health Habits At Church

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- People in the African-American community are finding more than spiritual guidance at church.

Some are also improving their health with a program designed to make lifestyle changes.

Health Corrections is an action plan aimed at high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.

Fifty-four-year-old Cynthia Briscoe is one of many black women living with the "Epidemic Triad" of high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.

She learned to fight back by joining Health Correction at St. Peter's African Methodist Church in Minneapolis.

"When the program first started, they started off with my pastor and I'm seeing results with him and I'm like, 'Well, wow I can do this too,'" said Cynthia Briscoe.

"I was type two diabetic, I was suffering from high blood pressure and I was obese category one," said Rev. Nazim Fakir.

Rev. Nazim Fakir lost weight and found a new way to spread the good news to his congregation.

"I am no longer diabetic, I was out of the diabetic range after eight days in the program. I've lost 41 pounds and I no longer have high blood pressure. I don't take any medication anymore," Fakir said.

Rev. Fakir partnered with Dr. Steve Tuschman and Dr. Pam Rients to form Amendocs, Health Connection.

"This is not an advice program, this is an action program. So the first step for someone to get started is to share information with us," said Dr. Pamela Rients.

"We track metrics. If it's blood glucose, we're tracking it on a daily basis. If it's weight, we're tracking it on a daily basis. If it's blood pressure we're tracking it on a daily basis," said Dr. Steve Tuschman.

People are empowered with the ability to improve those metrics on a daily basis.

"I haven't been on insulin for two months," Briscoe said.

Cynthia is also 25 pounds lighter and is no longer a pack a day cigarette smoker.

Fifty people connected to St. Peter's AME church are currently sharing their health story with doctors and understanding what is driving their health problems.

All are having success with Health Corrections.

The program is helping people physically and economically, most are saving money from not having to buy and take loads of medications.

For more information, click here.

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