July 7, 2009
LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. – Dr. Sheron C. Patterson, senior pastor of Highland Hills United Methodist Church Dallas, Texas, will speak at the National Black Church Health Summit, being held August 5-7, 2009 at the Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center.
Nationally recognized as a Christian relationship expert, Dr. Patterson’s sage advice has been broadcast via Black Entertainment Television (BET) and Jet Magazine. On a weekly basis, over one million people in 50 cities hear her “Love Doctor” broadcast on the syndicated ABC radio format REJOICE. She is also the “relationship expert” for the Good Morning Texas television broadcast on WFAA, Channel 8, and she reaches over 500,000 viewers.
In 2006, Dr. Patterson faced one of the biggest and most unexpected challenges of her life when she herself was diagnosed with breast cancer. Believing in helping others survive, she turned what could have been a tragedy into a triumph by making public her every step as she faced her cancer diagnosis. She created a radio, print and television education/inspiration campaign to help others face their health issues head on.
Reflecting back on her battle with breast cancer, Dr. Patterson says, “My breast cancer was detected early because I chose to get tested regularly – a decision that may very well have saved my life. Even after coming to terms with my illness, I chose to think positively about it, asking myself how I could use this experience to benefit others."
She is now an enthusiastic health and wellness advocate and the driving force behind The Patterson Pledge, a program that motivates thousands to take control of their health. Dr. Patterson began to collaborate with the U.S. State Department to host international delegations of breast cancer survivors for informational and inspirational visits in 2007.
In 2008 she launched Breast Cancer Builds a program that brings survivors of breast cancer together to build a Habitat for Humanity house. Dr. Patterson calls Breast Cancer Builds a gratitude project, because she and the other survivors are grateful to God to be alive and this is one way to give back. This project raises awareness about breast cancer prevention and raises funding to provide low income women with free mammograms via a second project called Mammograms for the Masses launched in 2007 with the help of two Dallas hospitals.
Dr. Patterson holds an undergraduate degree from Spelman College in Atlanta, GA, two Masters Degrees and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. A native of Charlotte, North Carolina, Dr. Patterson is married to Robert Patterson Sr. and together they have two sons, Robert Jr., and Christian.
The Office of African-American Ministries of the Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center and Nia’s Ark, Inc. is co-hosting the summit, whose theme is “Building Bridges Between the Faith Community and Public Health,” to bring together members of the faith community, academia, health agencies and clergy leaders to address health disparities to strengthen community partnerships.
For further information about the National Black Church Health Summit, go to www.lakejunaluska.com/events_detail.aspx?id=10028 or call 828-454-6656.