Commitment to Bringing Wellness to Others’ Lives Comes Full Circle
As a nurse, Kay Siebert considers herself a lifelong caregiver, who values fostering health and wellness in all aspects of life.
So, in 2009, when her pastor shared a video about an outpatient clinic sponsored by a Lutheran congregation in a Houston, Texas, suburb that served the local indigent population, it sparked an idea. The economy was in a downward spiral, and there were many single adults in the Phoenix, Arizona, area where she lived who were getting cut off from Medicaid.
“There were 350,000+ who were low-income to no-income and had no resources,” recalls Kay, who served on Christ Church-Lutheran’s Board of Directors at the time. “Our pastor felt maybe our church should explore starting a clinic to serve them, as we owned a clinic building adjacent to our church.”
The idea for Christ Cares Clinic was born. The following year, the congregation applied for, and received, a seed grant from Wheat Ridge Ministries to establish a primary care clinic. A state licensed outpatient clinic, it began with a nurse practitioner, three medical doctors, and 17 nurses, all volunteers and members of the congregation. Kay has served as clinic director since its founding.
“How often do we take a passion and plan that we have and put it into action? Wheat Ridge purposefully does that every time it seeds new ministries,” says Kay. “While I was familiar with Wheat Ridge’s Christmas Seals from childhood, my first real exposure to Wheat Ridge Ministries was through the process of applying for a seeding grant.”
The clinic was licensed and opened in early 2012 and is now open one day a week. It has provided services for well over 200 people. The congregation’s intent was to provide preventative primary care so that people don’t end up in the hospital.
As Medicaid has expanded to include more single adults, the clinic is actively exploring expanding to include other services, such as support groups, faith community nursing, counseling and health and wellness education to meet the needs of the area’s entire population. “Our new demographic, quite simply, is anyone who needs us,” Kay says.
Throughout the clinic’s early development, Wheat Ridge staff provided support to help ensure that the ministry would become sustainable. “Wheat Ridge’s staff has been nothing but supportive, not just in providing funds but helping us along the way,” Kay says.
Kay says she was fortunate to take part in a gathering of 11 directors from all types of clinics that received seed funding from Wheat Ridge. They brainstormed and talked about the different operating models of their respective clinics.
She now serves on Wheat Ridge’s Board of Directors and gets to learn more about its ministries from a different vantage point. Through Wheat Ridge, Kay’s commitment to stewardship and to bringing a higher degree of health to others’ lives has grown even stronger.
Kay and her husband, David, began to support Wheat Ridge Ministries five years ago. “We continue to give because we believe that Wheat Ridge truly uses those gifts to bring hope and healing in the name of the healing Christ in countless ways,” she says. “I’ve seen first-hand the outreach ministries that they do. I wish everyone could see what a difference their contributions to Wheat Ridge make.”
Through the support of donors like you, Wheat Ridge Ministries is seeding new outreach ministries that bring health and wellness to people around the globe.