Baptist, Christ Community Celebrate Opening of New Homeless Clinic
Memphis, Tenn., –Baptist Memorial Health Care and Christ Community Health Services held a ribbon-cutting ceremony today to celebrate the opening of the new Baptist Operation Outreach Clinic for the homeless.
The clinic, located inside Catholic Charities of West Tennessee’s main building at 1325 Jefferson Ave., will complement the health care services offered through the Baptist Operation Outreach mobile clinic for the homeless. The mobile clinic travels several days a week to locations that serve the homeless and offers free acute and primary care, disease management support, prevention services and medication.
“We are proud to be the largest provider of health care for the homeless in Memphis through our partnership with Christ Community Health Services,” said Jason Little, president and CEO of Baptist Memorial Health Care. “It is an important part of our mission and one of our signature community outreach initiatives.”
This new clinic location will be open Tuesday through Thursday, and will include two exam rooms, a lab, a waiting area and offices for Baptist Operation Outreach’s clinic and operating staff. Patients who receive care at the clinic will also have access to dental and vision services, as well as immediate access to support services through CCWTN.
“Providing comprehensive health care and access to other vital needs, such as housing, food and clothing, in one location has been a part of our vision for Baptist Operation Outreach for many years,” said Shantelle Leatherwood, CEO of Christ Community Health Services. “To see that vision realized along with the impact we’ve had on so many lives is beyond gratifying. Our efforts have changed people’s lives, and we could not have accomplished any of this without the support of our partner organizations and staff.”
Since 2004, Baptist Operation Outreach has grown from a staff of four with less than 500 patient visits to a staff of 10 with more than 3,000 patient encounters in 2018. The staff now includes a physician, nurse practitioner, behavioral health provider and social worker.
“When we started the mobile clinic in 2004, our goal was to find a better way to care for the health needs of the homeless and uninsured in our community,” said Little. “Through our partnership with CCHS, we’ve been able to make significant gains in caring for Memphis’ homeless population and helped many transition out of homelessness to healthier and more stable situations.”
According to the 2018 Point-in-Time Report for Memphis/Shelby County, Tennessee, there were 1,226 persons experiencing homelessness on the night of Jan. 23, 2018, which represents a 41 percent decrease since 2012.
“Compassion and concern for our neighbors are the driving forces behind Baptist and Christ Community opening this new clinic,” said Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland. “I’m grateful for these efforts to help our homeless residents, and to be a part of a community where service to others is a priority.”
Baptist Operation Outreach is funded through contributions from Baptist Memorial Health Care, Christ Community Health Services, Tennessee’s Health Care Safety Net, the Health Resources and Services Administration and private individuals.
Christ Community Health Services, founded in 1995, is a Federally Qualified Health Center providing primary, dental and behavioral health services to the underserved of Memphis and Shelby County. Christ Community has six health centers strategically located in communities that, over time, have become deficient in resources. In addition to the six health centers, Christ Community has five dental centers and five pharmacies, and provides health and dental services to over 57,000 individuals annually, including over 1,200 homeless patients seen through a partnership with Baptist.
One of the country’s largest not-for-profit health care systems, Baptist Memorial Health Care offers a full continuum of care to communities throughout the Mid-South. The Baptist system, which consistently ranks among the top integrated health care networks in the nation, comprises 22 affiliate hospitals in West Tennessee, Mississippi and East Arkansas; more than 5,000 affiliated physicians; Baptist Medical Group, a multispecialty physician group with more than 750 providers; home, hospice and psychiatric care; minor medical centers and clinics; a network of surgery, rehabilitation and other outpatient centers; and an education system highlighted by the Baptist College of Health Sciences. In fiscal year 2016, Baptist contributed $242,935,216 in community benefit to areas it serves.