Christian Medial Fellowship
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ss triple helix - Spring 2022,  Getting involved

Getting involved

Engaging with justice as a Christian healthcare professional
KEY POINTS
  • CMF has been equipping members to make a difference for Jesus in their workplaces and the wider world for many years.
  • Scripture calls on believers to meet the needs of the poor, the marginalised, the sick and imprisoned.
  • Christian health professionals have a unique privilege in addressing all these needs in our work and by lending our skills to other organisations and ministries reaching out to those on society's margins.
We look at three examples of CMF members engaging with the needs of the world
CMF has always had at its heart a passion for releasing members into Christ-focused ministry for the Kingdom. This is why we have invested in training and discipleship programmes of different kinds for many years.

Current programmes include DeepER, equipping students and the newly qualified to find, develop, and express their gifting and calling while growing in character. The Health + Justice and Global Tracks are long-term courses to develop biblical understandings of justice and mission and practical ways of engaging in these areas.

Alumni of these and other CMF programmes are already making a difference in the world. They may not be famous, but where they work, these servants of Christ are using their clinical skills and what they have learned through being engaged with CMF over the years to make a real difference.

The Kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches. (Matthew 13:31-32)

EDMUND MICHAELSON & 500K
Edmund is an Accident and Emergency (A&E) Doctor and an alumnus of DeepER and writes here about setting up his charity, 500k.

'I'm passionate about human flourishing. I want all people to reach their full, God-given potential. I think there are two keys to this: physical health and spiritual health. My work as a doctor addresses the first of these and helps me address the second. My work with the charity 500k, which I set up six years ago, addresses both spiritual and physical wellbeing.

'500K exists to empower indigenous people in their work of sharing the love of God and establishing faith communities in South Asia. We use the parable of the Good Samaritan 3 as our template, demonstrating the scriptural instructions of Micah 6:8 and John 3:17 in practice. We do this by employing and working alongside local people to develop transformation hubs. We seek to bring families and individuals together to forge stronger communities that look inward in mutual care and support and outward, sharing the love of God with the wider community. They do this by providing care and support for acute and long-term physical and mental health needs. We provide mediation in family and village conflicts, advice and impartial support.

'Two of our distinctives are: maximising our impact by stewardship of our resources (we can make a bigger impact employing and empowering locals than sending expatriates) and making a difference globally while still working as health professionals in the UK.'

JAMES ADAMS & NUMBER 11
James is an alumnus of the Health + Justice Track and writes here about setting up the charity Number 11 in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent.

'One of the commonest themes in the Bible is serving the poor and vulnerable. Scripture dedicates more time to these themes than giving, leadership, heaven and hell, and even prayer! Clearly, this is a topic that is on God's heart. As we would never see prayer as an optional part of being a Christian, so why would we say justice is just for those who "have that calling"?

'As health professionals, we should be supporting our patients physically, socially, psychologically, and spiritually - learning to look at the broader picture and root causes. This is something the GMC 1 and NMC 2 require of us all, yet often falls through the gaps in a busy workplace. As Christian healthcare workers, shouldn't we advocate to ensure the care we provide to our patients meets these needs?

'As a medical student, I set up a charity called Number 11. Our focus is on creating a family and a home where we address many of the social determinants dictating the health of our clients. We work to support clients with homelessness, addiction, battles with mental health, benefits and employment, low skill levels, bereavement, and more. Ultimately, we focus on the underlying causes of our client's situation, whether it's abuse, relationship breakdown, isolation, or poor self-esteem - all to support individuals to move from crisis to independence.

'Eating together, laughing together, playing stupid games and informal workshops, whether they be based on music, art, creative writing, or sewing, all have just as much, if not more of an impact as the counselling sessions or employment workshops we run. Why? Because it's not just programmes and services which change people's lives. It's relationships.

'The thing we hear most from clients isn't that they are grateful for support in beating addiction, gaining accommodation, or finding employment. We hear most that they are grateful for being given a family - this is the foundation which helps them overcome many other barriers.'

ELLIE WEBB & INTEGRITAS HEALTHCARE
Ellie is a clinical fellow with Integritas Healthcare.

'In 2012, Rachael and Mark Pickering (both GPs with expertise in health care in prisons and among marginalised populations), with the support of colleagues founded Integritas Healthcare, a Christian faith-inspired CIC/NGO with a HEART for offender health care. The HEART of the service includes Healthcare, Expertise, Advocacy, Research and Training. It seeks to provide high-quality, low-cost healthcare to vulnerable patient groups, most especially those detained within the criminal justice system (prisons, police stations, forensic psychiatric units, and other secure environments).

'Alongside healthcare provision, Integritas has gained various opportunities for commercial work, including previous relationships with Leeds University to provide Offender Health Care training and special study modules. It also offers medical report services and expert witness work for detainees, both in the UK and other high-income countries (HICs). In 2015, Integritas began to deliver the same services either directly or indirectly within Low and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) on a pro bono or humanitarian basis, supported by the monies raised by their commercial activity.

'Integritas has established links in the Philippines, forming a separate charitable arm, Integridad, in 2021 to oversee the work. Prior to recent travel restrictions, Integritas provided face-to-face clinical services to Filipino and tourist offenders in local prisons. Currently, this service is provided by weekly telemedicine clinics. Our local Filipino team attend the police stations and jails, providing food, medicines, and facilitating video consultations between detainees and our UK-based doctors.

'As prison populations across the world continue to increase at an alarming rate and health inequalities grow ever wider, there is an urgent and increasing need for the services of Integritas to continue and grow in support of these vulnerable and marginalised people.'

Setting up your own charity or community interest company is not the only way to address the needs you encounter. For most of us, the best way to respond is to join in with work already going on through existing organisations. But these three stories show how people saw a need in their local area, another part of the world, or their area of clinical expertise, realised that a new response was needed that no one else was providing, and created a new organisation to respond practically, showing the love of Christ in action as well as in word.

You can find out more about becoming a DeepER fellow at cmf.org.uk/deeper

You can find out more about all our different training tracks at cmf.org.uk/volunteer/training-tracks

References

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