The Arkansas Conference of the United Methodist Church joined other Methodists in Tennessee and Mississippi over 100 years ago to start a hospital that was a vital expression of caring for God’s children.
We are proud to be affiliated with the high quality and accessible care provided by the Methodist healthcare system because it embodies our commitment in the Social Principles of The United Methodist Church to care for all of God’s children.
Methodist serves a diverse patient population in a region that historically experiences high poverty. To address the needs of those who struggle financially in Memphis and the Delta, Methodist invests significant resources toward their care – over $220 million each year.
The Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare System has come under scrutiny recently for its collection of medical debts, particularly among the poor. I am very grateful, though not surprised, that the hospital is taking this opportunity to evaluate the current collection practices as part of its ongoing commitment to faithfully carrying out its mission and the Social Principles of The United Methodist Church.
The healthcare landscape is constantly changing and offers significant challenges for providers such as Methodist Le Bonheur, especially as they serve those who struggle financially. However, even as Methodist addresses these very real challenges, I cannot imagine the pain and hurt so many would feel if this outstanding system were not present in the communities it serves.
I hope all will join me in praying for those who need care and those that provide it – that Jesus’ vision of abundant life will become a reality.
Bishop Gary E. Mueller