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August Newsletter

Dear Health Ministries Network Community,

When I was a child, one of my favorite authors was Maurice Sendak. I still remember lines from The Nutshell Library and the little book, Chicken Soup with Rice. The book features soup during every month of the year, and in August, the protagonist says, "In August it will be so hot, I will become a cooking pot. Cooking chicken soup, of course. Why not? Cooking once, cooking twice, cooking chicken soup with rice." Growing up in Cleveland, I remember August as the hot month. Today, living in the PNW, I'm less certain about when it's going to be hot--when it's going to flood--when we're going to experience a weather event or learn that an area of the world is suffering due to changes in our climates--both the one outside our body and the one inside our soul.

However, because these two climates are inextricably interwoven, I have hope. As we turn our hearts toward Love, just as my first echinacea flower of the year opens to the light, we find healing and we offer healing across the beautiful layers of life.

In August, we have great opportunities to find healing in community. We look forward to seeing many of you at our Health Ministries Network Appreciation Picnic, where we'll enjoy food, community, music and honoring our volunteers and partners. Please RSVP for the picnic on August 24th, 11:30am-1:30pm, and see all the good details below! Please also consider bringing hygiene items to support our Mt. Baker Foothills Community--the list is also below.

We offer an opportunity to share healing in our bodies through education as well. This month, we'll be featuring Kate Foster, RN and program director for the Diabetes Prevention Program at WSU Extension. This program serves both Skagit and Whatcom Extension and allows us to support a change in lifestyle that leads to vibrant health. Please join us on August 19th, 12-1:30pm on Zoom. See details below.

And you'll notice that the newsletter also includes some really dynamic opportunities to be inspired by the healing that others are promoting through civic engagement, environmental preservation and restoration and education and building community across diverse communities. Please join us in all of this.

If you feel called to become intimately involved with the lifegiving daily work at Health Ministries Network (HMN), know that we are still seeking a part-time Assistant Director to support and work with the Executive Director to perform our ongoing mission of linking Faith Community Nurses & Health Ministers, congregations and local resources, to nurture community health equity with spiritual well-being in our four-county area (Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish and San Juan Counties) of Western Washington.

In closing, Maurice Sendak's Nutshell Library includes another book, entitled, Pierre. Pierre is a stubborn little boy whose favorite response is: "I don't care." Spoiler alert: this ultimately results in his getting eaten by a lion. But never fear! The story has a happy, grace-filled ending. In the end, Pierre announces that he does care! Amen! Pierre cares as much as you all do--as much as we do together--on this healing journey to wholeness across time, space and cultures. And we're so glad we're on this journey together.

Wishing you continued peace, health, and love. Take good care today!

Yours in gratitude and hope,

Sarah Lane

Executive Director


I've spoken about the North Sound Accountable Communities of Health (NSACH) a number of times in the past year+. They gave us iPads, which we use at Ask a Nurse. They provide us with Naloxone for guests at Ask a Nurse. And over the past year, they've provided us with several hundred boxes of food and various wellness kits to support the Mt. Baker Foothills. Behind the boxes, you see recycled water bottles, provided by the Whatcom Family YMCA. Jessica Bee of the Opportunity Council at the EWRRC, provided a large container of ice water, and guests filled up these bottles to take with them on one of our hot Ask a Nurse days. And those feet in the background? Well, those are the movin' shakin' feet of Mt. Baker Foundation's volunteer, Micki Jackson, who shared information with guests about prediabetes and kidney disease. What you don't se here are the dozens of other hands, working together to make this a stronger, richer and more loving community. Thanks to all of our partners, supporters, friends--and YOU!


HMN August Meeting: WSU Extension offers the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) to Skagit and Whatcom Counties

Many of you have attended one or more of the recent "Prediabetes is not Benign" presentations, hosted by the Mt. Baker Foundation. And you or your communities of faith might be asking, "So what now? How can we prevent diabetes to further prevent kidney damage (among other things)? This month, we have the great honor and pleasure to hear from Kate Foster of WSU Extension (and also an RN!) who will be sharing their DPP Program with us--the next class is coming up quickly in September. What a great way to keep the education and wellness going throughout the year!

Prevent type 2 diabetes with WSU Extension Diabetes Prevention Program!

"If you have prediabetes or other risk factors for type 2 diabetes, it’s time to take charge of your health. The WSU DPP lifestyle change intervention can help you make lasting changes to reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes. WSU Diabetes Prevention is part of the National Diabetes Prevention Program, led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."

Everyone is welcome! Please join us via Zoom on Friday, August 19th, 12-1:30pm.

Please contact Sarah Lane with questions at


You are invited to join us and to bring a donation of one or more of the following items to support our neighbors in the Mt. Baker Foothills School District:

  • Toothpaste

  • 1 or 2-pack tooth brushes

  • Bar soap

  • shampoo

  • menstrual support products

  • dish liquid

  • laundry detergent (smaller containers if possible)

  • 2 or 4 pack toilet paper

While the Foothills Food Bank works very hard to find and provide food resources for the community, it is more challenging to find toiletries. And while we distribute boxes of similar items to a handful of people when we serve at "Ask a Nurse," there are many needs that go unmet. We will have a box where you can make a donation of these items at our picnic. If you are unable to attend the picnic, please contact Sarah Lane to make a delivery to the office at


HMN: Welcoming Kids Back to School by Caring for Parents and Guardians!

