Friday, October 21, 2011

CCHC is going to need more than prayers

This came to me today from a friend, it appears that Christ Community is afraid that they may lose the contract for reproductive health services that, frankly, they are unprepared to provide:

Sent: Thursday, October 20, 2011 7:14 PM
Subject: Prayer Request - please forward
We would appreciate your prayers for the work of Christ Community in our efforts to serve those in low income areas of Memphis.  Our staff is composed of doctors, dentists, nurse practitioners, and support staff who have responded to God’s call to serve the poor.  Our highly talented and committed professionals choose to work here instead of pursuing more personally lucrative opportunities; in fact, nearly half of our professional staff live with their families in the neighborhoods we serve, including Binghampton, Orange Mound, and Frayser.  Ministry is 24/7 for them.

If you follow the local news, you are probably aware that Christ Community  competed for a family planning grant to provide services to low income uninsured people; these funds were previously awarded to Planned Parenthood.  Our application scored highest, we have been offered the program and we are now gearing up to begin the program in early November.  Please pray that we will have the endurance and integrity to withstand the onslaught of those who are intent on our failure.  Daily, we are confronted with refuting the half-truths and misstatements coming primarily for the leadership of Planned Parenthood.  Daily, we have needy people intentionally sent to us by Planned Parenthood  even though they are fully aware that we are not yet able to deliver the services. Their intent is to embarrass us and report to the local media that Christ Community is unable to deliver the care.  Today, we spent a goodly amount of time defending ourselves to a CA columnist questioning the correctness and legality of any member of our staff inviting a patient to attend church.   We expect these tactics will continue with the intent of damaging our reputation and ability to serve. 

We are strengthened by the prayers of others on our behalf.  Even though our days now appear troubled, we are comforted by the love of Christ, by the remembrance of His suffering on our behalf, and the knowledge that God will prevail.
Please pray for Christ Community. If you have a network of prayer warriors, feel free to pass this along and ask them to pray on our behalf, too.


Burt (and Sandra, too)

Burt  Waller
Executive Director
Christ Community Health Services
2595 Central Ave.
Memphis, TN    38104

Understand here, outside of reproductive health issues, I have heard they do a fine job of providing care to those who cannot access other means of healthcare.  I would not question their commitment in areas other than reproductive health.

However, when it comes to reproductive health, their beliefs, no matter how deeply held, prevent them from providing the type of care REQUIRED BY FEDERAL TITLE X REGULATIONS.

To continue with this contract means that there is a real likelihood that Shelby County will LOSE these funds, ensuring that more generations of working and indigent women will NOT receive the healthcare necessary to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

Forget the abortion issue; the Hyde Amendment prevents Federal funds from being spent to provide abortion.  This is about reducing working and indigent women's access to birth control, which will only result in MORE unwanted pregnancies, not less.  THIS is why so many of us are enraged at the actions of the County Commission.

Simply put, Christ Community needs to withdraw from this contract for which they are unable to provide necessary services.  To do any less would be antithetical to what they have stood for prior to this contract.

UPDATE: Aunt B has a great follow-up to this post, pointing out something I had overlooked.


nut-meg said...

Say, how's our infant mortality doing these days? It's downright embarrassing that we could have such a problem and learn nothing from it. More unwanted pregnancy means more infant mortality. Period. It's shameful that politicians do not care about these children enough to prevent them from dying. Religious fanaticism is poison. This is a prime example.

Freedonian said...

Burt Waller is becoming unintentionally and tragically hilarious. CCHC fills out an RFP saying they can begin taking Title X, as the law requires that there be no downtime in the services. They indicate during county commission hearings that they need to hire more staff to make it happen, which should have disqualified them. And now they're complaining because patients are going to them? Make up your mind, please.