Congregations, Clinics, and Consultants

ECHO God’s love by starting a faith-based charitable medical clinic

by Josh Roberts

Choosing to follow Jesus in every way is a hard choice. It takes faith, commitment, and discipline. It can be difficult to find avenues to express your faith. Matthew wrote, “And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people” (Matthew 9:35). Deciding to deepen your relationship with Christ by being involved in providing quality health care to the underserved can be easy—with help.

ECHO clinic consultants have more than 50 years of combined experience starting and operating clinics.

Empowering Community Healthcare Outreach (ECHO) is a partner ministry of Church Health that provides no-cost consulting to clinic sponsors and congregations interested in starting a charitable clinic modeled after Church Health, which serves a working uninsured population in Memphis, Tennessee. The ECHO model includes having a full-time provider on staff, full-time operating hours, and a relationship with the faith community. Additionally, we encourage clinics to operate as charitable, rather than free. Church Health patients pay fees on a sliding scale based on their income. Some houses of worship choose to support a charitable clinic by making substantial financial commitments, while others build and sustain a pipeline of volunteers.

ECHO clinic consultants have more than 50 years of combined experience starting and operating clinics. They will help you build a team that includes a clinic project team leader, data champion, medical champion, and others. Successful clinics find and retain a champion called by faith to provide great care to the patients their clinic serves. ECHO’s clearly-defined and reliable process follows a 12- to 18-month time line with three stages:

  1. Explore the need in your community and build partnerships, fundraising capabilities, and communications strategies.
  2. Develop your clinic with board meetings, recruiting staff, and readying your site.
  3. Implement your clinic after securing a contract lab and performing an operational dry run.

With ECHO, your congregation can leverage its resources to help the underserved in your community get the quality health care they need and deserve.

Even with the Affordable Care Act and whatever might come after it, some people will always lack access to quality medical care. ECHO believes that, together, we can heal sickness and disease among the people.

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