Archive for the category “Healthcare”

The Great Physicians of Detroit

In the heart of a failing city, health care is a critical need — and a strategic opportunity for God’s people to show, in word and deed, the Father’s great love for his children. Covenant Community Care, the only faith-based, federally funded health center in Michigan, is doing just that in Detroit.

detroit cccStefanie A. Bohde reports for CT’s This Is Our City:

Like most players on Detroit’s economic stage, Covenant Community Care (CCC) arose out of community demand. Across Detroit neighborhoods, from burgeoning Midtown to the West Village Historic District, entrepreneurs rise to meet the needs and desires of their consumer base. They open restaurants and decorate storefronts, money exchanging hands to pay for lattes or handmade goods.

But what happens when most of your customers can’t pay?

That was the dilemma facing Kathy Kleinert, DO, in 1999. After one Sunday service at Messiah Church in Southwest Detroit, the general practitioner noted to Pastor Bob Hoey her growing concerns about their surrounding neighbors. Kleinert had made house calls and even treated people in the street, and was especially conscious of those without insurance, all the while ignoring their inability to pay and poor hygiene. She always shared Christ, praying for clients and trying to point them to a local church. As she became aware of people without necessary medical care, she became increasingly driven to provide it. And she told Hoey that she’d treat all people, regardless of their ability to pay.

Thus Kleinert became the founding physician of one of Detroit’s largest health clinics operating on small co-pays and large amounts of grace.

“We try to treat each client as if they are Christ, regardless of their ability to pay,” says Hoey, co-founder of CCC and pastor of Messiah Church (part of the Evangelical Covenant denomination) for 18 years.

Opening in 1999, CCC is the only faith-based, federally funded health center in the state of Michigan. Although there are many free faith-based clinics throughout the state, they tend to be much smaller and volunteer-run. By contrast, all of CCC’s doctors and dentists are employed. And with 100 employees, the clinic has doubled in size every two years. CCC serves approximately 10,000 Detroiters annually in a city with approximately 200,000 residents who lack adequate health care.

“There’s a tremendous need in the community, and we want to meet our consumer demand, caring for as many people who come in,” said Paul Propson, CCC’s executive director. “If we could hire more doctors now, we’d see more people today. A lot of people are waiting to be seen.” …

CCC’s mission statement—”To show and share the love of God, as seen in the Good News of Jesus Christ, by providing integrated, affordable and quality health care to those who need it most”—is embossed in large letters behind the front desk. CCC staff member Rosie Verde Rios says patients frequently read the words, nodding to themselves, and comment to her after their appointment that they notice the difference.

“Our doctors are Covenant Community Care’s greatest strength. They most perfectly demonstrate the Christian witness,” says Paul Propson, CCC’s executive director. “They take time every day to model Jesus’ love for people.”

Best told me of a patient who was referred to CCC after being released from the hospital after suffering a heart attack. The staff worked with the patient to qualify for Medicaid, but were ultimately unable to secure it. Through several different avenues, their staff was able to get this patient all of his medicine free of charge, medicine that ordinarily would have totaled upward of $500.

“God has blessed our organization with tremendous gifts—financial gifts and blessings, as well as fulfilling needs. He’s been our provider,” said Propson. “We attribute our success in caring for people in God’s foundational love for Detroit. God loves Detroit. He’s looking for people to be his hands and feet to care for those he loves.”

At that, Propson paused for a second, mulling the words over a bit. “If we had another name for CCC, it would be God Loves Detroit Health Center.”

Read the full text of this excellent article by clicking here.

Learn more about the ministry of Covenant Community Care by clicking here.

Want to use your healthcare skills to help people in need? Click here.

More than a clinic

Tiffany Owens writes for WORLD magazine:

ATHENS, Ga.—Thursday, 5:25 p.m.: Mercy Health Clinic volunteers scurry like theater students before opening night. They rush from room to room carrying manila folders, pinning on nametags, and greeting each other with hugs and smiles. Doctors peek at their appointment lists and make final touches on their notes.

“It’s almost time for our huddle,” Executive Director Tracy Thompson says. Shortly after 5:30 p.m., she leads the way downstairs where staffers and volunteers have gathered to pray. Ten minutes later, they rush upstairs and begin calling names. It’s show time.

Mercy provides free medical care to people living in one of America’s poorest counties. Many patients are the working uninsured, meaning they earn too much to receive Medicaid but not enough to buy insurance without falling short elsewhere.

Read the full article here.

Learn more about Mercy Health Center here.

What the Obamacare decision means for Christians

John Stonestreet writes for BreakPoint:

You’ve no doubt heard that the Supreme Court, by a 5-4 vote, upheld the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate and the ACA itself.

The ACA will now, of course, be a major campaign issue in this fall’s elections. The GOP has vowed to repeal the ACA if they are elected. The Court’s decision will be scrutinized, and there will be no shortage of analyses about what this says about the Roberts Court.

What I want to do is start a discussion with BreakPoint listeners about the decision’s impact on Christians. While we can disagree about whether the ACA is good policy — personally, I think it’s deeply flawed in very important ways — the heath care issues addressed in the ACA cannot be ignored.

So while many of us may have been disappointed by the outcome of the case, the Court’s decision provides us with an opportunity to say what we are for and not just what we are against.

The first thing we can agree we are for is that the health care and insurance situation in this country is just not acceptable. Millions in our country do not have adequate or any health insurance, and while some avoid this by choice, many, including many with children, simply cannot afford it. The current system is broken, and Christians need to care about those who suffer. The Affordable Care Act is not the best answer for the problem, but it’s a problem that Christians shouldn’t, in good conscience, ignore. Morally, the status quo is unacceptable.

The same thing can be said about the rising costs of health care. When you hear about the tens of trillions in “unfunded liabilities,” the largest and fastest-growing part of that is related to health-care costs. These costs are by far the greatest threat to our fiscal future, a fact on which both parties agree. We should insist that this “agreement” translate into action.

Justice Roberts’ majority opinion, which upheld the individual mandate by justifying it under Congress’ taxing powers, invited Congress to revisit some of the ACA’s provisions. We should urge Congress to do so and provide better protection for the sanctity of human life.

I’m not only referring to taxpayer funding of abortion, although current provisions against it are woefully inadequate. I have also have in mind what might be called the “monetizing of human life,” the cost-benefit calculations that prompted people to talk about “death panels.”

Also, it should go without saying that we must insist on better guarantees for the freedom of conscience. The ongoing struggles over the HHS mandate have made clear the administration’s intention to define freedom of conscience and religious freedom as narrowly as possible. Given this intention, they shouldn’t be allowed the kind of carte-blanche discretion the ACA currently affords them to change definitions about religious freedom as much as they’ve done already.

The struggle over the HHS mandate underlines the need for courage. The first attempt to apply the ACA was a broadside against religious freedom. While I’m gratified at the loud and strong response from many Christians, I am also certain that more threats to our freedom are still to come.

Now that the ACA has been upheld, we need to be prepared to fight for something better than the status quo. We need to insist on something that addresses all of our concerns.

As Chuck Colson might have put it, the battle has just begun.

There will be a lot of discussion about the Supreme Court’s ruling at our blog. Why not join the conversation? Go to BreakPoint.org and click on the “BreakPoint Blog” tab.

Join in!

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