I’m Doug Hawthorne, CEO of Texas Health Resources, with “The Business of Health Care Report.”
I recently visited Washington, D.C., for a convening of 16 health care leaders from across the country to discuss improving health outcomes through faith-based and community partnerships. Joined by faith community leaders, our small group met with senior domestic health policy advisors from the White House and the Department of Health & Human Services.
The purpose of the gathering was to talk about how to engage faith and community leaders in partnerships designed to expand access to health care, identify and spread best practices, and reduce costs.
As the only representative from Texas, I was happy to share our charity care and community benefit initiatives, and specifically our Faith Community Nursing program and support for faith-based clinics. Our Faith Community Nursing program deploys about 100 nurses across the Texas Health system to serve 77 local faith communities — all on a volunteer basis. These nurses provide health education and screenings for members of their respective churches, synagogues or mosques. They offer a unique, specialized ministry that focuses on the promotion of health within the context of the values, beliefs and practices of a faith community.
I am thankful that leaders in Washington are devoting time and resources to the important discussion of how we improve the health and well-being of underserved communities. I hope our efforts bring about greater collaboration and, ultimately, greater positive impact on the communities we serve.
For our faith-based family of hospitals — Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Harris Methodist and Texas Health Arlington Memorial — I’m Doug Hawthorne.