God with us…

An incarnate God is beyond my comprehension. Yet, that is who Jesus is…God with us, the Incarnate One…choosing to become human to suffer with us – a God of compassion.Jesus_in_Golgotha_by_Theophanes_the_Cretan 4-2014

As we move through the final days of Passion Week for the Christian community (Jesus’ final days that include his crucifixion, burial, and resurrection), I wanted to share another of Siloam’s core values that guides us as a ministry: Compassion.

Active, compassionate care means caring intentionally for the whole person—body, mind, and spirit.  The biblical concept of health—rooted in words like Shalom (Hebrew) or Sozo (Greek)—implies that man is a unified being, who is not so easily reduced to component parts as we might like.  In fact, both of these words can be interpreted to mean not only health, or well being, but also convey the concept of “salvation.”  Compassionate care for the whole person means seeking to alleviate suffering, and this may occur on many levels.  As we begin our relationships with our patients, we will seek to be genuine learners of their suffering.  This includes learning about their various social, religious and cultural backgrounds as we “incarnate” ourselves into their special contexts.  By building a base of mutual respect, we commit to explore issues beyond their presenting medical issue, asking permission as appropriate.  We do not condone forcing any beliefs on anyone—biomedical, Christian, or otherwise—but rather, from an early stage in our relationship with a patient and with the humility of Christ, will seek to discern where God is already at work in their life.  Compassionate care then means being prepared to help them take the next, appropriate step with God—or to refer them to someone who can.  In the meantime, compassionate care also means being willing to enter another’s suffering and share it with them when it can’t be alleviated.

The good news is that the incarnate God is still with us through the Holy Spirit…helping us to be compassion to the world!  Have a great weekend!

The CHI Team grows with Chelsea Travis

We are excited to announce another one of the seven pre-medical students who will join us in Nashville this summer for the Community Health Immersion program. Chelsea & the others will live in and serve a local refugee community along with shadow providers at Siloam and reflect on God’s call to them through a career in medicine.  Click here to see the profiles of the other students joining us this summer.

Travis, Chelsea - Profile for WEBSITE

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Reinie Thomas joins CHI

We are excited to announce another one of the seven pre-medical students who will join us in Nashville this summer for the Community Health Immersion program. Reinie & the others will live in and serve a local refugee community along with shadow providers at Siloam and reflect on God’s call to them through a career in medicine.  Click here to see the profiles of the other students joining us this summer.

Thomas, Reinie - Profile

Consider financially supporting this ministry as we plant seeds to share the love of Christ by serving those in need through health care.

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Lauren Roddy to join CHI

We are excited to announce another one of the seven pre-medical students who will join us in Nashville this summer for the Community Health Immersion program. Lauren & the others will live in and serve a local refugee community along with shadow providers at Siloam and reflect on God’s call to them through a career in medicine.  Click here to see the profiles of the other students joining us this summer.

Roddy, Lauren - Profile

Consider financially supporting this ministry as we plant seeds to share the love of Christ by serving those in need through health care.

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CHI expands with Will Davies

We are excited to announce one of the seven pre-medical students who will join us in Nashville this summer for the Community Health Immersion program. Will & the others will live in and serve a local refugee community along with shadow providers at Siloam and reflect on God’s call to them through a career in medicine.  Click here to see the profiles of the other students joining us this summer.

Davies, Will - Profile

Consider financially supporting this ministry as we plant seeds to share the love of Christ by serving those in need through health care.

Click the Donate button below to make a gift by credit card or Paypal.

CHI expands with Kenny Namkoong

We are excited to announce one of the seven pre-medical students who will join us in Nashville this summer for the Community Health Immersion program.  Kenny & the others will live in and serve a local refugee community along with shadow providers at Siloam and reflect on God’s call to them through a career in medicine.  Click here to see the profiles of the other students joining us this summer.

Namkoong, Kenny - Profile

Consider financially supporting this ministry as we plant seeds to share the love of Christ by serving those in need through health care.

Click the Donate button below to make a gift by credit card or Paypal.

How Whole-Person Care Fosters Patient Engagement

Lauren Holmgren, former 4th year ETSU medical student who completed her rotation at our clinic in March 2014

Lauren Holmgren, former 4th year ETSU medical student who completed her rotation at our clinic in March 2014

Leaving Siloam yesterday was bittersweet.  Not only was I leaving a clinic I have come to love and people who had truly made me feel like part of the team, I was leaving behind my role as a medical student.  Yesterday was the completion of my very last clinical rotation of medical school.  I will never again walk into a patient room and introduce myself as “the medical student working with….”  Instead, the next time I walk into a patient room I will introduce myself as “Dr. Holmgren”.  As I reflect back on my time at Siloam, there is no doubt in my mind that as I transition to “Dr. Holmgren,” the way I practice will be shaped by the time I spent at Siloam.  I have, somewhat selfishly, spent a lot of time this month trying to figure out what it is that allows the patients and providers at Siloam to create such a nurturing and health promoting environment because it is exactly the type of relationship I hope to one day have in my practice.

The conclusion I have come to…. it’s a combination of a number of things.  First and foremost, the providers at Siloam are interested in the whole person rather than just the medical complaints of their patients—their dedication to providing care for all aspects of a patient’s life from their medical needs to their spiritual needs to their social needs.  This focus and dedication allows the providers to make the best recommendations for their patients but that alone is not enough to care well for their patients. The patients have to take an active role in their healthcare.  The care and dedication of the providers to take care of the whole person is something patients recognize and I think that greatly contributes to patients taking an active role in their own health, but Siloam also requires their patients to be responsible for their healthcare.  I see this as a critical part of the success Siloam sees.  Patients understand that the clinic is not going to ask them to contribute more than they can afford but at the same time, the patients understand that they have to be invested in their own care.
Additionally, the patients of Siloam are a wonderful group of people.  They have a wide variety of experiences that have shaped their lives but they are all grateful for what they have and the care they receive at Siloam.  All of these things together have made an exceptional place to learn and a great place for people to get exceptional care.  I am truly grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of such a wonderful clinic.

 

Guest blog post courtesy of Lauren Holmgren