West Side Pastors’ Coalition for AIDS & Inner City Health is comprised of faith leaders. The Coalition has been in existence since 1994, under its current founder/president, Rev. Stanley F. Stephens, who recognized that there was a limited number of faith leaders involved in HIV/AIDS ministries. Our mission is to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS through education/prevention, by building an extensive network for excellent health and wellness in the community.
The Coalition believes strongly in education and prevention while increasing compassion and non-judgmental care. We provide pastoral care, support groups, grief counseling and continue to build faith based health ministries. We also promote faith community involvement in HIV testing.
Other health issues that impact poor communities and are often overlooked include: Heart Disease, Cancer, Diabetes, Obesity, Stroke and Hypertension. African-Americans are twice as likely to be diagnosed with Diabetes as whites and 1.5 times more likely than whites to have high blood pressure. The Coalition supports programs in the community that address these concerns.
The Coalition holds three events during the year:
(1) Back to school/Back to Reality Fun Day, targeting our youth and promoting HIV awareness with the use of entertainment, refreshments, speakers and providing free school supplies to those in attendance.
(2) Annual Clergy Breakfast provides the opportunity for faith leaders, lay people, community advocates, health care professionals, and civic leaders to discuss HIV/AIDS trends, strategies, and resources along with preventative measures/activities to incorporate within the community.
(3) Celebration of Life Service, targeting families/friends of loved ones who have passed away (a celebration of their life while they were in our presence). It’s also a time of healing and recognition. We hold this event during the time of the Annual World AIDS Day.
West Side Pastors’ Coalition for AIDS & Inner City Health is not-for-profit and exempt under Section 501c (3) Internal Revenue Code. The WSPCA is in partnership with many community health agencies including: West Suburban Medical Center, Loretto Hospital, The CORE Center, Chicago Department of Public Health, McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago Theological Seminary, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, and AIDS Foundation of Chicago.
West Side Pastors’ Coalition for AIDS & Inner City Health has received honors for its work including: “Tree of Life Award” from AIDS Pastoral Care Network, the “Clergy Leadership Award” from McCormick Theological Seminary, and recognized as a “Faith Partner HIV/AIDS” from AIDS Foundation of Chicago, along with other notable recognitions.