His Branches Inc.
A private page for sharing with His Branches leadership after my retirement, including thoughts and relevant links
Dr. Bill (+Sarah) and Susan
Founding family in the summer of 1978 shortly after His Branches opened in a downstairs suite, which had been newly renovated with generous volunteer help from Bernie Heroux and his family, medical and nursing students at the U of R, and staff and students at Elim Bible Institute in Lima, NY. Click on button below for outline written by Dr. Morehouse several months earlier.
After searching for and visiting several potential locations in the South Wedge and adjacent neighborhoods, we found and secured this building on Arnett Blvd. Ask about the unusual spiritual guidance given in Dr. Bill’s church fellowship that was a strong element in confirming the location.
His Branches Foundations
John 15:5 – I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
Hosea 11:1 – When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.
Romans 11:29 – For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.
Ephesians 4:1-8, 11-16 – I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.”
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
Psalm 133 – Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes! It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion! For there the Lord has commanded the blessing, life forevermore.
Our primary identity, calling, purpose, and entire mode of living are transformed with our conversion to Christ and His Kingdom. We do not lose our natural identities, but they are undergirded and transcended by deeper and higher spiritual identities.
Personal Primary Identity: “I am a man or woman” changes to “I am a child of God.” Other identities become secondary, like “I am a husband or wife, father or mother, executive director, doctor, black or white person, board member…” Roles, responsibilities, credentials, and qualifications constitute descriptions of function rather than core parts of our identities.
Organizational Identity: Combined business models like “We are a 501(c)3 Article 28 Federally Qualified Health Center” cease to be considered primary defining identities and are transformed into a more encompassing ministry identity like “We are a Christian ministry committed to providing hope, healing, and restoration in Christ’s name.” His Branches is one of many “embassies” God has in Rochester.
Christ-Centered Family Care: This commitment places faith in the grace, love, forgiveness, mercy, and wisdom of Christ at the center of all we seek to say and do.
Clinical training and licensure: These allow defined clinical activities to be performed, regulated, and billed for. They do not limit a person or an organization with Article 28 and FQHC certification from engaging in other functions or providing other compatible services on behalf of the community in which it serves. In fact, these certifications encourage organizations that hold them to engage in other constructive activities in keeping with their own clearly defined mission and vision statements.
Patient Centered Medical Home certification: The disciplines of PCMH describe a comprehensive way of relating to patients/clients as primary participants in their own care. This certification is completely compatible with our faith.
Community Oriented Primary Care: The disciplines of COPC describe a comprehensive method of community analysis that allows primary care providers to understand where their services fit into the surrounding community and how they can work toward developing or providing compatible ancillary services to meet the specific needs of their community. COPC should be an active part of the mindset of His Branches.
Faith-based equipping: Individuals and organizations are strengthened for service by receiving training as kingdom ambassadors of healing and reconciliation under the tutelage of the “five-fold ministry” through church membership as well as continuing education and encouragement provided by active participation in professional groups like Christian Medical and Dental Associations (CMDA), Christian Community Health Fellowship (CCHF), the Greater Rochester Medical Community Christian Fellowship (GRMCCF), and others.
Intercessory Prayer: Regular and organized as well as spontaneous prayer will be offered for God’s encouragement, healing, wisdom, and strength for patients, staff, fellow citizens, and leaders in the surrounding community. Staff are encouraged to meet for prayer at the start of the day or clinical session, and the Prayer Chapel will be available throughout the day for other small and larger gatherings.
Overall: As His Branches seeks to clarify its identity, calling, ministry focus, and business model, it does well to become acquainted with other similar ministries. Best practices in the United States can be found through active participation by board and staff members in CCHF. Communication and collegial fellowship with other similar groups in NYS like Jericho Road in Buffalo, Beacon Christian Health Center on Staten Island, and others is also helpful.
Preservation of mission integrity: It is vital to the maintenance and preservation of the gifts, calling, and ministry of His Branches that all of its board and staff members be committed believers whose lives have been and are continuing to be transformed by Christ and His Word. This provides a workplace where believers can serve their clients and their Lord with the encouragement, power, and safety of mutual support.
Mentorship: Sharing about how to provide faith-based care in word and practical demonstration with others in training is a vital part of the role His Branches plays in our community. Local resources include the U of R Medical Center Christian Fellowship (URMCCF) as well as clinical programs at Roberts Wesleyan and St. John Fisher Colleges.
Written October 25, 2021
Some links of possible interest:
- William Morehouse (professional site)
- His Health Care (historical demo site)
- Hydra Attica Medical Proposal, 1973
- Original Outline for His Branches, 1977-78
- City/West newspaper article 5/25/78
- HBI Future 3-13
- His Branches Strategy Map in 2015
- To FQHC and Beyond 12-15
- The Condition of His Branches in 12/19
- Foundational Values of HBI and GNOC Compared
- His Branches Foundations (above article) 10//25/21
- Presentation to HBI Board 10-28-21
- Who is Our Prayer Chapel for?