Organizers of the recent Healthcare Faith Community Summit in Greensboro are sending their findings to the White House in a report that was presented at a news conference on Friday.
The 22-page report details efforts in Greensboro to show how communities can organize to solve health care issues for their neediest citizens. It was requested by Melissa Rogers, executive director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, who was the summit’s keynote speaker.
“The health system, the faith community and the educational community, acting alone, cannot begin to solve, manage or prevent the huge problems that we have,” said Dr. Bob Wineburg, UNCG social work professor. “But perhaps, just perhaps, by working together we can be more successful in taking the things that we can tackle.”
The report details the steps taken over more than two years to organize the summit, which last fall examined how health care can be expanded in Greensboro through collective efforts among churches, universities and the health system. Read the full report here.
Organizers of the summit were Wineburg, who is also director of community-engaged scholarship for UNCG’s School of Health and Human Sciences; Rev. Odell Cleveland, chief administrative officer at Mount Zion Baptist Church; and UNCG associate professor of public health Dr. Vincent Francisco.
Cleveland noted that the summit is an example of how Greensboro can make the effort to provide care for those without health insurance. He used the Biblical story of the Good Samaritan to show how the gaps in health care need to be filled.
“What we’re going to have to say in this room is, ‘We’re going to have to be Greensboro’s, High Point’s, Guilford County’s insurance policy,’ ” Cleveland said.
The report was unveiled at the Evans-Blount Community Health Center, which has 14 congregations close to its location on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Greensboro. Also speaking were Merle Green, Guilford County health director; Greensboro City Councilwoman Sharon Hightower; and Guilford County Commissioner Katie Cashion.
Wineburg noted that the partnership between the university and faith community will serve as a model, demonstrating that two large community institutions can combine forces to work toward a common goal. It can help develop and grow ideas into practices that make existing health care better, and give a chance for good ideas and new partnerships to take root and shape.
Story by Steve Gilliam, University Relations
Photography by David Wilson, University Relations