Case Studies

The Congregational Health Network at Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare

Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare
Memphis, TN
1,321 Beds

The Congregational Health Network is a partnership between Methodist Le Bonheur Health¬care and almost 400 churches in Memphis.

The Problem
The African American population in Memphis had higher readmission rates than the rest of the population. Traditionally, this population had low levels of support after discharge. The church remains a powerful organization within the African American community in Memphis and can be used to augment patient support after discharge.

The Solution
Through the Congregational Health Network, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare now has the equivalent of nine full-time employees and more than 500 volunteers. The Congregational Health Network provides health education to parishioners and assigns liaisons should any congregant need hospital care. Individuals who choose to be enrolled in the Congregational Health Network are flagged by the health care system’s electronic health record upon hospital admission. A hospital-employed navigator meets with the flagged patient to establish his or her needs once discharged and then works with the affiliated congregation’s volunteer health liaison to arrange post-discharge services and facilitate the transition back into the home.

The Result
More than 12,000 congregants from approximately 400 churches have signed up to be members of the program. The Congregational Health Network seeks regular input from church partners and analyzes data to ensure ongoing progress and improvement. An analysis of 473 Congregational Health Network participants found that the mortality rate was nearly half the rate of non-enrolled patients with similar characteristics. The same study found that Congregational Health Network members had lower health care costs than nonparticipants, lower inpatient utilization and higher satisfaction with the health care system.

Contact Information
Teresa Cutts, PhD
Director of Research and Innovative Practice
(901) 516-0593

This case study was originally featured in the HPOE guide: "Engaging Health Care Users: A Framework for Healthy Individuals and Communities," published January, 2013.

Additional Resources

Webinars December 13th, 2017

Equity of Care Webinar SeriesPart 2: Aligning Diversity and Inclusion, Community Engagement, Busi......

Webinars November 20th, 2017

Equity of Care Webinar SeriesPart 1: Aligning Diversity and Inclusion, Community Engagement, Busi......

Webinars November 17th, 2017

Transportation and the Role of Hospitals This AHA webinar on “Transportation and the Role of Hos......