On a bright Saturday in November 1983, Dr. Cullen B. Rivers and Rev. Buddy Childress treated the first patients of CrossOver Healthcare Ministry. For at least a year, the two men had been dreaming about how best to use available resources and talents to “cross over” the divides that troubled them: the divide between people and God, the divide separating people from one another, and the divide between people and the resources they needed to flourish. Now, they stepped into ministry with few tangible resources—they had little more than a sheet for privacy and a bare light bulb hanging from a cord—but an abundance of faith and compassion.
At first, Dr. Rivers and Rev. Childress tried to meet every need they encountered, from legal counsel to financial need to medical care. Over time, they came to believe that quality healthcare was the essential first step to addressing other needs, so they focused their efforts accordingly. Meanwhile, local partners began to help meet funding needs, and volunteers began to offer their skills and expertise.
Dental care was added to CrossOver’s services in 1987, and the vison care program began in 1990. After being housed in various locations in its first eight years, CrossOver opened its Richmond Clinic on Cowardin Avenue in 1991. The Henrico Clinic opened in 2005, and now the two clinics together serve over 6,600 patients each year.
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