Author Archives: CHHclinics

First Goshen Latino Business Expo planned

Goshen’s first Latino Business Expo, coordinated by the Center for Healing & Hope, is scheduled for Saturday, June 9, at Everence, 1110 North Main Street in Goshen, Ind.

At this Expo, Latino business owners and entrepreneurs will showcase their products and services with opportunities to network with each other and the wider community. The first session of the event, 3 pm to 5:30 pm, is devoted to Latino business people only, focusing on encouragement and counsel presented in Spanish. At 5:30 pm the event is open to everyone with the goal of providing opportunities for exploring how Latino businesses are contributing to the community. There is no charge to attend the Expo.

The keynote speaker will be Isaac Torres, owner of InterCambio Express. During the first session, he will tell his story of challenge and success in establishing a thriving business. Born in Mexico, Torres came to the US as an international student. A project in his MBA program led to the 1999 creation of the business that now encompasses more than 1,600 locations in 32 states and handles millions of dollars of transferred funds each year.

Other features of the Expo’s first session include a panel discussion with speakers from the Goshen Chamber of Commerce and local businesses, including Lippert Components. In addition, two special guests from the Mexican Consulate in Chicago will be present.

During the second session, beginning at 5:30 pm, everyone in the Elkhart and Goshen area is invited to join the Expo. Participants can browse exhibits, talk with businesses owners, explore opportunities for collaboration, and enjoy snacks from local Latino restaurants.

Bryan Mierau, executive director of the Center for Healing & Hope, said, “The Center for Healing & Hope has had the privilege of not only serving many in the Latino community, but more recently building

significant relationships with Elkhart County Latino businesses. As we work together we can increase our capacity to ensure access to community health for all. This business expo is being offered with that in mind.”

Sponsors of the event are the Goshen Chamber of Commerce, Goshen College, Everence and InterCambio Express. The planning committee for the event includes people in the Goshen and Elkhart area who are leaders in a variety of manufacturing, technology and education fields.

Fiesta Feast: Thank you!

We owe so many thanks for the strong support we received through Fiesta Feast for the work of the Center for Healing & Hope.

The event on Saturday, April 14, filled the College Mennonite Church fellowship hall with delicious aromas and tastes, laughter, conversation, and great music. Ten financial sponsors, several food providers, door prize contributors, musicians, 20 volunteers and more than 350 diners made this the most successful fund-raising event in the Center’s history. After all expenses are paid, we anticipate a total of more than $20,000 from Fiesta Feast for the mission of the Center for Healing & Hope.

We give special thanks to San Marcos Mexican Grill for preparing and providing the main meal, with a significant contribution from Miller Amish Country Poultry. Dutch Maid Bakery, Honey’s and Los Primos added the desserts and beverages. Sponsoring businesses gave generous support to add to the success: Elkhart Bedding, Everence, Gerig Surgical Associates, Elite Turn and Pest Management, Interra Credit Union, Yoder-Culp Funeral Home, The Papers, Stutzman Motor Sales, Miso Japan and Welch Packaging.

The event was festive and celebrated the way our community comes together to meet needs of our vulnerable neighbors. The couple who shared a story of a family helped by the Center for Healing & Hope said this clearly, “We want to thank Elkhart County HOPE and the Center for Healing & Hope for their two life-giving services: the HOPE network giving financial assistance for legal help and the clinic for giving medical help. We have felt like we are a team together with fellow church members, the Center for Healing & Hope and other community resources that attempt to be the hands and feel of Jesus.”








44 women benefit from Spring into Health

Forty-four women benefited from the Center for Healing & Hope’s Spring into Health event on Saturday, March 17.

For a fee of $60, these women received a complete exam that normally would have cost $380. Checks of blood pressure and cholesterol, a breast exam and PAP smear, and screening for diabetes when indicated were included, along with general health education.

A nurse takes a blood sample during the Spring into Health event.

All of the women who participated reported that they did not have insurance and four out of five did not have a primary care physician. Most of the patients were from Goshen and Elkhart, and all but one were Latino.

