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Episode 3: Innovative Ways to Serve Low-Income Patients in a Heart-Centered Cash Practice

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“I didn’t wanna be the person who only served rich people in my community. My heart was to serve those who need me,” shares Dr. Ellie Campbell, Founder of Campbell Integrated Family Medicine. In this week’s episode of The Catalyst, Dr. Ellie introduces the scholarship membership program that she created to meet the needs of indigent patients.

Finances can be a large boundary to accessing functional medicine. To help those with great need in her community, Dr. Ellie designed a membership program based on the Habitat for Humanity’s housing program. 

Through the membership program, qualifying patients can exchange 15 hours of approved community service for 3 months of functional medical care. This empowers patients to have a hand in improving their lives while benefiting the community at the same time.

Tune into this week’s episode of The Catalyst for a conversation with host Dr. Lara Salyer and special guest Dr. Ellie Campbell about ways to serve low-income patients without handing out services for free. Learn more about the scholarship membership model and how it can benefit the patients, providers, and community.

About Dr. Ellie Campbell, founder of Campbell Integrative Family Medicine:

Dr. Ellie Campbell is a double board-certified physician with clinical interests in family medicine and holistic care. For the first 13 years of her career, Dr. Campbell served the uninsured of the Cumming, GA community practicing at a community health center.

Dr. Campbell is passionate about removing unnecessary pharmaceutical drugs, enhancing the body’s own self-healing capacity and allowing the most graceful aging process that optimal nutrition, supplements, and exercise can provide.

In 2005 she started her own private practice, Campbell Integrative Family Medicine. In her free time, Dr. Campbell and her husband vacation with their three wonderful daughters and enjoy theater, yard work and gardening together.

In This Episode We're Talking About:

  • How to get started!
  • The 3 WINS to providing a scholarship
  • What to consider NOT doing (based on Dr. Ellie’s experience)
  • Financial goal setting to see real benefits


  • “I’ve learned a lot of lessons, one of which was that I believe free is valueless when it comes to healthcare. The more we gave the patients, the less they wanted to work for themselves.” (3:09-3:49)


  • “I didn’t wanna be the person who only served rich people in my community.  My heart was to serve those who need me. Not just those with a big, deep pocketbook.” (10:09-10:20)


  • “I have a concierge style membership program, so people pay me a monthly membership fee to be my patient. It’s a retainer. They hold the spot. They pay me the same amount of money every month, whether they see me or whether they don’t. Instead of paying me in cash for my membership fee, I provide them with a scholarship membership log sheet. They go out in the community and they have to do 15 hours of community service. Once they’ve done 15 hours of community service, that earns them 1 quarter of membership.” (14:32-15:15) 


  • “It’s a win, win, win. I win because I quantify the amount of charity work that I do. The patients get their care with dignity. They know how much it is, they have to work for it, they have to earn it. If they don’t do their hours, they don’t get care from me.” (17:33-18:15) 


  • “That money when it goes into the tithing checking account, that’s charity money. That’s not taxed. The fun part is how do we distribute that money? You’ve got the money in the account and it’s ready and waiting for charity.” (26:57-27:46)


  • “No matter how hard it feels, no matter where you are in your own financial journey, you just start someplace and give something. The rewards that you reap do truly exceed the commitment to the dollar.” (29:13-29:30)

Links for this Episode:

Connect with Dr. Ellie Campbell


YouTube Video of Campbell Family Medicine Tithing Policy:

Connect with Dr. Lara Salyer

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