It’s been a difficult week for refugees and immigrants in our country. As you may know, every refugee that’s resettled in Nashville passes through the doors of Siloam Health for his or her initial medical screening exam. Many of these refugees become our primary care patients, and it is our privilege to get to know them and see them become vital members of our community. Regardless of our politics, they need our support, prayers, and encouragement.
Siloam Health lives the Scriptural mandate to “heal the broken-hearted” and to “care for the widow, the orphan, and the foreigner in our land.” These teachings—embodied in the life of Jesus—serve as the foundation for how Siloam cares for all of our patients, whether they’ve fled a warzone or just our own broken health care system. Now more than ever it is important to express our love for the “foreigners in our land"—of all faiths or none—and especially those whose families are now separated.
In addition to expressing concern for our patients, many of you have inquired about what impact the recent Executive Orders will have on Siloam as an organization. The short answer is that they will significantly affect our bottom line. Siloam has a diversified revenue model, so the effect will not be debilitating. However, as we re-allocate capacity previously occupied by newly arrived refugees to primary care slots for uninsured patients who pay on a sliding scale, there will be a net loss of revenue. We will need to make up this gap through new donations from the community.
Of course, changes also bring opportunities. In addition to getting to care for more uninsured patients, we will also have the opportunity to refine some of our programming. Just as time off from chopping wood to “sharpen the axe” yields a greater return in the long run, we will seek to take advantage of the pause in the screening program to refine it, as well as to enhance some of the important work we’re doing outside our clinic walls, such as the Community Health Outreach program which is developing among local Burmese, Egyptian, Hispanic, and Nepali congregations.
God has always been faithful to provide for Siloam, and we have no doubt He will continue to do so. Would you please consider being a part of that redemptive provision in this season of need? Whether you make a one-time special gift or become a “Glocal Partner” by signing up to give monthly, every gift makes a difference for our ministry—and the health of our city.
For more information about the implications of the new Executive Order locally—and other potential ways to respond beyond serving at or giving to Siloam—we recommend you check out the websites or Facebook pages of some of our partners, such as the Catholic Charities of TN - Tennessee Office for Refugees, World Relief Nashville, or the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition [TIRRC]. Thank you for your partnership!
Morgan Wills, MD
President & CEO
The following video is an excerpt from a message that was recorded in 2015. In it our CEO, Dr. Morgan Wills and Medical Director, Dr. Jim Henderson share about Siloam’s call to “heal the broken-hearted” and “care for the widow, the orphan, and the foreigner in our land.”