The event was possible because of strong support from volunteer medical professionals and students. Eight doctors and nurse practitioners conducted the exams. They were assisted by eight nurse practitioner students from Goshen College who got first-hand experience in doing some of the screenings and gathering health histories. Volunteer nurses assisted with medical tests, several volunteer interpreters assisted with communication, and several other volunteers helped with clerical tasks. Three Center for Healing & Hope staff members managed the overall effort. This level of support from volunteers made it possible for seven or eight women to receive complete exams during each hour of the event.

In order to keep the cost affordable to these women, four sponsors gave financial support: MHS Indiana, Fairhaven Obstetrics and Gynecology, Heart City Health, and Goshen Health (The Retreat). In addition, Radio Horizonte and La Raza assisted with promotion, and Sergio’s Café in Elkhart contributed the noon meal for volunteers. Get Fit Get Healthy donated lunch bags that were filled with items and information for the women.

Bryan Mierau, executive director, stated, “The combination of staff preparation, cheerful volunteer assistance and donor support came together in a delightful way to create a unique preventive health experience for each of the women who attended. We are grateful to all the volunteers and sponsors. who are helping to build a stronger and healthier community for all of us.”

The last time a special event for women’s health was held was in 2016, when the event was only a half day; 23 women received exams that year. In 2015, the number who received exams was 25. This year, when the event was expanded to both morning and afternoon, all appointment times were taken and there was a waiting list of more women who will be invited to come for exams during regular clinic sessions.

500th GRID card issued to Goshen High School teacher

Hannah Bachman and 500th GRID cardThe Center for Healing & Hope has issued the 500th GRID card (Goshen Resident ID) in a program launched in November 2017.

Hannah Bachman, a math teacher at Goshen High School, is the recipient of the 500th GRID card. She said when an immigration detention center was proposed in the area, she wanted to find a way to show support for the immigrants in the community. “I thought GRID was something I could do that would make a difference,” Hannah said. Then she added, “Goshen is doing good things for all of its people.”

The Center for Healing & Hope, through the Elkhart County HOPE network, announced the GRID card in November and began issuing cards to Goshen residents on December 1. The effort is designed to help the community in several ways:

  • The cards provide a verified form of identification for people who have difficulty getting other forms of ID,
  • The cards give people an opportunity to express support for immigrant neighbors;
  • The cards give cardholders opportunities for discounts and special offers from Goshen businesses.

Fiesta Feast

Fiesta Feast tickets are now available. Buy yours and join the April 14 Center for Healing & Hope’s spring fund-raiser.

At this event, the community comes together to enjoy:

  • A Mexican meal, provided by San Marcos Mexican Grill
  • Live music and door prizes
  • Gathering with others who are also committed to making a difference in our communities


Location: College Mennonite Church, 1900 S. Main St., Goshen

Ticket prices:

  • Adult ticket: $20
  • Table of eight: $200
  • Youth ticket (ages 6 to 14): $10
  • Children 5 and younger are free

To purchase tickets, visit our Fiesta Feast ticket page or call the Center for Healing & Hope office, 574-534-4744, ext. 204. Consider making an additional donation to provide even more support to our clinics for uninsured and resources for our immigrant neighbors.


Marbella Chavez named patient advocate

Marbella Chavez has been named the new patient advocate for the Center for Healing & Hope.

Marbella, a 2017 graduate of the Indiana University Bloomington, has been a volunteer intern at the Center since fall. In that role, she assisted as an interpreter and with organizational and advocacy activities. In her new staff role, Marbella will meet with patients who come to the Center, helping to determine if they need additional services and then helping to secure those services for them.

Marbella’s undergraduate degree is in microbiology and she plans to attend medical school at some time in the future. She said, “I want to go into medical care because I find the effects of disease on the body caused by microscopic factors fascinating. But I also want to be involved in bettering the quality of life for all by ensuring we provide quality healthcare to marginalized communities who already have a hard time receiving this care.”

At the Center for Healing & Hope, Marbella said she appreciates the goal of providing holistic care. “We are not just a medical clinic. We also help people with other aspects of need, referring them to community resources. And we do it in a Christ-like manner, following the teachings of Jesus to help all who are our neighbors.”

