G. Scott Morris earned his B.A. from the University of Virginia, his Master’s in Divinity from Yale University, and his M.D. from Emory University. In 1987, he founded the Church Health Center of Memphis, where he has served as CEO to this day. True to the mission of Church Health, Dr. Morris has engaged countless individuals and hundreds of diverse congregations—as volunteers, donors and partners—in the work of healing the sick. His vision, endurance and exceptional capacity to engage others has made Church Health the largest faith-based, privately funded health clinic in the country.
Established as a faith-based health clinic, Church Health Center opened with Dr. Morris and a nurse seeing twelve patients on the first day. Since 1987, Church Health has served the uninsured and underinsured, growing steadily toward an annual budget of $20 million. In the most recent fiscal year, Church Health had over 61,300 patient encounters.
Under Dr. Morris’s guidance, Church Health developed a Model for Healthy Living that goes beyond medical care to encompass medical, movement, emotions, work, nutrition, friends and family, and spiritual life in the care of the whole person.
In 2016, Church Health became an anchor tenant in the renovated Sears Crosstown distribution center. By leading the renovation of an abandoned structure larger than the Empire State Building into a “vertical urban village,” Church Health became situated among arts, education, shops, restaurants and apartments contributing to the larger community health of Memphis.
Church Health began offering Replication Workshops and later added Empowering Church Health Outreach (ECHO) consultation services to support the development of faith-based clinics. Today, ECHO and Replication have combined to help more than 90 clinics get their start and serve people who would otherwise have no access to health care. Morris also contributed to the creation of the MEMPHIS Plan, a group health plan that offers affordable health care for small businesses and self-employed people.
Church Health is committed to developing future physicians. Through a scholar program for young people in a gap year between college and medical school and a family medicine residency following medical school, Church Health has recruited and trained over 1,000 future physicians to be well-rounded health care providers and leaders across Tennessee and beyond.