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Friday, November 8, 2013 - Region 10 Cancer and Chronic Disease Coalition partners with Mt. Zion Church to improve physical and spiritual health and wellness of members
SALEM, NJ (November 7, 2013) – The Region 10 Cancer and Chronic Disease Coalition and Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Salem have partnered to implement the “Body and Soul” program developed by the American Cancer Society. According to the American Cancer Society, Body and Soul empowers church members to eat a healthy diet rich in fruit and vegetables every day for better health. 

Matthew Brown, Salem County Coordinator provided important health information to members of Mt. Zion Baptist Church at the Body and Soul event.

Churches that embrace the mission of Body and Soul help their members take care of their bodies as well as their spirits. The church’s pastor, Awood Jones, along with active member April Holmes, have taken this program and run with it, spreading the positive message through their congregation.
“If we are going to change our thinking along with our community at large it must start in our youth,” said Pastor Awood Jones, Mt. Zion Baptist Church. “If we introduce our youth to a healthier way of thinking — mind, body and spirit — we can change the landscape of the future. This will take consolidated effort of both adults and children. They are watching us, they mimic our behavior and pick up our habits as well.”

Special guest speaker, Dr. Sonia Burgher, spoke with church members about specific ways to improve overall health.  

Mt. Zion Baptist Church recently hosted their second annual health awareness event on October 26 and 27. The two-day event for the mind, body and soul focused on the theme, “Nurture and Nourish,” which reached more than 50 attendees. The event provided members of the church with a range of vendors and health education information as well as special presentations by Sonia Burgher, M.D. and First Lady Martina Lambert, from Alpha Worship Center in New Castle, Delaware.
The Region 10 Cancer and Chronic Disease Coalition’s Salem County Coordinator, Matthew Brown of Inspira Health Network, believes it’s important to implement strategies associated with the Body and Soul program because they are proven to be effective. “As a community, we need to implement effective health improvement programs on a local level before expanding to larger populations,” said Brown. “As someone who was born and raised in Salem County, I see this as a very positive step towards improving the health of our community. The members of Mt. Zion Baptist Church have done an incredible job implementing this program and are well on the way to reaching their goals.”

For more information about the Body and Soul program, contact Matthew Brown at (856) 363-1506 or at Mt. Zion Baptist Church can be reached at (856) 935-4131 or at

The mission of the Region 10 Cancer and Chronic Disease Coalition is to implement evidence-based strategies that will reduce the incidence of late stage cancer, and that will foster prevention and control of chronic diseases in Cumberland, Salem and Gloucester counties. The NJ Department of Health, Office of Cancer Control and Prevention works closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to select meaningful, attainable goals for New Jersey; each county coalition in turn coordinates and implements actions to achieve these goals. For more information about the Region 10 Cancer and Chronic Disease Coalition, please visit