From a one room dispensary, CMC has grown into a network of primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary care hospitals, with over 3000 beds and 10,000 staff spread across seven campuses in and around Vellore, and in the neighbouring state of Andhra Pradesh. Today, CMC is considered one of India’s finest medical college hospitals and attracts patients from all over the country as well as neighbouring nations.
CMC continues to be a great training institute in allied health sciences, nursing and post graduate medical education. It has initiated numerous fellowship programmes and super speciality degree courses. It has also established health management, distance education courses and e-learning programmes. CMC’s graduates form a large proportion of the trained health care personnel in Christian hospitals in remote parts of the country.
Research at CMC has always aimed to be relevant to the needs of the country. Several protocols for the cost effective care solutions to problems like leprosy, polio, childhood diarrhoea, invasive bacterial infections, spinal cord injuries and cancers have been investigated. The Government of India’s department of Biotechnology, has entrusted development and translation of stem cell research to CMC.
CMC maintains its Christian commitment through care of marginalised and vulnerable people. The hospital has been a champion of stigmatised patients afflicted with mental illness, leprosy and HIV. It seeks to ensure treatment is accessible to the poor through various schemes so that no patient is turned away due to lack of funds.
Dr Ida Scudder started her work in Vellore with a focus on serving women and children. She soon recognised that the poor couldn’t afford to come to the hospital, and the only way she could help them was by going to their doorstep to deliver the care that they so desperately needed. She drove to the surrounding villages on ‘Roadside Clinics’ and treated her patients under the trees.
One hundred and twenty-two years later, CMC continues to reach out to and partner with local communities around Vellore and Ranipet Districts. From tribal villages in Jawadhi hills to the urban slum communities of Vellore City, CMC’s community health teams work on a locally relevant health and development needs reaching out to the poor and needy to offer high quality, holistic medical care at low cost prices or even free of cost. The aim is to make the same quality health care which is available to the affluent, accessible to the marginalised also.
CMC stands for holistic medicine, integrating physical, psychological and spiritual care. Faculty and students live on campus so there is a sense of community living and student nurture. Patients flock to this small city because they believe they will get an honest opinion and care from professionals who live out their motto, “Not to be ministered unto but to minister”.
The vision for CMC is to be a witness to the healing ministry of Christ, through excellence in education, service and research. The challenge is to adapt to the changing healthcare scene in India, to become a world class institution steeped in its core values of integrity, justice and service.
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