This article appears in the October issue of 400 Life Magazine
When Morrow Family Medicine opened in June 2011, they wanted to introduce Forsyth County to a unique kind of health care — one that wouldn’t be simply patient-centered, but also that put the entire community’s wellbeing at the forefront.
They’ve done just that. They’re a neighborhood staple with two locations and have established one of the area’s most beloved charities for helping students where it matters most.
“We opened the practice to be able to provide the kind of care that people deserve and are looking for,” says Dr. Jim Morrow, CEO and one of two family physicians at the practice. “I wanted to ‘bring care back to health care,’ which I think we are doing.”
They definitely are. The Morrow Community Foundation formed The Forsyth BYOT Benefit shortly after opening and have since held bi-annual fundraisers that help put technology into the hands of underserved students so that they can be successful in school (Bring Your Own Technology).
In an age where digital is everything — especially for students, as the COVID threat put 100% of students learning from home this past spring — this year’s event could not be more important. But it does look a whole lot different.
“There has never been a time when students have needed access to technology as much as they do now,” says Peggie Morrow, co-owner and MFM’s marketing manager. “Just ask any mom or dad or grandparent whose children are attending virtual classes during this pandemic. We knew that it would have to look different this year, though. We had to create a new kind of event where anyone could get involved, but where everyone would be safe.”
The result is iChallenge, a virtual event that incentivizes physical activity through friendly community competition. Individuals or teams can register to log their active minutes over a one-month period (October 1-31) in hopes to win prizes as they raise money that helps young people right here in their own neighborhood.
“This is not just an event for athletes to log miles or burn calories,” adds Peggie. “This is for any kind of physical activity —brothers wrestling in the living room, playing a game of Twister, walking the dog. We wanted everyone to be able to get in on the fun and help their community in an active way that takes us away from the screens.”
In healthy contrast, virtual bevy is what this fundraiser is all about. BYOT helps students get their hands on technology like laptops and tablets, access to Wi-Fi, and it helps make improvements to media centers in schools across the county.
“We started BYOT because I wanted there to be something that [Jim and I] were doing for the community together,” says Peggie. “Through conversations with the PTO and the superintendent at the time, we learned that there were more than 2,000 kids who didn’t have access to technology. That was a big deal to us.”
It’s an even bigger deal now.
“Over the years, the Forsyth BYOT Benefit has raised more than $350,000. This huge sum of money has enabled us to purchase devices and connectivity for families in need,” says Dr. Jeff Bearden, superintendent of Forsyth County Schools. “We needed it last spring more than ever. We need it just as much now. As we enter a new school year that is fraught with uncertainty, we must be prepared.”
The Morrows have collected several invaluable contacts throughout their experience with BYOT, including Jason Naile, the director of instructional technology and media for Forsyth County Schools, Bearden, and the PTOs here in the county. This year, the hope is that as their network spreads the word, the participant pool will emerge from all over the country. And since “race” packets are delivered contactless this year, everyone still gets a t-shirt.
Back in the office, it’s all about the pandemic right now. In eight months, Morrow Family Medicine has changed just about everything logistically on how they see patients. And diligence like that is, in part, responsible for earning them the vote for Best of Forsyth every year since its inception, not to mention also being named Best of North Atlanta every year they’ve been open in Milton.
MFM offers everything you’d expect from a family medicine practice: complete physical exams, acute care, chronic disease management, sports physicals, immunizations, lab work, and COVID-19 testing. But it’s unique. They’re cutting edge, and they’re old fashioned — in the way they care about their patients.
They provide attentive care in the office and resource materials, such as podcasts and patient portals, for patients to receive education and care even when they’re not face to face with a doctor.
Of course, visits look a little different these days — patients wait in their cars, masks are required, rooms and surfaces are sanitized even more and sick and well visits are isolated between offices. But, the overall feeling remains: these are professionals who really care.
“Our guiding principle behind the company today is treating people they way they deserve to be treated,” says Dr. Morrow. “That includes both our staff and patients. I want our patients to feel well cared for …to feel like we care about them, to know there is never a time they can’t count on us, and I want the community to know that we are a part of them. To know that we support them every way we can. If something is not working the way it should, we fix it.”
Now that’s an activity worth logging.
Find more information about The Forsyth BYOT Benefit here.
-Story by Jennifer Colosimo, Sponsored content