Bryan Mierau, executive director of the Center, said, “Marbella has quickly acclimated herself into the fabric of our CHH mission as an intern. Now her unique background and skill-set will be more fully used in clinic interactions and new outreach initiatives toward patients who need follow-up support. We are very pleased to have her on our team.”

In addition to her part-time role at the Center, Marbella is an interpreter for Goshen Health and is one of the coordinators of the Coalition Against the Elkhart County Immigration Detention Center.

Marbella fills the patient advocate position that Yolo López Pérez has held for a year and a half. López Pérez is moving into full-time work as Director of Development for the Center for Healing & Hope.

Grant supports GRID

A grant of $10,000, received in late 2017 by the Center for Healing & Hope, adds support to the new Goshen Resident ID (GRID) card project.

The gift, received from Schowalter Foundation, based in Newton, Kan., will support the continuing effort to register a wide spectrum of Goshen residents for the GRID card.

Bryan Mierau, executive director of the Center for Healing & Hope, says, “This gift is a significant endorsement for our goal of building a stronger and healthier community for all of us. We have been encouraged by the support within Goshen that GRID received through all of our planning and the launch. This grant adds even more support as we work to issue GRID cards to as many residents of Goshen as possible.”

In applying for the grant, Mierau noted that people who do not have necessary identification have difficulty in conducting financial transactions at banks or credit unions, purchasing prescriptions or visiting their children’s classrooms in public schools. The GRID card will help to resolve these problems while it also creates a greater sense of community and celebrates the diversity within the city of Goshen.

The Center for Healing & Hope launched GRID in November 2017 and in December hosted five sessions for issuing cards. Additional sessions are scheduled weekly through 2018. More information is available by calling the Center: 574-534-4744 or contacting

Schowalter Foundation, founded in 1954, manages an ethically-invested endowment that enables it to give grants to emerging efforts in peacemaking and service to humankind.

GRID benefits at local businesses

Goshen restaurants and businesses are getting behind GRID.

When you show your GRID card (Goshen Resident ID card) at these businesses and restaurants, you will either get a discount on your purchase or you will qualify for a special deal. So visit these businesses and say “Thanks” as together we are building a stronger and healthier community for all of us.


Goshen Resident ID card to become available in December

A new effort to provide Goshen residents with cards that verify their identities and addresses will be launched in December by the Center for Healing & Hope.

The Goshen Resident ID card is designed to help everyone who resides within the city limits of Goshen, Ind. It will serve a variety of purposes, varying from affirming identification to obtaining benefits from local businesses.

While intended for everyone, the cards will be of particular help to people who are not able to get driver’s licenses or other forms of official identification. This includes immigrants as well as elderly, formerly incarcerated and homeless people.

Having a uniform way to confirm residents’ identities and addresses will be valuable for personnel from law enforcement, city services and schools as they interact with members of the community. The cards also may provide a way of confirming identity for purchasing prescriptions and handling money transactions. In addition, the task force working on this project expects to build additional value into the cards by inviting local businesses to offer benefits to card holders, such as discounts on products and services.

The effort is led by Elkhart County HOPE (Helping Our People Everywhere), a part of the Center for Healing & Hope. A task force of community leaders—representatives of businesses, not-for-profit agencies, civic organizations and churches—is organizing the project.

The Goshen Resident ID card is modeled after the successful South Bend Community Resident Card (SB ID). La Casa de Amistad in South Bend began offering the SB ID cards early in 2017. By the end of July they had issued almost 1,000 cards, a significantly greater number than anticipated. Other cities with municipal ID cards are New York City, Detroit, Chicago, Milwaukee and Oakland.

To get a Goshen Resident ID card, a person will need to provide several documents that confirm his or her identity and address. Staff will review the documents for authenticity before issuing a card. No identifying information about applicants will be maintained after the card is issued. The anticipated cost of a card is $25; discounts may be available for some situations.

Applications are taken only during scheduled appointments; call the Center for Healing & Hope, 574-534-4744 ext 201, to make an appointment. Two times in December during which people may apply are:

* Friday, December 1, 3–7 pm

* Friday, December 15, 3–7 pm

The location is the Center for Healing & Hope offices and clinic in the Plymouth United Church of Christ at 902 S. Main Street.

