Baptist Healthy Communities - Community Programs

Black Men White Coats group
Baptist Healthy Communities, works with community and faith organizations to create, sustain and provide programs and systems for meaningful access to health care. These programs touch all areas of Baptist's geographical footprint and include long-term and temporary programs, depending on the need. Recent programs are featured below.


Baptist Healthy Communities ― Faith-based Program

The Baptist Healthy Communities faith-based program provides health care resources to church congregations, community agencies and organizations that have a vested interest in achieving a healthier community. Serving organizations of all faiths, this program helps bridge the gap between those who need health care resources and those who can help provide these resources.

Black Men in White Coats

Baptist partnered with the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and Baptist Health Sciences University to host the Black Men in White Coats Youth Summit in 2018. The summit included information and resources on pursuing medical or science careers, networking opportunities with physicians and other health care professionals, and a presentation from the creator of the Black Men in White Coats program, Dr. Dale Okorodudu. A total of 268 students from 99 colleges and high schools preregistered for the event.

He started the initiative to address the general decline in the number of minority male students who attended medical school. A 2015 report showed that the number of African-American males applying to and graduating from medical school was lower in 2014 than in 1978 despite a general increase in the number of black male college graduates. More than 250 students from 99 colleges and high schools registered to attend Baptist’s event.

Baptist University HealthCORE

Baptist’s Black Men in White Coats Scholarship

Baptist started the Black Men in White Coats Scholarship in 2021 to assist African American and minority high school, college and postgraduate students interested in pursuing health care careers. Winning recipients are awarded $1,000 scholarships to apply toward their education. To qualify, students must have attended the February 2021 Black Men in White Coats Summit and submit a short video essay

Camp Day2 Day

Baptist hosts Camp Day2Day ― a free one-week camp for kids 7–16 years old who have been diagnosed with prediabetes or diabetes type 1 or 2. Campers can invite a friend or family member to join them at camp. Medical experts supervise Camp Day2Day, which teaches children how to manage and treat their condition and deal with complications. Experts also provide counseling and emotional support for campers, administer medications and help ensure proper nutrition for each child. The estimated value of a camp like Camp Day2Day is about $1,500 per child (that includes medical care).

College Ready Scholarship Program

Baptist has sponsored the College Ready Scholarship for Health Care Program at Southwest Tennessee Community College since 2017. The scholarships provide aid to students based on their financial need or hardship, grade point average and major. To qualify for the scholarship, students must be in their third or fourth semester of a nursing or health-related program, complete an essay explaining why they should receive the scholarship, and agree to perform 10 to 15 hours of community service for each semester they have the scholarship.

Commit to Fit

Childhood obesity is a growing problem in the United States, and especially in the South. Baptist Memorial Health Care, Shelby County Schools' Coordinated School Health program, the Shelby County Health Department, the Pink Palace Museum, and Healthy Kids and Teens have partnered to address this issue and help children develop healthy habits at an early age.

Diabetes Care Packages

Baptist's Diabetes Education Center and Baptist DeSoto partner with the Mid-South Food Bank to provide Diabetic Care Packages for newly diagnosed diabetes patients regardless of their insurance or ability to pay. These packages include a three- to four-day day supply of shelf-stable, non-perishable foods appropriate for diabetes patients.

Exceptional Needs Program at Baptist Memorial Hospital for Women

Baptist Women's Hospital began partnering with Houston High School (in Germantown, Tennessee) in 2016 to provide exceptional students with work opportunities based on their abilities and communication skills. Students help perform important tasks, such as delivering snacks, stocking supplies and cleaning common areas.

Fit for Fun

Mississippi Baptist Medical Center has sponsored the Fit for Fun program since 2018. The weekly hour-long program is typically held at the Mississippi Children's Museum and educates students about healthy eating habits and fitness through engaging and fun activities.

Healthy Living Speaker Series

Baptist partners with Memphis Public Libraries to offer free health care education through the Baptist Healthy Living Speaker Series. The hour-long series often features nutrition, exercise and medical information in a classroom style. The sessions are recorded and available for viewing on the BaptistOnline Facebook page.

Lemoyne-Owen College's Science on Wheels Mobile Lab

Baptist sponsors Lemoyne-Owen College's Science on Wheels Mobile Lab, which visits fourth and fifth graders at elementary schools in communities with a higher percentage of economically disadvantaged households. The goal of the program is to increase the number of students who pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) degrees.

Mission First Medical Clinic

Baptist Attala and Mission First, a nonprofit community center, partner to provide medical and spiritual care for low-income and uninsured patients in Hinds, Rankin and Madison counties. Located in the renovated Rosedown apartment complex, professional medical staff members volunteer their time to perform physical exams and routine lab tests. In addition to a medical clinic, Mission First also has a full-service general dentistry clinic, legal aid office, after-school programming, sports and an early learning center. Many patients who seek health care at Mission First are between jobs or transitioning back into the workforce after incarceration or rehabilitation programs.

Project SEARCH Internship Program

Mississippi Baptist Medical Center and the Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services partnered in 2019 to create a new Project SEARCH internship program for students at New Summit School in Jackson, Mississippi. Project SEARCH is a national program that helps students with disabilities obtain competitive, community-based employment. Mississippi Baptist is the second health care organization in the state to host a Project SEARCH internship program. During the program, students spend nine months at the hospital working in 11 departments. The goal of the internship is to lead to full-time jobs for students.

The Shepherd's Touch

Mississippi Baptist Medical Center partners with Kosciusko nonprofit organization The Shepherd's Touch to advance the health of the Attala County community. Founded in October 2013 by a group of volunteers from First Baptist Church Kosciusko, Shepherd's Touch provides medical, dental and optometry services to uninsured patients in Attala County and surrounding areas. The Christian nonprofit also provides medications, laboratory services, diabetes education, free meals and devotionals. Clinic is held on the second Monday of each month, with a staff of 35-40 volunteers ranging from physicians to high school students. The clinic provides care for more than 600 uninsured patients each year.

Just Heal, Bro

Baptist sponsored the Just Heal, Bro national tour in 2022 through experiential and clinical dialogue as well as contextual and culturally responsive solutions. This initiative was designed to help the 478 Black men who attended find strength in vulnerability, mental/emotional healing through education and community, emotional development and tools for resiliency cultivation.