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April Newsletter 2023

Dear Health Ministries Network Community,

Good Spring to you! I hope that you are well in this changing season. Weather, our spiritual growth and practices, and life--it's always changing. This is foremost on my mind today because I am going through a change, myself. As of April 30th, I will no longer serve as Executive Director of Health Ministries Network. Two weeks ago, I was contacted by a previous employer, Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC), who asked if I might like to return to my old job, but teleworking. I left this position when my family moved to Bellingham in 2016. At the time, it wasn't feasible to drive the long distance each day to Whidbey or Everett; I had three kids at home, who needed me more intensively; and I really wanted to explore nonprofit and equity work. Today, I feel it is right for me to return to full-time work as a Contracting Officer and complete my 20 years of federal service with the Navy.

As I shared with our HMN Board, it has been such a pleasure to be a part of HMN these past two+ years. The competence, diligence, compassion and love of each of our Faith Community Nurses, Health Ministers and Community Health Advocates has motivated me to do my very best to serve well. Together, we have made tremendous contributions to our communities and have touched people near and far in ways we’ll never fully know in this life. In doing so, we’ve grown the organization in needed ways—beyond the walls of the office, just as faith communities have gone beyond their own walls these past few years. In this season, HMN is experiencing financial stability and abundance. The seeds of our love and effort have fallen on fertile ground, and the new growth that is rising up will, no doubt, grow roots that are deep and wide with your nurturing. I have all the faith and every confidence that HMN will continue to thrive.

I am grateful. I will miss this work, but most of all, I’ll miss working with you. And I will keep all of you in my heart and mind—and in my prayers.

Having said all of this, please know that there is a whole host of activities and opportunities that will continue! Please see the resources and opportunities below, and please also: SAVE THE DATE for the HMN Foundations in Health Ministries Course (Online), which will be held from Saturday, 9/23 through Saturday, 11/18 and will be comprised of 3 Zoom sessions, as well as connection and community in the WWU Canvas system with our tremendous instructor (and HMN Board Member), Bill Lonneman. We will fill you in on all the details (and scholarships) in the May newsletter!

And please don't miss our HMN monthly Meeting on Friday, April 28th, 12-1:30 on Zoom. Dr. Emily Gibson will be sharing a class on Telemedicine.

HMN wishes you you peace, love and good community connections today and each day!

With gratitude,

Sarah Lane

Executive Director


Thank you, everyone, for a beautiful two and a half years.

I will miss all of you who love Health Ministries Network well and share in our mission of "Linking Faith Community Nurses & Health Ministers, congregations, and local resources, to nurture community health equity with spiritual well-being."

In this photo, I finally stopped by the north fork of the Nooksack River, where I have been wanting to get out and explore after Ask a Nurse at the EWRRC.

A beautiful afternoon--following a beautiful Ask a Nurse with all of our partners in the Mount Baker Foothills!


HMN April Meeting: Using Telemedicine Well

If you've taken our Foundations course in the past few years, you've been blessed with the enlightening classes that Dr. Emily Gibson has provided to help prepare our Faith Community Nurses, Health Ministers and Community Health Advocates well for service in their community. This April, we are so grateful to bring you her expertise in telemedicine, which she practiced extensively in WWU Student Health Services through much of the pandemic.

Have you registered to view your health records online? Had a telehealth appointment recently? Connected friends and family with online appointments with healthcare professionals?

Like all new activities, there is a learning curve in participating in telemedicine. Dr. Gibson will provide you with an overview and answer your questions on Friday, April 28th, 12-1:30pm via Zoom.

Please join us on the 28th! All are welcome!

We look forward to seeing you there! Please contact Sarah Lane with questions or for a link at


HMN March Meeting Replay: Learn about Ask a Nurse

We met and shared and talked about Ask a Nurse! If you are curious, please click here for the replay!

Do you have questions about what exactly goes into an "Ask a Nurse" program, or perhaps how you, as an FCN/HM/CHA might start one in your community?

Please contact Sarah Lane with questions at


It's not too late to register! And Congrats to Anita Busby!

