Church Health Champions
February 12, 2020 || Railgarten || churchhealth.org || Photos by Ken Hall
FFounded in 1987, Church Health’s mission is to reclaim the Church’s biblical commitment to care for bodies and spirits. This vision has steadily grown and flourished into a robust clinical operation that includes medical, dental, eye care, physical rehabilitation and behavioral health services. In addition, they offer to nutrition, movement and faith and health programs offered at Crosstown Concourse and throughout the community.
As the largest faith-based privately funded health care organization in the United States, Church Health is the medical home to tens of thousands of uninsured and underserved individuals and families across Shelby County, Tennessee. In fiscal year 2019 alone, Church Health saw more than 18,500 patients and had more than 62,500 patient encounters.
Church Health provides high-quality, whole-person care that encompasses far more than just setting a bone, filling a cavity or prescribing a pill. Guided by their Model for Healthy Living, Church Health fosters physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.
Church Health patients are among the most vulnerable in our community. They include small business owners and employees, single parents and immigrants. They work hard but still may be priced out of quality healthcare. Regardless of why they come to Church Health, patient care is affordable and accessible.
Amid the worldwide attention on the COVID-19 virus, Church Health’s commitment to providing quality, affordable health care has not wavered. For the first time in its 33-year history, Church Health decided to waive the working requirement for care in order to offer care and services to individuals who have lost jobs—and therefore, lost employer-based health coverage—during the pandemic.
Just as COVID-19 was beginning to spread, founder and CEO, Dr. G. Scott Morris, encountered a patient who was experiencing fever, shortness of breath and persistent cough. The immediate impulse was to think, “Oh, no. Coronavirus.” Instead, the patient was diagnosed with lung cancer, for which Church Health immediately facilitated treatment. This is a reminder that the health care needs of our community do not vanish in the face of a crisis.
Church Health has remained vigilant, taking countless steps to mitigate risk of exposure and keep clinics running. Many clinics and programs have moved to video conferencing. Drive-thru coronavirus testing takes place three days each week.
Church Health is dedicated to serving as a reliable, trusted source of information for everyone. Now and at all times, they work closely with state and local health departments, congregations, hospitals and community agencies to meet the needs of our uninsured, underserved neighbors.
The message is straightforward: stay calm, stay informed, and practice sound safety and prevention measures. Follow the CDC’s guidance: Wear a mask. Wash your hands frequently. Sanitize your workspace and home. Practice social distancing. Call your provider immediately if you experience symptoms, even if they’re mild.
Church Health’s care, counsel and support to the uninsured and underserved in our community continue in the face of this crisis. Above all else, we are reminded daily of our mantra: “Care For One Another.” If you want to help those who need help the most, go to ChurchHealth.org/donate.