Meet Our VISTAs

2018-2019 Church Health VISTAs

Muhammad Elahi

Wellness Education VISTA

See Bio

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.

Morgan-Allison Moore

Faith Community Engagement VISTA

See Bio

Morgan-Allison Moore
Hometown: Louisville, KY
College: Vanderbilt University, Lane College
Major: M.Div; B.A. Religion

Biography

My name is Morgan-Allison Moore, I love health, wellness and faith. I fell in love with the health and wellness part two years ago when I started my own weight loss journey in 2016. I fell in love with Jesus around 16 and have been sharing His gospel since. I truly believe in the connection of the gospel of Jesus Christ and health and wellness, and believe I am failing as a minister if I am not concerned with the mental, spiritual and physical health of a person.

During my last year of graduate school, I was told by two influential women in my divinity school journey to check out Church Health. After the second person told me I began to be more intentional with my search for opportunities after grad school. After being led to Peace Corps I stumbled across this opportunity at Church Health and here I am!

In my last year of grad school, I had many opportunities to develop professionally by presenting in the community about the richness of faith, health and wellness. Some of my presentations include, “In My Mama’s Kitchen” and “Soul Food: The Eucharist and Culture Responsibility” in partnership with the YMCA of Middle Tennessee. In partnership with National Pre-Alumni Council and the United Negro College Fund I was able to present on the topic “Black People, Fried Chicken and Kool-Aid.”

Fun fact: I am a spoken work artist and I have been performing for around 7 years. I have recently begun to combine my artistry with my love for health and wellness with one of my latest pieces entitled “Junkie.”

I am super grateful for the opportunity to serve at Church Health. From my ventures at Church Health I want to eventually go after a master’s in public health. My ultimate goal is to create and sustain change in the area of health within the African American community so members of that community will no longer suffer and die from preventable diseases.


What are you looking forward to this coming year?
I am most looking forward to gaining firsthand experience from those around me, learning how to holistically heal those who come in our doors.

Favorite Quote
“Any religion that professes to be concerned with the souls of men and is not concerned with the slums that damn them, the economic conditions that strangle them, and the social conditions that cripple them is a dry-as-dust religion.,” Stride Toward Freedom, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Brittney S. Nelson

Church Health VISTA Team Leader

See Bio

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

See Bio

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

Hannah Lloyd Pratcher

The Well VISTA

See Bio

Hannah Lloyd Pratcher
Hometown: Memphis, TN
College: The University of Memphis
Major: Dance and Anthropology

Biography
I am Hannah Lloyd and I am an AmeriCorps VISTA team member working in The Well. I chose to work at Church Health during my year of service because I think that Church Health is a beautiful ministry. I look forward to helping the community that I grew up in and making a difference locally. As far as hobbies go, I love to dance and as I have gotten older I have taken more of an interest in yoga.

What are you looking forward to this coming year?
Making a difference in my local community!

Favorite Quote
“Once, I saw a bee down in honey, and I understood”-Nikos Kazantzakis

Ashley Reedy

Behavioral Health VISTA

See Bio

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

See Bio

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

See Bio

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

See Bio

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

Church Health

Pin It on Pinterest