In 2007, a group of Branson area residents who were concerned about the thousands of families in Stone and Taney counties unable to afford basic healthcare needs formed a healthcare catalyst group. The catalyst group began to dream and explore how to create a faith-based health center providing multiple healthcare services, “sharing God’s love through whole-person care.”
After getting inspiration for an effective model from the widely acclaimed Memphis Church Health Center, the group chartered a bus for a tour of the Memphis organization in 2008, becoming the largest tour group ever to visit Church Health.
Committing to this model, they developed local partnerships with Skaggs Regional Medical Center and the Ozark Mountain Family YMCA, culminating in the 2009 acquisition of the former Branson Elementary school in a quiet residential neighborhood of downtown Branson for just one dollar.
Remodeling of the school cafeteria into a robust clinic with six exam rooms was soon completed, allowing Faith Community Health Center to open its doors to patients on March 20, 2010. The medical dispensary opened just weeks later in April and a dental clinic was added in 2011. FAiTH partnered with Ozark Family Vision Centre to open a vision clinic in 2012.
Recognizing the need for continuity of care, Faith Community Health partnered with Cox Medical Center Branson in 2013, with financial support from the Skaggs Foundation, to establish full time medical services.
In 2014, grant support from the Missouri Foundation for Health and collaboration from Branson Dental enabled FAiTH to expand dental services to three days per week. By 2015, the clinic had added mental health services in collaboration with Missouri State University and funding from the SOAR Foundation.
With mental health visits, dental services, and vision services for patients in addition to medical visits, FAiTH hosted over 4,000 patient visits in 2015 and 2016. Growth in demand for prescription services required us to expand med office space and staffing as we provided over 13,000 prescriptions for patients by 2016.
KwikCare medical service for acute care needs was added that year and expanded in 2017 to better meet the needs of businesses.
2018 saw the introduction of FaithCare, meeting the needs of area employers with affordable healthcare services for uninsured employees on a group basis. FaithCare enables members to access healthcare services for $10 per visit, thanks to monthly subscription payments by employers. An optional FaithCare Vision plan also offers low cost eye care benefits for employer groups.
FaithCare Virtual Visits telehealth services were added in 2019, allowing FaithCare members to have online access to CoxHealth providers for urgent needs seven days a week with extended hours. The Skaggs Foundation partnered with FAiTH to help fund growth of the FaithCare program, enabling the clinic to triple membership levels in 2019.
FaithCare membership continued to increase in 2020, despite the severe impact of COVID-19 on area businesses. FAiTH continued to see patients throughout the pandemic, increasing mental health services with grant funding from the Skaggs Foundation and the Roy W. Slusher Foundation. Med office volume increased to over 29,000 prescriptions filled in 2020.
FaithCare, healthcare services for employer groups, enables Faith Community Health to meet the needs of a growing number of people struggling with the cost of healthcare. In partnership with local employers, FaithCare helps us fulfill our mission, “Providing access to affordable healthcare and promoting wellness of spirit, mind, and body for the underserved who live or work in our community.”