Florida Public Health Review

Publication Date



We provide information pertaining to an interdisciplinary collaboration in West Central Florida that launched a faith & wellness teleconference intervention in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 crisis. The collaborative partners engaged from across the 4-county region upon community lockdowns in response to the COVID-19 crisis and later addressing calls for social justice due to the deaths of George Floyd and other African Americans. For 17-weeks Christian and Muslim faith leaders provided live messages of hope along with community partners providing wellness (mental health and wellbeing) focused strategies for coping with the crisis. Thematic analysis of anecdoctal comments revealed themes of community collaboration, systemic racism, faith leader needs and others. The concluding public health implications are provided including the importance of academic public health community engagement for building trust, increasing inclusivity, taking action, and overcoming obstacles to community intervention planning in times of crisis.