Community

Published On 06/11/2013

The Center of Excellence in Faith & Health is the heart of a community partnership designed to increase access to care and improve the health of our community through a number of innovative projects and activities.

The Congregational Health Network (CHN) is a covenant relationship between Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare hospitals, Mid-South congregations and community health organizations. The CHN provides a network of nearly 500 congregations and faith communities that are partnering with us to share the ministry of caring for our patients—helping people navigate the journey from home to medical care and back.

The goal of this program is to more intentionally build stronger relationships and bridges between local faith communities and Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare (MLH) in order to improve the patient journey through the MLH system and more broadly to build healthier communities in Memphis, Tennessee and the Mid-South.

Our research confirms that these assets certainly do exist. But, they need to be aligned and strengthened, which is an innovative work of faith and science. What is unique about this approach, is that the congregation becomes a part of the quality care team, not an afterthought or stopgap. We are blending the complementary strengths of congregation and hospital in a tightly woven network of care. 

It is a human bridge connecting the professional care system (including the hospital) with the natural caring system of family, neighbors and especially congregations. Newly created, full-time navigators at each adult hospital and hundreds of unpaid liaisons in participating congregations complete the equation.

  • Navigators: Employed by Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, “community case workers” responsible for improving connectional relationships between MLH and the community by providing a continuity of care between the hospitals and area congregations
  • Liaisons : Volunteer community health workers and representatives of the local faith communities

The Congregational Health Network provides the following:

  • Development and maintenance of a social system (including congregations, volunteers, MLH and partners)
  • Implementation of covenant relationships (including value-added incentives)
  • In-hospital support and accompaniment
  • Community health promotion
  • Micro-grants to congregations and community partners to support health-promoting work and networking
  • Mapping and leveraging of religious health assets in Memphis
  • Building practical interfaith collaboration
  • Training and education of congregations and liaisons (e.g. in community care, hospital visitation, aftercare training, end of life care, mental health first aid)

View the Congregational Health Network Covenant

Congregational Health Network Partners

The Center of Excellence in Faith and Health is proud to honor its partners in the Congregational Health Network (CHN) who have signed a covenant and partnered with us in our journey.  Their work and active participation as they are able has enabled us to improve access and health status for all in our area.  We do not list or share contact information or specific names of our pastors or liaisons, as we view the relationships and shared trust between these partners and CHN Director Bobby Baker and the navigators and all of our Faith and Health staff as critically important to nurture and protect.  We believe that these salient, sometimes intangible religious health assets (e.g., trusted relationships and goodwill) are responsible for CHN's growth, flourishing, training and its amazing work on the ground in Memphis.  As such, any operational or logistical questions or desires to partner with the CHN should be handled directly through Rev. Bobby Baker, who can be reached at phone number 901.516.7481 or e-mail bobby.baker@mlh.org.

Click here to view the list of partner congregations.

Contact Us

Rev. Bobby Baker, Director of Faith and Community Partnerships; Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare 901.516.7481, Email: bobby.baker@mlh.org 

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