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Gloria Addo-Ayensu, M.D., M.P.H.
Director of Health

Church Members Earn Certificates from Health Department’s Chronic Disease Management Program

Submitted by xlschwa on Mon, 08/07/2023 - 11:18 am

Christ Is Lord International CDSMP program participants
Christ Is Lord International CDSMP program participants

The Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD) community outreach team continues to engage with new community members on issues surrounding chronic disease management. 

Mariama Kalokoh and Frank Owusu, two members of the FCHD outreach team who work primarily with the African community in the Fairfax Health District recently facilitated a Chronic Disease Management Program (CDSMP) at the Christ Is Lord International Church in Springfield. At the end of the six-week program, 13 congregation members received their certificates for completing the training. 

The Chronic Disease Management Programs covers topics such as: 

  • Techniques for managing frustration, fatigue, pain, and isolation 
  • Exercises for maintaining and improving strength, flexibility, and endurance 
  • Appropriate use of medication 
  • Methods for communicating effectively with family, friends, and health professionals 
  • Nutrition
  • How to evaluate new treatment 

“Chronic disease like stroke, hypertension, diabetes, and high blood pressure are killers in the community,” said Reverend Gibrilla Sapunka Bangura of Christ Is Lord International. “Our community was excited about the training and the tools they received. The training was also an eye-opener for things not known as chronic diseases, such as the effect of stress and lack of sleep.” 

Christ Is Lord International has been a Health Department partner for a year, during which Mariama and Frank have worked with the congregation to address another growing concern – mental health.

“With partners and the county, we have worked on mental issues and how to detect them before we lose our loved ones,” said Reverend Gibrilla Sapunka Bangura. “The interfaith community held a seminar on mental health at the Christ Is Lord International Church earlier this year, and it illustrated the need for these services in the community.”

The church also plans to use money provided to them through VDH’s Virginia Partners in Prayer grant to support, train, and create awareness in the community about health issues, with an emphasis on behavioral health. 

Mariama and Frank will continue the CDSMP program at the Christ Is Lord International Church with a new cohort of individuals. 

Interested in bringing the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program to your community? There is no charge for this program. Email the FCHD outreach community team at to learn more.  

Fairfax Virtual Assistant