The 2019 Million Step Challenge has begun!


Last night we kicked off AMM’s third annual Million Step Challenge! Thirty four participants are challenged to reach 1 million steps over the course of 100 days.

We'll do the math for you:  that's about 10,000 steps every day!

In April, May, and June, walkers will "get their steps in" by issuing challenges to each other, planning group walks, and coming to Alliance for our Walk with a Doc program.

Garden & Wellness Coordinator Jesse Crouch is hosting a 1.3 mile group walk twice each month at Alliance. The Million Step Challenge also engages it’s walkers by encouraging participation in our healthy topics discussions. Identified health educators, including nutritionists and healthcare providers, will give various 30-45 minute health education sessions throughout the program.

Thanks to Million Step Challenge Sponsor Fleet Feet, all patients receive Garmins to track their steps!


Alliance had a full house for the Kick-Off Dinner for the Million Step Challenge. The participants had the evening to get to know each other, team build, and strategize for the next few months. The group also listened to some encouraging words from both Dr. Joyner and Jesse while enjoying some fresh veggies, hummus, sandwiches and salads.

We'll look forward to following the walkers as they take steps toward their goal!


Volunteer Highlight: Beverly Schnick

Beverly (L) and Kim Stephenson (R), Director of Nursing

Beverly (L) and Kim Stephenson (R), Director of Nursing

This month, we are celebrating two incredible volunteer anniversaries!

Beverly Schnick, RN, was first drawn to Alliance’s mission and vision to see all residents of Wake County have access to healthcare 4 years ago when she heard about the clinic at an Apex United Methodist Church event. She has been volunteering on a weekly basis ever since. Coming from an extensive background in nursing, including time serving as an Air Force base nurse, Beverly says Alliance fulfills her desire to stay professionally involved in healthcare. “The AMM staff treats me as one of their own when I come in each week. It is unique to find the professional comradery Alliance offers to volunteers, especially in retirement.” Since beginning her time as a volunteer, Beverly has seen our clinic in many seasons. Working primarily in the telephone triage, Beverly notes how changes such as telephone translation have overcome barriers with our patients, allowing us to serve patients more efficiently. She remarks that it is rewarding to see patients continually educated on healthcare and connected to the resources they need.

When asked what word Beverly would use to describe Alliance she said caring. “Alliance serves a population that often gets overlooked. The staff and volunteers work hard to make sure that no one gets overlooked when they walk through the doors of our clinic.”


Betsy Allen MSW, LCSW is also celebrating an anniversary with us, joining the Alliance family in March of 2013. She has been a regular volunteer on our Pastoral Care and Counseling team since that time, seeing patients each week for counseling. Read more of Betsy’s story here.

Beverly and Betsy have touched the lives of countless patients and the entire Alliance family. We are so thankful for their dedication to serving our clinic!

Volunteer Spotlight: Eagle Scouts

The AMM Community Garden has received a few capital improvements this winter, thanks to Eagle Scout candidates Thomas Clark and Hunter Tuttle.

Thomas Clark built two tables for AMM’s greenhouse, which has and will enable to us to grow plants from seeds into transplants during winter months. Currently, AMM has 50 kale plants and 250 lettuce plants growing in the greenhouse, all available to give to patients to grow at home.


Check out Alliance’s new tiny library! 📚 Thanks to Eagle Scout candidate Hunter Tuttle for building and installing the library in AMM’s Community Garden. The library will be a place for the community to share books, resources, and pick up information about our garden. Hunter also installed a small natural area around the library with flowering perennial bushes. What a great addition to our garden!


Volunteer Spotlight: Mary Carr Allen & Natalie Holdstock

Mary Carr Allen (L) and Natalie Holdstock (R)

Mary Carr Allen (L) and Natalie Holdstock (R)

This month, we are ecstatic to have two familiar faces returning to AMM, Mary Carr Allen and Natalie Holdstock.

Mary Carr Allen was first introduced to AMM in 2009, when she was a Junior at Broughton High School. She volunteered weekly, and began thinking about pursuing a career in medicine. Mary Carr attended UNC-Chapel Hill, where she began a path to become a Physician’s Assistant, coming back to AMM in 2013-14 to shadow doctors and receive clinic hours. She in now in her third and final year at Campbell University’s Dual Public Health and Physician Assistant Program, a candidate for July 2019 graduation.

Mary Carr is completing a PA/MPR rotation at AMM, reviewing and revising our social determinants of health screening tool, and updating our resource guides to help address the many factors that affect our patients’ health on a daily basis. Mary Carr says she will take Alliance’s holistic health model with her wherever she practices medicine in the future as it has encourage and inspired her to be on the path she is today.

Through shadowing doctors, nurses and even helping with filing, I realized the importance of seeing the whole patient. Our physical health is often a manifestation of something deeper going on. The people at Alliance have always helped patients see the root of their problems.
— Mary Carr Allen

Natalie Holdstock was an intern at AMM during summer and fall of 2017. During her time as an intern, she helped with wellness programs, communication and marketing projects, and Share the Pie. Natalie is now in the process of applying to graduate school to pursue a Master’s in Public Health, and is supporting AMM with the Healthy Start breakfast and Million Step Challenge.

