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Faith Community Health Connection (FCHC) at UPMC in Central Pa.

Our lives are journeys, ones that we take with families, friends and community. UPMC Central Pa. knows that a faith community or congregation is an important part of your life. We also know that 70% of our patients belong to a faith community or congregation in Central Pennsylvania. With these two things in mind, the Faith Community Health Connection (FCHC) was formed.

The FCHC is a partnership between faith communities, congregations, the health care system and the community. By networking with these partners, the FCHC works to improve the health of all in our region.

As part of life’s journey, at some point most of us are diagnosed with a medical condition. It can be an overwhelming experience. Our faith community can continue to add to and support our lives in these times and help identify the questions and find the answers.

What are the Benefits to your Faith Community or Congregation?

As a partner with UPMC Central Pa. and other FCHC partners, you have a network of health support. As a member of your faith community and as a member of the FCHC, you have access to a wealth of support on issues such as preventive medicine and follow-up care. The FCHC works with faith communities to visit congregations to educate and provide a supportive network to help you as a member navigate the health system. Trained leaders from your faith community and at UPMC Central Pa. can help:

  • Provide access to quality health care and help guide individuals through the health care system.
  • Provide advocacy to empower members in health care decision making.
  • Connect people to a network of support following illness, injury, and hospitalization.
  • Connect people with education and services that will enable them to maintain optimal levels of health and well-being.

How It Works

Your faith community appoints a Liaison to help members’ access resources. This Liaison works closely with a FCHC Navigator, who is an employee of UPMC Central Pa.. These two persons work together to answer your questions, build on your strengths, schedule educational outreach for your congregation, and provide support and follow-up care should you need to go to the hospital. If you need to be admitted to a UPMC Central Pa. hospital, upon admission you will be asked if you are a member of the FCHC and if you would like your faith community to be part of your care. With your permission, the Liaison can:

  • Contact a visitation team from your faith community. Determine what your needs are during your stay (Will you need communion? Do you need your pets taken care of at home?)
  • Assess your needs upon discharge from the hospital (Do you need a ride home? Will someone need to pick up prescriptions for you?)
  • Direct you to resources that will help you understand the treatment plan designed by your doctor and help you access the appropriate level of care for your health needs

Navigators and Liaisons will work together to develop education and training through the FCHC in a variety of areas such as Hospital Visitation Training, Care for the Dying, and for specific diseases and other needs defined by the congregations.

For More Information

The FCHC has been a collaboration of the Spiritual Care Services and the Community Health Navigation Network. If you are a congregational leader who would like to find out more about FCHC, please contact:

  • Rev. Dr. Brenda Alton, Manager, Spiritual Care Services at 717-782-5450
  • Hannah Licata, Office Coordinator at 717-782-5220

Need more information?

Phone: 717-231-7200

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