Spiritual Wellness and Well-Being Program

Despite the economic success Dallas has experienced over the past two decades, there are still startling health disparities of wealth and access to health and wellness resources. Southern Dallas sees the highest rates of obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and other lifestyle-related conditions.

With plans to open the new Folsom Wellness Center on the Methodist Dallas campus, Methodist Health System has already established its commitment to improving the well-being of southern Dallas County communities. The Spiritual Wellness and Well-Being Program will be a pillar in this new venture, leveraging the strong name recognition of our health system to champion nationwide efforts to integrate spiritual care into medical care and decision-making.

The Spiritual Wellness and Well-Being Program will connect Methodist Health System with spiritual leaders throughout southern Dallas. As prominent influencers of each faith community, these leaders will be strong partners to our health system in addressing the needs of southern Dallas and designing health and wellness programming specifically for each community and export services that strengthen the well-being of those who need it most.

Using a “hub-and-spoke” model through presence at the Folsom Wellness Center and the Golden Cross Clinic, the Spiritual Wellness and Well-Being Program will provide:

  • Spiritual guidance: The implementation of spiritual assessments will allow Methodist Health System physicians to refer patients to chaplains or faith community nurses. These assessment tools will give physicians an effective method of opening the door to meaningful spiritual conversations with patients, lessening the gap between spiritual care and physical health, while still maintaining professional boundaries.
  • Education and awareness: Methodist will welcome spiritual leaders to the Folsom Wellness Center to receive educational services needed to help them identify health and wellness issues facing their communities. In this way, Methodist will support spiritual leaders in the context of their faith communities. We will offer support without impressing upon them a “one size fits all” approach. The Spiritual Wellness and Well-Being Program will be equipped with a broad curriculum that can be adapted for each faith leader, including education and specialized training.
  • Resources: The program will connect spiritual leaders with resources available through their connection to Methodist, including mobile mammography screenings, access to the Golden Cross Clinic and MedAssist program, and wellness services offered within the Folsom Wellness Center. In addition, spiritual leaders will be connected with external resources available throughout the community.
  • Recognition and expertise: When faith communities participate in the Spiritual Wellness and Well-Being Program, they will be given the opportunity to receive certification as a Methodist Health and Wellness Champion. By endorsing these agencies (faith communities, service organizations, businesses, etc.), Methodist will strengthen its own brand recognition and community presence and bolster each spiritual leader’s efforts to improve wellness throughout their community in southern Dallas County.

To ensure the success of this program, Methodist proposes the addition of:

  • A faith community nurse to work primarily at the new Folsom Wellness Center. This individual will serve as an integrator, educator, and counselor of faith and health, as well as a referral agent to community resources, developer of support groups, and trainer of volunteers and health promoters.
  • A community chaplaincy initiative at the Golden Cross Clinic. Through a community chaplaincy, local spiritual leaders will be able to connect their faith communities with the resources available at the clinic. Members of these faith communities will be able to enter into a covenant relationship with Golden Cross Clinic, which may allow them access to a variety of services offered at the Folsom Wellness Center. By serving as the central touch point and developing a pastor-to-pastor relationship, community chaplains will work in tandem with local spiritual leaders to support the unique needs of their faith communities.