The Center for Healing & Hope is initiating this project as a way to create a greater sense of community within Goshen. Bryan Mierau, executive director of the Center for Healing & Hope, noted that “some residents are so fearful that they are not taking care of basic needs, such as getting prescriptions or visiting a doctor. Some are reluctant to take their children to school activities. If we can relieve some of this anxiety for our immigrant neighbors with this Goshen Resident  ID card, we will have made Goshen a much safer and more friendly home for everyone.”

“Goshen relies significantly on the labor of immigrants and on their educational and cultural contributions, especially from the Latino community,” Richard Aguirre, founder of the EC HOPE network, said. “It’s been very encouraging that so many people see the value of the Goshen Resident ID card and have endorsed this program and its purposes.” Aguirre, who has worked to develop a Goshen ID card since June 2016, is a member of the card task force and of the Center for Healing & Hope board of directors.

The task force believes that the Goshen Resident ID card can offer a greater measure of confidence to people who now are fearful or vulnerable because of recent developments with immigration policies. Dominique Chew, immigrant resource coordinator for the Center for Healing & Hope, expressed this goal of the task force’s work: “I’m excited to have a specific and concrete way to bring a sense of safety and security to folks in this in this community and a way for people to stand in solidarity with others.”

The task force developing the Goshen Resident ID card has received encouragement from city officials to proceed with their effort. City leaders, including some fire and law enforcement personnel, welcome the use of these cards, because they will have greater confidence in the identification of people whom they encounter. Card holders will have the confidence of knowing they can verify their identities, freeing them for greater interaction within the community.

“Over the past year, I’ve spoken to many undocumented immigrants who have established successful lives in Goshen and who simply want to continue living here and contributing to a diverse and welcoming city that was named the ‘Community of the Year’ by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce last week,” Aguirre said. “Immigrants have affirmed the need for a city identification card, and we’re glad to be able to provide a way for them and other vulnerable people to feel safer and more at home in Goshen.”

By mid-November, the following organizations have indicated their endorsement of the GRID card: City of Goshen, the Public Policy Committee of the Chamber of Commerce, Goshen Health, Goshen Public Library and Goshen College. JoJo’s Pretzels is the first businesses to announce a benefit; those showing a GRID card will get a 30% discount on their purchases.

Best year yet for EAT•SHOP•GIVE

Thank you to all who helped to make 2017 EAT•SHOP•GIVE effort the most successful yet for the Center for Healing & Hope.

This year, 466 certificates were purchased by supporters and friends of CHH, compared to between 300 and 400 in previous years.

Thank you to the 24 businesses that were  part of the effort, sharing half of the proceeds with the Center for Healing & Hope. Thank you to Venturi Pizza, who matched the first $1,000 donated above the cost of the certificates. A total of $1,370 was donated through the EAT•SHOP•GIVE effort.

Thank you to everyone who purchased certificates, supporting both the medical and immigrant support programs of CHH and the local businesses and restaurants.

Bryan Mierau, executive director of the Center for Healing & Hope, said, “We are grateful for such strong support in the Goshen community, from both businesses and individuals. It is only with gifts like and the gifts of time from many volunteers that we are able to provide care and advocacy to meet needs and strengthen our community.”

2017 participating businesses and restaurants:

  • Better World Books
  • Constant Spring
  • Dana J’s Deli
  • El Camino Real 4
  • El Duranguenze Mexican Restaurant
  • The Electric Brew
  • Flowers by Phoebe
  • Found
  • Honey’s Frozen Desserts
  • Goshen Family Restaurant
  • Goshen Farmers Market
  • Los Primos
  • Maple City Market
  • Maple Indian Cuisine
  • The Nut Shoppe
  • Olympia Candy Kitchen
  • Reverie
  • San Marcos Mexican Grill
  • Soapy Gnome
  • South Side Soda Shop
  • Ten Thousand Villages
  • Universal Tamal
  • Wasabi Japanese Steak House & Sushi
  • Woldruff’s Footwear and Apparel