top of page

February Newsletter

Dear Health Ministries Network Community,

We've made it through the darkest part of the year, and though spring is still in the middle distance, we do see signs of rebirth amidst the cold and wet--and sometimes snowy weather. I am always encouraged by the seasons and the opportunity to look ahead with hope.

However, I also recognize that I must live in the present. In this season, we simultaneously celebrate Black History Month and grieve the senseless death of another Black man, Tyre Nichols, in the same city where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in 1968. While I enjoy relative ease and privilege in my own life, there is a war in Ukraine. And even though I see typical early signs of spring in the PNW, I see that people around the world are forced to migrate due to environmental changes. Today, I sit with this and ask, "How can I serve others well--and will it be enough, whatever I do?"

My answer comes quickly; I've asked this question to myself many times, and I think my soul has rehearsed its response. Love others well. You are the hands an feet--you have a heart. And you are enough.

Yes. We are enough, and we are called to love one another, no matter our faith tradition. This month, we encourage each other to celebrate and grieve, enjoy life and serve and to make wise decisions about how we walk through this world throughout this one precious life.

Please see the learning and service opportunities below for yourself and perhaps for your whole community. And please come to the HMN monthly Meeting on MONDAY, February 13th, 12-1:30 on Zoom. Different time, same place. Two great speakers: Road2Homeand Skookum Kids! What are others doing to serve, and could we support this good work?

As many of you know, we had to postpone our visit to the Gurudwara in January. However, it's back on and scheduled for this Sunday, February 5th, 2023, noon at Guru Nanak Gursikh Gurudwara to continue to get to know the our Sikh neighbors. Please join us! All persons are asked to wear a head covering as well as socks. Come prepared for a beautiful lunch that can accommodate most dietary needs, good company and good fellowship! I look forward to seeing you there.

And, appropriately, it is Healthy Heart Month! After several years of heightened stress and lifestyle changes, it's a great time to rekindle our love for our own hearts and those of our neighbors by learning more about and practicing heart health! See opportunities below!

As we inch moment-by-moment toward increased warmth and daylight, HMN wishes you you peace, love and good community connections today!

Sarah Lane

Executive Director


Thank you, Whatcom Transit Administration (WTA)! Your generous grant of 200 6-ride bus passes to HMN and our Ask a Nurse Program have allowed us to address "transportation," an important social determinant of health, for our guests. One older adult guest at the East Whatcom Regional Resource Center (EWRRC) told me that our nurses are a blessing to the community--that she comes to the Foothills Food Bank just to see us, to check her blood pressure, have a conversation and to get a 6-ride bus pass so that she can go to appointments in Bellingham. Each of us plays a critical role in the solution to the isolation--and perhaps the abandonment--that another may face. Thanks for being here, WTA. We're glad to have you on our team.


HMN February Meeting: Meet Road2Home and Skookum Kids!

This month, we enlarge our hearts by learning about the great work and love that our neighbors are sharing! Our meeting will be held on a MONDAY this month, so mark your calendars. This date accommodates our guests well, and perhaps if you haven't been able to attend on a Friday, you'll be able to join us on a Monday!

About Road2Home

"Road2Home is a nonprofit serving community members experiencing homelessness in Whatcom County. We provide enhanced sheltering and case management at Gardenview Village. We also provide vital connections to the community through our Volunteer Ally Program, while working to reduce stigma about homelessness in our community."

About Skookum Kids

"Skookum Kids is built around a single big idea: that if we take great care of people, the mission will take care of itself. So we work really hard to make this a delightful place to volunteer and be a foster parent. We believe in health for all, meaning that no person should ever have to sacrifice their own health to serve kids. That's not to say we don't work hard (because believe me, we do), but that healthy, happy, well-supported people get more done."

Everyone is welcome! Our meeting will be held on Monday, February 13th, 12-1:30pm via Zoom. Please invite your Faith Community Leaders to join us this month and learn more about what's going on across our community!

Please contact Sarah Lane for a Zoom link or with questions at


Health Ministries Network Visits the Gurdwara, Sunday, 2/5, noon!

We had a beautiful time, getting to know the Chardi Kala Project and our Sikh neighbors just a little bit better in October, and we have been invited to get to know the Gurdwara in January!

Date/Time: 5 February 2023, NOON

We'll meet at:

Guru Nanak Gursikh Gurudwara

176 E Pole Rd, Lynden, WA 98264

All people will be asked to cover your head and remove your shoes (please wear socks). A head covering can be a scarf or a hat.

If you missed our meeting, you can still access the replay here.

Please contact Sarah Lane with questions at


HMN January Meeting Notes and Video

It was great to meet Mariah Davis, Outreach Specialist at NWRC and help get her oriented to HMN and our communities.

And it was very interesting to learn about sexual health trends from Julie McCoy at the WCHD. Every health crisis is a spiritual crisis--and we have many people in crisis today. Syphilis and other STIs have risen locally and across the nation in recent years, and we will see this in our faith communities.

Please click here for the replay, and contact Sarah Lane with questions at



NSACH Opportunities for Learning & Participation

Preparedness Planning for Rural Responders and Volunteers | March 28-29

This FEMA training is a free management-level course, to ensure the safety of underserved populations during a crisis event by increasing knowledge among community emergency preparedness planners. Any community members is encouraged to take this course, to prepare for personalized care, transportation, shelter, and medical assistance before the crisis occurs. The course is on March 28 & 29, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. each day. To learn more and sign up, click here.

Mental Health Matters of Washington wants you to save the date for their first Annual Mindfest: Celebrating the Mind and Nourishing the Soul, in Mukilteo, WA on May 7, 2023! This free community event is meant to be an informative, inspiring, and inclusive health and wellness festival that brings diverse communities together.

