The website for United Methodist Mexican American Ministries, based in Garden City, Kansas, declares that it is “Committed to Christ’s work in the world. Serving people of all races, colors & faiths since 1974.”
With an upcoming name change and designation as a federally qualified health center, the organization hopes the southwestern Kansas communities it serves will better understand that stated mission.
“Part of the impetus for the name change is people have the impression that you have to be United Methodist or Mexican-American to take part in our services,” said Julie Wright, CEO of the organization. “We aim to educate the larger part of the population that it can use our services with this expanded brand.”
The expanded brand is Genesis Family Health, and though the name may change, the focus on providing high-quality care will not be altered, Wright said. Genesis Family Health will continue to provide treatment for illnesses and injuries, prenatal care, health education, dental services, diabetes prevention and control, food and clothing banks, and even emergency assistance.
Though United Methodist Mexican American Ministries served about 8,700 people last year, more people need the kinds of health services and preventative care that the organization provides.
“We are the only federally qualified health center in southwestern Kansas,” Wright said. “We know this is an underserved area, so trying to reach out so the communities we serve know our services are open to them is important.”
United Methodist Mexican American Ministries started as a mission outreach as a Sunday school class for migrant workers and evolved into the health-care provider that it is today. Genesis Family Health will treat and serve the uninsured but also will accept all forms of insurance.
Wright said she and others with the organization wanted United Methodists across the Great Plains to know that the name change is meant entirely to market the organization’s services to a wider audience and is not meant to reflect poorly on the church.
“We want the churches to know that we are still a partner with the Methodist Church and value the roots that started our organization,” Wright said.
Though the URL likely will change eventually, information about the organization still can be found at www.ummam.org.