Published On 07/11/2011

The Center of Excellence in Faith & Health lives at the heart of many sources of hope, life and energy that helps the patient, the family, the congregation and the clinical team together in the health journey. We know that each partner brings experience, insight and intelligence but are often poorly linked to the others, so we constantly try to create new knowledge by blending together different stakeholders within Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare and the broader community.

The Center of Excellence in Faith & Health is a sort of laboratory, but Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare aspires to create a dynamic "culture of ministry" for Associates, clinicians, chaplains, clergy, volunteers and leaders. 

Our first goal is always advancing the health of our patients and community, but some of what we're learning is also relevant as best practices for other faith-based organizations. Essential to this effort is understanding the current faith assets in our community and having the ability to harness those assets. And, there are many, many assets to harness! 

Through our Mission, Values and Vision, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare strives to create a collaborative environment for all parties in the journey to good health.

Methodist Healthcare Integration

Volunteer Services: Includes the coordination of a range of volunteer services within the hospital system, including internships, scholarships, summer programs, spiritual care volunteers and other hospital volunteers. Volunteer opportunities are available in Memphis, Tennessee and the Mid-South.

Spiritual Care: provides spiritual care and counseling to patients, family members, visitors, hospital staff and medical staff, as well as resources and training to Mid-South clergy and laity. Spiritual Care services include: patient and family visitation; crisis ministry; bereavement ministry; spiritual direction; stress management; conflict management; administering the sacraments; worship services; memorial services; devotional materials; faith-based literature and resources; ethics consultation and counseling; supportive counsel regarding advance directive issues, teaching, No One Dies Alone (vigilling program for patients without families), etc.

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP): provides highly skilled and experienced counselors, confidential assessments, brief treatment and referral to MLH Associates and their families in addition to several other businesses in the Mid-South, covering over 40,000 lives. The EAP can help with many of life’s challenges such as family problems, marital/relationship difficulties, alcohol/drug abuse, anxiety, depression, work stress, grief, work/life balance. The EAP is free for the Associate and their family members and is paid for by the employer.

In addition, the Employee Assistance Program in Memphis, Tennessee offers comprehensive onsite workshops and seminars that leaders use to motivate their teams such as conflict resolution, stress management and team building. The EAP is available for critical incident stress management when there is a traumatic event that involves the workplace.

Clergy and Conference Ministries: entails collaboration and partnership with clergy and Methodist Conferences (e.g. MLH partners with clergy of the Arkansas, Memphis and Mississippi Conferences of The United Methodist Church). Activities include programs of continuing education and training; ministry skills development; improving the personal physical, mental, social and spiritual health of clergy; and partnering with clergy to provide the best possible pastoral care and counseling for patients.

International Ministries: facilitates international ministry partnerships, for example with the General Board of Global Ministries-UMCOR Health. Partnership includes engagement in issues such as hospital revitalization, medical supplies, relief supplies, small grants and technical assistance.

Methodist Associates: Nearly every aspect of the many divisions and groups within Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare play important roles in the integration of Faith & Health. Many of our 10,000 Associates understand their daily work as an expression of their faith and compassion and many of our divisions provide constant supporting services to the Center of Excellence in Faith & Health, and to our community partnerships.

  • The Methodist Healthcare Foundation
  • Quality Services
  • Clinical Information Systems
  • Information Technology
  • Organizational Development
  • The Board of Directors Committee on Faith and Health
  • Patient and Family-Centered Care
  • Corporate Strategy Development
  • Marketing Research
  • Medical Education
  • Dietary Services
  • Admission Services

“Since the last half of the nineteenth century, western societies have been blessed with the miracles of modern medicine. Highly refined surgical techniques, antibiotics, immunizations, and technologies that probe the deepest mysteries of the human body have changed the way we go about curing and healing … However, in the midst of this flood of discovery and progress, a tragedy occurred. Many of the bridges between faith and health were washed out. In the excitement and thrill of the explosion of scientific knowledge, the church relinquished her position as the centre of healing for individuals and communities. The bridges that existed for centuries collapsed in a matter of a few decades. Faith and health were segregated. As we approach a new millennium, many are disillusioned and struggle with a gnawing fear about the state of health care in our country and around the world. In a culture that prizes specialization, health care (and perhaps life in general) has become very fragmented. We take our bodies to doctors, our church, and our minds to school.” 

– Donna Coffman