Black, Indigenous and People of Color/Black Convening | February 16

The Call to Action Series: BIPOC/Black Convening’s goal is to bring black therapists and peers together with stakeholders (agencies, universities, health clinics, etc.) to be part of a conversation to work collectively to create solutions addressing:

  • The current state of BIPOC/Black mental health

  • How to provide culturally appropriate health and wellness services

  • Ways to Increase support services for children, youth, and families

  • How to address workforce and licensure issues

This free, virtual event is on February 16 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Register by clicking here, and learn more here.

Skagit County Public Health is seeking community feedback about local COVID-19 response efforts! Feedback gathered will be used as part of the county’s After Action Report and Improvement Plan to strengthen Skagit County’s emergency preparedness and response system. The will remain open for public comment until February 28, 2023.

To access the survey:

  • Click here for English

  • Click here for Spanish

If you have questions, need assistance completing the survey, or would like more information, please call (360) 416-1500.

You may have missed . . .

Thank you to everyone who attended our January Partner Convening, Radical Reimagining. We appreciate that we were all able to be in physical space together, and we are already looking forward to next time. We will also have the recorded sessions added to our YouTube channel soon. Here are some of the resources shared at the convening:

  • Salmon and our Health - Stillaguamish Tribe health and wellbeing video, click here.

    • To view the other videos from that series, click here

  • Food Systems for Thriving Together, click here.

  • Michael Tuncap on Island Block Radio, click here.


Join us at McIntyre Hall Performing Arts and Conference Center in Mount Vernon on March 11, 2023 to explore The Science of Belonging: Understanding the next frontier of health equity. This conference has been approved for 4 AMA PRA Category I Credits™.

The conference includes a combination of keynote presentations, interactive discussions, and action planning:

Exploring the Science of Belonging and Inclusion Dr. Somava Saha, with Well-Being and Equity in the World, will discuss the impacts of belonging, inclusion, and connection on individual and community well-being. Shu-Ling Zhao, Chuckanut Health Foundation, will facilitate a conversation with Dr. Saha.

Elevating Community Voices Devyn Nixon, PeaceHealth, and Monica Koller, Connecting Communities, will share stories of patients and providers of colors, elevating their experiences.

Transforming Your Practice Sofia Aragon, Washington State Nurses Association, and Devyn Nixon will introduce examples of effective programs and policies to increase equitable delivery of healthcare--and to develop plans for individual and/or organizational action. 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.

February is Health Heart Month (from the CDC)

  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, women, and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States.1

  • One person dies every 34 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease.1

  • About 697,000 people in the United States died from heart disease in 2020—that’s 1 in every 5 deaths.1,2

  • Heart disease cost the United States about $229 billion each year from 2017 to 2018.3 This includes the cost of health care services, medicines, and lost productivity due to death.

Coronary Artery Disease

  • Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease, killing 382,820 people in 2020.2

  • About 20.1 million adults age 20 and older have CAD (about 7.2%).2

  • In 2020, about 2 in 10 deaths from CAD happen in adults less than 65 years old.2

Know the early warning signs and symptoms of a heart attack.Click here.

Heart Attack

  • In the United States, someone has a heart attack every 40 seconds.2

  • Every year, about 805,000 people in the United States have a heart attack.2 Of these,

    • 605,000 are a first heart attack2

    • 200,000 happen to people who have already had a heart attack2

    • About 1 in 5 heart attacks are silent—the damage is done, but the person is not aware of it

Resources for your health ministry

  • Check out the Heart Disease Communication Kit from the CDC

  • Have you been to your local YMCA lately? Check out the Y's Virtual Fitness Program here or visit a YMCA near you!

  • Request a BP cuff for your health ministry. Contact Sarah Lane at for assistance.


The Whatcom Resource Initiative Collaborative: A Sunburst on a Cloudy Day!

This post is brought to us by Kristi Slette, Secretariat of the Whatcom Resource Information Collaborative in Washington state.

Whatcom County in Washington state – the northwesternmost county in the continental U.S. – is a resourceful community with many collaborative community-based organizations that serve residents in need.

For many years, the leadership and staff from many of these organizations have voiced a desire to improve the accessibility and reliability of information about resources available in our community. In the past, this desire sparked several attempts to develop a centralized resource directory – but in each instance, our vision was hampered by the complexities of this challenge. We all shared the same goal, but different organizations had different needs and interests. When it came time to address all of them in one single website, we struggled to move forward together. Read more here


Learn about and support a program of the Chuckanut Health Foundation

As part of our response to Covid’s effect on our community, the Connecting Care Project is focused on increasing the overall wellbeing of children by strengthening the ecosystem of support around them. Our approach includes addressing the mental health impacts of the pandemic on educators and childcare providers, and building connections with the medical community to foster a collaborative approach to caring for Whatcom youth. Click here to watch a video to learn more and about how you can help!



Are you a Community Health Worker/Promotora de Salud?

If you have been trained as a Faith Community Nurse (FCN), Health Minister (HM) or Community Health Advocate (CHA) by taking the Foundations in Health Ministry Course with HMN or elsewhere, then you are a CHW! You are welcomed as a CHW at the Whatco Community Heath Worker Network Meetings and other events across Washington State. Please check out opportunities below.

Whatcom County CHW Network Meetings: We hold our meetings over Zoom on the 4th Friday of the month from 9-11 a.m. Please email us to be added to the invite list!

To join our list and get updates for upcoming meetings and events, email


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


Creative Offering

Thank you to LeAna Osterman and her friend, who provided 200 pairs of socks to HMN. Fifty pairs have gone to the GRACE/LEAD teams who visit and care for those who are houseless. Fifty pairs have been distributed through Ask a Nurse. They will all find a home. And they will all be received with the love and gratitude with which this generous gift has been given.


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,

6 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page