Tina Moore, an Adventist family nurse practitioner in southeast Missouri, is making it her mission to bring health to her patients, not merely treatment.
Tina works in the “boot heel” of Missouri—an area approximately 30 x 50 miles that extends into Arkansas and is made up of the poorest counties in Missouri. Many individuals and entire families living here are being destroyed by drug addictions and obesity.
Tina has spent several years working in these impoverished counties, teaching her patients the eight natural laws of health using Weimar Institute’s NEWSTART program. Recently she has begun working in an even more rural town where the prescription drug addiction rate is heartbreaking.
Nonetheless, Tina and her supervising physician continue striving to bring better health to their patients. Each time patients visit the practice they must fill out a questionnaire, answering true/false statements like “I always eat breakfast” and “I pray every day.” Patients are asked to improve their answer in at least one of the 38 statements at every visit.
These types of concerns may not be on the mind of every physician, but since the beginning of Tina’s medical career she has recognized the importance of a healthy spiritual life when striving to have a healthy physical body. She attributes these values to her study of books like Ellen White’s Counsels on Diet and Foods; Rick Warren’s The Daniel Plan; Health Power by Ludington/Diehl; Proof Positive by Neil Nedley; and her textbooks for the PhD in Natural Health that she is currently pursuing.
Using natural resources for healing is not merely something Tina teaches, but something she practices. Just 10 years ago, she personally struggled with obesity and poor physical and emotional health. Over the course of about 24 months, Tina gave up caffeine, most sugars, red meat and most processed foods. It is easy for someone to preach about a health concept, and another thing entirely for them to live it so others can see the changes. Many of her patients and close friends and family have watched a transformation take place, and this is why people continually flock to her clinic door and call her for medical advice.
Tina is also facilitating Celebrate Recovery at her workplace as another avenue to help those addicted to prescription drugs. She has counseled women through severe eating disorders, using Scripture and faith as well as nutritional concepts. These women are not only her patients; some are beloved friends or members of her church family.
People continue to make appointments to see Tina because they feel she cares about their health. Tina asks about their home life and prayer life. She asks if they have access to enough food and if they’re taking fewer pain pills this week than last.
When Tina shops in her hometown people stop her in the aisles to tell her they’ve “been clean for 24 days!” or “lost 12 pounds!” She celebrates each of these victories as Jesus would, and continues to tell people what they can do to improve, reminding them to Whom they can always turn.
This past June, Tina came to Mills Spring Ranch in central Wyoming for the second annual women’s campout attended by a few dozen ladies, including some who hadn’t been to church in months and several teenagers. They gathered on Casper Mountain to fellowship together and learn how to improve their health. Tina gave them pointers about healthful eating, drinking water and exercising. She showed them how to construct a prayer journal and even how to “work out” to Christian music while driving.
Following Jesus’ example, Tina believes in the importance of saving people’s lives first and then saving their souls. She has a unique opportunity to do this in a community that is desperate for knowledge on health and wellness. And Tina says she will continue to follow God wherever He leads her to work, including the farthest reaches of Missouri or windy, chilly Wyoming.
Rachel Ashworth is a member of the Casper (WY) Church and a regular blogger for outlookmag.org. Check out her blog.
Bonus: Health Resources for Your Church and Community
- Using CREATION Health in your church and/or community? Here’s a good tie in program for the kids. It’s also great for VBS. Team CREATION Vacation Bible School Leader Kit
- The world’s largest collection of vegetarian recipes: vegweb.com
- Practical, healthy menus and recipes: veggiemealmaker.com
- Depression: the Way Out by Dr. Neil Nedley: In his latest book, Dr. Nedley addresses the epidemic of depression sweeping society. Through his ongoing study of the latest scientific research related to diseases of the mind, combined with years of clinical experience, Dr. Nedley committed himself to finding the source problems that cause depression rather than just anesthetizing the symptoms with medication. Check your local ABC or other book retailer.
- Eight Weeks to Wellness: An Introduction to Healthy Living by Don Hall: Coordinator’s Guide, Participant’s Guide
- A Christian Approach for Coaching Lasting Lifestyle Change by Lilly Tryon: DVD Set & Facilitator’s Guide, Facilitator’s Guide, Participant Workbook