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Faith Community Health

Helping people reach optimal health by integrating faith communities with healthcare to provide more effective patient navigation, education and support to create healthier communities regardless of race, religion or creed.
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Bridging the gap between faith and health

A rapidly growing area of healthcare focuses on empowering our communities of faith to heal body, mind and spirit. Healthcare and faith have been linked for hundreds of years. Some of the earliest recorded hospitals were founded by monasteries and convents during the plagues of Europe. We’re continuing this tradition.

Our mission

Healthcare is difficult to navigate alone. That’s why we strive to bridge the gap between healthcare and community care. We do this by providing more effective patient navigation, education and support directly to our neighborhoods.

Faith community caregivers
We train congregational members to be faith community caregiver volunteers who provide a ministry of presence to lonely and isolated Baylor Scott & White Health patients that need extra assistance.

More about faith community caregivers

Health ministry
We help empower faith communities to improve the health of their own congregation and surrounding community through health ministry efforts.

More about Health Ministry

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Faith community caregivers
Our program connects to your community through faith community caregivers. We support their passion by supplying the tools and structure to act as a ministry of presence for their neighbors.
Right door
Providing education for patients on the most appropriate healthcare treatment location.
Right time
Equipping the community with preventative information to help identify issues early.
Ready to be treated
Helping people prepare to share symptoms, medication and home remedies with their healthcare providers.
Reassurance
Easing fear and offering a ministry of presence with compassionate care.

What is a faith community caregiver?

  • A compassionate caregiver who offers companionship to those suffering from loneliness for one hour per week
  • A trained volunteer who looks for potential hazards in the home and assesses for enhancements that may improve quality of life
  • A resource champion who assesses the patients’ needs and utilizes local congregations, as well as community resources, to meet those needs—from mowing the lawn to building a wheelchair ramp to laundry services and much more
  • A health advocate who assists the patients in following their plan of care as prescribed by their healthcare professional
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Health ministry

A health ministry is an organized effort within a faith community, beyond the scope of normal worship and fellowship gatherings, that actively promotes the health needs of the congregation and surrounding area. By assisting faith communities in the establishment of health ministries, congregations emphasize the wholeness of body, mind and spirit.

Faith Community Health aims to empower and assist local congregations to create and expand upon their health ministry efforts.

Here are some examples of ways to address health in you congregation:

Exercise classes
Exercise classes are a great way to address the physical, social and mental health of your congregations. Your congregation could have weekly yoga classes, walking groups, zumba classes, etc. The possibilities are endless!

Education
Because congregations gather together on a weekly basis, this is a great opportunity to educate the masses about various health topics that may be of importance to your congregation.

Community outreach
Faith Communities are often looking for ways to get to know their neighborhoods, and community outreach allows them to do so. Community outreach examples, such as health fairs, allows faith communities an opportunity to serve their neighbors while providing much-needed services.

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Patient impact

A volunteer has been visiting an elderly woman who has no surviving family. Recently, she told her volunteer that about 20 years ago her son took his life due to traumatic life events and mental illness. She revealed that often she stays awake at night crying about her son and that the sad thoughts have been in her mind for 20 years now. Her volunteer talked with her for over an hour and listened as she processed her emotions that had been internalized for decades. When the volunteer went to visit the next time, the lady mentioned she spent the last week finally being at peace with the situation. She said this past week of sleep was the most restful she has had since the event. Because of Faith Community Health, this patient is finally at peace about an event that happened 20 years ago. This is a tangible example of how our ministry of presence effects physical and emotional health.

A local faith community has been offering health screenings for over four years. The health ministry team is stationed in the foyer of the sanctuary and conducts blood glucose and blood pressure checks the second Sunday of each month. At one of the screenings the nurses identified a lady with an extremely elevated blood pressure and suggested that she go to the doctor immediately. The lady went to an urgent care center and eventually was sent to the Emergency Department at a local hospital. After further testing, it was found that she had a blockage of the renal arteries that was causing the elevated blood pressure. A procedure called renal angioplasty was performed, and her blood pressure returned to normal. She is very grateful for the nurse, as well as the entire church health ministry team who identified her elevated blood pressure. The next time they were at church, the patient hugged and thanked each member of the team for the dedication and work done to help save her life.

A patient was referred to our program because she has no family in the area and lacks support. The senior assisted home that she lives in has planned events for residence interaction, but she never went to them. Her feelings of isolation had made it difficult to attend social events that were out of her comfort zone. The church liaison and the assigned volunteer decided it would be beneficial for the volunteer to attend some of those events with the patient so she would feel more comfortable. Faith Community Health often helps those who live alone and lack support, but sometimes that is not always the case. Sometimes, a patient has access to further support but is scared to take that step on their own. By providing a volunteer who extended encouragement, we helped a patient get reconnected to the community that was already surrounding her.

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