According to Alex Garvey, the Senior VP of Mission for Bon Secours St. Francis Health System, Catholic health care has always viewed hospitals as a reflection of the communities they serve. “We believe that the all-encompassing ministry of healing doesn’t stop at the hospital walls,” he says. The call to serve God’s people in the community is part of the inspiration behind Bon Secours’ title sponsorship of the Transformation Walk.
Alex was born in a Bon Secours facility a few blocks from his home in Ireland, where he first became familiar with Catholic health care. He has spent nearly 20 years working in the health care ministry, having recently moved to Greenville to lead the Mission team for Bon Secours.
With his characteristic vivacity and dynamism, Alex describes the ebb and flow of ministry, “Ultimately, we believe that God calls through God’s people. We are always called, and we respond.” Bon Secours St. Francis Health System recently completed a health needs assessment to determine community needs. One of the top three identifiers in the community was homelessness due to mental health issues. Bon Secours will now begin a clinical matrix to address the needs identified.
Alex says the opportunity to work in tandem with United Ministries is very exciting. Not wishing to duplicate services or re-invent the wheel, Bon Secours supports local agencies that are doing a phenomenal job of addressing community needs.
The principles behind United Ministries’ Transformation Walk fit well with Bon Secours’ hands-on approach to ministry. Alex keeps the guiding image of Jesus as he bent down, scooped up the dirt, spat in it, and rubbed it in the eyes of the blind man. He explains, “At Bon Secours we don’t say, ‘Oh, we open our door to all people.’ We go out into the community and bring people in. We don’t say, ‘We’re a welcoming institution.’ That’s not good enough. You have to go out to where the people are. And that’s what the Transformation Walk does. You’re walking; you’re physically taking people through the footsteps of the community. There’s no more hands-on than that. That’s such a ministerial and sensory understanding of the sometimes marginalized and forgotten community.”
The Transformation Walk raises awareness about poverty in Greenville by taking participants on a three mile route in downtown Greenville past agencies that serve poor and homeless people in our community. The event provides funds for job skills training, adult education, financial stability programs, emergency assistance, interim housing for homeless families, and homeless day shelter services. United Ministries’ 27th Annual Transformation Walk, presented by Bon Secours St. Francis Health System, will begin at Fluor Field on Sunday, October 23, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. For more information and to register, please visit www.TransformationWalk.kintera.org.
The Transformation Walk is made possible through our sponsors, including: Bon Secours St. Francis Health System, Batteries Plus Bulbs, Bostik, Carolina Power, Don Pilzer Law Firm, South Carolina Tel-Con, GSA Business Report, SunTrust, BlueCross BlueShield of SC, Bobby and Becky Hartness, CRH Properties LLC, Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP, Greenville Business Magazine, Greenville Health System, Michelin, Reynolds Investment Management, Roy Abercrombie, ScanSource, Secured Advantage FCU, Smoak Public Relations, Alan and Kathy Marshall, Bank of Travelers Rest, Carolina Belting Co., Citgo, Community Foundation of Greenville, Covans Insulation Co., Custom Component Sales Inc., Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd P.A., JHM Hotels, JTEKT Automotive South Carolina, Metal Chem Inc., NAI Earle Furman, Ralph and Becky Bouton, and Southern First Bank. For information on sponsoring, please contact Rebecca Ragland at 864-335-2614 or firstname.lastname@example.org.