We track outcomes and units of service very carefully here at Central Dallas Ministries.
There are a number of reasons why we take the time and the care to do so.
Funders want to know what we are up to and what we are actually accomplishing.
More importantly, we want to know what happens month-by-month. We want to study the community, its responses and its demands. By tracking our activities and efforts we gain valuable community intelligence beyond the specifics of our various endeavors.
As a result of this commitment as an organization, I receive a steady stream of periodic reports on all that we do.
Recently, a report on our Community Health Services crossed my desk.
As I reviewed it, I have to say I was amazed.
A year ago in January 2005, we "hosted" 1085 patient visits, including 555 general medical visits, 61 diabetic patients, and 28 pastoral counseling sessions.
This year in January those numbers had all grown significantly. We provided a welcoming medical home for 1541 patient appointments (up 42% from last year). Of these visits, 970 fell in the general medicine category (up 75%), 91 involved diabetic patients (up 49%)and 45 came for pastoral counseling (up 61%).
Clearly, the need of the community is not declining.
None of our patients enjoy the benefits of medical insurance. Almost all either work or come from working families in the case of our children.
Recently, while providing a group of interested guests a tour of the CDM landscape, we dropped in on the clinic operation. People were everywhere--standing outside, three deep down the hallways, seated on the staircase, crammed into the waiting room.
We need more space.
We are working on plans to relocate the clinic to a larger building, possibly into our headquarters building on Haskell. We will figure it out.
The point here is clear: the need grows and grows.
At the same time, community resources continue to shrink.
Our growth amazes me, but it is sad growth indeed.