Thank you to all the FCNs/HMs/CHAs in Health Ministries Network who submitted their first quarter hours and indicated that they'd like to attend the Westberg Symposium online! Health Ministries Network offered Anita Busby, RN, and one of our newest Ask a Nurse volunteers, to attend this conference. Thanks for all you do, Anita, and congratulations!

We also wanted to let everyone know that there are still virtual seats available, if you'd like to register for yourself. The agenda looks really engaging! Learn more or register here.



2023 Older Adult Mental Health Awareness Day Symposium

"The National Council on Aging is proud to host the 6th annual Older Adult Mental Health Awareness Day Symposium. This event is co-sponsored with the U.S. Administration for Community Living, the Health Resources and Services Administration, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Registration is free and includes a full day of sessions on how to best meet the mental health needs of older adults. In partnership with Rush University’s E4 Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Disparities in Aging, NCOA anticipates offering free continuing education credit for several professions. Please visit the FAQs page for more information.

Be sure to join us starting at 10:00 am EST for the welcome and keynote speaker, Montel Williams." Learn more and register here.


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 to add your own.


April 11th is World Parkinson's Day!

"For World Parkinson's Day 2023, MDS will be highlighting our partners around the world, how they contribute to PD care and research, and the impacts they are making on the PD community.

Follow along on social media: #worldparkinsonsday" Learn more about Parkinson's Disease here.


Have you updated your resources lately?

Community Resources in Whatcom County In 2022, we heard from the Whatcom Asset Building Coalition and learned about the database of resource guides they were building to connect individuals with good resources in Whatcom County. Their guides, informational posters and educational resources are always changing, just like our needs! If you haven't been here recently, please check out their website. You will find resource guides that cover everything from current foodbanks and free meals to IRS tax preparation support! Please share these widely with your community. Resources on Advocacy Offering hands-on assistance and service is only one step in the process of working toward health equity. Another critical step is advocacy. However, many of us aren't quite sure whether we can or how we might advocate well for health equity. HMN is a member of the NSACH Collaborative Action Network, and at a conference in March, they shared with us all kinds of great advocacy resources. Please check them out here. Senior Resource Guides 2023 We call them the "Flower Guides" because they always have lovely flowers on the front of them. And in this case, you can judge a book by its cover. This guide is flowerful and fruitful, as it provides so many wonderful resources for our older adult community and families. While the guide pictured here is from Whatcom County, 2023 guides are available for Skagit and Island, Clallam and Jefferson and Kitsap Counties as well! Click here to find yours online! HMN has some hardcopies in its office and carries them to Ask a Nurse programs at the East Whatcom Regional Resource Center (EWRRC), Goodwill and Eleanor Apartments, so if you and your faith community would like a handful, please contact Sarah Lane at


Do not leave Kidney Disease, BP and Prediabetes Prevention Behind

Just because March is over, and we've exited Kidney Health Awareness and Nutrition Awareness Month, we do not leave our awareness and interest in our health and supporting the health of our communities behind. In fact, this is only the beginning!

Please click on the banner above and share Dr. Bill Lombard's presentation. To learn more, check out the following resources on kidney health, prediabetes and nutrition:


Resources from the Mount Baker Foundation

More resources from the Mount Baker Foundation



More resources from the Mount Baker Foundation:



"Old Friends Clubs are designed to give care providers worry-free time to be at home, run errands, catch up with a friend, or relax and recharge in order to protect and maintain their own physical and mental health. ​A typical five-hour program at the Old Friends Club includes:

  • Low-impact social time to encourage group engagement and support

  • Light physical activities

  • Art and other creative projects

  • Group-oriented games and other forms of cognitive stimulation

  • Lunch, snacks, and light refreshments throughout the day


All about 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline from SAMSHA

If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat Would your faith community like some "988" wallet cards to hand out? Sarah Lane has some in the office. Please request them!


Creative Offering

An image of all the colors of clay, cut and prepared for Kids' Art Day at Singh Sabha Gurudwara with the Chardi Khala project. Hundreds of kids of many backgrounds gathered, experienced art and community together and reduced the distance between us on March 18th.


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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