Welcome to…The Siloam Institute of Faith, Health and Culture
“Come, and you will see.” – John 1:39
The Siloam Institute is an educational initiative of Siloam Family Health Center.
Our mission is . . . to create a welcoming, interdisciplinary context for training, dialogue, and research, which bridges the gap among the faith community, the medically underserved and academic medicine.
The Siloam Institute seeks to protect and harness these cross-pollinating influences into a unique “greenhouse” learning environment where future health care professionals are shaped by the dynamics of cross-cultural service within the Christian healing tradition.
While our core programs revolve around the whole person formation of health care professionals, the Institute also offers opportunities for the community to engage with the intersecting issues of faith, health, and culture.
“And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful ones who will be able to teach others also.” — 2 Timothy 2:2
The Siloam Institute of Faith, Health and Culture is birthed out of two decades of practical experience in whole-person health care (body, mind, spirit) and student mentoring at Siloam Family Health Center.
The Institute exists to deepen our own understanding and practice of this model and to pass on our core values to the next generation of health care practitioners. In so doing, we hope to engage diverse underserved patient populations, academic training institutions, clinics for the uninsured, and churches and other faith-based organizations.
We are called to:
- Inspire health care students and professionals to integrate Christian faith and medicine;
- Equip them to care for the whole person of any culture as Jesus modeled; and
- Send out servant leaders to further the healing mission of Siloam Family Health Center.
“… science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.” –Albert Einstein
- We hope that the work of the Siloam Institute will motivate health professional students to embrace wholistic paradigms of care and make vocational choices to care for the underserved.
- The Siloam Institute will function as a research lab to evaluate the impact whole-person care has on the lives of our patients and to develop training tools for practitioners who want to become more effective preceptors in community-based settings.
- Finally, as we foster reflection and conversation around the overlapping domains of faith, health, and culture, we hope to see both the medical and faith communities mobilized towards more mutually beneficial engagement for the common good.
“Is there balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wound of my people?” — Jeremiah 8:22
The Siloam Institute was created in 2010 to further Siloam Family Health Center’s healing mission and to address the growing need for more compassionate caregivers focused on serving impoverished communities.
As we have approached our capacity for treating patients at our current location, Siloam has decided to focus its future growth around transformational educational initiatives which can multiply our mission and core values through the lives of health professional trainees.
As such, the Institute represents a formalization and expansion of our longstanding but less formalized mentoring program. We believe that this new initiative will help young, developing, health professionals to catch the spirit of whole-person care and pursue it, as modeled by Jesus, wherever they practice. The new growth – without adding bricks and mortar – allows the fruit of Siloam’s labor to be grown on other’s trees.
Although the bulk of Siloam’s trainees over the years have been medical students and residents, the program has encompassed students from multiple disciplines, including nurses, physician assistants, social workers, psychologists, physical therapists, pastors, dieticians and pharmacists. The interdisciplinary environment offers an array of services to the underserved while providing dynamic opportunities to train the next generation of health professionals.
Siloam Family Health Center’s richly diverse patient population, charitable atmosphere, and focus on whole-person care have combined to make it a highly sought-after site for clinical practicums.
While students from all universities are welcome to apply, the following list of schools represents some of our more regular and recent partners for clinical rotations at Siloam:
- Belmont University (Pharmacy, Nursing, Social Work)
- East Tennessee State University Quillen College of Medicine
- Emory University College of Nursing
- Lipscomb University (Pharmacy, Social Work)
- Medical College of Georgia
- Meharry Medical College
- Middle Tennessee State University (Social Work)
- Tennessee State University (Physical Therapy, Social Work)
- Trevecca University (Pharmacy Assistant)
- University of Alabama (Medicine Residency Program)
- University of Tennessee (Social Work)
- Vanderbilt University (Medicine, Nursing, Counseling)
Morgan Wills, MD, FACP, Dip. C.S., Director, has served since 2000 as the senior internist at Siloam Family Health Center, specializing in immigrant/refugee health. He is Clinical Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, where he has taught cross-cultural patient care in multiple classroom contexts and won teaching awards for his work as a clinical preceptor. He has also served as a part-time attending physician at the Nashville VA Medical Center and directed eight Summer Medical Institutes (faith-based, cross-cultural service learning projects) on four continents. Morgan earned his Bachelor’s degree in History from Princeton University and his Medical Doctorate from Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. He is currently completing a Master’s degree in Christian Studies with a concentration in Marketplace Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, B.C.
Mark McCaw, MSSW, MBA, Associate Director, brings 20 years of nonprofit management and community health experience to his work. He has served on the leadership team at Siloam Family Health Center since 2000. In previous roles, he has overseen management aspects of the clinic and program development - including directing a statewide medical screening program for refugees. Mark previously worked with federally-funded health centers while at the Tennessee Primary Care Association. A social work graduate internship in 1993 at the Tennessee Association of Legal Services gave him a front-row seat to Medicaid reform in Tennessee and served as his entry into health care advocacy for underserved populations. He worked in banking for nine years prior to his move into nonprofit management. He holds a Master of Business Administration (2010) from Vanderbilt University Owen School of Management, a Master of Science in Social Work (1994) from the University of Tennessee, College of Social Work, and a Bachelor’s degree in education from Anderson University in Indiana.