The largest faith-based privately funded healthcare organization in the United States, Church Health is the medical home to tens of thousands of uninsured and underserved individuals and families across Shelby County, Tennessee. In fiscal year 2020 alone, Church Health saw more than 18,500 patients and had more than 55,500 patient encounters.
Founded in 1987, Church Health’s mission is to reclaim the Church’s biblical commitment to care for our bodies and spirits. This vision has steadily grown and flourished into a robust model of integrated medical, dental, physical rehabilitation, eye care and behavioral health services, in addition to nutrition, movement and health ministry programs offered on-site and in the community.
With a network of more than 1,000 volunteer providers and partnerships with congregations, health care institutions, businesses and facilities—in Memphis and across the United States–Church Health fosters health and well-being through clinical services, educational resources, family programs and outreach.
Church Health seeks to reclaim the Church’s biblical commitment to care for our bodies and our spirits.
To improve health and well-being so that people can experience the full richness of life.
Dr. Scott Morris, a family practice physician and ordained United Methodist minister, founded Church Health in 1987 to provide quality, affordable healthcare for working, uninsured people and their families.
In 1986, after college, seminary, medical school and his ordination as a United Methodist minister, Dr. Morris moved to Memphis, one of the poorest major cities in America. Dr. Morris knew the need would certainly be there, and if Church Health could work in Memphis, it could work anywhere.
We are the largest private faith-based health clinic in the U.S.
We are recognized as a Patient-Centered Medical Home by the National Committee for Quality Assurance. This rigorous standard of care delivery encourages close partnerships between patients and their providers.
Cost: Whether they have a cold, a broken bone or are dealing with chronic pain or disease, our patients pay only $40 to access our Walk-In Clinic.
Support from Memphis’ Faith & Health Community
That same year, Dr. Morris was appointed Associate Pastor at St. John’s United Methodist Church and then began to plan and raise the initial funding for Church Health. St. John’s, located in Midtown Memphis, purchased the organization’s first building, a dilapidated boarding house across the street from the church, and agreed to lease it for $1 per year.
Central Church then agreed to finance the renovation of the building and its conversion to a clinic. The Plough Foundation and Methodist Hospital each provided funding to launch Church Health.
Dr. Morris and one nurse saw 12 patients at Church Health on September 1, 1987. Thanks to a broad base of financial support from the faith community and the volunteer help of doctors, nurses, dentists and other healthcare providers, Church Health has since expanded to provide medical, dental, behavioral health, optometry, physical rehabilitation, wellness and nutrition services and outreach. In addition, extensive support has provided to faith-based and community organizations to build health ministries and wellness programs.
The Model for Healthy Living
In 2008, the Model for Healthy Living was introduced and now serves as the cornerstone for Church Health care and outreach; health and well-being are defined by Faith, Medical, Movement, Work, Emotions, Nutrition, and Friends & Family.
Continuing our remarkable growth in FY2018, patient visits now average approx. 5,000 per month.
Who We Serve
More than 80% of our patients live at or below poverty line, equivalent to less than $12,000 for a single individual per year.
The Move to Crosstown Concourse
In March 2017, Church Health consolidated operations of its thirteen facilities into Crosstown Concourse, former home to a Sears-Roebuck distribution and retail center that had been rehabilitated to a glorious “vertical urban community.”
Today, more than 45 businesses and 260 apartments call Crosstown Concourse home.
Health Education & Prevention
Healthcare is about more than just prescribing pills. We believe we have a responsibility to take care of the bodies God gave us, so we have been committed from our beginning to health education and prevention. Our wellness programming now offers everything from community cooking classes in our state-of-the-art Nutrition Hub to group yoga, Pilates and dance classes in our Creative Movement Studio. We also offer activities for children and families in The Well, Church Health’s family wellness center.
Preach, Teach & Heal
Our Faith Community Engagement staff offers hope for a healthier life by reaching people where they worship. Church Health provides the support, consultation and education to start or strengthen health ministries in congregations. FCE develops faith-health curriculum for congregations and collaborates with faith communities in other ways as well.
The MEMPHIS Plan
The MEMPHIS Plan is Church Health’s employer-sponsored healthcare plan for small business and the self-employed. By relying on donated services from volunteer doctors and area hospitals and laboratories, the MEMPHIS Plan offers uninsured people in lower-wage jobs access to quality, affordable healthcare.