CO Church Shines God's 'Hopelight', Turns Worship Site Into Medical Clinic for Those in Need
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A Colorado congregation is helping thousands of people by operating a medical clinic out of their church building.
For the past 9 years, they've been running this unique outreach program, and it's reportedly working.
In a recent op-ed, The Christian Chronicle's Editor-in-Chief Bobby Ross, Jr. reports the Longmont Church of Christ, located about 40 miles north of Denver, is using the clinic to offer medical services to the underserved people of the community and to share the gospel.
To Ross's amazement, when he arrived at the church building, he found "a full parking lot ... on a Tuesday, " he wrote.
The church's Hopelight Medical Clinic is open five days a week with several exam rooms, including a pharmacy. It has a $6 million annual budget, The Chronicle reported. It is funded by Medicaid, Medicare, and sliding-scale patient fees, along with donations and grants.
Hopelight has 125 medical professionals, including full-time staff and volunteers, that see 11,000 patients a year, according to the outlet.
According to the clinic's website, it offers low-cost or free primary care in an outpatient setting to uninsured and Medicaid patients in Northern Colorado.
A team of specialists is also on staff in the areas of Endocrinology, Orthopedics, Cardiology, Psychiatry, Neurology, and Otolaryngology.
"We are committed to the well-being of our patients, and we strive to meet their needs through medicine, consultation, referral, and prayer," the website reads.
Edward Bowen, the Longmont church's lead minister, also serves as Hopelight's executive director. Bowen's wife, Shyll, is the senior director of Hopelight Behavioral Health, offering a range of services highlighting the needs of children with developmental disabilities, including autism.
Bowen told The Chronicle the clinic is an outreach to share Jesus with the community. He noted many congregations are not using their empty church buildings to their full potential.
"You have a lot of churches that end up not using their building," he said. "Like, how long is their building sitting empty each week? Well, if it's sitting empty at all after worship, then they're underutilizing their building."
The Longmont church started the clinic in 2014 after a flood swept through the Colorado town a year before. The flood destroyed a medical clinic that served low-income residents, so the church stepped in to help, according to The Chronicle.
Dr. Steve Haskew, MD, 79, a pediatrics specialist with more than 50 years of experience, is Hopelight's medical director.
Bowen told The Chronicle Haskew calls Hopelight, "God's clinic" and he regularly invites patients to come to the church's worship services.
Marcia Moore is a nurse practitioner who works with the clinic and the city to help with the medical needs of homeless people.
"I think this church is doing an awesome job trying to help the community," Moore told the outlet. "That's one of the reasons I love working here because I think that's what a church should be doing."
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