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April Newsletter

Dear Health Ministries Network Community,

We hope you've had a beautiful Passover or Easter this past month! What a good season of hope and new growth we are experiencing! I'm happy to be here, to reconnect and to grow with you! This month, our nurses have been busy serving faith communities as they discern around reopening; assist those who wish to get vaccinated; and prepare to mentor WWU RN to BSN students as well as our registrants for our Foundations Course. I look forward to sharing more about this work below.

This month, we will "roll out" an updated hours reporting system. We are still tweaking our survey tool. Hopefully, it will be streamlined and easy to use, as we collect important information to help determine where we've been and where we're going and to let all stakeholders, including you, know how we serve our faith communities and our larger community.

We'll also hear from the Whatcom Community Health Worker Network at our April 23rd Meeting, which we've moved to noon--please mark your calendar. CHWs play an important role in connecting community members with resources. Sound familiar? Some of you may be CHWs or take on similar tasks in your faith community. So whether you're in Whatcom County or Eugene, OR, perhaps this time to connect and learn will be helpful to you! (And I apologize for thinking this was the 3rd Friday of April--indeed, it is the 4th!)

Please also see information on the Westburg Symposium as well as resources for your faith community that may support you as you continue to serve the mind-body-spirit of our community.

Wishing you continued peace, health, and compassion in service. Take good care today!

With gratitude,

Sarah Lane

Executive Director


April Monthly Meeting - Friday 4/23, 12-1pm

Friday, April 23rd 12:00 PM-1:00 PM

Come and share in our monthly Zoom Meeting, featuring the Whatcom Community Health Worker (CHW) Network! We'll hear from Megan Stephenson, who will share their work. Some of you may be familiar with this, as you serve as both an FCN or HM and a CHW! We all seek to connect our faith communities and communities, in general, with good resources. Come and learn! Please bring questions and stories to share at the Zoom Meeting!

For a Zoom link or questions contact


HMN & WWU Nursing Students at Work!

A global pandemic has changed a lot of things, but one thing it has not changed for HMN is our opportunity to work with WWU RN to BSN Nursing students on a research project in 2021. For this, we are grateful!

This year, we proposed several areas that we might examine so that we can serve our faith communities and broader community better. The project that the RN to BSN students chose was:

Project description: We have seen that many of our faith community members are suffering isolation and fatigue related to disconnectedness. We’d like to the students to address primary health and wellness impacts of isolation during pandemic. Students could provide insight and material for us to address isolation impacts and ideas on accessible means to keep people connected to improve overall health within faith communities. Our Faith Community Nurses and Health Ministers are seeking research materials and methods to engage faith communities in addressing disconnection in practical ways.

Joni Hensley, LeAna Osterman and Sarah Lane will be working with Bill Lonneman to connect students with FCNs/HMs and organizations to gather information. We look forward to learning what these hard-working students discover in our communities as well as some best practices around health and connection. Thanks in advance to all of you for your support in this important work.


Where is the COVID-19 Vaccination Available in Washington and Oregon?

Thank you to all the FCNs, HMs and community members who continue to connect our most vulnerable populations with the COVID-19 vaccination. If you know someone who is eligible to get vaccinated but has had trouble finding the vaccine, please see the following resources:

Call Whatcom County Health Dept at 360-778-6075, 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM, Mon-Fri to schedule by phone or online. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is currently available on Saturday, 4/10 at this site (BTC). Call today.

Contact PeaceHealth to schedule your Covid-19 Vaccination at:

By scheduling an appointment, you are indicating you are eligible for a vaccine in Washington. If you need help, please call the clinic closest to where you live during normal business hours: Bellingham, WA: 833-375-0285

Or you can go to to for current sites in your area, offering vaccine.

