Springtime has arrived! We see the trees and greenery thriving and the flowers blooming. The new growth and warm air seem to give me a new zest for life. COVID 19 has been around a little over a year and it is refreshing as well to see restrictions being lifted and vaccinations working to help decrease the burden of disease. I am so thankful that God can breathe new life into us through changing seasons physically and spiritually.
As a part of CMDA we can weather the changing seasons together as Christians because our hope is in Christ and Christ alone. We can continually remind each other of who God is and His eternal promises. In a world in which so many around us believe everyone can have their own truth and where uncertainty abounds I am continually encouraged by my friends and colleagues in CMDA to stand on the solid rock of Christ.
I got involved in CMDA during medical school at Wake Forest School of Medicine. The fellowship and mentorship were both important for me. I remember a weekend retreat when we used “The Saline Solution” to learn how to talk with our patients about their spiritual well-being (later redone as Grace Prescriptions and now Faith Prescriptions.) We went on missions trips together and grew as Christians who then became physicians. I didn’t get involved much during my orthopaedic surgery residency, but I am glad that I have come back to CMDA now to learn with and be encouraged by both students and colleagues.
Since our last letter we have been able to enjoy many things together namely our RCMDA Annual Banquet that took place on January 28, 2021. Farr Curlin, MD, a bioethicist and palliative care physician from Duke spoke about “The Way of Medicine, for Christians.” Despite it being our first virtual banquet it was still a wonderful talk and evening of discussion on ethical medicine.
We have been so blessed with our wonderful leaders Scott Armistead and Krystal Mattox, but we will unfortunately be saying goodbye to Krystal. She and her husband Matt are moving on along the journey God has for them. Matt finished Physical Therapy school and will be looking for a job and Krystal will continue being a dentist wherever God takes them. We are so thankful for the investment Krystal has made in CMDA and the lives of students. We know God will continue to use them wherever he takes them. Fortunately, Krystal has led us to a new Assistant Director, Jocelyn Cassidy, whom we have accepted for the job. We look forward to how God will use Jocelyn to continue ministering to students and their families.
In the coming months, we hope that you too will join us in our vision of “bringing the hope and healing of Christ to the world through healthcare professionals.” Included in the newsletter are upcoming activities and ways to get involved. We want to continue conversations about ethics in medicine as well as support the diversity of God’s people – Imago Dei. We are all made in God’s image to be treated with value and dignity. Please pray for God to lead our council as we strive to glorify God in the coming year.
It is with great joy that I share our activities with the students over this last semester. We have been creative in our interactions having opportunities to meet virtually as well as for in-person gatherings. Our virtual meetings this semester consisted of a weekly Wednesday bible study series on Jesus and Medicine: What Does Christianity have to Offer Healthcare? led by our student leaders Grace Miner & Alexis Antonucci. We also had virtual evening ethical discussions on Being Human: Gender, Sexuality and Fulfilment led by Dr. Scott Armistead and Hallel Basco, NP and we celebrated Good Friday with reading the Passion Story over Zoom.
Not to mention opportunities Dr. Armistead and myself have had to meet one-on-one with students reading books such as The Cost of Discipleship, The Power of Knowing God, No God But One: Allah or Jesus? among other titles. We’ve had joyous times of laughter and fellowship at our Friday Fireside chats, cookouts and participating in the CMDA National Convention.
Lastly, we were able to celebrate the completion of doctoral degrees for a Physical Therapy student, three Dental students and eight Medical students who’ve all been involved in the ministry. We read the Christian oaths together for their respective disciplines and they were given a CMDA Christian Doctor Bible with their names engraved. To learn about our graduates, their next steps and read their words of wisdom to their peers, please click here.
With your consideration of support to this ministry, for $150 per student we will be able to gift free CMDA memberships during residency and free memberships to new dentists in their first three years.
I would like to say a big THANK YOU to the CMDA Richmond community for allowing me to serve this organization for the last 2.5 years. It has been an absolute blessing getting to interact, mentor and love the students as well as the amazing Richmond Council! A special thank you to Dr. Scott Armistead who has been such a solid man of God in his efforts with the students and the ministry. He is certainly a role model to the students and myself. I am grateful that Jocelyn will be working alongside such steller individuals. For those on the fence of getting more involved with this CMDA local chapter, please don’t delay! There are so many rich relationships and opportunities to serve God as Christian healthcare practitioners in Richmond!
Blessings to you,
Krystal Mattox, DDS
Recap: Trip to Pakistan
Dr. Scott Armistead returned to the United States from Pakistan in late April 2021 and in his reflection writes: “It was a delightful month of introducing an American final-year medical student and a Physician’s Assistant, both interested in careers in medical missions, to the work of missionary medicine in northern Pakistan. We were able to temporarily join the work of this openly Gospel-proclaiming hospital at which I worked for over a decade. I loved preaching on the wards again. I loved connecting these two students to missionaries and Pakistani Christians with a zeal for ministry within Pakistan.”
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