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January Newsletter

Dear Health Ministries Network Community,

Happy New Year! HMN hopes that your holiday season was safe, warm and celebratory and that you are looking forward to 2022, as we are, with deep gratitude for all the blessings we have in our lives. And we look forward to sharing these throughout the year and amidst the ongoing challenges of the day. We look forward to walking in peace and love as we continue to pursue health equity in our four-county area and well beyond. Thank you for joining us in this new year.

First, I'd like to thank all of you who have offered financial contributions in support of Health Ministries Network during our December 2021 giving ask. We offer our heartfelt gratitude for your support and look forward to stewarding your generous donations well as we continue to reach out to and serve our faith communities and underserved communities. In addition to continuing our Ask a Nurse program in the Mt. Baker School District, we have been working with the Whatcom Family YMCA and Mt. Baker Foundation to bring the Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring Program to communities in Whatcom County. That program launches in February--Healthy Heart Month!

This month, we bring several dementia support and education offerings, from a recorded seminar hosted by the Palliative Care Institute to a presentation by Kate Massey and Kelsey Wood of the Northwest Regional Council, introducing us to their new Dementia Support Program. We hope you'll participate and share these great resources with your community.

And finally, even as we celebrate so many good things to come in 2022, we do not ignore the reality that many of us are being stretched to our limits. We continue to grieve losses and live and work in challenging and isolating times. It is our firm belief that together and with faith, we can and will endure.

“Out of suffering comes the serious mind; out of salvation, the grateful heart; out of endurance, fortitude; out of deliverance faith. Patient endurance attends to all things.” Teresa of Avila

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

Yours in gratitude and hope,

Sarah Lane

Executive Director


In December, our nurses, Foothills Food Bank volunteers, and all who were at the East Whatcom Regional Resource Center were graced by beautiful cello music. With the coordination of Flip Breskin, Clea and Erin brought winter joy and festivity to the Maple Falls Community during Ask a Nurse. And what a joyous occasion. Jessica Bee of the EWRRC reported that everyone there said this was a highlight of the season, and several of those in line said that we should play classical music everywhere--to calm and bring peace to people, particularly in this time. We are so grateful for our local musicians and artists for bringing healing beauty to us.


A Special Thanks to our Donors

Thanks to all who offered prayers, kind words, hours of service and financial donations during our end-of-year ask in December. We are so grateful to you for your your generous hearts and hands, particularly during these challenging times. We offer a special thanks to the following individuals and faith community who offered financial gifts as part of this ask:

Dr. David and Tisch Lynch for their generous gifts to both the Jean Billings Tischler Education Fund and Health Ministries Network Dick Cathell Duane and Pam Colyer Dr. Emily Gibson Joni Hensley Dr. Richard and Janice Lentz Bill Lonneman Dr. Michael and Lois Massanari Kate Massey Charles Nelson

LeAna Osterman Sara Rush Eric and Kathy Sellereit Hope Lutheran Church

Thank you to Chuckanut Health Foundation, our fiscal sponsor and major donor. We are grateful for their thoughtful leadership and daily guidance on matters, large and small.

Thank you to PeaceHealth, for their ongoing support, and particularly the beautiful office space that they gift us annually and from where we "launch" our programs Thank you for your offering and for placing your confidence in Health Ministries Network to fulfill its mission: Linking Faith Community Nurses & Health Ministers, congregations and local resources, to nurture community health equity with spiritual well-being. If you have not had the opportunity to donate, but would like to give, you may do so here.


HMN January Meeting: NWRC Dementia Support Program

We are looking forward to hearing from Kate Massey and Kelsey Wood from the NWRC, as they share a new Dementia Support Program, so needed in a time when those with dementia and caregivers may feel particularly isolated.

We will also share our soon-to-be published HMN website as well as answer questions that you may have about blood pressure monitoring, getting a blood pressure

It will be a friendly time of sharing! Bring stories to share from your faith community!

Everyone is welcome! Please join us via Zoom on Friday, January 21st, 12-1:30pm.

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


HMN December Meeting: FCNs Share Mission Trip Experiences!

It was a beautiful time of sharing missions abroad and thoughts on missions at home. We heard about holidays and shared in community. In case you missed Dotty Marston's presentation on her mission trip to Mexico and Sunny Garza's mission trip to Egypt, please check out the replay video here.

Please contact Sarah Lane with questions at


Learn About the Westberg Knowledge-Sharing Platform from Sharon Hinton

The Faith Community Health Network presents an extremely valuable session - one we have been waiting for. Many thanks to Jonet, Salem Area Coordinator, for setting this up and inviting us to join their monthly meeting. Mark your calendars!! You won't want to miss this!

Topic: Westberg Institute, Knowledge platform for Faith Community Nurses

Time: Jan 17, 2022 01:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 829 0992 6066

Passcode: 540761

We will share information on our upcoming Faith Community Health Network meeting scheduled for 4:30 pm on January 27 as that time gets closer. We don't want to confuse things.

