Memphis, TN - The anchor tenant for the overhaul of Crosstown Concourse cut the ribbon Saturday morning to cheers and fanfare. For the first time, Memphis' Church Health has all its facilities under one roof.
"This shows you what's possible in God's imagination," said Dr. Scott Morris, Church Health founder.
Thirty years after founding the then-Church Health Center to provide healthcare to Memphis's working poor, Morris cut the ribbon Saturday on a $40 million move and expansion at Crosstown Concourse.
"The chaos in Washington around healthcare, what we have shown in Memphis is that we care about our neighbors," Morris said.
Morris said Church Health serves about 70,000 people annually, formerly operating in 13 different buildings.
Now the organization takes up 150,000 square feet in the same place in three floor at the old Sears Crosstown building. Not only are the facilities new and shiny, they are simply gorgeous and much bigger. The number of patient care rooms in the dental and medical clinics doubled.
A YMCA takes up most of the second floor. Some areas are still under construction.
"Memphis is at the beginning of a renaissance. We've got momentum," said Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland.
Crosstown sat empty for decades when the building closed in 1992.
"I've been driving by here for years since 1992 and I've always said, 'Lord I hope something comes here' and look what we have," said Melvin Burgess, Chairman of the Shelby County Commission.
Community leaders all said they simply couldn't contain their pride and excitement for what the building will be and what it represents for the city of Memphis and Shelby County.
"What's unique is there is that young spirit, there's young people investing in the community that are choosing to stay here and make a difference," said Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell.
Morris has been making a difference. For those who say he can never be repaid for all he's given to this community, Morris said he's got all he wants.
"I get paid every day by the people I take care of. Nobody has ever fully appreciated them. My ability to get to care for them is all the payment I ever need," Morris said.
By the middle of May, all offices should be fully operational for Church Health at Crosstown Concourse.
The master plan for the Crosstown Concourse development includes apartments, restaurants, offices, galleries, and even a charter high school is set to open in August 2018.
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