Newsletter spring 2018

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encouraging, engaging and equipping Christians to live out the gospel through healthcare among the poor and marginalized

A DIFFERENT WAY OF DOING PHARMACY When you meet Philip Baker, PharmD,RPh, you realize that this is a man on a mission. After graduating from pharmacy school, Phil worked as a pharmacy manager for a large supermarket chain, and then at a rehabilitation hospital. But because of his relationship with Christ, he has a passion to help those who are suffering, especially those struggling to afford the medications they need.

During his time in retail and institutional pharmacy, he saw people turned away at the register because they could not afford their meds. So he decided to take on the brokenness of big pharma by taking away the profit motive and making pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) obsolete. In September 2015, Dr. Baker opened Good Shepherd Pharmacy, a non-profit,

faith-based pharmacy that exists to improve the lives of their members through affordable pharmacy services and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. What Phil loves most about being a pharmacist is his interaction with people. “People come to us broken all the time; and we jump on those opportunities to share the Gospel”, said Dr. Baker. Members of Good Shepherd pay a low monthly fee, either as an individual or as a family. Members are able to receive their prescriptions for free or at cost. There are no restrictions on who can sign up for Good Shepherd, but they will only enroll members if they can save them 60-90% from what they currently pay. Good Shepherd does not file insurance, and they provide hundreds of the most common prescriptions for free. They use a combination of P.A.P. programs, and an in-house charitable pharmacy. For drugs they cannot get for free, they charge only actual cost with no markup. The monthly member fees help underwrite the cost of meds for people who cannot pay. In addition to discounted and free prescriptions, Good Shepherd helps patients navigate medication management and delivery options. “I’m a pharmacist who hates to see people taking tons of medicine”, said Baker. Good Shepherd staff spends multiple hours every week talking with patients about unnecessary medications. The staff work with their patient’s physicians to get all prescriptions in




A different way of doing Pharmacy


Clinics at a Glance Christ House, Washington D.C.

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Using EHR’s for Christ


“Risen & Awake“ Conference


Letter from our CEO


sync so that they can be filled at the same time and then shipped to the patient’s home. This way Good Shephard can better monitor patient care, and reduce overhead costs.

costs. “Our goal here is to serve the community by making medicine affordable; and as we were doing that, we realized we had another wonderful opportunity to help those who wanted to better themselves.” Some of the drugs could be unused The program grew out of Baker’s meds from patients who pass away. observation of how some for-profit These are usually otherwise flushed tech schools take advantage of down toilets, and present a risk single moms who do not have college of contaminating lakes and rivers. opportunities, and are instead drawn In the state of Tennessee alone, to costly programs where they rack an estimated ten million worth of up tens of thousands in medications are discarded each year. student debt. At first, the focus of Unused blister-packs of meds like the training program was to help expensive anti-cancer chemotherapy single moms, but now they have drugs or anti-nausea meds could be opened to anyone who is dedicated used for another person instead of to improving their lives. The program being thrown away. Baker believes graduated four students in their first that Jesus wants class, and their us to be good second class stewards by is well under giving purpose way. “Not to unused things. trying to get So he worked to all the glory,” help write a law said Baker. in Tennessee that “we are just allows institutions trying to grow and individuals a program to donate unused that will Unused medicine being prepared for safe disposal drugs to charity, work”. Good and in 2017 the Shepherd has bill was passed. hired all four of their first graduating class. Baker is always on the lookout for ways to get unused medications into To date, Good Shepherd Pharmacy the hands of low-income patients. has connected patients with over Currently, Good Shepherd is offering six million worth of prescription recyclable dispensers that are used medication they couldn’t previously to collect unused medications. They afford. Since opening, Good Shepherd reuse what they can and dispose of has donated over four million the rest. medications. Dr. Baker is committed to seeing replicable model of Good Last year Good Shepherd opened its Shepherd Pharmacy in every state. own pharmacy tech training program – for free. Good Shepherd covers all costs of the program, including books, tuition and all program

An estimated $10M of medications are discarded each year.

Good Shepherd Pharmacy has connected patients with over $6M worth of prescription medication they could not have previously afford.

If you would like more information about Good Shepherd Pharmacy or if you would like to contact Phil Baker, send us an email at

Phil Baker

Pharmacist and Founder of Good Shephard Health in Memphis, TN.



Clinics at a glance Three hundred clinics nationwide are striving to deliver distinctively Christian healthcare to the poor. There’s almost always two or three dozen groups in various stages of development. Here are three clinics who are a valuable part of our community. Please offer them your prayer, counsel and encouragement.



