Katy White, MD
CCHF Board Chair
Chief Medical Officer, Los Angeles Christian Health Center, Los Angeles, California
Tell us about God's specific call on your life for the gospel and care for the poor.
I am a family practice physician serving as Chief Medical Officer at Los Angeles Christian Health Centers (LACHC), where I have been since 2009. LACHC is a federally qualified health center, which provides medical and other comprehensive services in Skid Row, Boyle Heights, and other parts of Los Angeles. Our mission is to follow Christ by loving our neighbors through comprehensive, quality healthcare.
I grew up in the Los Angeles area, attended Williams College in Massachusetts, medical and public health graduate school in San Diego, and family practice residency in Long Beach. I met Jesus in a powerful and personal way, and realized my calling to serve in marginalized communities through health care, while on a college- age trip to India, in which I studied Hinduism, Buddhism, and Christianity. I have worked in safety net community clinics in Los Angeles my whole career.
I feel deeply called by God to serve in urban Los Angeles. I am inspired by the strength and resilience of our patients, and my colleagues, who willingly enter into the suffering of others. I also feel called to encourage and equip the next generation of health care professionals to follow Jesus to areas of greatest need, that we might love our neighbors actively and sacrificially.
How do I know that I am called?
- Theologically: Every time I read, hear, or reflect upon Jesus’s teaching, healing, and actions, I see Him spending time with people on the margins, people excluded by the powerful people in society.
- Experientially: In walking with patients who suffer deeply, whom I can not “fix” but can only stand with, I am reminded daily that God is God and I am not. I am reminded that I too am not the healthy but the sick, and these are who Jesus came for. Jesus comes for me also, as I spend time with people on the margins.
- Relationally: Jesus has given me partners on the journey who support me in this difficult work, so I am not alone, and I have been deeply blessed to see the growth of others (professionally and personally) who join us to serve.
How Has CCHF Impacted my Life?
In so many ways: CCHF has felt like a spiritual home for me as a Christian health professional. CCHF has encouraged me when I have been lonely, burned out and without community. CCHF has given me tools for spiritual growth. CCHF has helped me to learn about racism and my own participation in racial injustice, and about injustice in health care. Through CCHF I have learned about spiritual care and self care. CCHF has brought me mentors, incredible books, and relationships with others throughout the country. CCHF has helped me grow and develop as a leader.
I live in Long Beach, California, and have been married for 30 years to my husband Bill, who co-pastors a church in a diverse neighborhood of Long Beach, which meets in the local school, is active in the local neighborhood, and seeks to be a radically welcoming community on a journey toward Jesus, joining him in the renewal of all things. We have 2 adult children, Timothy who works in public service in Washington D.C., and Caris, who will finish college in New Hampshire in 2024.
3 Interesting Facts about myself
- Although I am not a gifted gardener (I leave that to my husband), I love walking our neighborhood and seeing the plumeria succulents, Jacaranda trees, flowers, and hummingbirds.
- I have been deeply blessed and challenged as God has shifted my plans: I tried to start a Christian medical clinic in Compton, California and failed…I came to downtown Los Angeles to work with immigrants and Spanish- speaking families, and have been drawn into leadership, management, and care of persons experiencing homelessness.
- Most of my reading these days has focused on White fragility, the historical and current impact of White supremacy, cultural awareness, and working toward anti- racism; the more I learn, the more I realize how much I need to keep growing.