The faith community continues to be a strong partner in the enrollment community. We know that leaders and influencers within the faith community are trusted messengers throughout the country when it comes to decisions that impact the lives of their congregations. I want to take a moment to explore two approaches to engage faith partners outside of the walls of traditional faith meeting places. As we look to engage communities in this upcoming open enrollment period, it will be crucial to be intentional in engaging faith leaders in all of the spaces the faith community works in.
Working with Chaplains:
A chaplain is a minister who works in a hospital, prison, university, or military unit. As you expand your outreach to work with the criminal justice community and re-entry space, you might consider connecting with chaplains in your area, as they can be key to getting information to individuals who may need information about getting covered. You might start by going to the religious affairs office at a prison or hospital or the state or local government agency.
Working with Seminaries:
Seminaries serve as the training ground for people seeking to serve as faith leaders in some formal capacity. Many faith leaders spend two to four years at these institutions as they explore best practices within their faith. Seminaries are often already affiliated with a denomination or faith institution. By partnering with seminarians and the actual seminaries, your organization can build a network to expand work in the health, re-entry, and faith spaces. You might begin reaching out to the school and asking to meet with their community affairs official.
For additional information on outreach and engagement with the faith community, check out our Health Care in the Pulpit toolkit as well as our Muslim Faith Engagement Toolkit. To stay plugged into our work with the faith community, feel free to contact me.