Since Christ Health has sought to provide excellent healthcare and to build leaders in the community, not just add patients to their database.

2017 Partnered

with a local hospital to start a Family Medicine Residency Program committed to train leaders who will go out to the nations.



Grand Rapids, MI

Campbellsville, KY

2017 Integrated 2015 Clinic opened

behavioral health services with medical services and increased the availability of spiritual care and time for each patient.

Exalta Health has taken an integrated approach to combat the increased anxiety and depression observed in their patients, whom are

69% immigrants.

Only clinic in the area that accepts patients who have Medicaid insurance.


Transitioning from a private practice Christian clinic to a charitable model that can cross-subsidize healthcare to kids in rural schools.

CHRIST HOUSE: PROVIDING HEALTH & HOPE FOR D.C.’S HOMELESS SINCE 1985 On Thanksgiving Day 1985, after months of prayer and hard work, Christ House opened in a renovated formerly abandoned 4-story apartment building on Columbia Road in Washington, DC. The vision for Christ House came after a homeless person came to see Dr. Janelle Goetcheus who was working in a health service located adjacent to a soup kitchen. Cold, wet, and hungry in the middle of winter, this homeless man was sick, but not sick enough for hospital admission to be required. Arrangements were made for him to stay in a homeless shelter that night, however the next morning he was found on the street frozen to death. Determined to do something to provide for homeless persons who were too sick to be on the streets, but not sick enough to be admitted to the hospital, Janelle and her husband, Allen, with support from their small prayer group and

photo credit: RMN Photography

the leadership at Church of the Savior, began casting vision for a residential program where 24 hour medical and nursing care would be available. God provided through a woman who anonymously donated $2.5M to purchase and renovate the building. And Christ House was born.



photo credit: RMN Photography

Register today for the CCHF Conference 2018 and apply for a student scholarship.


During renovations, Allen and Janelle meditated on Christ’s command to “love our neighbors as ourselves”. That challenged them that they should provide for their homeless neighbors the same kind of care that they would want for their own family. To make sure that they were really living out Christ’s command, they did something even more radical. Janelle, Allen and their 3 children moved into Christ House, deciding to raise their kids and establish their lives next to the patients they serve. They moved in on Thanksgiving Day. A few weeks later, appropriately on Christmas Eve, Christ House received its first patient. “The story of Christ House started and continues to be told only by God’s graciousness and direction,” said Dr. Goetcheus. The Goetcheus’ love for their homeless patients is genuine and inspiring. The highlight of their week is every Thursday night when Christ House holds a banquet for staff and homeless patients to fellowship together. Each is personally greeted and shown to their seats where they sit at clothed tables, eat on nice dishes under candlelight, and are served by former Christ House patients who, having recovered now, live in their own adjacent apartments. The dinner includes a time of worship and sharing, honoring God whose love is generously demonstrated throughout the entire evening. Patients at Christ House stay an average of 45 days unless they

suffer from a long-term disease; and 3 full-time case managers work to find stable options for each patient after discharge. In 1990, Joseph’s House opened around the corner to provide hospice care with dignity for terminally ill homeless patients. And in 1992 the Kairos program was started to provide a more permanent home for those with chronic illnesses who make a commitment to their own recovery. While many in the Kairos program are permanently disabled, they are treated with dignity, and empowered to participate in the ministry to others at Christ House. Dr. Goetcheus says, “The best doctors are those who came to Christ House as sick homeless patients, received treatment, completed their time and now come and share with those who are current patients about how God healed them from their illness and their spiritual brokenness”.

Through our generous supporters your travel expenses, accommodations and registration can be covered. For more information email Jessie Thomas at

The Goetcheus’ and their work have been pillars in the CCHF movement. They have inspired and influenced scores of other ministries and pioneers over almost 4 decades. We asked Janelle how we could pray for her and for Christ House: “Pray for our patients, and for resources for them to be able to have safe and stable options after receiving medical care.” Janelle and Allen continue to live at Christ House with their beloved patients, in whom they encounter Christ on a daily basis.


