Faith Community Health makes a huge difference in the lives of the people we serve, most of whom have been left out in the cold in our current healthcare system. Many would not be able to access even the most basic medical care, let alone prescriptions for chronic illnesses. Why? Because there are no public healthcare safety nets for people in poverty who are working more than a few hours per week or who have no dependents.
But we are only able to provide healthcare services to our patients with the support of numerous partnerships. Those partnerships enable us to stretch the value of services provided to our patients on a shoestring budget. When we calculate the value of services provided to patients at FAiTH if those services were obtained elsewhere, compared to what it costs us to meet their healthcare needs, we find that for every dollar invested in FAiTH we are able to deliver about $10 in healthcare. There’s no illusory magic in that value. It represents the incredible value of our partnerships.
We partner with organizations locally and across the nation to keep our costs low while meeting the healthcare needs of our patients. Some provide discounts, some provide services, some provide products, and some provide financial support.
Skaggs Foundation has been a valuable partner since at least 2013, providing grant funding that enabled us to meet the needs of more people by moving to a paid provider model. They are currently providing funding to assist with growth of the employer-based FaithCare program for uninsured employees.
CoxHealth has a federal requirement as a not for profit hospital to invest in the healthcare needs of their local communities. Local support from CoxHealth Branson has enabled us to provide extensive care services for the people we serve, providing equipment and infrastructure that we lacked. Without insurance and financial resources, many of our patients could easily need expensive hospital care without adequate access to primary care. Helping FAiTH is a good return on investment for CBMC.
Dispensary of Hope is a national nonprofit organization that channels generic prescription meds that are nearing expiration to charitable clinics across America. Patients meeting financial guidelines can obtain these meds without charge other than the small monthly fee we charge to help cover our costs of distribution.
We also partner with Direct Relief, and just recently partnered with AmeriCares. Both organizations are similar to Dispensary of Hope, enabling our patients to get access to needed prescriptions. Access to prescriptions, particularly those required for chronic illnesses, help our patients continue to support their families and avoid preventable hospital visits.
Many pharmaceutical companies have Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs) that make name-brand prescription meds available to patients meeting household income guidelines. The paperwork required is complex and can be daunting for patients. We manage the application process for our patients, giving them access to meds that are currently protected, so no generics are available.
FAiTH partners with local colleges, including the UMKC at MSU School of Pharmacy and College of the Ozarks. Founding board member Dr. Heather Lyons-Burney serves on the faculty at UMKC at MSU, and serves as a preceptor for student rotations in our clinic. We have been privileged to host scores of pharmacy students, including those completing Pharm. D residencies in conjunction with CoxHealth. We regularly host C of O Nursing students as well.
We have benefited from grant funding from numerous local and national organizations. Funding agencies include organizations like the Roy W. Slusher Foundation, the United Way, and several local organizations like Rotary clubs and the Tri-Lakes Board of Realtors who raise funds to invest in the health of our community. The list is long.
FAiTH recently partnered with the National Association for Free and Charitable Clinics (NAFC) to obtain grant funding from corporations like CVS and Direct Relief. These firms are actively investing in charitable healthcare organizations to help meet the needs of those most impacted by COVID-19. NAFC’s national partnerships and buying power, with over 1,300 member clinics, make this an important relationship for FAiTH.
Like most nonprofits, our biggest support comes from donors. Numerous banks and several local businesses have provided ongoing financial support to help meet the needs of the people we serve. Many churches have provided occasional or regular support, demonstrating their commitment to caring for the community they serve. And we are grateful for all the individuals who have stepped up to care for the healthcare needs of their neighbors with gifts large and small.
We also have essential partners in the nonprofit community. No one organization meets all the needs faced by people in distress. In the healthcare arena, Jordan Valley Medical Center cares for the Medicaid population and a limited number of others who fall in the cracks. Free Clinic of the Ozarks serves the indigent with the love of Christ. As a free clinic, they are able to use expired meds that we would otherwise need to dispose of, ensuring that more people are able to benefit from our partnerships in the pharmaceutical industry. Elevate Branson has leveraged grant funding to make CoxHealth Virtual Visits accessible to the people they serve, referring those who need further care to FAiTH, as appropriate. We also partner with Ozark Valley Medical Center for services.
Our FaithCare program serves several nonprofit organizations and churches in addition to local businesses. We are able to help meet the healthcare needs of their staff members as they work with minimal benefits to meet other needs in the area. From Forsyth to Kimberling City, we partner with scores of businesses to help provide access to affordable healthcare for some of the thousands of families who are unable to afford health insurance. Every relationship is important.
Of course, people have needs beyond just healthcare. We are blessed to serve in a community with dozens of nonprofits working together to meet the varying needs that make it difficult for people to make it on their own. For people facing food insecurity, addictions, homelessness, abuse, and more, resources abound in Ozark Mountain Country.
But none of us can make it happen without one person. You. Thank you for all you do to care for your neighbors. You are making a difference in the lives of so many hurting people. Thank you for partnering with Faith Community Health to make life a little better for thousands of our neighbors.
Affordable access to healthcare. It’s our mission. We have a vision for sharing God’s love through whole-person care, and your partnership is making it possible. Thank you!