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January Newsletter

Dear Health Ministries Network Community,

Happy, Healthy New Year! As I write this note, I'm sitting in our office at 800 E. Chestnut in Bellingham. It's a lovely, warm office, provided by PeaceHealth, and it will be a great place to gather when it's safe, later in this new year, 2021! Right now, I am here alone, save the many birds, feasting on a variety of berries outside our window.

And I'm reflecting on 2021. It's tempting for a new director to want to "take on the world." And don't think I haven't thought of it. I like big things. But I also cherish small and intimate things, particularly connections. And that's where my heart and hands are at today.

In addition to doing the big work that is always before us, I look forward to calling all our active FCNs and HMs to see how it's going--and to connect people where they need support and connection. I think we all need that. I look forward to hearing needs and responding to concerns from FCNs/HMs and faith communities as we begin to reopen doors and facilities later this year. And I look forward to continuing to balance mind, body and spirit needs, as is our mission.

As a part of all this, please see the great opportunities for learning and connection in the newsletter that follows. We have a great presentation by Dementia Support NW via Zoom this month. And there are lots of opportunities to bring wellness to your faith community or reach out to the larger community as a volunteer. There's also opportunity to enrich yourself as you await opportunities for continued service.

As we step into 2021, may we do so with love and connection, joy and learning, peace and action. Take good care today!

With gratitude,

With gratitude and joy,

Sarah Lane

Executive Director


HMN Monthly Meeting

Friday, January 15, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Zoom Video Conference, featuring a presentation by Dementia Support Northwest. According to Dementia Support NW: "Each year we provide hundreds of hours of education and support in Whatcom and Skagit County as follows: Support Groups for adults caring for those affected by dementia, Staying Connected Memory Support Groups for adults newly diagnosed or experiencing minimal memory loss; Adult Children Support Groups for those adults caring for a parent affected by dementia; and the Find Me Safe Network (a partnering with the Whatcom County Sheriff) providing electronic technology to locate those who wander." Check in and discussion, presentation and time to chat! Everyone is welcome to attend!

Please bring questions and stories to share at the Zoom Meeting!

Email Sarah Lane for a link or questions at


Hours Entry Changes in 2021

Happy 2021! it is time to reflect on all the good things that we're doing. Part of taking stock is entering our hours so that we can rest and reflect--and plan for the upcoming year.

If you haven't entered your FCN or HM hours at our website, please take a moment to do that now. Just click here:

You can also email your PDF to, or simply let us know you're having difficulty, so that we can find a way to support you--and others who may also be struggling with entering hours.

Or simply click here:


Dementia Prevention and Treatment

What factors throughout the life course may help reduce risk of dementia? How does precision medicine apply to the field of brain health and dementia research? What resources and interventions can promote brain health or help people live well with dementia? Mark your calendar for this presentation from neuropsychologist Dr. Kristoffer Rhoads of the University of Washington School of Medicine. Geared toward health care providers and other dementia professionals, these key topics and more will be discussed.

About Dr. Rhoads

Dr. Rhoads is a clinical neuropsychologist specializing in the evaluation and treatment of dementia and neurodegenerative disorders. He currently serves as a neuropsychologist for the UW Memory and Brain Wellness Center at Harborview and is an Associate Professor in the Department of Neurology at the University Of Washington School Of Medicine.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

11:am PST / 1:00pm CST / 2:00 EST

Webinar held via Zoom

If you miss this opportunity, please know that the video will be posted here.

For more information or questions, contact Ki Siadatan at


Register for the next webinar in the: Nightingale Leadership Series

Future of Work in Nursing

The future of nursing is many things—exciting, promising, challenging, multifaceted, innovative, and creative. It’s a world in which nurses will be clinicians, researchers, policy makers, educators, communicators, data analysts, CEOs and much more. It’s a future that includes emerging opportunities that are just becoming visible as technology and policy converge to improve the ways in which healthcare knowledge is discovered, communicated, and implemented. Our distinguished panel—Deb Hayes, Meghan Kennedy, Emily Rubin, Eunice Wangadi, and Victoria Han—have experience that spans these realms and they will be sharing their insights about and visions of the future.

Tuesday, January 12 12-1pm PST


Recording Available: December Meeting - Community and Resources

If you missed the December Meeting or would like to review its content, please see the link below to our community check in and sharing of resources. With a lovely dedication by Carol Nicolay, we reflect on angels and the peace and beauty that is available to us today, even amidst pandemic and isolation. Link to the video and good resources here:


Faith Community Connections in Oregon!

Informal networks of active faith community nurses and health ministers are alive and well in Oregon!

