Baptist Memorial Health Care's Signature Community Outreach Program

Our Signature Community Outreach Program

Health care for our homeless population sounds like a difficult mission, but Baptist Memorial Health Care’s Baptist Operation Outreach health care van for the homeless is fulfilling its goal to make quality health care more accessible to those who need it most.

The Baptist Operation Outreach van is a mobile health care unit. Formerly operating as the HOPE Health Center, the Baptist Operation Outreach, a partnership between Baptist and Christ Community Health Services, provides free acute and primary health care, information on disease prevention and guidance and a medical home to thousands of Memphians without permanent housing. All services are free and are provided with respect and confidentiality. For many of the thousands of people without homes in Memphis, the Baptist Operation Outreach van is the only option for health care. It is our health care system's signature community outreach program and the cornerstone of our community involvement efforts.

Baptist Operation Outreach patients have direct and immediate access to medical examinations, health information, illness prevention, medications and referral services. A certified nurse practitioner delivers the following services:

  • Screenings for common health problems
  • Health and developmental assessments for children
  • Immunizations and other preventive care
  • Diagnosis of medical problems and health needs
  • Treatment and management of specific disease problems
  • Treatment of minor injuries

Each year, Baptist provides funding and services for the mobile clinic, which treats homeless patients four days a week in two locations—Memphis Union Mission and Catholic Charities' Dozier House. A nurse practitioner on the van sees about 3,000 patients a year, making Baptist Operation Outreach Memphis' largest health care provider for the homeless. Staff on the van treat as many patients in a day as they treated in a week at the HOPE Health Center, when it was at a fixed location.

Baptist Operation Outreach also partners with Davis Vision to provide vision screenings and glasses to patients in need. Since January 2010, Davis Vision has provided 20-30 eyeglasses per month to Baptist Operation Outreach patients, with an estimated value of $300 per person. We also partner with Bellevue Baptist Church's Christian Mobile Dental Clinic to provide free dental care to Operation Outreach patients and underserved families throughout our community. They receive complete cleanings and evaluations, fillings and extractions free of charge.

Baptist Memorial Health Care and Baptist Operation Outreach are members of the Community Alliance for the Homeless, a consortium of service providers, individuals, city/county government, faith- and community-based organizations all working together to end homelessness in Memphis and Shelby County.