The York Regional Dream Center will soon have a holistic health center join its faith-based ministries.
The Dream Center, located on the hill at 74 E. Forrest Ave. in Shrewsbury Township, is an effort of about a dozen churches in the area. Inspired by the Los Angeles Dream Center, it aims to help meet the basic needs of the community through a fitness center, food distribution center, kitchen and clothing donation center.
And at the health center, a loan closet for durable medical equipment is expected to open within the next three months, said health ministry director Corrine Mayhorne. Educational wellness programs will start up in that time, too, she said.
"We want people who have need to have access to it as soon as possible," Mayhorne said.
The larger plan is to have medical and dental clinics available to uninsured and underinsured adults, she said.
Hopefully, she said, the center — which will be much like a doctor's office, with a waiting area and exam rooms — will be operating with those services in the next year.
But that timeframe will depend on funding and volunteers.
Wellness and spirituality: As one of the more complex ministries, the health center is still in the development phase, Mayhorne said.
But there is a clear goal: to affect the community in a positive way and show patients the love of Christ, she said.
"We really want to establish long-term relationships with the people," she said.
Mayhorne said the health center wants to help people achieve the best level of wellness possible.
Good health carries over into other aspects of life, said Darlene Fairfax, head of communications and marketing for the ministry.
"That just affects so much with your appearance, your confidence, your employability," she said. "People will be more employable and have jobs and just feel good about themselves,"
The health center will try to help patients regain a sense of personal control and help them grow in body, mind and spirit, Fairfax said. But if people are not interested in spirituality, it won't preclude them from getting the care they need, she said.
"You can't push God on people," she said.
Help wanted: The ministry's first endeavors – the equipment donation closet and wellness programs – will improve the physical and mental health of individuals and families facing economic hardships, Mayhorne said.
The closet will allow people to borrow new or gently used equipment, such as canes, walkers and wheelchairs, for as long as they need to at no charge, she said. Insurance doesn't always cover equipment, which can get expensive for patients, she said.
Since obesity, depression and smoking are big concerns in York County, educational programs will address nutrition, exercise, chronic diseases and smoking cessation, Mayhorne said.
As for the health and dental clinics, volunteers and funding are their lifeblood, she said. The not-for-profit center needs volunteer doctors, nurses, lab technicians, pharmacists and clerical staff in order to run.
The health center is already making referrals and being a resource to the community, she said. As it prepares its initial budget, business plan and structure, it is ready to minister to the needs of people and start building relationships, she said.
"I just think the hill's gonna come alive," Mayhorne said.
— Reach Mollie Durkin at firstname.lastname@example.org.