From Maddie Rhodes, Communications Scholar at Church Health
Practically overnight, Church Health changed course like so many other businesses and organizations in the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Dental and eye appointments were reduced to emergency only, appointments became a requirement even at the walk-in clinic, screening stations were set-up at every entrance, and a drive-thru testing site was opened first to established patients, then to anyone who showed symptoms and now to frontline workers. Many new trainings and strategies have been implemented to ensure the protection of our patients and staff, including the use of telehealth appointments and more, but our focus on serving the underserved has and will not change.
As Memphis progresses through its phases of reopening, we are still focusing on testing underserved populations. Through a partnership with various faith-based organizations, we are transporting our testing capabilities to underserved neighborhoods in Shelby-County. Testing will remain a part of our operations for the foreseeable future.
With the help of our network of over 300 clergy, we are continuously reaching out to the faith community to participate in our efforts to social distance to slow the spread of the virus and seek out testing if symptomatic.
As June nears, we now have reopened our dental clinic. We are calling for volunteers to assist with drive through testing and screening as many of our essential staff have returned to the dental clinic. We encourage our patients to try Telehealth for their next appointment, more information can be found on the Church Health website. As always, COVID-19 or not, we welcome our patients to the clinic to receive the care they need in a safe place.
Church Health now offers an online version of our Diabetes Education Class. Our four-part series teaches the basics of diabetes, its role in the body, diabetes medication and chronic disease management. In addition to these topics, we focus at length on nutrition for diabetics. The modules on the website can be completed by Church Health patients and the results will be submitted to our Registered Dietician Nutritionist. If you are not a patient of Church Health, but are interested in our Diabetes Self-Management classes, please feel free view the videos on the webpage.
The Diabetes Self-Management modules will be available in Spanish next month.
Thrive! Stroke Support Group is a bi-monthly gathering of stroke survivors and their families. While we are not able to meet in person right now, we are always able to connect online. We invite you post to the group and tell us how you’re doing. What exercises are you working on?
In March 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, over 300 clergy in Memphis joined to form the Memphis Clergy COVID-19 Response. Managed by the Church Health Faith Community Engagement team, this Facebook group serves as a clearinghouse for information that will help faith communities faithfully and adequately respond to the challenges posed by COVID-19. A series of webinars that can be found on Church Health’s youtube channel addresses a variety of topics including:
- Creating a Virtual Worship Experience
- Reshaping Food Ministries During COVID-19
- Maintaining Church Giving During COVID-19
- Who Ministers to the Ministers?
- A Clergy Discussion on Funeral Planning During COVID-19
- Spirituality for Children and Families During COVID-19
- Addressing Hunger with SNAP and WIC During the COVID-19 Pandemic
On April 28th, 15 faith leaders in Memphis signed the Memphis Clergy Response to COVID-19, stating that they commit to working collaboratively and relying on scientific and medical professionals to determine when it is safe to return to in-person worship.
The Memphis faith leaders showed their commitment to the health and safety of their congregations and the general public in their May 15th video, reiterating their decision to heed the advice of medical, scientific and public health officials before returning to in-person corporate worship.
The collective decision making and pledges made by this diverse group of clergy is reassuring and powerful in this time of so many unknowns. We encourage you to watch the short video linked here.
In these challenging times, many of us are spending more time than usual in our kitchens. We are learning new dishes, experimenting with new techniques, and trying to stay on track with our health goals. These short videos from Church Health’s Registered Dietician Nutritionist, Kimberly Boone, will help clear any confusion you may have when it comes to how to fill your plate and meet your health goals.