In Oregon, you can find vaccination sites by going to:


Resources to Address Safe Faith Community Reopening & COVID-19 Vaccination Confidence

Recently, we've been receiving questions from faith communities regarding reopening, as it is safe. Are there good information kits? How do we reopen compassionately? Are there examples of reopening plans that my faith community can use as a starting point for writing our own reopening plan? And how can we address vaccine confidence in multiple ways and languages for the diverse population in my community?

Hopefully, these resources serve as a starting point for you as you work with you faith community around reopening:

COVID-19 & Your Church(This has reopening plans from a number of churches!)

And here are some vaccine communication resources to respond to questions about vaccination, to include videos and information sheets in multiple languages:

North Sound ACH Vaccination Toolkit (Excellent videos and information sheets in multiple languages)

Do you have other resources? Please send them to Sarah Lane at or bring them to our monthly Zoom meeting on April 23rd at noon!


North Sound Regional Race and Health Equity Conference

Please join us for the first annual North Sound Regional Race and Health Equity Conference!

This is a free event co-sponsored by Family Care Network, PeaceHealth, Chuckanut Health Foundation, and North Sound Accountable Community of Health.

Date: Saturday, April 24, 2021

Time: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm

Location : Virtual (Zoom)

CME- 3.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ *


HMN Foundations Course Begins on Saturday, 4/10

Thank you to our 2021 class for answering the call.

Thank you to Carol Nicolay, Foundations Course Coordinator, who has recruited and organized our Class of 2021. Thank you to Bill Lonneman, who is serving as Course Instructor for our Faith Community Nurses. Currently, we have 5 students from around Washington State enrolled in our online course: four students enrolled to become Faith Community Nurses and one student who is training to be a Health Minister. Please hold these students, our instructors and our faith community in your prayers.

For more information: or contact Carol Nicolay or text 360-510-9797


Recording Available: March Meeting with the YMCA

Thank you for joining our monthly meeting in March to learn about what the Whatcom and Skagit YMCAs have been up to, what they're currently offering in 2021 and how they might serve your community. From YMCA Diabetes Prevention to Better Bones and Balance, from yoga to weight training and from wellness through fitness to wellness through community, the YMCA continues to serve our communities. And if you're not in these two counties, there's bound to be a YMCA near you--or one that can serve you remotely during this time.

You can click on the link here below to watch the recording.


Community Events & Info

In an effort to connect our volunteers with relevant resources, we publish community events and information in our monthly newsletter and on our website. Email director@healthministriesnetwork.netto add your own.


This year’s National Minority Health Month will focus on the impact COVID-19 is having on racial and ethnic minority and American Indian and Alaska Native communities with the #VaccineReady campaign. The campaign underscores the need for these vulnerable communities to get vaccinated and dispel myths and misconceptions about the vaccines. Visit the #VaccineReady site for informative videos, graphics, and other social media material to share.


STD Awareness Week, observed the second full week in April, provides an opportunity to raise awareness about STDs and how they impact our lives; reduce STD-related stigma, fear, and discrimination; and ensure people have the tools and knowledge to prevent, test for, and treat STDs.

For years, the U.S. has been battling steep, sustained increases in STDs. A recent report estimates that about 20 percent of the U.S. population – approximately one in five people in the U.S. – had an STI on any given day in 2018, and STIs acquired that year cost the American health care system nearly $16 billion in health care costs alone. Recent surveillance report data show STDs are not slowing down, but continue reaching all-time highs.


35th Anniversary 2021 Westberg Symposium at the Caring for the Human Spirit© Conference April 12-14, 2021

We are once again pleased to provide the International Westberg Symposium at the Caring for the Human Spirit© Conference. Building upon last year’s successful virtual conference, we are excited to bring you another robust virtual experience in 2021! By bringing together the expertise of professionals from diverse disciplines, the Symposium and Conference will provide attendees an environment that builds knowledge, creates interdisciplinary connections, and opens new paths for the delivery of spiritual care. Register here


