A Note From the CEO

In celebration of our upcoming grand opening I would like to share an abridged version of the Christian Healthcare Centers’ story.

The story of Christian Healthcare Centers (CHC) began long before the current turbulence associated with Obamacare; and before there was such a thing as medical insurance. It began when Jesus said, “By this shall all men know that you are My disciples, if you love one another,” (John 13:35) and when the Apostle Paul wrote in his Epistles that Christians should “bear one another’s burdens” (Galatian 6:2).

The Church has always been on the forefront of healthcare, providing care and comfort to those suffering from disease, injury or facing death. It is in the DNA of the Body of Christ to be caregivers to one another and to all in the human community. Galatians 6:10 states it succinctly; “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”

Christians historically have taken those words to heart, opening medical clinics and hospitals, and a host of other caregiving ministries. Christians have made substantial contributions to the hospital movement in the United States and many hospital groups still bear names such as Baptist, Methodist, Catholic, Presbyterian, etc. It is not surprising that someone would start a ministry called Christian Healthcare Centers. It has been done before.

The CHC story adds another chapter to this impressive legacy of caregiving, and it comes at a time when Christian medical professionals and Christian patients need it most. Christian doctors want to provide the highest quality of care possible to their patients. Patients want doctors who will focus on their wellbeing, listen to them and be their advocate. Both doctors and patients want a real doctor-patient relationship.

Unfortunately, modern medical practice is hampered by unwelcome intrusions into that relationship. All too often, health insurance companies and government agencies interfere in the doctor-patient relationship, resulting in frustration for both doctors and patients. The cost of healthcare continues to climb and patients pay a larger portion of that cost, resulting in a growing number of patients not seeking timely medical care when they fall ill or have symptoms of disease.

Three years ago, I began meeting with Brian Aenis and Jeff Woo in a small group for discipleship. We studied Scripture, prayed for one another, held one another accountable to be faithful followers of Christ, good husbands and good fathers. God blessed us in the months that followed and we formed a strong bond in Christ. Along the way, we talked about healthcare since Brian and Jeff work in that field. Brian runs a healthcare office and Jeff is an internal medicine physician. They would often talk about the frustration of being pressured to see more and more patients, giving each one less and less time. As Jeff put it, “I was being pressured to practice disease care, not healthcare. This isn’t why I went to medical school.”

There came a point when I tossed out an idea that had been circulating in my mind since the 1990s following the failure of “Hillarycare.” I asked, “What do you think medical practitioners would do if there was a way for them to spend more time with patients, reduce their paperwork, reduce their office overhead expenses and provide financial security for their families? What if a doctor could see 8-12 patients a day (instead of the national average of 20-25), complete all documentation by the end of the day and be home for dinner with the family. What if patients could get in to see their doctor within 48 hours and they had as much time with the doctor as they needed? What if you could do this while eliminating intrusions from third-party payers like insurance and Medicare, and provide service at a price point that reduced the patient’s out-of-pocket costs?” Jeff’s response was, “Exactly where is this medical utopia?”

I suggested that we build it.

Christian Healthcare Centers exists to be that medical “utopia.” Our mission is to provide exceptional, comprehensive healthcare services to the Body of Christ, guided by biblical values. Our aim is to create a “one stop shop” that provides all of the services people need to maintain their health, care for acute conditions and keep them out of the emergency room and hospital. We provide care for infants to seniors.

Following our grand opening on July 5, 2017, CHC will provide primary medical care, urgent care, chiropractic services, routine labs, general x-rays, many prescription medications, family and individual counseling, and nutrition/fitness coaching. We plan to offer dental and vision services in 2018. All of our services are provided for small monthly fee without additional copays. We do not bill for insurance reimbursement. This means our doctors work for our patients, not an insurance company.

CHC is a tax-exempt, not-for-profit organization recognized by the IRS and  incorporated in the State of Michigan. Our clinicians are salaried employees so patients can be sure that no one will order unnecessary tests or perform unnecessary procedures to increase revenue. We are governed by a nine member Board of Directors and will undergo an annual financial audit. Our doctors are Christian, licensed practitioners with years of healthcare experience, and a passion to improve the lives of patients by delivering high quality, compassionate care.

Our vision goes beyond opening a Center in Grand Rapids. As God directs, we will open other centers throughout the Greater Grand Rapids area, West Michigan and beyond – including other states. It is an ambitious venture, but it is needed at this time in history. I hope you will partner with us to see God do great things for His glory.

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