A part of Holy Spirit Hospital, the Medical Outreach Service was formed by Pastor Jody Silliker, who is also an RN, to identify who was falling through the cracks of the healthcare system, and to help those folks either access the services they needed, or, when necessary, to create those services. Holy Spirit Hospital and Christ Lutheran Church share a mission imperative to extend the healing mission of Jesus Christ and view health care as a human right. The church and the hospital have joined forces to dedicate their resources to the care of the poor.
In 1995 Silliker, who was a seminarian at the time, began the Service in the dining hall of the St. Francis Soup Kitchen in Allison Hill. That first year she provided 257 patient visits. Over the years, community trust in the Service and dire need quickly grew the demand for care. Having utterly outgrown their space at St. Francis, the Medical Outreach Service relocated to renovated space in the basement of Christ Lutheran Church in 2003. Last year 17,000 patient visits were provided.
The Outreach team includes a small core of paid staff and many volunteers. Nursing students from HACC have clinical rotations there. Services are provided in English, Spanish, French and Arabic languages. Other languages are teleconferenced in as needed.
The Medical Outreach Service is open every weekday from 10 AM to 2:30 PM. It is a nursing clinic, with no doctors there. The nurses can do simple lab tests, basic physical assessments, health education, and some limited assistance with social service liaison, medication assistance and the provision of items necessary for health such as blankets, hygiene items, underwear, etc.
No appointments are needed and all services are provided free of charge. The site phone is 717-260-9320, and the administrative phone is 717-763-2507.