Columbia International University, Columbia, SC

Rob Hartman served as chief financial officer of Ohio Christian University (OCU) and Columbia International University (CIU) in Columbia, S.C. With more than 20 years of experience in higher education administration, Rob shared the blessings both universities experienced by joining CHM.

CHM: Understanding the spiritual needs of those you’re leading and doing what’s best for the financial stability of a ministry is important. When did CHM emerge as a solution to both needs?

RH: I had been at OCU five years when we began looking at health cost sharing ministries as an alternative to what we had at the time. The more we researched, the more CHM rose to the top of the list. CHM doesn’t have high overhead or administrative costs, and people actually share and meet each other’s needs.

After a few meetings with employees to explain how CHM works, the provisions employees would receive, and to answer questions and concerns, it was extremely well received. CHM became a roaring success and became the “cornerstone” of our employee healthcare provision.

CHM: You joined the CIU staff in May 2017. Tell us a little bit about the transition.

RH: When OCU’s former president, Dr. Mark Smith, and I joined the CIU staff, about five others were eager to follow. Interestingly we had trouble hiring them. Though we could agree upon their pay, CIU’s healthcare provision wasn’t nearly comparable with OCU’s nor did it include CHM.

I was astounded in one sense by their reaction, but I wasn’t terribly surprised either. These employees had been at OCU long enough that they’d come to love what we’d created with CHM. Over time, CIU implemented a new healthcare program—one that included CHM—and it’s been a hit.

Just yesterday a gentleman—someone I haven’t met because I’m still new—walked up to me, shook my hand and said, “I just want to thank you, Rob, for the new healthcare program. For the first time, I’m saving thousands of dollars a year and I get care instantly. I love this.”

CHM: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

RH: When I first researched CHM, I was thinking about saving money and providing better healthcare for our employees, but it’s my heart for what CHM does for believers that now drives my passion. I do care about the money—as a CFO should—but it’s ‘the ministry of this ministry’ that has stolen my heart. And it works; it’s helped hundreds of thousands of people.

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