Mennonite Health Journal

Articles on the intersection of faith and health








Regional Meeting Reports

Paul D. Leichty

from Mennonite Health Journal, Vol. 16, No. 2 – May 2014

A Busy Spring for Regional Meetings

March 2014 was a particularly busy month for Mennonite Healthcare Fellowship Regional Meetings. Here are reports on what happened:

Iowa City, Iowa – March 5, 2014

Mennonite Healthcare Fellowship (MHF) held its first Regional Meeting in Iowa on Wednesday, March 5, 2014, at the home of Nyle and Lauralee Kauffman near Iowa City.  Ten persons gathered for a delicious home-cooked dinner and heard Paul Leichty, MHF Executive Director, share about the work of MHF.  Participants in the meeting also shared briefly about their own work.

Newton, Kansas – March 9, 2014

Matthew SchmidtMennonite Healthcare Fellowship (MHF) held its first Regional Meeting in Kansas on Sunday afternoon, March 9, 2014 at Shalom Mennonite Church, in Newton. Matthew Schmidt, LSCSW, Executive Director of Health Ministries Clinic, was the featured speaker on the subject of “Integrated Health Care: One Mind, One Body, One Patient.”

Health Ministries Clinic, a Federally-Qualified Health Center, has instituted a model of integrated care that involves multiple health care providers working together with a patient-centered focus, often bringing several disciplines together into a single patient encounter, with the goal of capturing the patient in their current visit. Schmidt detailed the benefits of the integrated model, and several of his staff members also commented on how it is being implemented at Health Ministries Clinic, which is in Newton. Several dozen attendees from a variety of disciplines showed keen interest in the model which involves the ongoing collaboration between behavioral health, medical, and dental services.

Paul Leichty, MHF Executive Director, also shared briefly about MHF’s mission to be an interdisciplinary community of Anabaptist health professionals.  Refreshments were served following the presentation.

Harrisonburg, Virginia – March 21, 2014

Beth GoodMennonite Healthcare Fellowship held its most recent Regional Meeting in Harrisonburg, Virginia on Friday, March 21, 2014, at Martin Chapel, on the campus of Eastern Mennonite Seminary. Beth Good provided the evening presentation entitled “Public Health and Faith.” (See elsewhere in this issue for a summary of the content of her talk.) Approximately 90 persons attended the meeting which included a discussion time with the speaker and refreshments following the presentation. Good is the Health Coordinator for Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) for global health projects. Her work has primarily been with HIV/AIDS and other public health issues. The subject of Beth’s PhD dissertation is sexual gender-based violence in conflict-affected settings.

Harrisonburg Regional Meeting

Dalton, Ohio – March 29, 2014

Nathan & Rochele BeachyMennonite Healthcare Fellowship (MHF) held its first Regional Meeting in the Kidron, Ohio area on Saturday evening, March 29, 2014, at the Das Dutch Kitchen in Dalton. Almost 50 persons enjoyed a delicious meal funded by a small group of MHF members.

The featured speakers for the after-dinner program were Nathan & Rochele Beachy, physicians in the Cleveland area, speaking about “Empowering Patients: New Paradigms for the Urban Underserved” (See article based on their presentation elsewhere in this issue.)

Shorter informative reports were given by Dr. Olivia Wenger of New Leaf Clinic for Special Children and Mark Leinbach, Director of SpringHaven Counseling Center in nearby Mount Eaton.

MHF Board members were also present, having had their Board meeting during the day at Kidron Mennonite Church. Vice-president Eric Lehman welcomed the group gathered who came from a variety of disciplines. Paul Leichty, Executive Director of Mennonite Healthcare Fellowship rounded out the evening by encouraging attendees to join MHF and come to the Annual Gathering in June.

Special thanks goes to Elton Lehman and his committee for planning a unique Regional Meeting!

About the author

Paul D. LeichtyPaul D. Leichty, M.Div. was the first Executive Director of Mennonite Healthcare Fellowship (MHF), serving from Sept. 2011 through May 2020.  Paul has served as a pastor, church musician, computer support person, disabilities advocate, and administrator/organizer of a number of church-related ministries. In addition to responsibilities at MHF, Paul is Executive Director of Congregational Accessibility Network and was formerly Director of User Services at  He is a member of Agape Fellowship of the Mennonite Church in Williamsport, Pennsylvania where he lives with his wife, Twila Charles Leichty.