Meet Our VISTAs

2018-2019 Church Health VISTAs

Muhammad Elahi

Wellness Education VISTA

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Muhammad Elahi

Biography

I wanted to be a part of Church Health after learning how it is able to treat underserved patients on such a large basis. As an aspiring physician, I thought that Church Health is doing the work that every medical student dreams of: using their talents to help those who need it most. I am here to see how such an organization works and steps that can be taken to replicate such efforts in different places. I also want to see how Church Health augments medical care with community outreach to better engage patients.

Brittney S. Nelson

Church Health VISTA Team Leader

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Brittney Nelson
Hometown: Memphis, TN
College: Rust College
Major: Biology

Biography
As a native Memphian, I’ve often been interested in community service-based projects and the prosperity of the City of Memphis. Looking at the AmeriCorps VISTA and Church Health mission statements, I wanted to contribute to those efforts. Through the AmeriCorps VISTA program, I get the opportunity to be of service to Church Health and contribute to the many underserved communities throughout Shelby County. As Church Health AmeriCorps VISTA Team Lead, I also get the chance to coordinate and facilitate programming as well as support the Church Health AmeriCorps Team members throughout their year of service. I continue to be interested at how Church Health and AmeriCorps VISTA program wants to address the holistic approach to health for underserved communities. For now, I’m just appreciating this journey path continuous improvement personally and professionally. Long term, I would like to have a career in Food Science and personally like to explore the world more through travel.


What are you looking forward to this coming year?
I look forward to helping with prosperity throughout the Shelby County community, especially Memphis.

Edward Newby

Healthcare Advisory Team VISTA
Development VISTA

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Edward Newby
Hometown: Memphis, TN
College: Old Dominion University
Major: Psychology

Biography
Servant leader; Navy veteran and retiree; hobby-chef; gamer and pop-culture aficionado; and I like an occasional good whiskey or bourbon. After 23-years national defense service, I desired to serve my community. I chose Church Health because of its holistic commitment to healthy living… and they bake good bread, too.


What are you looking forward to this coming year?
Meeting diverse people; making Connections; Learning non/not-for-profit management; and sharing ideas

Ashley Reedy

Behavioral Health VISTA

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Ashley Reedy
Hometown: Gainesville, FL
College: University of North Florida
Major: Health Sciences

Biography
I could not be more excited to be a part of the Church Health community. The mission and values of this organization, as well as the incredible people within its walls – whether they are employees or patients, are the reasons I chose to uproot my life in Florida and move to Memphis. As an undergraduate, I studied health science with a concentration in public health and a minor in health education. During my time as a student, I fell in love with nonprofit work. Over the next year as a VISTA, I am hoping to learn the crucial capacity building skills that are necessary to the nonprofit world. After this year, I plan to attend graduate school to receive a master’s degree in nonprofit management. My hobbies include running, traveling, and eating all types of food (just eating though, I can’t cook at all. I can barely make cereal). I also love to meet new people, so if you see me around, please say hi! I am passionate about learning about each of you!

What are you looking forward to this coming year?
I am most excited about the opportunity to work and connect with like-minded people who share the same passion and drive to help this community as I do.

Favorite Quote
“Look for Christ and you will find him. And with him, everything else.” – CS Lewis

Byington Rhea

Physical Rehabilitation VISTA

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Byington Rhea
Hometown: Memphis, TN
College: Southern Methodist University
Major: Biology

Biography
My name is Byington Rhea. I graduated from SMU in May of 2018. My plan is to take a gap year before I begin medical school in the fall of 2019. I chose to spend my gap year at Church Health because it is a faith based organization that serves the uninsured working class of Shelby county. By spending my gap year at Church Health in the Physical Therapy department, I will gain a lot of patient interaction experience while also giving back to the city that I love.

What are you looking forward to this coming year?
I am looking forward to becoming a part of the warm and inviting culture of Church Health as well as contributing to the incredible work that is done here.

Favorite Quote
“I’ve always been crazy, but it’s kept me from going insane” -Waylon Jenning

Helen Stritzel

Community Engagement VISTA

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Helen Stritzel
Hometown: Colorado
College: University of Colorado at Boulder
Major: International Affairs 

Biography
Helen is a Colorado native who is interested in a career in nonprofit, transnational law, or advocacy. In her free time, she enjoys trying new recipes, hiking, riding her bike, reading novels, and spending time with friends and family. She chose Church Health because of its collaborative approach to work in the community and her interest in public health. While in Memphis, she’s looking forward to meeting new people at Church Health and in Memphis in general, learning a ton, and eating barbeque.

What are you looking forward to this coming year?
Learning more about faith-based nonprofits and the Memphis community

Favorite Quote
“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” -Albus Dumbledore

Bakari Williams

Strategic Partnerships VISTA

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Bakari Williams
Hometown: Flowood, MS
College:Rhodes College
Major: Religious Studies

Favorite Quote
“I am what time, circumstance, history, have made of me, certainly, but I am also, much more than that. So are we all.” ~ James Baldwin

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