If you are receiving this newsletter and are not yet plugged into a regional team, please contact one the coordinators listed below, even if you are not in that region. We will do our best to connect you with your regional coordinator.

Most regional networks are meeting monthly using Zoom. This platform has allowed us to provide some top-notch education for our Faith Community Nurses and Health Ministers, and has made it possible to extend invitations to folks in other regions, strengthening our teams.

Please contact either of these Oregon coordinators to get connected to your region:

Jonet Schutz, RN, Faith Community Nurse Coordinator Salem area


Deb Fell-Carlson, RN, Faith Community Nurse Coordinator/Lead Educator

Linn, Benton and Lincoln Counties



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.


Looking for Positive Messaging in 2021

With 2020 behind us, we are looking forward to bringing health messages front and center in our congregations! An easy way to do this is to promote a challenge in your congregation during February, American Heart Month.

The 5-2-1-0 initiative, endorsed by former Oregon legislator Winters and Senator Courtney, is an easy way to get this messaging to those we serve, especially during times of COVID. Use the website to sign up teams and check out the resources tab to download trackers to encourage folks each day:

  • Five or more servings of fruits and veggies

  • Two hours or less of LEISURE screen time

  • One hour or more of physical activity

  • ZERO sugary drinks

Learn more at!


Quick Links to the CDC

COVID-19 Variants. Information about the characteristics of these variants is rapidly emerging. Scientists are working to learn more about how easily they might spread, whether they could cause more severe illness, and whether currently authorized vaccines will protect people against them. For complete information, click here

COVID-19 One-Stop-Shop Toolkits. Videos, social media, PSAs, print resources, checklists, FAQs, and web resources for every sector or community to prevent the spread of COVID-19. For information specific to faith communities, click here


Monthly CHW Meeting

Friday January 29, 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.


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.


Stay Connected with the YMCA: State Alliance Cafes

YMCA State Alliance-Cafes are free opportunities to learn & engage with people across the state.

January 12th - Imagining our 2021

The power of vision is real. So what is it that we envision in 2021? What is it that we anticipate, are committed to, and hope for? Come explore as we listen to one another and what we are looking forward to this year as we navigate this next phase of the pandemic. Zoom Registration Link

January 19th - What About the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Join us as we hear from Dr. Diana Yu about the science of the vaccine and how it will be rolled out. This spring, Diana was asked to come out of retirement to assist in Thurston County's pandemic response. Diana worked as a local health officer for multiple counties throughout her career with degrees from the University of Washington School of Medicine and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Public Health. Zoom Registration Link

January 26th - Re-Entry: Factors in our Decision-Making

Explore with other Café members what factors we are considering as we embark on this new season of re-entry and recovery. What have we learned as a community? What are the opportunities ahead?


Whatcom Family YMCA: Lose to Win, DPP, LIVESTRONG and Better Bones & Balance

YMCA Lose to Win Program is designed to help guide individuals seeking a healthier weight and lifestyle through small changes that provide sustainable results. Lose to Win does not advocate restrictive diets or short term solutions. Rather, this program takes a holistic approach toward building skills for success over the course of 12 weeks.

Day/Time: Wednesdays , 12-1pm

Length of program: 12 weeks

Instructor: Tara, 360.733.8630 or

Cost: $35 members $50 non members. As always financial assistance is available.

Start/End date 1/20-4/7

Contact Tara for more information.

Other programs available online include:

YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP)


Better Bones & Balance (an OSU program)


COVID-19 Support for Caregivers

WWU Palliative Care Institute

Weekly - Zoom Video Conference Call

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

Dr. Emily Gibson offers many gifts--in medicine, in her generosity of spirit, and in her creativity. Today, she offers us thoughts as we move into the New Year. Thank you, Dr. Gibson, for blessing us this day!

This Moment is Holy Ground

by Emily Gibson

In this New Year,

it matters less what has just happened or what is about to happen.

What matters most is what is happening right this very moment -

sitting at the stoplight,

standing in the grocery store check-out line,

sitting in the tire center waiting room,

waiting in the exam room of the doctor's office.

Am I living fully in the present and paying attention to my Now?

I am a sentient being with a proclivity to bypass the present

to dwell obsessively on the past or to fret endlessly about the future.

There is a tendency to forget:

each moment is holy ground I am allowed to tread.

So --

I remove my soiled shoes out of respect for the loving God who promises salvation.

I approach others with gentle humility, considering each interaction as sacred.

I remain connected to a diversity of people and perspectives through a shared connection to our Maker.

There has been no other moment like this one, and there may be no moment beyond this one.

No time to waste.

This moment, barefoot and blessed, I am grateful to simply be here.


Support HMN

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


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