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About the Healthy Memphis Initiative

One of the reasons that formalizing the partnership made sense was because there are already dozens of existing collaborations that help a wide range of populations, including children, the elderly, and the impoverished. Most of the partnerships work to improve the health, education, and outcomes for the Memphis community. Some of these include Diabetes Intervention; Healthy Shelby, which helps those with chronic conditions maintain quality of life; and FitKids & Pediatric Obesity, which uses technology to address childhood obesity.

The Healthy Memphis Initiative is the brain child of the University of Memphis and the Church Health Center. The primary goals of this partnership are education, programming, research, health coverage. These four areas manifest in a variety of projects, programs, and arrangements between the University and the CHC.

The Church Health Center and the University of Memphis also collaborate on educational and awareness programming for health and poverty issues in the Memphis area. Two of the largest programs are the Loewenberg School of Nursing's Poverty Simulation, which is designed for those working with low-income families and sensitizes participants to their clients' plight, creating broader awareness among policymakers, community leaders, and others of the realities of poverty; and the School of Public Health's Summer Institute, which is open to the health care community and addresses a different theme each year. In 2015, the theme was Population Health and included sessions on SAS for Beginners, Quality Management, Health Analytics, and Data Analysis & Presentation using Excel.

Education goes hand-in-hand with healthcare and is a major component of the relationship between the CHC and the University of Memphis. Many UofM students turn to the CHC for internships, scholarships, practica, and fellowships, while many of the CHC staff earned their degrees at the UofM in a wide variety of graduate and undergraduate programs. There are 42 UofM Alumni on CHC staff (some with multiple degrees), which comprises 17% of the CHC staff. There have been 73 CHC interns from UM since 2010. The CHC also provides affordable health coverage for the UofM graduate students. This partnership looks to continue expanding the educational relationship between the CHC and the UofM.

The best part of this relationship is that it benefits not just the Church Health Center and the University of Memphis, but the entire Memphis area community.