Affirming our commitment : how capacity building and expansion of Christian Health Ministry, Inc. may benefit White County, Arkansas

Cook, Ron
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Southern New Hampshire University
As more citizens in the United States live without health insurance and lack sufficient access to affordable healthcare, communities have mobilized to create new equitable healthcare options for the working uninsured. In 2001 residents of White County, Arkansas formed Christian Health Ministry of White County, Inc. (CHM), as a faith-based, volunteer-only clinic to provide quality and affordable health and wellness services to the working uninsured. After nine years of providing basic health care and pharmaceutical services, CHM operates with limited funds, has few partners, faces a shrinking pool of volunteers, and suffers from leadership fatigue. While demand rises for expanded equitable healthcare options for the working poor in White County, Arkansas, the capacity and sustainability of CHM to meet those needs seems increasingly uncertain. The subject of this paper is a project conducted as an unpaid service to CHM. The Project conducted an organizational assessment of CHM, including potential contributions to community economic development. The short-term intent of the Project was to examine the organization's efficiency and effectiveness and explore opportunities to build capacity. A long-term outcome of the Project was to strengthen the position of CHM as a sustainable medical and wellness option for the working uninsured of White County and to increase the number of working uninsured who make CHM their medical and wellness home. (Author abstract)