Christian Health Associates (CHA) was established as a non-profit corporation in 1994. The founders formed the corporation after a year of meetings to brainstorm and pray about ways counselors might practice their profession in a Christian atmosphere. The concept grew to include a medical clinic along with local and international missions.
CHA’s counseling and administrative office were first located at the corner of Duben and Muldoon in East Anchorage. In 1995, the young corporation remodeled the medical office of Dr. W.J. Mills and moved downtown to K Street. This was the start of Cornerstone Clinic, Medical and Counseling Center, providing “Care for the Whole Person.” Cornerstone Clinic started with one doctor and two counselors but outgrew the downtown facility within two years.
In early 1997, employees and friends of CHA completed a second remodel project at Academy Drive in South Anchorage. At the new location, CHA and Cornerstone Clinic continued to grow, doubling in facility and staff size.
Within the vision of CHA, a Faith-based Community Initiatives (FBCI) program began to develop. This program’s purpose is “Connecting Resource to Need.” The FBCI program resulted from years of bridge building between faith-based organizations and social service agencies. Today, FBCI networks with dozens of churches and agencies in Anchorage and has been the catalyst for CHA’s involvement in a number of community programs.
In 1999, the staff of CHA participated in a humanitarian aid project with the mayor of Anchorage. This project sent food boxes to two Russian cities: Provideniya in Northern Siberia and Anchorage’s sister city, Magadan. This was CHA’s first step toward developing Alaska Medical Missions (AMM), a staging area for sending fully functional medical supplies to developing countries. AMM’s goal is to provide “Aid to the Nations.” AMM began by using temporary storage facilities, moving the inventory frequently to new locations. By 2000, AMM, after occupying numerous temporary facilities, settled into a permanent home, a 4,000 square foot warehouse next door to Cornerstone Clinic. Since then, the AMM staff and volunteers have sent hundreds of shipments of medical supplies to scores of countries around the world.
In 2004 CHA joined other agencies in the community to explore access to health care for low-income, uninsured residents. Through that coalition, Anchorage Project Access (APA) was formed within the structure of Christian Health Associates. APA saw its first client in December 2005 and has grown to a volunteer network of over 400 doctors, advanced nurse practitioners, physical therapists, physician assistants, imaging services, hospitals, pharmacies, etc., focusing on the uninsured and underserved in Anchorage and the surrounding areas.
In a similar way, School-based Health Center was established under CHA’s umbrella in 2010 to operate a health center within Clark Middle school. By providing immunizations, sports physicals, and diagnosis and treatment of minor illness and injury at middle schools, SBHC aims to improve health access for students and to improve their success at school.
CHA has grown to a staff of more than 30, representing approximately 20 churches. The staff still includes CHA’s key founders: Brian Green, Sarah Mills, Brenda Moore, and Byron Perkins. The staff continues to pray for God’s direction, His heart, and His power, in order to accomplish that for which we were called, offering help along the way.