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January Newsletter

Dear Health Ministries Network Community,

Happy New Year! We hope that you were able to take time to celebrate the holiday season in your own way, whether this was through family gatherings or personal practices, through reaching out to show your love to others or drawing inward for self-reflection and self-care. We hope that you are safe, well and have what you need to thrive today. May we come to 2023 with renewed hope and energy to love others well.

In this month of January, we welcome new opportunities, many of which are listed below. We'd like to highlight that we have been invited to Guru Nanak Gursikh Gurudwara to continue to get to know the our Sikh neighbors on January 8th, at noon. 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.

It is cervical health awareness month--and with this, our attention returns to sexual health for people of all ages. You are invited to join us for our monthly meeting, where we will hear from Julie McElroy and the Whatcom County Health Department will offer updates on current issues in sexual health: sexually transmitted infections (STIs), trends, testing, prevention and treatment.

And it seems that our Ask a Nurse program continues to grow. Would you like to check out Ask a Nurse at the East Whatcom Regional Resource Center (EWRRC) or Eleanor Apartments in Bellingham--or other locations? Please let Sarah Lane know you have an interest in checking BPs, learning more about community resources and meeting up with other FCNs/HMs/CHAs, and she will connect you with our team to learn more, observe or participate and consider your involvement!

Finally, we offer an enthusiastic and grateful "THANK YOU" to all who donated to HMN during the past month. We remain humbled that you have put your trust in our ability to love others well through healthcare and health education connection in faith communities and across geographic communities.

Wishing you peace, love and good community connections in this new year!

Sarah Lane

Executive Director


In December, our Ask a Nurse Team joined Bill Lombard and Micki Jackson at the Goodwill education center to take blood pressures, share information about diabetes and provide health connections for students. Not pictured here is Rebecca Cavanaugh, who is with a guest, sharing information about BP and checking out UnityCare NW. We will be there again in January. If any FCNs, HMs or CHAs would like to join us, please contact Sarah Lane.


HMN January Meeting: Sexual Health Updates

It's cervical health awareness month, and so our HMN January Monthly Meeting topic is timely and so good!

Join us for our monthly meeting, where we will hear from Julie McElroy from the Whatcom County Health Department will offer updates on current issues in sexual health. During pandemic, people of all ages may have skipped healthcare appointments, preventive health checks and important labs. As we get back to our regularly scheduled healthcare, we take a moment to focus on sexually transmitted infections (STIs), trends, testing, prevention and treatment. To hear a quick update, you can can listen to a KGMI newscast, aired in August 2022.

Our Ask a Nurse team will be providing sexual health kits and information to guests at the EWRRC this month. We'll be setting up our iPads to play a few educational videos--and we invite you to join us to learn and serve at any Ask a Nurse or to share these videos at your location.

Everyone is welcome! Our meeting will be held on Friday, January 20th, 12-1:30pm via Zoom.

Zoom link:

Meeting ID: 870 3130 1954

Passcode: 780083

One tap mobile

+12532158782,,87031301954#,,,,*780083# US (Tacoma)

+13462487799,,87031301954#,,,,*780083# US (Houston)

Please contact Sarah Lane with questions at


Health Ministries Network at the Gurudwara: January 8th at 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: January 8th, 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 December Meeting Replay: Street Medicine and Loving Our Homeless Neighbors Well

What a wonderful meeting we had on Friday--thanks to GRACE/LEAD, to Malora and Lacey, for introducing us to "Street Medicine" and how to connect people well. Please click here to watch the replay.

They also provided some excellent resources that can support you and your community as you reach out to those who are unsheltered:

  • We heard from the Whatcom Asset Building Coalition a few months back, and their online resources only continue to grow. Please check out their website and keep it on hand, in case you need to look up information for someone:

  • If you would like to connect someone directly to Lacey McCarley, please reach her at 360-814-4521. She may be able to assist you when it doesn't seem appropriate to dial 911 for an individual is unsheltered and has needs that you cannot meet.

