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Celebrating Twenty

Megan Young, Communication Specialist
Tennessee United Methodist Church
April 1, 2021

Partners for Healing, a non-profit, free medical clinic in Tullahoma, Tennessee, celebrates 20 years of changing lives this year.

The clinic, founded in 2001 under the leadership of United Methodist elder, Rev. Bill Starnes, has provided free primary care and mental health services in Coffee, Franklin and Moore county for low-income, rural communities. Partners for Healing also provides help by offering educational opportunities, suggesting jobs, advocating in legislative issues as well as providing access to many other resources.

The organization was recently awarded a $2,000 grant through TNUMC’s Faith that Heals and Church and Society ministries. Morgan Jennings, Partners for Healing’s community outreach coordinator, said that the grant will be used to provide a care coordinator focused on their patients’ social service needs.

Partners for Healing has been closely linked to the United Methodist Church since its beginnings. When Partners for Healing was founded, Rev. Starnes was serving as head pastor at Tullahoma FUMC.

Jennings told TNUMC, “Rosemary Starnes, Bill’s widow said that [Partners for Healing] was Bill’s greatest ministry, a man that was a missionary to Africa, a University President and a pastor in the United Methodist Church for many years.”

Over its 20-year history, the organization has developed a particularly close relationship with Tullahoma FUMC which provides many of the organization’s volunteers, board members and staff. Currently over 50% of the organization’s board are United Methodist clergy or lay members from churches in the region.

Erin McCullough
Tullahoma News
Staff Writer
January 8, 2021

$5K Grant Received for Mental Health Care

Partners for Healing nurse practitioners Heather McAlister, left, and Faith LeGrone will be able to offer better mental health resources to Partners patients thanks to a $5,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. 

Partners for Healing has been awarded a $5,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee to assist in its efforts to give quality mental health care to uninsured people in the community.

The grant will help the organization “address and improve mental health of uninsured people in the community by ensuring access to appropriate, quality mental health services,” according to the organization. With this funding, Partners will be able to further its relationship with the mental health clinic Centerstone and increase the number of mental health appointments Partners can take.

“I am so excited to work with Partners for Healing to address the mental health and improve the wellbeing of some of the most vulnerable in our community,” Heather McAlister, the clinic’s new mental health provider, said.

Centerstone Regional Vice President Ken Stewart echoed McAlister’s excitement. “I’m proud that Centerstone is associated with Partners for Healing. Having our agencies connected in this way is an example of the power of combined efforts,” he said. Partners was one of 350 different nonprofit organizations to receive a combined $2,246,667 in grant funding as part of the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee’s 2020 grant-making process. It was also one of 18 Coffee County organizations to receive some of that funding, according to officials.

“The work of our nonprofit partners has never been more important as we watch needs emerge and evolve in this community,” said CMFT President Ellen Lehman. “The Community Foundation is honored to connect generosity with need through these annual grants and other avenues throughout the year, but we couldn’t have an impact without the array of quality nonprofits offering solutions to our community’s needs and vital services to our neighbors.”

CFMT awards discretionary grants annually from its unrestricted and field-0f-interest funds through an open application process to Middle Tennessee nonprofit organizations addressing community needs and benefitting the wellbeing of citizens through valuable programs an innovative services.

Partners for Healing is a 501c3 free primary medical clinic established in 2001 in Tullahoma. The organization provides care for those who live or work in Franklin, Coffee and Moore counties. To qualify for services, applicants must have a total household income of less than 250% of the federal poverty guidelines, and at least one member of the household must work a minimum of 20 hours each week. Services offered at Partners include on-site lab, free 30-day prescriptions for many drugs, ultrasounds, prescription assistance for medications, mental health counseling, quarterly mammogram screenings and referrals to specialists and physicians and hospitals who provide care to its patients at a discounted rate.