Our Blog

Mustard Seed Hires Executive Director

GREENSBORO – Mustard Seed Community Health has hired its first executive director, Lee Kirkman, a veteran of 27 years’ business management experience including eight years in nonprofits primarily in the Greensboro area.

“Lee is the perfect candidate for us,” said Scott Kutos, Mustard Seed’s chairman. “He has worked in nonprofit management, finance and fund-raising. He’s just what we need to bring our organization to the next level.”

Mustard Seed is a nonprofit medical clinic that opened in March and provides primary medical care to the underserved in the Cottage Grove neighborhood of East Greensboro. It is supported by donations from the faith-based community, individuals, foundations and corporations.

“I have been watching the evolution of Mustard Seed for three years, ever since Dr. Beth Mulberry began talking of her desire to open a clinic as she and I stood beside one another and played handbells in the choir at Congregational United Church of Christ,” Kirkman said.

“And now here we are, the doors are opened and the first patients are being treated. It is quite amazing.”

Asked to describe his work philosophy, he quoted cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

“We at Mustard Seed Community Health are doing just that, changing the world where we are,” Kirkman said.

He has a bachelor’s degree from Appalachian State University in communications and attended High Point University’s Nonprofit Management Institute.

He performs professionally with Bel Canto Company, Season’s Best Carolers, and Greensboro Historical Museum’s 5 BY O.HENRY; and is a tenor section leader and member of Trinity Voices at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church.

Among the Greensboro-area nonprofits he has worked with are the Women’s Resource Center, ArtsGreensboro, the Servant Center, the Eastern Music Festival, Greensboro Housing Coalition and GreenHill Center for NC Art. He started in his new role on July 5.

Mustard Seed Approved for $150,000 grant

Mustard Seed Community Health has been approved for $150,000 state grant that will help the organization pay some operating expenses and expand some services in the Cottage Grove community.

The Community Health Grant was approved by the N.C. Office of Rural Health, which is responsible for improving access, quality and cost-effectiveness of healthcare. The grant is for one year.

To be approved for the grant, Mustard Seed went through a competitive process and was reviewed by such organizations as the N.C. Community Health Center Association, the N.C. Free Clinic Association, the N.C. Institute of Medicine, the N.C. Hospital Association, the N.C. Medical Society Foundation.

“This grant not only helps us maintain our services for another year,” said Mustard Seed Chair Scott Kutos, “but because of its competitive process, also shows what a fine job our people have been doing, especially our medical director Dr. Beth Mulberry.”

The money will be used for operating expenses such as rent, utilities and medical supplies. It also will be used to hire a social worker who will assist patients when needed.

The medical clinic in east Greensboro opened March 1.

Mustard Seed celebrates grand opening

Mustard Seed Community Health celebrated its grand opening on Saturday, April 30, under threatening skies that failed to keep away many Cottage Grove residents, volunteers, board members, sponsors and donors.

The medical clinic, which aims to serve the underserved, opened March 1 of this year.

About 100 people attended the grand opening including Greensboro City Council members Sharon Hightower and Nancy Hoffmann.

Vietnamese and Burmese foods were served along with a traditional American meal – pizza. Mustard Seeds were handed out. Games were played. Clinic tours were given and door prizes were given away.

Board Chair Scott Kutos told the crowd that, “Mustard See is an attempt to solve the national problem of healthcare access by working at the local level. The dream of the board at Mustard Seed and its medical director, Dr. Beth Mulberry, is to solve that problem and become a role model to other communities.”

Dr. Mulberry thanked those who organized the event and those who had helped make the clinic a reality.

And the rain held off.

Come Out and Help Us Grow

Seeds and planting are very important to Mustard Seed. Just look at our name.

Please join us for the launch of the New Hope Gardens at Mustard Seed & Eastside on Tuesday, April 19, at 10 a.m.

The planting will be held at two sites: the raised beds behind the medical clinic and at raised beds on Gillespie Street. The clinic is located at 238 S. English St. in Greensboro. The other site is at 207 Gillespie St.

This project is under the direction of Marvin Richmond. If you would like to volunteer, please call him at 336-543-5863 or 336-617-6723.

The N.C. A&T State University’s Cooperative Extension Program is sponsoring these events as part of their “125 Years of Service Project.”

Mustard Seed and the New Hope Gardens are two of a number of partners in Healthy Cottage Grove, the umbrella organization for neighborhood renovation in the east Greensboro’s Cottage Grove area.

Clinic open full time

We are excited that the Mustard Seed medical clinic is now open full time. The clinic hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday. The clinic is now fully staffed and we look forward to staying in touch with you.

Triad City Beat writes about Mustard Seed

Triad City Beat’s Eric Ginsburg did a nice story on Mustard Seed this week. Here’s a link:

http://triad-city-beat.com/new-health-clinic-targets-underserved-population/

Mustard Seed Receives $35,000 CVS Grant

GREENSBORO – Mustard Seed Community Health has received a $35,000 grant to track a group of 100 patients in east Greensboro and use the results to tackle lifestyle and environmental issues that contribute to some significant diseases.

