The History of
Faith Health Appalachia
In 2017, Cabell Huntington Hospital held a Regional Health Summit focused on four core priorities: access to care, chronic disease, behavioral health and substance abuse, and use of data technology for more than 150 health, faith, and community partners and providers.
Keynote speakers for the Summit included founders of FaithHealthNC, an innovative model of partnerships between faith communities, health systems, and other providers focused on improving health. The partnerships that comprise the FaithHealthNC model combine the caring strengths of congregations, the clinical expertise of health providers, and a network of community resources toward a shared mission of healing.
Recognizing the burden of adverse health outcomes and fragmented care delivery in Huntington and Cabell County, Cabell Huntington Hospital began investigating how the FaithHealth model could be adapted in our region. For two years, stakeholders of health at St. Mary’s Medical Center, Cabell Huntington Hospital, Hospice of Huntington and local clergy gathered together as an advisory group to launch FaithHealth Appalachia (FHA). All the while, synergy between both hospitals grew even more when the two merged to form the Mountain Health Network
With FHA’s status as a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization secured in 2020, and the hiring of their executive director, Rory Chapman, in the same year, the board of directors felt compelled to take FHA into the future with its mission intact and vision secure. FHA was created to achieve a vision of promoting a passion for a holistic approach to wellness which focuses on mind, body and spirit through the bridging together of the healthcare, faith communities, and community. Achieving this will only happen by a shared commitment from faith leaders, community stakeholders, and healthcare voices.