Mennonite Health JournalArticles on the intersection of faith and health
MHF President’s Column, November 2015
from Mennonite Health Journal, Vol. 17, No. 4 – November 2015
Greetings from the Mennonite Healthcare Fellowship Board! As the newest President of MHF, I am looking forward to the new opportunities before us. The mission of MHF is to be an organization that nurtures the integration of faith and practice for health professionals.
In 2011, as we worked toward the birth of this new organization, we envisioned a multidisciplinary group of health professionals that would be able to develop relationships, stay connected, and become a dynamic resource that led toward opportunities for service, education, and advocacy.
Our hope was, and still is, that MHF would enrich its membership by including a variety of health professionals including all those that had previously been such a vital part of Mennonite Nurses Association and Mennonite Medical Association in addition to the diverse professions that make up the healthcare teams of today.
Since the transition to MHF, we are finding that the membership model is not what it used to be. We have heard a similar story from other organizations who are finding individual memberships in decline. Yet, many continue to value the type of stimulating and nurturing professional fellowship that is a unique quality of MHF. The question, then, is what to do about our decreasing membership numbers in the midst of steady interest in an organization like MHF.
The staff and board of MHF are in the process of researching this phenomenon and looking for creative ways to continue to provide the aspects of this organization that are meaningful and sustainable.
For the past several years, MHF has been operating in a deficit. Due to the generosity of our members the deficit has not grown, but has also not been resolved. The Board of Directors takes this reality very seriously, and we are diligently searching for ways to optimize our assets while adjusting our expenditures.
Elsewhere in this issue of Mennonite Health Journal, our Executive Director, Paul Leichty, outlines some initial steps. As we embark on implementing our Conversations Initiative, identifying new funding models, shifting our program planning, and supporting the Healthy Future 2 campaign, I invite you to pray for wisdom and discernment on behalf of the Board. I also invite you to consider the ways in which you can personally help to facilitate our ongoing growth into a healthy, thriving organization. Thank you!
About the author
Beth Good, PhD, APHN-BC, CNS, RN is a nurse who formerly lived in Columbia, Pennsylvania. She has served on the MHF Board since 2013, including one year as President, 2015-16. She currently works as Health Coordinator for Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) in the area of Public Health including awareness of HIV/AIDS, Sexual and Gender-based Violence, and community health. In the fall of 2016, Beth and her husband, Clair Good, moved from their roles as co-pastors of Vision Columbia to the Congo where they have accepted a three-year assignment with MCC. In December 2014, Beth successfully defended her PhD dissertation on women who have survived rape in conflict settings.