In a community with significant poverty, lack of health care for the underserved remains a challenging social issue. Despite its intentions, the Affordable Care Act, while opening access to health insurance for many, has not effectively solved the problem of health care for the poor. Because local physicians are key components in meeting this need, a necessary consideration is the question of what is understood by “health”. In seeking to meet health care needs, the definition of health as more than simply lack of disease must be embraced by physicians who aim to care for the underserved.
The contemporary practice of medicine is shaped by philosophical assumptions about health and the aims of medicine that focus primarily upon the treatment of disease and the alleviation of suffering. Likewise, physicians are confronted by significant time limitations that leave little opportunity to imagine a broader understanding of medical practice that invites team building with non-physician care providers and other community assets. These limitations often result in physicians frustrated by the demands of their profession that often put them at odds with a desire to more effectively meet the health care needs of the underserved in their communities.
The presentation will seek to 1) broaden the understanding of health such that it encompasses more than just medical intervention; 2) offer ways to see comprehensive health care from a team approach that incorporates physicians, non-physician providers, and community assets; and 3) suggest ways of engaging the faith community in issues of health and wholeness that opens opportunities to increase health care for the underserved.
This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of Texas Medical Association and McLennan County Medical Society. The Texas Medical Association is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
The Texas Medical Association designates this live activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ with ETHICS designation. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
Scott Morris, M.D., M.Div.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Church Health Center
Dr. Morris has an undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia, a Master of Divinity degree from Yale University, and M.D. from Emory University. He is a board certified family practice physician and an ordained United Methodist minister.
Dr. Morris is a leading voice in the rising faith and health movement. He is founder and CEO of the Church Health Center in Memphis, Tennessee, the largest faith-based healthcare ministry of its type. For more than 25 years, he has spurred ecumenical and interfaith support among 200 congregations to provide quality healthcare to the uninsured population of Memphis working in low-wage jobs.