We believe that we are doing God’s work and Jesus said Christians should be known for how deeply we love, not how deeply we judge. I wanted to share a story with you that a patient shared with me. It was one of my more moving experiences here at HOPE Healthcare Services.
“I had gotten laid off from my job in January (2018) and had very little money coming in. I struggled with my blood pressure, and with the added stress, I knew it was elevating. I was doing a lot of stress eating.
The people at HOPE are so caring and giving. I was placed on a blood pressure medication and a diet plan, but at the end of every appointment, “Miss Sharon” (a HOPE volunteer nurse), would come in the room and say the most beautiful prayer. I never left dried-eyed from the room, knowing that God was right there listening.
HOPE and the people who work there have made my life so much better with the kindness that they show me at each of my appointments and the sense of God’s presence on this wonderful ministry.
I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all the staff at HOPE and all the people involved in creating such a remarkable place to come, where kindness and caring are always there, and knowing God’s hand has been placed over this ministry. Thank you.
All of the people has been amazing—from the doctors that listen to your medical issues and heart warm prayers from Sharon. I am so thankful for you all!”
~ Jenny (Name changed to comply with HIPPA privacy laws)
This is just one of the amazing things I have witnessed over the years at Hope Healthcare Services working to help the poor and the uninsured. Everyone that we are able to help means that much more positive growth, and loving, and caring, in our own community.
Now that you’ve heard from one of those we serve, let us tell you a bit about who we are and what we do.
In 2018, 8.5 percent of the population, or 27.5 million people, did not have medical insurance for the full year, compared with 7.9 percent of the population, or 25.6 million people, in 2017, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This is despite seeing unemployment rates declining. For some of our neighbors here in Hendricks County, they also fall into this gap…
For many of these people and families, it’s not that they don’t want to be insured but they are being priced out. They fall into a category that is known by The United Way Project as ALICE or Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. If you’ve ever gone to the marketplace for insurance, there are mostly high premiums, high deductibles, and high co-insurance. So even if you did have a plan, a major medical issue would probably still bankrupt you. If medical care is going to be unaffordable anyway, what’s the use in paying high premiums every month you can barely afford?
In the state of Indiana, many people still struggle to find jobs that pay enough or have long enough hours to cover their monthly budgets and that includes the price of insurance and healthcare.
We live in a new gig economy where we are seeing more and more people not offered benefits through their employer, they can’t afford the benefits offered by their employer, and/or they do not qualify for Medicaid.
Kingsway Christian Church saw an obvious need in their local community of Hendricks County to provide health services to this underserved section of the population. John Mollaun saw this need very clearly here in Hendricks County, which is what led him to eventually become the Executive Director of what is now Hope Healthcare Services. John’s passion for our community is evident in all who know him, and we wanted to share some of his story with you.
The Lord Works in Mysterious Ways
HOPE Healthcare Services originally started as Kingsway Community Care Center in 2005. He wasn’t the Executive Director then, but he was a member of Kingsway Christian Church. John said,
“I immediately thought this was the greatest thing that Kingsway had ever done because it was explicitly about everyone else in the community, not just the church family.”
Not only were we given the opportunity to practice the faith, but we were ready to get out into the community and really focus on charitable work that would really make a difference in the lives of their fellow neighbors.
As it says in Philippians 2:3-4,
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.”
So he applied to be the Executive Director. At the time, he was still working at Duke Energy (then Cinergy) and was hoping to leave with a severance package (in a future merger). When he interviewed for the Executive Director position and returned home afterward, his wife asked him, “How did it go?” and his response was “I wouldn’t hire me”. And at the time we didn’t. He was still not fully invested and still had one foot in the door at Duke.
John left Duke, with a voluntary severance, in May 2006. He later found out the clinic had fired the original Executive Director in March and they were looking for candidates for the 4th quarter of 2006.
He did not apply this time, because they listed the qualifications as having a master’s degree and 10 years of progressive experience in the non-profit sector. He had neither. However, the committee remembered John and that he had applied and interviewed previously, and he was asked if he wished to apply again.
Now untethered from Duke, he readily applied and interviewed quite differently. Out of 25 qualified candidates we chose John.
“That’s how you know God is in it, The first time I applied and didn’t get the job. The second time around I didn’t even apply because I didn’t think I was qualified and I actually got it!”
There Is Now Hope
When we started what was originally the Kingsway Community Care Center, we saw the gap in our community. You had those that qualified for Medicaid and other government programs and the people that could afford insurance, either through work, private insurance, or government insurance like TriCare.
Then there was this underserved population in the middle, the people that were being left out and did not have access to the healthcare that they needed, often called the working poor.
Our mission is to serve those working so hard to get ahead, but who simply can’t afford health insurance and don’t qualify for government-funded programs because, by working to get ahead, they actually advance themselves out of qualifying for assistance.
At the time (2003-05) healthcare for the uninsured was THE topic in the US. It was talked about in presidential politics, the Indiana statehouse, business boardrooms, the news, and the kitchen tables. As is obvious by the need, it is still a major and relevant topic.
We are seeking to catch those falling through the cracks of the existing healthcare system. And those cracks are constantly changing. For example, the Medicaid expansion in Indiana (HIP 2.0). This covers Hoosiers at 138% of the federal poverty level and below. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the poverty level for a household of four is an annual income of $25,750. If you’re single with no kids it is only $12,490.
That meant some of our patients qualified and got coverage (which we support). However, our focus became the working poor. They are described in a great way in a United Way study as the ALICE population: Asset-Limited, Income Constrained, and Employed. Not all ALICE are uninsured, but this is largely our patient population.
Through Community and Christ
HOPE Healthcare Services is a faith-based clinic, but we serve our neighbors, no matter what affiliation they have or if they have none at all. Prayer is offered but your quality of treatment will not change whether you accept or decline.
Many people have asked how we are able to do what we do. Yes, we do charge a low fee but it is nominal compared to the cost of running a clinic that provides not only medical health services, but also mental health services, and dental services.
The answer is simple, we couldn’t without our partners in the community and our staff of volunteers.
The Hendricks County Health Department helps by serving on committees for the Hendricks County Healthcare Partnership and by referring patients to them for inoculations (they do them for free) and they refer to us.
Both county hospitals (IU Health West and Hendricks Regional Health) have employees who volunteer, and both donate funding toward operations. We simply could not do this work without the gracious doctors, nurses, and dentists who volunteer their time every day to serve our patients.
As a local agency, serving local residents, the vast majority of our funding comes from local sources – individuals, hospitals, churches, businesses, foundations, and special events.
We are for the community, made by the community. Doing our best to help our fellow neighbors the way Jesus taught us.
The Future of Hope
We expect to remain a vital part of the local health care system, serving a sector of the population that lacks health coverage with medical, dental, and mental health services in the name of Christ. And doing so with a mix of both staff health professionals and volunteers.
One of the surprising things about working here is that more people don’t know about us. As an extremely low-cost healthcare resource in the community, we want to get the word out. So please share this article and our information with people. You may know someone in need and our mission is to serve as many people as possible.