Health Ministry Program
The goal of the Alta Bates Summit Medical Center Health Ministry Program is to promote whole person health care in faith based organizations and congregations by working with spiritually-oriented health care professionals, the clergy, and lay persons to develop health ministry programs within their congregations.
The program strives to enhance wellness and prevent illness by providing the support of health professionals, health education, personal health counseling, spiritual support, and screenings. Administered by an advisory committee and medical center staff, the Health Ministry Program also collaborates with many other organizations to provide referrals and resources to the congregational communities it serves.
What is the Health Ministry Program?
A health ministry is anything a faith community is doing to promote the well-being of the people in its membership and/or the community. Health ministry activities can range from meeting the individual needs of the congregation by providing health screenings, to addressing social justice issues for the entire community (safe neighborhoods). Faith communities are vital centers for addressing the well-being of people in their communities. All religious traditions stress attention to health, and care for the sick and under-served. The Alta Bates Summit Health Ministry Program exists to support these traditional goals.
Models of Health Ministry
Health Cabinet Model
The Health Cabinet assumes that health ministry is already a part of the life of the church. A health cabinet encourages the congregation to talk more explicitly about the role of health to ensure it is integral to all areas of church life.
Lay Health Promoters Model
Lay Health Promoters are members of a local church who volunteer their services to provide health education and encourage healthy lifestyles among members of the congregation. They also serve as the liaison between members of the congregation and health care services in the community. Lay health promoters do not need to have any medical training or background but it is highly recommended and encouraged. People who are natural helpers and who are respected by their fellow members do well in this position.
Faith Community Nursing Model
Faith Community Nursing is one of the most exciting and fulfilling of the nursing specialties. It is a dynamic process of incorporating a paid professional registered nurse to work with parishioners and families in the community toward wholeness of body, mind, and spirit. Faith Community Nursing fits the model of wellness and prevention in a way that touches lives across generational, cultural, and socioeconomic lines. Once a congregation fully grasps the implications for change, health, healing, and hope inherent in the Faith Community Nursing model, it is forever changed.
Our Goals and Objectives
- Provide essential education and resources that address prevalent chronic conditions such as high cholesterol, hypertension, stroke, diabetes, and cancer.
- Provide medical screenings, referrals and health education to vulnerable populations.
- Provide leadership and technical assistance to church health ministries and community organizations.
- Build community capacity by developing culturally relevant programs that can be replicated and sustained in the community.
- Empower and educate community members to become health advocates.
- Create coalitions and partnerships that link the faith and health community.
We encourage volunteers to work with the Health Ministry Program. The health of our community depends on service and community involvement. Working toward the common good is something we acn all commit ourselves to achieve. Service work is a very important part of a community because it can bring people together for a goal, which will make the community stronger and allows you to become "part of the solution."
You can help by volunteering to assist with community programs and activities or you can make a donation to the Health Ministry Program (be sure to specify if you'd like your donation to go to the Health Ministry Program).