HMN will be participating in the 2nd annual Back to School Block Party on Saturday, August 20th @ Bellingham High School(BHS)from 10am-2pm. We will be present, taking BPs, offering health resources and education and sharing our love with the community. Can you join us for a 2-hour shift?

Please contact Sarah Lane at to sign up!


Be Inspired to Take Action: 2022 Social Determinants of Health (SDOH)

What does a community's political and civic activity say about its overall health? Speakers and participants explored this question and more during the 2022 Social Determinants of Health Symposium "Don't Talk About It, Be About It: How Civic Participation and Political Engagement Can Impact Health Within Your Community" on May 4, 2022. You can watch all the recordings by clicking on the image above.


Empower Next Generations!

Empower Next Generations is a 501c(3) nonprofit by and for Community Based Organization founded by Black, Brown and Indigenous Community Health Workers. Their vision is "reduced inequalities, good health and well-being, quality education, safe communities, and supportive institutions for future generations." Empower Next Generations invites you to the grand opening of their office space in Bellingham!

Visit this new multicultural and multilingual learning center on Aug. 4, 12-2pm, at 33201 Northwest Ave. #6.



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.

This week is World Breastfeeding Week, and #WBW2022 will focus on strengthening the capacity of actors that have to protect, promote and support breastfeeding across different levels of society. Breastfeeding is key to sustainable development strategies post-pandemic, as it improves nutrition, ensures food security and reduces inequalities between and within countries. The theme . . . highlights the links between breastfeeding and good nutrition, food security and reduction of inequalities.

According to the CDC, "The United States Breastfeeding Committee celebratesNational Breastfeeding Montheach August. You can share our easy-to-understand MyHealthfinder resource on breastfeeding — along with tips for eating healthy while breastfeeding."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sponsors National Immunization Awareness Month in August to highlight the importance of vaccination for people of all ages. Use CDC’s educational and promotional resources to encourage people to stay up to date on recommended vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Access to Free COVID-19 Oral Antiviral Medication

Washington State Department of Health (DOH) and its partners, Birds Eye Medical and Color Health, have launched a new free telehealth option to increase access to free COVID-19 oral antiviral medication. This new program builds off the Test to Treat Program and makes telehealth consultations for COVID-19 available to everyone, regardless of insurance status, with no out-of-pocket costs! Under this initiative, anyone in Washington state who tests positive for COVID-19, including with a self-test, can arrange a free consultation with a health care provider using a smartphone or computer. To set a telehealth appointment you can visit the DOH website or call 1–800–525–0127, para información en español, haga clic aquí. Telehealth appointments are currently available in 240 languages through translation services. More information on oral antivirals can be found in English and Spanish. To download a sharable flyer on the telehealth program please go here.


Monkeypox Resources

According to the Washington DOH: "Monkeypox is a viral disease that can cause rashes and other symptoms. It does not commonly occur in the U.S., but there is currently an outbreak of monkeypox with cases spreading in Washington state and across the country, as well as in many other countries. Many of the current cases are occurring in men who have sex with men, although monkeypox can spread person-to-person with any kind of close, skin-to-skin contact."

For information local to Washington State, to include case numbers and locations, check in with the Washington DOH here.

For more information on signs, symptoms, prevention and treatment, please go to the CDC website here.


All about 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline from SAMSHA

988 Key Messages

These key messages are designed to cover the basics of 988 and provide a strong foundation from which partners can build for their audience-specific needs. The key messages work in coordination with the messaging guidance outlined in the 988 Messaging Framework developed by the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention and its messaging task force.

Need Support Now?

If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat About 988

988 offers 24/7 access to trained crisis counselors who can help people experiencing mental health-related distress. That could be:

  • Thoughts of suicide

  • Mental health or substance use crisis, or

  • Any other kind of emotion distress

People can call or text 988 or chat for themselves or if they are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support.


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:


Stories from our Community

In July, we had a beautiful meeting with 19 in attendance to meet and greet our new graduates. If you missed the beautiful updates, stories and prayers, you can watch the replay here. We heard from Karman from Alabama and Jane from Montana and Rebecca and Emily (via Norma) and Deborah (via Mary Lynn) in Whatcom County! Their ministries are in various stages of planting, sprouting, budding, blooming and fruiting in this season! Please continue to water their good work with your thoughts and prayers!


Creative Offering

Children of the Setting Suns Production has launched The Salmon People Project! This project was started to help Tribes reverse the devastating impact of salmon loss and includes research, gatherings, and a documentary series. For more information please visit their website here. "The Salmon People Project will make it clear the Coast Salish Tribes will forever fight for nothing less than the abundant return of salmon in their natural habitat and the complete restoration of the Salish Sea." This image is a screenshot from: and is intended as a link for you to explore Children of the Setting Sun Productions and The Salmon People Project. All information in this Creative Offering is credited to Children of the Setting Sun Productions.


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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