Some of this blog was given at the 2022 annual meeting of Wide Horizon on October 8, with the theme: “Love inspires, illumines, designates, and leads the way” (Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 454).
Years ago, I did a little research about mission statements of Christian Science organizations, particularly those of Christian Science nursing. I think Wide Horizon was the only one at that time which included “Mary Baker Eddy” in its mission statement. I’ve always appreciated this inclusion. It reads: “The mission of Wide Horizon is to provide Christian Science nursing, facilities, and support for those seeking healing accomplished through complete reliance on Christian Science as taught by Mary Baker Eddy.”
I’m grateful to Mary Baker Eddy for many reasons. One is all the questions she provided to anyone who is a student of Christian Science or reader of her writings. I love the answers too! I’ve recently reread and studied both Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896 and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures from beginning to end. Both books have a lot of profound questions and answers. Every time I’ve done this focused activity, it’s a holy time filled with inspiration, illumination, spiritual progress and healing. Thank God for Mrs. Eddy!
How many Christian Science nurses serve in the ministry of Christian Science nursing? As of October 6th, there are 379 listed in The Christian Science Journal. Of these, 326 are listed from the US and 53 are listed in internationally. A Christian Science foundation estimated another approximately 400 to 450 who are not listed.
At Wide Horizon, there are 16 Christian Science nurses, including the Director. Of these, 8 are Journal-listed, 2 of whom are part-time, and there are five African countries (Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda) represented on the Christian Science nursing staff. Thus, the majority of the full-time Christian Science nurses are not yet listed in The Journal. These 16 individuals cover three 8-hour shifts each day throughout the year!
How many member organizations of the Association of Organizations for Christian Science Nursing (AOCSN)? There are 32 organizations. Christian Science nursing facilities and visiting Christian Science nursing services (VCSNS). There are numerous committees and groups that work to make Christian Science nursing more prevalent.
How many of these organizations are accredited by the COMMISSION for Accreditation of Christian Science Nursing Organizations/Facilities? There are 24 organizations currently accredited, and 2 in the process of being accredited as well as 1 member that is not accredited. Recently, The Commission held its annual meeting via Zoom. It was a harmonious gathering of wonderful workers in the Cause of Christian Science.
Now some other information…It’s mind-boggling how statistics often dominate and influence so many areas of human enterprise and existence. I usually stay away from statistics unless they are in sports but what follows are some stats from 2019-2022 gathered from various online resources such as the National Center of Health Statistics.
In Colorado, what is the number of licensed healthcare providers? Healthcare Professions Profile Program (HPPP) an online database lists more than 65 license types and more than 270,000 healthcare professionals.
What is the estimated number of nursing homes in the US?
In 2021, there were about 26,520 nursing homes in the United States – of these about 17,000 are licensed, 70% are for-profit, 23% are nonprofit, and 7% are run by the government. In addition, there are another 65,600 regulated long-term care facilities and nearly 30,000 assisted living facilities. More than 2 million people live in nursing homes and in assisted living facilities. More than 1.7 million workers are employed in them. The estimated market size for nursing homes was $140.6 billion in 2021. (https://www.zippia.com/advice/nursing-home-statistics/#)
In Colorado, there are about 225 nursing homes, with more than 16,000 residents.
How much does it cost an individual in a nursing home?
National average of $8,821 per month for a private room; for a semi-private room the average is $7,756. In Colorado, it’s $9,726 and $8,567 per month, respectively.
How many hospitals and health systems in Colorado?
Of about 6,090 hospitals in the US, there are more than 100, providing care to more than 555,000 inpatients and 9 million outpatients each year, more than $18 billion into the CO economy annually, and providing jobs and benefits to more than 71,000 workers in CO. (cha.com)
How many residents are in nursing homes nationwide?
- There are about 1,290,00 residents in U.S. nursing homes.
- 70% of people who reach the age of 65 will need long-term care at some point in life.
- By 2050, up to 30 million people in the Americas will require long-term care services.
- There are approximately 28,900 assisted living communities with nearly 1 million licensed beds in the US. The average size of an assisted living community is 33 licensed beds. Of these communities 56% are chain-affiliated and 42% are independently owned.
The number of people age 60 and older will increase from 900 million in 2015 to 2 billion by 2050 — moving from 12% to 22% of the global population, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Yet even though the population of older adults is rising, there’s no evidence that they’re in better health than previous generations, which means they need to prepare for getting the care they need as they age. The U.S. care services market is expected to reach $748.5 billion by 2030, expanding at a compound annual growth rate of 5.76%, according to a report from ResearchAndMarkets.com.
Perhaps you’re thinking about now, “…when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” (Psalm 61:2) I know I have prayed this often during the past three years!
Margaret Jackson writes in a recent article from Colorado Biz Magazine, “Even though the population of older adults is rising, there’s no evidence that they’re in better health than previous generations.” Later she quotes Jody Gastfriend, principal with Health Management Associates who is a licensed clinical social worker and national expert in senior care, “Boomers are living longer — many are still working and many are caregivers. This generation of older adults, because life expectancy has increased, is still caring for parents and has adult children and grandchildren — it’s not just the sandwich generation, it’s the club sandwich generation between multiple generations. From a health-care perspective, there needs to be more understanding on lifestyle impact on health. There’s an emphasis on healthy aging and maintaining strength — both physical and mental — so a holistic approach to health care is ideal.” (“Telehealth to Play Key Role as Geriatric Population Soars” from cobizmag.com, October 4, 2022)
Interestingly, at least to me, Wide Horizon was not listed in “61” best nursing homes in Colorado or 25 best in Denver by US News Health. This is a glaring oversight by US News Health because every State Ombudsman – who are advocates for patient care in all types of care settings – during the past 20 years has given Wide Horizon glowing comments and very positive reports. Regardless, I am confident Wide Horizon and other sister Christian Science nursing organizations shine in ways many in the world hunger and thirst for – practically and spiritually – as demonstrated by years of continual operations providing care and healing.
I shared all these statistics with you for a fuller perspective on why is it so important, in any way you can, to support as well as to share the good news of Christian Science nursing and Wide Horizon.
“Pond and Purpose” is one of my favorite writings from Mrs. Eddy. I think of it often when at Wide Horizon (particularly when I’m strolling by the peaceful pond on campus) – always seeking, sometimes sighing, usually learning. Mrs. Eddy tells us, “The real Christian Scientist is constantly accentuating harmony in word and deed, mentally and orally, perpetually repeating this diapason of heaven: ‘Good is my God, and my God is good. Love is my God, and my God is Love’” (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 206).
Thus, I hope you too share the good news of Christian Science nursing whenever Love inspires and leads you to do so. Thank you.
D. Brian Boettiger