LifeSpring is a community health ministry whose purpose is to demonstrate the love of Jesus Christ by providing a pediatric clinic with exemplary medical staff and innovative services that embrace the whole child, serve their family, and transform the health of our community.
Our desire is to see our community transformed as we provide care that is:
Countering disease before it's onset through diet, exercise and health education.
Walking with our patients toward healing through relationships built on trust and mutual respect.
Seeking healing in all dimensions of life - physically, spiritually, emotionally and economically.
Eliminating healthcare barriers and bridging cultural, racial and linguistic divides.
Equipping our community to take ownership of their health, and realize their own health goals.
LifeSpring Community Health began as the “Children’s Clinic at St. Andrew’s, a neighborhood center in urban Chattanooga.
An elementary school teacher contacted the Director of the St. Andrew’s Center concerned about her uninsured students who were not receiving medical care. The Director contacted Dr. Michele Pickett (MD, ED) with these concerns and offered to provide space for a free clinic to serve these families.
Dr. Pickett was quick to take action, forming a team of nurses and volunteers, opening a small after-school clinic, providing medical care more than just a clinic. Dr. Pickett, Jill Fikkert (RN, Director of Nursing), and their team were deeply involved in the community providing health education through partnerships with summer camps and advocating for patients and families.
LifeSpring provides part-time pediatric medical services to Highland Park.
The Children’s Clinic functioned as a ministry of New City Fellowship until June 30th, 2008.
LifeSpring became an incubated ministry of Hope For the Inner City. This designation allowed the ministry to grow until it became a separate non-profit organization. LifeSpring continues to remain in partnership with HFIC and spiritually accountable to New City Fellowship.
The Chattanooga Times Free Press publishes an article on LifeSpring! "Changing unhealthy behaviors is a great challenge, said Dr. Pickett, and education alone is not the answer.
“We need to build relationships with the community where we can work together to change those behaviors," she said.
Click HERE to read the full article!
LifeSpring Community Health became it's own 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
After retiring in 2010 as a community pediatrician at age 88, Dr. Minnie Vance generously invited LifeSpring to use the building in which she practiced for 58 years. So in the Spring of 2011, with the help of numerous volunteers, LifeSpring renovated the new clinic space and moved from the St. Andrews Center to its current location.
In August of 2011, we began seeing patients at the new site. The building provided LifeSpring with room to see more patients and to expand services to those with TennCare and private insurance. By the end of 2011, we expanded our services from being an after-school clinic to seeing our patients 4 days a week.
On June 13th, 2012 the Chattanooga Times Free Press published an article on LifeSpring titled " LifeSpring a lifeline for the uninsured". "The way we work with our uninsured patients is we raise support to cover the care we give them," said Life Spring Director of Nursing Jill Fikkert, an RN for the last 27 years. "That's why we are here. We started to be able to serve the underserved folks. We have people that can't give us anything and we don't turn them away."
Click HERE to read the full article.
LifeSpring purchased the 2507 building on McCallie Ave, ensuring a continued presence and commitment to the children and families of urban Chattanooga.
Funding was granted to hire 2 Community Health Workers. The Community Health Worker program expanded the past Promatora de Salud project, through which LifeSpring hired a community health worker who facilitated care for Latino patients at LifeSpring Pediatrics. This helped LifeSpring to extend health care beyond the clinic walls into the neighborhoods where patients, live, play, and attend school.
The Community Health Workers aim is to connect, educate and empower our entire community.
At LifeSpring, 4 new Staff Positions made 14 on our team. We had a full-time Nurse Practitioner, RN, and Development Director. We saw about 1,346 patients at LifeSpring, and over 128 prayer requests have been prayed over this year.
In our Community Health Department, 370 families indicated a resource need, Community Health Workers completed 35 home visits, and 12 health education classes were held.
The years 2020 & 2021 will be remembered as two of the most challenging in recent history. The ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic included unprecedented numbers of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, not to mention the economic impact, stress, and ‘covid fatigue’ experienced by all. Through these challenges, the Lord provided Lifespring Community Health with the opportunity to ‘stand in the gap’ and continue to be a beacon of hope for health and preventive care for children and their families in urban Chattanooga.
Through the efforts of a faithful and skilled medical team, LifeSpring participated in a citywide effort to provide COVID-19 community testing and vaccinations while continuing to deliver pediatric healthcare to children.
The impact of poverty on health and wellbeing during this ‘COVID’ time became even more striking than before this pandemic. We are grateful that during the pandemic, LifeSpring was able to keep its doors open to serve. 89% of LifeSpring patients struggle with financial security, and 25% of patients seen in 2020 were uninsured.
By God’s grace through the generous giving of our donors, we provided exemplary and affordable healthcare for these families. It has been a privilege to demonstrate the love of Jesus by providing healthcare that encourages healthy living and services to combat the devastating impact of COVID-19. We remain grateful for the prayer, volunteer, and financial support of all our donors.
The health disparities that exist in Hamilton County have never been more clearly identified than during the COVID-19 pandemic. A disproportionate number of African American and Hispanic/Latino children and their parents are affected with higher prevalence rates of obesity, physical inactivity, elevated blood pressure, and pre-diabetes, all of which are linked to an increased risk of COVID-19 infections. These rates are two to three times greater than among Caucasian and higher socioeconomic children. LifeSpring remains dedicated to addressing the racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities in healthcare in Chattanooga.