Excellence in faith and health is only possible through partnership. The care of our patients is a shared ministry. While our 10,000 staff and 2,500 physicians do everything that medical science and smart care-giving makes possible, we know that the healing of our patients is heavily dependent on the love and care they experience from their families and congregations. We are committed to nurturing excellence in faith and health not only within our walls, but also among the partners who share the healing ministry with us. In Memphis the major partner is the congregation. Nearly 70% of our patients indicate they attend one of the 2,000 places of worship regularly. Dozens of local clergy are helping us design a broader partnership so that we can work even more closely together for the health of our communities. We are developing training programs to expand the healing ministries of those congregations and to ensure that every patient travels their healing path accompanied by excellent care.
As part of our mission, we serve the working poor, and several community partners help us do that. One of our major partners in that endeavor is the Church Health Center, near the campus of Methodist University Hospital in the heart of the medical center. The Church Health Center, a nationally-known program, provides affordable health care and a variety of other related services for those in need, and Methodist provides financial and other resources to help them fulfill their goals in the community.
Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare can claim excellence because of our strong partners, especially the rich variety of world class academic institutions that have helped us create the Center for Excellence in Faith and Health. We are the teaching hospital for the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and work closely with the University of Memphis. Our staff collaborates with Memphis Theological Seminary to develop new courses and created a new Doctor of Ministry degree to build leadership capacity among clergy and our staff. We are home to some of the staff of the Emory University Interfaith Health Program. Reaching even farther, we partner with faculty at the University of Cape Town and the Oslo Center in Norway to develop some of the leading research in the field of faith and health used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization. Through these partners and others, we strive to improve the care our patients and neighbors receive and spread a greater vision of faith and health around the world.