Building Resilience: The Pandemic and Post-Traumatic Growth in Healthcare

Thursday, April 22, 2021, 2pm

Stress can affect nurses, and other healthcare staff, but it also can affect patient safety. Recent studies suggest overstressed caregivers are more likely to make errors and lower the quality of care. The American Nurses Association Survey of Nurses has documented high levels of stress among practicing nurses. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated work stressors, which may lead to an increase in liability lawsuits, highlighting the need for a greater focus on stress management and self care. Assessing one’s reactivity and “thinking about feeling” is the basis to developing self-awareness and ameliorating stress. Healthcare education programs and employing organizations need to formalize self-care and stress management education in light of the recent pandemic and the need to build a resilient workforce for the future to improve patient safety.


The American Nurses Association has compiled a great read that deals with the ethics of COVID and nursing responsibility to abide by them. We look for evidence-based practices around COVID-19, but how do we respond when evidence is evolving? In this dynamic environment, we turn to the ANA for good guidance on evidence, building trust and ethical practice. A short and powerful read.


Training Opportunities from Whatcom CHW Network

Promoting Vaccine Confidence in Older Adults. Approaches to build trust through tailored interventions that incorporate community norms and address barriers to vaccine uptake in this patient population. April 8, 10-11a.m. Register:

Building Covid-19 Vaccine Confidence in Agricultural Communities In Spanish with English interpreters. Gain insight regarding vaccine development, side effects and effectiveness of vaccines available; address common myths and misconceptions around Covid -19 vaccines. April 8, 11-12:30 p.m. Register:

ACE's (Adverse Childhood Experiences) This training explores the long term effects that adverse childhood experiences have on physical and mental health. Preventative measures and resiliency are discussed. April 16, 12:30 p.m. Register: tJUrcuugqT4oGde3NjAMVlgxLpiDDyOS6WpR


HEAD (Health Education About Dementia) Talks

Dementia Support Northwest

HEAD Talks are quarterly seminars beneficial to anyone interested in dementia or caring for someone experiencing dementia. By offering practical and timely discussions about real issues, HEAD Talks aim to educate and support those in our local community affected by Alzheimer’s and other dementias. These talks are free and open to the public.


Move 4 A Cause Dementia Support Northwest

Motivation can be hard to find these days, so every Friday from 4-4:30pm, Dementia Support Northwest will be moving and grooving to a different decade, beginning with the 1950s!

Register for this free event. $10 suggested donation to benefit Dementia Support Northwest.


Monthly CHW Meeting

Friday April 30, 9-11AM - Zoom Video Conference Call

Whatcom Community Health Worker Network

Join other community health workers for networking and resources. Email for the meeting link.


COVID-19 Support for Caregivers

Weekly - Zoom Video Conference Call

WWU Palliative Care Institute

The Palliative Care Institute has initiated a weekly on-line support group for staff at nursing homes, assisted living facilities, providing in-home care, and/or hospice care, creating a virtual space for them to come together to talk about the impact of the pandemic on their work and their clients and residents -- a kind of ‘COVID coffee break room,’ a place to sit down to talk for a few minutes with others who are also struggling to reconfigure all aspects of care. By gathering their thoughts, PCI hopes be a vehicle for sharing these stories more widely with those outside their worlds. Anyone who would like to join this support group can email to request the Zoom link.


On-Demand and Live Online Advance Care Planning Classes

PeaceHealth is offering "Your Voice Your Choice" classes online to help people complete their advance directives and durable power of attorney documents. Sharing your wishes for the care you want if you are critically ill can bring you closer to the people you love. Making your wishes known clearly in advance of a crisis is one of the biggest gifts you can give yourself, your family and friends.

Classes are offered the first Wednesday of every month 1:00-3:00 PM. The class is also on-demand and can be watched online anytime. Learn more at:


Creative Offering

A quote provided by Joni Hensley, HMN Board President:

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Mahatma Gandhi


Support HMN

Help us support the invaluable work of faith community nurses and health ministers in northwest Washington by donating today!

And thank you to our fiscal sponsor,

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