The grant is from the CVS Health Foundation in partnership with the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics.

Mustard Seed is a nonprofit that offers medical care to residents of the Cottage Grove neighborhood. It is part of a general renovation effort by the Cottage Grove Initiative.

The clinic is focusing on four health issues that have been identified as the most significant in Cottage Grove. The four are asthma, diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.

The group of 100 patients will be treated during 2016 and results will be used to identify contributing lifestyle or environmental issues.

“The only thing better than a cure is prevention,” said Dr. Beth Mulberry, the clinic’s medical director.

An example of this type of coordinated care is the treatment of asthma. The results of asthma patients will be used to partner with the Greensboro Housing Coalition to remedy environmental problems in homes, eliminating some of the causes of asthma.

The CVS Health Foundation is dedicated to strengthening nonprofits that are committed to providing health care to the underserved. The mission of the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics is to ensure that the medically underserved have access to affordable quality health care.

Mustard Seeds partners are: Brown Investment Properties; Congregational United Church of Christ; Cottage Grove Initiative; Cottage Grove Neighborhood Association; FaithAction International House; First Presbyterian Church; Greensboro Housing Coalition; Guilford County Department of Public Health low cost pharmacy; Guilford County Care Network (GCCN) for specialty care; Holy Trinity Episcopal Church; NC A&T State and UNCG combined Congregational Social Work Program; New Hope Missionary Baptist Church; New Hope Community Development Group; Partnership for Community Care for Orange Card sign up, case management and nutrition education; UNCG Center for Community Engaged Design; UNCG RN to BSN program; Westover Church.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

People Can Change The World

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Margaret Mead

This quote by Margaret Meade contains 22 words, and yet to many it is a treatise on how to help improve the world, this country and this community we call home.  Dr. Meade’s quote, with all of its hope, describes what is happening with The Mustard Seed Community Health.

It started with an idea that morphed into a dream that became reality on October 22, 2015; a reality of being able to provide assistance medically and in many other ways to our neighbors that are underserved.

On that Thursday this fall over 70 people attended the Open House of The Mustard Seed Community Health Center at 238 S. English Street, part of the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church campus. To the “small group” that first held the dream, the response was overwhelming.  Those in attendance included many “committed citizens/neighbors”, retired physicians, clergy from numerous churches, city council members, state representatives and other people who have devoted their lives to being a part of the “change”.

The construction is winding up. The onsite training of personnel is beginning.  The next step is to “hang the shingle”!

Cottage Grove For Life Newsletter

Capture

FALL 2015 Newsletter
In this issue:
Hampton Circle of Friends
Cottage Grove Neighborhood Association
Mustard Seed Community Health
New Hope Groups
English classes
Cottage Grove and Purpose Built Communities
Master Gardeners
Healthy Homes
BCBSNC grant
Save the Date for Housing Summit

Circle of Friends launches support for Hampton Elementary School:
Hampton Elementary School is in the center of the Cottage Grove Community and essential for the goal of high quality education from cradle to career or college. Principal Thyais Maxwell and the entire faculty and staff are committed to an ambitious school improvement plan. The Circle of Friends is a group of over fifty people from all sectors of the Greensboro community committed to this cause, the school, and the children of the Cottage Grove neighborhood. The Circle of Friends serves by volunteering wherever their skills and influence can touch and change a child’s life and where needed and by providing the material and financial resources to support the programmatic needs of the children. Priorities this year are:

1. A mentoring program, already well established through the partnership with NCA&T, is seeking cohort of adults to serve in a one-on-one relationship with students identified by the school who either desire such a relationship or would be greatly benefited by one. Thomas Griffis, who served last year as a mentor is the “captain” of this initiative and will be reporting in more detail on the program, its important value, and its need for committed volunteers.

2. ACES (After School Care and Enrichment Services) program, providing academic support, enrichment experiences, and recreational activities while emphasizing the values of character, respect, responsibility, and discipline. Many of Hampton’s students whose parent or parents are working are “latch key kids,” going home at the end of the school day for hours of unsupervised time because they cannot afford ACES. Our goal is to raise at least $10,000 for scholarships. Tax deductible gifts may be made to the Hampton Elementary School, 2301 Trade Street, Greensboro, NC 27401. A gift of $50 will fund one child for a week, a gift of $200 will fund one for a month, and a gift of $1,000 will fund the child for the balance of the year.