Using EHR’s To Express Christ-Love For Our Patients by Dr. Jim Shultz

At first glance, nothing seems more unspiritual than having to deal with electronic health records. If we are not careful, we will think that clicking, coding and documenting are hindrances to the real ministry of loving our patients. If we take this perspective, we will eventually resent the work of putting notes into the EHR. Take a minute to reflect on how the Lord loves us. He remembers. He not only remembers, but He is mindful of even the tiniest details of our lives. Take a look at these two passages: “Jerusalem says, ‘the LORD has deserted us; the LORD has forgotten us.’ (The LORD says in reply) NEVER! Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you! See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands…” – Isaiah 49:14-15a Jesus said: “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And, not one of them is forgotten by God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not! You are of more value than many sparrows.” – Luke 12:6-7 If God is the source and essence of love (1 John 4:7-8) we would do well to learn to love the way He loves. These passages tell us that God uses intimate knowledge to express His great love for us. We long for the Lord to love us this way. I find such security in knowing that God knows every aspect of my life. Because of that knowledge, I can trust Him. I find such joy in knowing that God attends to even the smallest details. This means that even the smallest prayer request reaches the ears of the King of Kings. I believe EHRs help us to express a Christ-like love for our patients. How? Doing so allows us

to remember them. And, not just remember, but remember even tiny details in their life. Not long ago, a female patient came into one of our clinics for an STD screen. This is not uncommon in our clinics. The medical provider reviewed her chart and learned that this screen was being performed because the patient had been raped. Because of the information in the EHR, what could have been “just another STD screen” became an opportunity to show love and compassion to someone who was hurting after a degrading and traumatic event. We are not able to know and remember the way the LORD does, but through the help of technology we can love our patients by remembering. You never know what piece of information will matter or how the Lord will use a tiny detail like “the number of hairs on your head.” As we remember our patients it shows them just how valuable they are in God’s eyes and in ours. Consider this question: What is one way that the information in the EHR will help you love and care for a patient?

Dr. Jim Shultz Chief Spiritual Health Officer Christ Community Health Services, Memphis, TN


w w w. c c h f s o l u t i o n s . o r g

Solutions is focused on providing technical assistance to Christian clinics in a broad range of areas.




CCHF CONFERENCE 2018 This will be our second year at the Norther n KY Convention Center, located in the same cor ner as our hotels; only a few steps away from downtown Cincinnati, OH. For the encouragement, envisioning and refreshing of those who are giving their lives to bring quality healthcare to the poor and disenfranchised in America.



Mission & Margin

In the broad world of healthcare, change is the norm. That will be true for 2018. Regardless of the model that you are using as a platform for your ministry, we will all face challenges this year:

• Funding has been suspended for NHSC, and Teaching Health Centers lost most of their funding. This will affect the medical workforce, reducing the pool of PCPs who can work in your clinic. • The new tax plan rewards for-profit corporations, but inadvertently penalizes non-profits; which affects clinics that are donor-dependent, and will quickly impact other non-profit partners, especially hospitals. • The 340B program is an easy and probable target for overhaul and cuts. • CHIP, a program everyone loves, has become a political football by both parties to get what they want in non-health related areas. • There is a move to shift federal funding to the State level through block-grants, creating a whole new set of challenges for primary care ministries. • There is even a risk that FQHC grants may be cut – unlikely, but still a risk in this unpredictable political environment. Regardless of your politics, the reality is that change is imminent (as always), and new risks threaten to negatively impact your ministry. Depending on how we navigate these changes, they will hurt the people we love and serve. “The just shall live by faith.” It is unhelpful to react in fear. It is just as unhelpful to close our eyes and hope that stuff won’t happen. (“Faith without works is dead.”) Yes, God is in control; and part of His plan is to put you where you are to act wisely, to “understand the times and know what to do”. If the worst happens we may all suffer, but organizations that are well run will survive. Let’s determine to be the kind of leaders/stewards who run organizations well. This year we will focus on helping you position your organization to faithfully serve your vulnerable neighbors, to do it effectively, and to do it in a way that honors Christ. The Lord is with us, and has given us good sense, good teammates, and a community committed to help us succeed. We will succeed if we are humble, honest, transparent, and open to outside eyes of likeminded leaders to help us identify what we need to do to stay on mission. Mission and margin are not conflicting concepts. God is in both.

Steve Noblett

Request the CCHF

Conference 2018

Exhibitor & Sponsorship packet at




2595 Central Ave Memphis, TN 38104

We envision a movement of God’s people who choose daily to promote healing in marginalized communities in the name of Jesus

CCHF has committed to three basic strategic goals. We are aggressively trying to inspire the next generation of Christian health professionals to demonstrate the gospel of the Kingdom through compassionate, just and holistic care. We are determined to assist and strengthen individuals and organizations that make up the CCHF community to become examples of excellence, sustainability and missional faithfulness. And we want to develop and strengthen and grow the capacity of CCHF to carry out our mission. This organization needs your help to sustain and to grow. Engaging students, strengthening Christian health care organizations and health professionals and growing our capacity can only be done if people like you are willing to commit, pray for and financially sustain this work. By investing your resources and time you have an amazing opportunity to make a real difference in underserved and challenging urban and rural communities all across this country.


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