UCC Physicians' Network
The mission of the Physicians' Network is to identify, address and take positions on issues relating to health for systems of care, ethics, the environment, spirituality, and end of life decisions—within the United Church of Christ, nationally and globally.
To this end, members will interact by email with the website which will provide news items, educational materials and opinion exchanges through forums.
The Working Groups
Below is a list of Working Groups. These groups are in the development phase; please check back for more information. If you would like to submit educational articles or have relevant information regarding these topics, please contact Larry Smith or Barbara Baylor.
Health care systems
Spirituality in medicine
Ecology and health
End of life issues
The Chairperson of the Physicians' Network fortuitously is both a minister and a physician: Rev. Larry Smith, MD of York, PA. He succeeded Rev. Douglas Busby who expended the extensive time and energy necessary to get the organization going. The staffing is carried out by Barbara Baylor, M.P.H. in the UCC national office. All communication should go to Rev. Dr. Smith with a copy to Barbara Baylor.
In 1997, a UCC Physician's Network was formed to encourage fellowship among its members while promoting the health and welfare ministries of the United Church of Christ, and to serve as a resource and advocacy group for the UCC and UCC-related health institutions. Christopher Gamble, M.D., the organizing convener of the Network, recognizes valuable educational opportunities in the group and hopes that the network will create a Continuing Medical Education Seminar (CME) for physicians. The Network reorganized under the auspices of the Health and Welfare Program of the former United Church Board for Homeland Ministries.
The Network flourished and grew under the able leadership of Dr. Douglas Busby, who is both a medical doctor and an ordained minister in the UCC. Currently the Network functions under the auspices of the Health and Wellness Program, Justice and Witness Covenanted Ministries. Coordination is provided by Larry K. Smith, M.D., M. Div. The Network works with the UCC Parish Nurse Network, the UCC Health Task Force and the Interministry Health Roundtable on identifying ways that physicians can be involved with health ministries in local UCC churches.
The UCC Physician's Network is a network of doctors of medicine, osteopathy, dental surgery and dental medicine who want to share their medical expertise and Christian faith as they deal with religious concerns in medical ethics, faith and healing, sensitivity of physicians to the spiritual needs of their patients, end-of-life-care, national health care issues, and international health care needs.
The Network is actively inviting all physicians in our denomination to join. Please direct your inquires to:
Dr. Larry K. Smith
87 Reynolds Mill Road
York, PA 17403-9533
Membership in the UCC Physicians' Network is free, but an opportunity will be provided to augment the expenses incurred by the Network by having an "e-collection plate" for contributions. The funds will be used to defray expensive mailings, the development of resources, program implementation and web maintenance. Through the UCC Physicians' Network Sub-Directory, members will have access to announcements, news and essays of general interest.
Members are encouraged to sign up for a primary and, optionally, a secondary working group. Six such working groups have been identified. For more information, click on those in which you have interest. When you register you may sign up for one or two. If you have other interests not covered by these six, an email to Larry Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org with a discussion of your interest would allow your suggestion to be considered by the leadership team.