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Garrett-Evangelical to Host a Healthcare Education Conference for Religious and Community Leaders

August 8, 2013

On October 1 and 2, 2013, faith leaders and the people they serve will gather together for "Navigating the Affordable Care Act: People of Faith Seeking Justice and Health." Participants, gathered at Garrett-Evangelical and across Chicagoland at three partner satellite sites, will share knowledge and resources to help people access health security provided by the Affordable Healthcare Act (Obamacare). Our satellite locations have been selected to get essential information to the people who need it. It will be vitally important for all of us to hear accurate, up-to-date information and to create networking opportunities.

Conference Overview
The conference begins Tuesday, October 1 at 7PM with a plenary at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, streamed to 3 satellite sites featuring The Rev. Gary Gunderson, Professor of Faith and Health of the Public, Wake Forest University, School of Divinity.

On Wednesday, October 2, the conference continues at 8:30AM. The morning plenary and break-out sessions will focus on Affordable Care Act basics. The afternoon plenary and break-out sessions with focus on Illinois state implementation, navigation and the marketplace.

Conference Sponsors and Community Partners
Garrett-Evangelical, the conference host, is inviting faith leaders and constituents to gather with us. We are a seminary that educates faith leaders for the wider community and the world, drawing justice-minded people together to have an impact beyond the local community.

Sponsors include: The Center for the Church and the Black Experience (CBE) at Garrett-Evangelical, Campaign for Better Health Care and The Center for Faith and Community Health Transformation, Advocate Health System. Community Partners include: The American Association of Pastoral Counselors, The Center for Religion and Psychotherapy of Chicago, and The Samaritan Center for Congregations – a division of Samaritan Interfaith.

Satellite Site Information
Our southside satellite site is Maple Park United Methodist Church. Maple Park was chosen for its impactful commitment to mission. Through community organizing, their partnerships are transforming the immediate neighborhoods into healthier places to live and work.

Our west suburban satellite site in Aurora is Main Baptist Church. This church is part of a unique partnership with Samaritan Center for Congregations, a division of Samaritan Interfaith. Their gathering will address marketplace realities, specifically benefits for immigrant populations.

Our far west satellite site is the Unitarian Universalist Society of Geneva. They are partnering with Delnor Community Hospital to positively impact the people they treat and serve. The Delnor gathering will target particular benefits granted through ACA for the uninsured.

Register for the conference online at Registration is $75 to attend at Garrett and $50 to attend at a satellite location.

Plenary Speaker: The Rev. Gary Gunderson

Our plenary speaker, The Rev. Gary Gunderson is Professor of Faith and Health of the Public at the School of Divinity, Wake Forest University. Gunderson is the Vice President for Faith and Health of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center where he focuses on how faith is an asset for healthcare and the health of the community. He is internationally recognized for fundamental creative conceptual work in the field and the large scale networks of congregations with proven impact on health outcomes in Memphis, TN, where he remains a scholar in the Center of Excellence in Faith and Health.

Gunderson serves on advisory panels for the World Council of Churches and a network of global faith-based hospitals, another network of US health systems focusing on the health of the poor and retains a faculty role with the University of Cape Town. Research interests include conceptual work on the "leading causes of life" and "religious health assets." His most recent book, co-written with Dr. James Cochrane of South Africa, is Religion and the Health of the Public: Changing the Paradigm (Palgrave-McMcillian, 2011) was released just as he began his move to Wake Forest. He will be working with divinity and medical students in teaching and applied research in the medical center and community contexts. Gunderson, an ordained Baptist minister, is the author of five books in the field of faith and health.