Member organizations’ accomplishments are among the many highlights contained in “Making a Difference Together,” the 2019 Annual Report from the UCC’s Council for Health and Human Service Ministries. Released June 24, the report is available online, and offers inspirational stories from CHHSM members across the United States, which point to flourishing ministries in their own communities. Additionally, the annual report lifts up the good news of CHHSM re-energizing national work in health and human service advocacy and helping to sustain the important work of its members.
The report notes that in 2019, CHHSM members served 2,861,601 individuals, including 11,184 children, 9,861 youth, 10,078 families, 29,188 older adults, and 4,407 veterans. CHHSM members also provided community-based ambulatory health care to more than 2.2 million people. CHHSM member ministries operated 33,873 residential units, including 17,932 affordable housing units, 10,005 independent living units, and 3,517 assisted living units.
“Thanks to the leadership of our Board, the CHHSM team and our dedicated volunteers achieved these and other significant accomplishments in 2019,” said Michael J. Readinger, CHHSM president and CEO. “We also welcomed new organizations and a number of new individual members to the CHHSM family.”
Individual membership in CHHSM was one of the changes the Board approved in 2019, altering CHHSM’s membership model to allow individuals to join the organization.
In addition to reporting the typical annual facts and figures, the report also features CHHSM’s important serving leadership and advocacy outreach. In 2019, some 170 individuals participated in CHHSM’s Nollau To You one-day serving leader workshops, geared to introducing serving leadership concepts and best practices to CHHSM member employees. Additionally, 14 people graduated from the year-long Nollau Leadership Institute and were commissioned as Diakonal Ministers during the March 2019 Annual Gathering in Chicago.
CHHSM also welcomed its newest Rev. Jerry Paul Scholar, Essence L. Ellis, a seminary student at Yale Divinity School in New Haven, Conn. The Jerry Paul program — named for an honored CHHSM leader who embodied the notion of serving leadership — was created specifically for seminary students who are interested in learning more about ministry in a faith-based health and human service nonprofit organization. Scholars are able to engage with leaders in CHHSM organizations, attend CHHSM Board of Director meetings and its Annual Gathering, and craft their time with CHHSM and possible career paths through monthly conversations with CHHSM staff. Many also go through the Nollau Leadership Institute. The scholarship received increased funding support from CHHSM in 2019.
“Our commitment to serving leadership formation and development helps CHHSM remain a relevant community that comes together to create a caring world,” said outgoing Board Chair David Waltemeyer.
Serving leadership and renewed advocacy efforts also were evident in the hiring of the Rev. Elyse Berry, D.Min., CHHSM’s associate for advocacy and leadership development. CHHSM, the presenting sponsor of the UCC’s 2019 General Synod in Milwaukee, Wis., also sponsored a resolution — passed overwhelmingly by UCC delegates — recognizing opioid addiction as a health epidemic. Additionally, CHHSM joined the UCC’s effort to abolish medical debt by making a $15,000 donation. CHHSM encouraged members and friends to contribute toward matching its donation.
The work of CHHSM in 2019 also centered on the UCC’s 3 Great Loves Initiative. In countless ways illustrated in the report, CHHSM members championed their Love of Children, Love of Neighbor, and Love of the Environment. During the year, CHHSM members provided 451,459 hours of volunteers service and some $1 billion in uncompensated and charity care.
“The 3 Great Loves Initiative is part of a denomination-wide effort to take action and show the impact of individual ministries throughout the UCC,” said Abbreial Drane, current board chair, “and it’s part of all of CHHSM’s work as we strive to build a just, caring and compassionate world for all.”
See CHHSM’s 2019 Annual Report, as well as previous Annual Reports.