The Strategies to Trim and Reduce (STAR) Project is a faith-based initiative implemented in Congregational Wellness network churches to address hypertension and obesity. Established in 2011, the STAR Project seeks to improve blood pressure control and weight reduction in congregations.
Church nurses and lay health advocates educate and engage congregants in weight reduction and healthy blood pressure activities, teaching skills and techniques they can use for the rest of their lives.
The expectation is that more than half of participants will incorporate changes in their daily routines and see some improvement in weight and blood pressure before the project period ends. Only member churches of the Congregational Wellness Network are eligible to participate in this 13-week program.
Statistical data from various sources indicate that hypertension and obesity are contributing factors to the high incidence of cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in the United States. To address this growing health concern, the STAR Project is an intervention designed to help the participants gain knowledge, skills and new attitudes in a spiritually rich environment.
We call this initiative the STAR Project because we believe that there is a star in every person. Sometimes, our brightness is hidden by unwanted pounds, bondages of sickness and medications that dull and subdue the vibrant personalities just beneath the surface. We believe people are happier and more productive when they are healthy, and our aim is to help people shine brightly.
Become a Leader
Wellness ministry leaders who wish to lead a STAR Project group in their own church must attend a 10-hour training and belong to a church that participates in the Congregations Wellness Network. Leaders are taught how to implement the program and how to use the curriculum and project materials.
Leaders must be:
- Capable of teaching adults
- Willing to be an example to the participants by following the principles of the program
- Able to submit timely program reports
- Able to lead the weekly two-hour sessions for 13 weeks
STAR Project Train-the-Trainer
The Train-the-Trainer course provides the wellness ministry leader with strategies to facilitate sessions that cover a variety of areas that impact weight and blood pressure:
- Digestive system
- Cardiovascular system
- Skeletal and muscular system
- Energy and exercise
- Nutrition concepts
- Communication and compliance with medications
- Relaxation and strengthening techniques
Upon completion of the Train-the-Trainer course, the trainer will be able to:
- Clearly present the curriculum content
- Implement adult learning strategies
- Follow program guidelines for data collection
- Conduct program evaluation and reporting
- Make referrals as required
- Model healthy behaviors in accordance with the principles of the program