Scott Morris, M.D., M.Div.
Dr. Scott Morris is founder and Chief Executive Officer of Church Health in Memphis, which opened in 1987 to provide quality, affordable healthcare for working, uninsured people and their families. Thanks to a broad base of financial support from the faith community, and the volunteered help of doctors, nurses, dentists and others, Church Health has grown to become the largest faith-based clinic of its type in the nation. Since inception, Church Health has cared for over 70,000 patients and had over 54,000 patient visits in FY2018.
Dr. Morris has an undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia, a Master of Divinity degree from Yale University, and M.D. from Emory University. He is a board-certified family practice physician and an ordained United Methodist minister.
I charge you to do one thing over during the Thanksgiving and Christmas season. Find at least one person in your life who depends on you for love, and tell the person these five words Afifi suggests: “I am here for you.” That’s it. That’s all it takes. Say it, then back it up, so the person knows you mean it.
To honor the 150th anniversary of Gandhi’s birth, we can look for other ways to transform our hearts and learn the skills love can teach us. Let’s begin with our own personal relationships. We first deal with the fires of anger and hatred in the world by looking into our own hearts. Knowing how to make this shift can be hard. But one way to start is protecting children from harm—and teaching children how to swim. I think Gandhi would be pleased.
Finding our way in life can be difficult. One strategy that helps — regardless of personal wealth — is articulating your values and goals for living. I’m not talking about goals for how much stuff you want, how many places you hope to visit or what exciting things are on your bucket list. I’m talking about what really matters for a healthy life.
What if we focused more on understanding the situations the people around us are struggling with and what we can do to support them? Are you aware of the life situation of those you work with every day? We all struggle with family issues, and words of support can help others through hard times.
Of the various programs we run, one of my favorites is a gap year experience for recent college graduates. We’re investing in building future leaders through service-learning experiences that help them shape professional and personal values and a work ethic that will influence the mark their lives leave in the communities they serve in the future.
In these times of bitterness and vitriol, isn’t it time to start sharing our lunch? Or sitting on the porch with children and reading together? Little acts of unsolicited kindness may or may not be remembered years later by the one who receives the gift, but making this effort will change who you are.
In our Church Health clinic, we frequently see older people who are not eating enough healthy food to maintain their health.
While David and Katie’s experience of the transcendental was dramatic, it was similar to what all of us encounter nearly every day. Despite our wishes, we don’t get to have just life-affirming events. We want our lives to consistently be good, but the reality is that we almost always have pain and joy going on at the same time. When our experience doesn’t match our expectations for a life free of disappointment and challenges, oftentimes sorrow drowns out elation.
A “sinus cocktail” is like your mother’s home remedy for a cold. What is in it differs depending on who makes it. As a rule of thumb, it is a mixture of an antihistamine such as Benadryl (diphenhydramine), an injectable steroid (usually a form of prednisone), and an antibiotic (most often amoxicillin).
Why does integrity matter? This is a question not asked enough, but I believe it’s essential to becoming a fully alive human being. Integrity is what makes us honest and grounded in strong moral principles.Integrity is not an accident. It’s a moral choice we make in...
The problem is that the important does not need to be done right now. It can often wait until tomorrow or next week or even longer. It is urgent to get Grandmother a Christmas present, but it is important to spend quality time with her to let her know you love her. It is urgent to meet your sales quota, but it is important to create a business that treats customers with fairness and quality service. It is urgent to get your children to school on time, but it is important to give them love that will last a lifetime.
Now that I am home and have my glasses again, I pray that I will see clearly that love is the way of God. Fear and hate surround all around us. Now more than ever, I stand with my Jewish friends both because of what they believe and stand for, but also just because they are Jews.
Of the many ways we should celebrate Mr. Rogers, I am drawn to his definition of love. He wrote “Love isn’t a state of perfect caring. It is an active noun like ‘struggle.’ To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now.”
My experience in Zimbabwe 35 years ago made me realize that what can seem like a good thing on the surface can become problematic if its application gets lost in the need for financial gain. What can be more fundamental than encouraging mothers to feed their children with the food that God has made available for every child?
We are our own New World. And it will be our mapmakers — today’s Memphis innovators, visionaries, advocates and entrepreneurs — who work behind the scenes, who will one day name our identity and give the nation new language to describe us. That map of Memphis is just now being drawn.
This kind of perseverance, through good times and bad, is something all of us can learn. None of this came easy. To keep the funk going took passion and drive and — Alexander would add — a little help from God. This is a quintessential Memphis story, and one we can remember with pride and hold onto when times get tough.
I think we in Memphis are glad that Rudi came to America and found his home in Memphis. I hope we will be as welcoming to the next generation of immigrants who will help us live into being a place of kindness and the City of Good Abode.
“Church Health is a testament to what can be done if everyone simply does their part.”
God has always been with us, and our charge is to recognize God’s presence now and always. We do not need to hope that all will be well, nor do we need to rely on luck or our own might to make life meaningful; we just need to look within to recognize that God has always been in charge and that continues to be the case.
We do not need to make a pilgrimage to Lourdes to experience God’s healing in our midst, we just need to commit ourselves in our own communities to seeking God’s healing presence in our midst. And if we do, we might have our own experience of “the Lady”.
I suggest that Thanksgiving be a time when we can fully focus on what is right before us. A time to live into the NOW. Let the past be past, let the future be future. On Thanksgiving, may we find a way to just be in the moment and let love rule the day.
For the next six weeks of open enrollment, Church Health’s HAT Team (Healthcare Advisory Team) will be working to enroll people who qualify for coverage through the ACA, Medicaid or Medicare. The team will also help those who do not qualify by helping them become patients here at Church Health, where we charge on a sliding scale and provide the same quality of care I would expect for my mother.
Manuel is an American, maybe not by birth but by everything else that matters.
Today, I will see another mornings’ worth of people in the clinic. Who knows what God has in store for me and for us? What I do know is that there will be hardworking souls who feel desperate and who come to us. We will welcome them with open hearts and open arms, just as we have for 30 years at this place we call Church Health.
I graduated from the University of Virginia in 1976. I had not been back to visit until last fall when I took my wife, Mary, to see Thomas Jefferson’s university. The university itself had changed little, but the downtown and surrounding area was very different. It...
She was always quiet in her approach to giving, except that her charity was so very loud in the volume of kindness she accomplished.
The real issue here is poverty, not healthcare and how we in America are prepared to respond to this cancer.
I knew that we could make this happen for her because nothing has changed about the remarkable people and institutions who donate services and time and prosthetic hips to us. I did what I always did and I am confident in a few weeks she will have a new hip and the pain will be gone.
The work we do has always been beautiful. Just ask the little boy’s mother.
Let’s cut right to the chase: what can we make of the chaos in Washington around healthcare? To be clear, my own personal health insurance has not been affected one bit. That is true for most of my friends and Church Health employees who are enrolled in the health...