3. Reading makes a huge difference in the academic success of the students. In order to be a Reading Buddy or to work in classrooms with students, you must register as a volunteer at the Guilford County School web site, www.gcsvolunteers.com. As you complete the registration, designate Hampton Elementary as the school in which you want to volunteer, mark the areas in which you are interested, and the times you may be available. Upon your approval, Ms. Walser-Desautels, the social worker and volunteer coordinator at the school, will contact you by email and assign you to a teacher. The teacher will send you an email to determine the specific area of interest and times that work within the class schedule. Also, if you would let me know that you have completed the registration, I will be able to keep a record of our involvement. You will build relationships with them while supporting their growth in reading. The Reading Buddies from Christ United Methodist Church and the Hamilton Lakes Lions Club have found this to be a very rewarding experience. Contact Carolyn McKinney comkville@aol.com or 336-638-8682.

4. Robotics will encourage students to be interested in science, technology, and math. We plan to conduct robotics for grades 3-5. We’ll have them working with the LEGO robotics kits. We have spoken to the executive director of NC FIRST (the organization that manages all robotics from K-12 in the state of NC), Marie Hopper, and we’ve managed to work some very good things out: NC FIRST will give us any robotics kits we’ll need for free. Hampton already has some kits (I’ll be doing an inventory check on Wednesday) but if we need any extras, we know who to ask. We’ll have the kids work on the First Lego League challenge from last year. It is in our best interest to give the kids a practice year before signing them up for the actual competition. We’ll work the kids through a curriculum prepared by Carnegie-Mellon University. Ms. Hopper recommended it to us. NC FIRST will train us as mentors; the training session typically lasts about 2 hours, to be scheduled soon. Robotics at Hampton will definitely come to fruition; it’s up to us to make sure that it comes fast. Thank you very much. Contact Yusuf Olakoba olakobayusuf@gmail.com

Hampton Saturdays enrich students’ lives with music, art, gardening, exercise play, and other activities on the second Saturday morning of each month. Parents join in the activities, enjoying healthy interactions with children, volunteers, and the Hampton team.
(more…)

Community Health Discussion June 5, 2014

Mustard Seed Community Health held a successful “community discussion” on healthcare in Greensboro on June 5, 2014. Over fifty people attended the event representing leaders in the health care, business and faith communities.

Judy Page

Judy Page

Thank you to First Citizens Bank for sponsoring the lunch and to Revolution Mill for providing the beautiful venue. We also want to thank Judy Page, the administrator at Congregational United Church of Christ, for all of her valuable time, energy and know how in helping with the invitations and rsvp cards. Her talents are greatly appreciated!

Beth Mulberry M.D.

Beth Mulberry M.D.

Beth Mulberry, MD and The Reverend Julie Peeples led the discussion by explaining what the Mustard Seed Community Health organization is seeking to do for the approximately 45,000 uninsured people in Greensboro and how it will be accomplished. Beth led the discussion by providing the mission and the vision of Mustard Seed and explaining the four prong approach that will be taken.

  1. Physical Clinic: Integrated Primary Care, Mental Health and Dental Health, staffed with retired physicians, nurses and community volunteers from our universities and general population.
  2. Community Health Outreach Program: Staffed with people and case managers that will be out in the community checking on those that are being served and seeing others in need.
  3. Urban Garden and Farmer’s Market; Provide training for gardening, canning and healthy cooking as well as providing lower cost fresh produce.
  4. Early Childhood Education: Teach children about healthy foods and leading a physically active lifestyle.
Rev. Julie Peeples talking with Rabbi Fred Guttman

Rev. Julie Peeples talking with Rabbi Fred Guttman

Reverend Peeples began her talk with a quote from Nelson Mandela; “Everything seems impossible until it is done”. She went on to say that the people and organizations behind Mustard Seed are not naïve, that the process is going to be difficult and will require not only the efforts of Mustard Seed but of all the many individuals, agencies and hospitals that are already working to help with the thousands that are being underserved. She knows it can be done. To quote Julie “The mustard seed shows up in several different faith traditions. In Christian Scriptures, Jesus says to his followers that if they have faith the size of a mustard seed they can do miraculous things. We have that faith, and we believe that with a community effort, individuals, faith communities, agencies, our current health system, nonprofits – we can indeed vastly increase accessibility to high quality healthcare for all. We have faith that this is the kind of community where people truly want accessible care for all, not just some. We have faith that there are more than enough creative minds, strong backs, and generous hearts to make this vision come true.”

Reverend Peeples introduced John Mills, Senior Clinic Consultant with ECHO (Empowering Community Healthcare Outreach. John and his organization have helped other faith communities form many clinics throughout the US.  John is donating his expertise and endless hours of work to see the Mustard Seed vision and mission come to fruition.

Skip Crowe with Cottage Grove Initiative

Skip Crowe with Cottage Grove Initiative

Skip Crowe spoke next about the Cottage Grove Initiative and how the Mustard Seed Community Health organization will fit so perfectly with Cottage Grove Initiative’s vision of holistic revitalization. This effort is built on the pillars of mixed income housing, superior educational opportunities from cradle to career and wrap around services including health care.

The event ended with a distribution of cards asking those that were in attendance how they would like to help with Mustard Seed. The response was wonderful!