  • Keep the Crisis Stabilization Center information handy. If you meet someone whose need is mental healthcare or substance use disorder support, you can contact them (best to call ahead to see if a bed is available before arriving:


    • 360.676.2020 (Detox and MH Crisis Triage is at the same phone number and location.

And if you or your community would like to make that connection with someone who may ask you for money or a resource, it can be helpful to offer a small bag of supplies to that individual. Here are a few items that we can include in a bag: socks, gloves, water bottle, small first aid kit, wet wipes, toothbrush/toothpaste, sunscreen (seasonal), tuna & cracker or PB cracker kits, single serving snacks for people with limited ability to chew well, nail clippers, utensils, comb/brush, lip balm, face towel, chewable multivitamins, tissues, hand warmers, can opener and a hand-written note that does not proselytize but expresses care and concern and perhaps a good list of resources for assistance.

Please contact Sarah Lane with questions at


Last Chance! Foundations Course 2023 Now!

It's time to sign up! In 2023, we'd like to put all of our support behind the PLU course, also taught by Bill Lonneman, that is coming up in January 2023, rather than host our own class in April 2023. We'd like to bolster enrollment in a local course, scholarship as many as possible from our Whatcom, Skagit, San Juan and Island Counties and place our focus and emphasis on fortifying the FCNs/HMs/CHAs who come out of this course to start or continue vibrant health ministries in our area. Please register right away to ensure this course is a "go," and work with Sarah Lane to apply for a scholarship at


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.


January is Cervical Health Awareness Month

"The United States Congress designated January as Cervical Health Awareness Month. More than 14,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer each year, but the disease is preventable with vaccination and appropriate screening.


Blaine Educational Series: Journey Through Dementia

Join us for a series of informative presentations on a variety of dementia-related topics, designed to further your knowledge and help you provide the best possible care and support for individuals with memory impairments. Family members of a loved one with dementia can benefit from additional information and guidance.

Thursdays at 1:00pm or 5:00pm5:30pm Session

  • January 19, 2023

  • January 26, 2023

  • February 2, 2023

1:00pm Session

  • February 16, 2023

  • February 23, 2023

  • March 2, 2023

Session 1

Dementia 101

Learn about the common types of dementia, specifically Alzheimer’s disease and how it affects a person’s functional and mental abilities.

Session 2

Understanding Behaviors

Identify behaviors that are found in dementia and understand what is being communicated through those behaviors.

Session 3

Virtual Dementia Tour

Alzheimer’s is an emotional journey.

It is difficult to fully comprehend the challenges that your loved one faces every day. Discover the realities of living with dementia while experiencing the overwhelming effects a person living with memory impairment feels when trying to perform everyday tasks.

To RSVP, call (360) 746-6675

or email rronquillo@silverado.comEvent will be held at:

Whatcom County Library System

610 3rd Street

Blaine, WA 98230


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

Like us on Facebook for quicker updates – Whatcom CHW Network Participate in the development of CHW and Promotoras Curriculum Development (click below):


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

Welcome 2023! From the North Sound Accountable Communities of Health (NSACH)

"In the Western calendar, we celebrate January 1 as the first day of the year, with which comes many rituals around reflection, fresh starts, and new habits. Nicole Willis, our chief operating officer, brought us a different perspective, from an episode of the podcast Hidden Brain - What Do You Want To Be? (click here to listen), which discussed viewing each day as a chance to reflect and renew, without putting too much pressure on ourselves from society norms."


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,

Learn moreHealth Ministries Network is a nonprofit serving Northwest Washington with a mission to link Faith Community Nurses & Health Ministers, congregations and local resources, to nurture community health equity with spiritual well-being.

Health Ministries Network is affiliated with the Chuckanut Health Foundation.

800 E. Chestnut St., Ste 1A

Bellingham, WA 98225


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