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Free Webinar

Methodist Healthcare’s Congregational Health Network

Wednesday, January 17, 12:00 – 1:00 EST

Bobby Baker & Joy Sharp, hosted by Gary Gunderson


The Congregational Health Network is a partnership between Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, more than 600 congregations and other relevant community entities in the Memphis metro area designed to address health issues by increasing the congregation’s and the hospital’s ability to care for their members and the surrounding community.

The Washington Post called it “an innovative program that keeps church members healthy while reducing health-care costs. If not actually made in heaven, it’s a match that has significantly benefited all parties. Other health-care systems are taking note.” Not only are they “taking note,” for a decade, they’re accepting Methodist Healthcare’s invitation to  attend a workshop on how to adapt the Memphis Model to their own system.

Here is The New York Times’ description of the program:

It began with 12 area churches and has grown to more than 500 congregations. Through the network, the hospitals have registered 18,000 people and given them messages promoting prevention, screening and health education. An analysis of hospital records shows that patients in the network fare better, staying out of the hospital four months longer than non-network patients with a similar diagnosis.

Join Bobby Baker and Joy Sharp, interviewed by Gary Gunderson who led the creation of the CHN.

Bobby Baker

Bobby G. Baker, D.Min., M.Div., is the Director of Faith and Community Partnerships at Methodist Healthcare. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science from Jackson State University in 1986.  He earned the Master of Divinity at Memphis Theological Seminary in May 1998.  Pastor Baker completed 1600 hours of Clinical Pastoral Education with Methodist-LeBonheur Healthcare and was awarded the distinction of Certified Chaplain by the Association of Professional Chaplains in July 2000.  He completed the Doctorate of Ministry at Memphis, Theological Seminary in May, 2014.

His work with the Congregational Health Network (CHN) has been recognized as a National Best Practice by the Department of Health and Human Services and The Agency for Health Research and Quality (AHRQ). The CHN has been featured in many publications such as, Sojourners Magazine and the New York Times.  Reverend Baker is a conference presenter and has presented at Johns Hopkins University Medical –Religious Partnerships Symposium. He has been awarded the 2014 Alumni of the Year at Memphis Theological Seminary.

Joy Sharp

Joy Sharp is Director of Community Health Programs for the Baptist Health Care System in Pensacola, Florida. In 2001 she began her work at Christ Community Health Services, Tennessee’s largest Federally Qualified Health Center, where she served in many capacities.

In 2013, Sharp began working at Methodist Healthcare as a navigator helping to coordinate and manage population health initiatives for the health system in the 38109 zip code. A later role as Program Manager of Community Health. In that role centered around developing and integrating innovative, statistical approaches to advance health initiatives and healthcare research specifically targeting high risk and under-resourced populations. In 2015, Sharp was named a Healthcare Hero by the Memphis Business Journal. She has coached others to become Community Health Navigators with the goal of navigating patients to the most appropriate point of care thus reducing hospital encounters where possible. In 2017, she was the recipient of the first World of Difference Community Navigation award presented by the Cigna Foundation.