When I decided to apply for a MPH program, I knew I wanted to work for a place that would fuel my passion for public health. Alliance is the perfect place to do that.
— Natalie Holdstock

Volunteer Spotlight: MLK Day of Service

We are so thankful to the 25 amazing volunteers from First Presbyterian Church of RaleighEdenton Street United Methodist Church Missional Community, Boy Scouts of America Troop 369 and Activate Good who spent their MLK day serving with us.


Volunteers spent the day organizing our offices and cleaning the clinic. Groups picked up trash and branches around the Alliance Medical campus (in 30 degree weather!), deep cleaned the kitchen and bathrooms, and scrubbed the upholstered chairs. The groups also cleaned the conference room, yoga mats, kids play area, and teal pod refrigerator. The patient library, development office and hall printer closest were neatly organized. Ot is safe to say that our offices and clinic are looking cleaner and more organized than ever!

We were so grateful to have volunteers of all ages from 11-50+ years old on MLK day with one volunteer commenting, “I’m so glad you all have volunteer opportunities for all ages!” We are thankful for a day to reflect on the life and lasting legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. who once said,

Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'


Stay up to date with us on social media to find out about future volunteer opportunities! To find opportunities today, contact Ruthie Wofford at

Cooking Matters Class 1: Recipes


Check out the recipes our Cooking Matters class has been making and try them at home with your family!

Are you a patient wanting to join our new Spanish-speaking Cooking Matters course? Contact Jesse Crouch at jcrouch@alliancemedicalministry.orgto f ind out more information.


Yield: 8 “BOATS”    prep time: 25 min       cook time: 30 min           total time: 55 min

Taco Seasoning Ingredients:

•1 tablespoon chili powder

•¼ teaspoon garlic powder

•¼ teaspoon onion powder

•¼ teaspoon dried oregano

•½ teaspoon paprika

•1½ teaspoons ground cumin

•1 teaspoon salt

•1 teaspoon black pepper

  • 4 large zucchini

  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1 cup cooked brown rice

  • 1  bell pepper, cored and diced

  • 1/2 red onion, diced

  • 1/2 cup corn kernels

  • 1 jalapeno (or poblano pepper), cored and diced

  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil

  • 1 packet of McCormick Taco seasoning

  • 1 cup shredded cheddar/monterey jack cheese


  1. Grease a 9 x 13” casserole dish, then set aside. Slice each zucchini in half lengthwise. Using a metal teaspoon, hollow out the center of each zucchini. Lightly brush the tops with one teaspoon of olive oil then place them skin side down in the casserole dish.

  2. Next, warm the tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and the peppers and cook for 2-3 minutes. Then add the rice, corn, and beans along with the salt and taco seasoning. Stir everything together and continue to cook for about 5 minutes then remove the skillet from the heat and set aside.

  3. Preheat the oven to 400°F and spoon the filling inside of each zucchini until they are all full. Sprinkle each one with cheese, arrange them in the dish and cover with foil. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes.

  4. Allow them to cool for 5-10 minutes then serve and enjoy! Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.


  • 1 crown of Broccoli

  • 2 bell peppers

  • 1 large onion

  • 8 oz of mushrooms

  • 1 pound of lentils

  • 1 medium sweet potato


  • 1 bunch of radishes

  • 1 zucchini or squash

  • 1 tablespoon each of Oregano, basil, and chili powder

  • 1 tsp each of salt and ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil



  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat

  2. Dice all veggies into small 1/4 inch cubes

  3. Sauté radishes and sweet potatoes for 5 minutes in olive oil in a large pan.

  4. Add peppers and onions cook another 5 minutes

  5. Add  squash and cook another 2 minutes

  6. Add mushrooms and cook another 3 minutes

  7. Add spices , turn down heat to low and let     simmer for 5-10 minutes



  1. Put lentils in medium sauce pan and cover with 2 inches of water

  2. Bring to a boil, turn down heat.

  3. Cover and cook for 20-25 minutes.

Volunteer Spotlight: Betsy Allen, MSW, LCSW

Betsy Allen

Betsy Allen joined the Pastoral Care and Counseling team in 2013, and has been a regular volunteer since that time, seeing patients each week for counseling.

Betsy comes to AMM after a full career as a mental health/social work professional, which has included time with the North Carolina Council of Developmental Disabilities and the Wake County School System.

Betsy believes the emotional and spiritual health of individuals is a "part and parcel of a person's whole self. I think of it like a table with four legs -- medical care, diet, exercise, and spiritual/emotional care.  It all ties in together. The physical health mirrors the mental health. The ability to get better depends on resolving personal conflicts. As individuals are able to get a handle on what's troubling them, they're able to work on all parts of their lives.”

Betsy has formed strong relationships with her patients, helping them work through trauma, housing issues, financial challenges and job stress. "There are opportunities at Alliance for me to offer assistance and use my skill set to guide people down their path, their journey." Betsy's background as a long-time social worker in the Wake County area allows her to navigate other agencies and community resources available.

AMM Director of Pastoral Care & Counseling Dr. Toby Bonar shares that "we are so grateful for Betsy's friendship and generosity. She shares freely from her vast wealth of wisdom and compassion. What a gift she is to our patients and the entire Alliance family!"

Alliance thinks about how to do things in a nurturing of the clients, and nurturing of staff. The medical teams are working with people, not at them or to them.  It’s a pleasure to be able to walk with patients on their journey to wellness.
— Betsy Allen, MSW, LCSW