Blessings, everyone, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Deb Fell-Carlson, BSN, RN, COHN-S, MSPH

Faith Community Nurse Coordinator/Lead Educator

Faith Community Health Network of the Mid-Willamette Valley

PO Box 580 | Lebanon, OR 97355 |541.248.0595


In this age of ever-advancing medical technology, it is often difficult to be informed on the latest strategies to keep us well and thriving. This presentation addresses what Advanced Medical Interventions are, their possible

outcomes for patients, for both the short and long term. Advanced care planning is discussed. CPR, mechanical ventilation, dialysis, and medicines to support blood pressure are detailed. This is an interactive session, accessible either by attending in-person at the Anacortes Senior Activity Center or via Zoom. Dr. Lombard will include time for questions and dialogue. Dr. Lombard, a retired nephrologist, is past medical director at the Mount Baker Kidney Center.

To join via Zoom: Realities of Advanced Medical Interventions Zoom Meeting Time: Jan 20, 2022 10:30 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada) Click here to join Zoom meeting Meeting ID: 873 4022 9693 Passcode: 504673 Or attend at the Anacortes Senior Activity Center, 1701 22nd Street, January 20, 2022, at 10:30 AM For information: or 360-201-7840 To download a copy of the flyer, including complete information and a Zoom link, click here.


Last Chance to Report 2021 Volunteer Hours

First, congratulations to our three hours-reporting winners for December: Katie M. Sylvia Williams, and Leondra W., who will receive Woods Coffee cards! We have one more card to give away in January as well, so please enter your hours in one of the following ways before January 21st:

  • Use our simple online tool for you to use to report hours. Click here to try it out.

  • Enter by phone. Call or email Sarah Lane, and she'll make an appointment to sit with them and enter hours.

  • Submit a paper copy. We have one of these available, too! Just click here to download.

Please contact Sarah Lane at for questions or assistance.


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.

According to the CDC, "Birth defects are structural changes present at birth that can affect almost any part of the body. Advancements in medicine and surgery have led to better survival, and thankfully more children born with birth defects grow up to lead full lives. Awareness of birth defects across the lifespan helps provide individuals, parents, and families affected by birth defects the information they need to seek proper care. It also gives healthcare professionals the evidence they need to deliver the best care for patients across all stages of life: before and during pregnancy, and in infancy, childhood, adolescence, and adulthood." Read more here.


North Sound Accountable Communities of Health (NSACH) Update and Resources on the COVID-19 Omicron Variant

The Omicron variant is spreading fast through Washington counties and the state, and we want to remind everyone that although it sounds scary, the available vaccines and boosters have been doing their job in keeping folks out of hospitals.

Now is the time to be cautious of misinformation floating around on the internet. In Dr. Vivek Murthy's (U.S. Surgeon General) Community Toolkit, you will learn how to detect misinformation, find credible websites, as well as practice how to speak to friends and/or family members who share inaccurate information. A good rule of thumb to follow is, "If you're not sure, don't share."

If you have not yet gotten vaccinated, you can find locations here, and vaccine information on the CDC website.

Washington State Department of Health reminder of updated information on what steps to follow if:

  • You test positive for COVID-19

  • You were exposed to someone who has COVID-19

For any other questions, you can find the Department of Health’s Testing FAQ or call the WA State COVID-19 Information Hotline.

Say Yes! is a COVID Test Program that offers free, rapid, self-administered tests to Skagit County residents to reduce COVID-19 spread. This initiative is a cooperative effort from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), community partners, test manufacturer Quidel, and healthcare technology company CareEvolution. For more information and to order your test, please go here.


High blood pressure is often referred to as “The Silent Killer” because there are typically no warning signs or symptoms. High blood pressure is a key, modifiable, risk factor for both heart disease and stroke, which are two of the leading causes of death in the United States. This 4 month program will help you gain the skills needed to manage/or lower your blood pressure.

For more information or to register contact Tammy Bennett, or 360-255-0490.


WSU Skagit Valley Extension


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

Dotty Marston, RN, shared her mission trip experience in Mazatlan with our community in December. You can listen to her presentation in the video (link above). Here is her "Praise Report," in which she shares the challenges and blessings, as well as this lovely story: One of the translators (Ana) was freed from her grief and able to serve all week, after losing her husband to COVID, just 2 months prior. She prayed with many people to receive Christ as they were awaiting services. (They had heard the gospel before getting care, but many had not made a decision yet.) She also noticed a woman wearing only one shoe. The shoe had broken (probably flip-flops). Ana privately slipped her shoes off and put them on the needy woman. As far as we know, Ana went home barefooted. As she served, her joy of life began to return. Ana was able to resume her love of painting. She painted a colorful picture for us. It was her first since her husband died!


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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