Date: March 7, 2024
Dr. Scott Morris is the CEO and founder at Church Health

How a medical oasis sprung up in Memphis to cover the working uninsured

Wendy Thompson had a handful of problems, beginning with the fact that walking had become excruciating. One of her knees was virtually bone on bone. She was also experiencing consistently blurred vision, a dangerous way to try to get around in the Tennessee snow and ice. But her greatest pain existed at the level of bills and checkbook balances.

Thompson, a home health worker in Memphis tending to patients with special needs, put in full weeks at two jobs, but she still barely made enough to get by. Like hundreds of thousands of Tennesseans, a state that has refused Medicaid expansion, she also had no health insurance, and the cost of care was daunting.

Tending to her medical needs, she told me, was a distant thought. That was before she met Dr. Scott Morris.

“She had fallen and hurt her knee, but it was also crystal clear that she couldn’t see five feet in front of her,” Morris recalled recently, speaking from his office at Church Health, the medical nonprofit he founded more than 35 years ago and through whose doors Thompson walked on a frigid winter day about two months ago. “So I added her.”

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