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March Newsletter

Dear Health Ministries Network Community,

Could March be coming in like a lion and leaving like a lamb? Or perhaps we'll continue to experience the tug o' war that winter and spring have had recently! Either way, spring is coming, as these Hellebore Flowers outside the Bellingham Public Library announce brightly in a bout of sunshine!

Today, we acknowledge and celebrate Women's History Month! Please take a moment to learn about great women in nursing this month (information from Regis College), as well as all the other great women who have, continue to and will live significant, dynamic and powerful lives!

We also wish a Happy Purim to our Jewish community! Many of us continue to move through the Lenten season, holding space for transformation. Holi, a Hindu celebration and India's Festival of Colors, will arrive on March 8th. Ramadan is coming on March 22nd! Indeed, it is a month of change and a time when we begin to acknowledge spring and new growth and color more fully!

We know that caring for our bodies, minds and spirits are critical to living more fully, and so it is appropriate that it is both National Nutrition Month and Kidney Health Month! Please see the good information below, as we link these two important components: nutrition and kidney health! And we offer much gratitude to Mt. Baker Foundation for their dedicated support of the health and well being of communities and individuals. Mt. Baker Foundation has provided generous funding to Health Ministries Network in 2023 and 2024. With appreciation and excitement, HMN will be expanding our outreach and support to faith communities and providing additional tools to our Faith Community Nurses, Health Ministers and Community Health Advocates as they support health education, connection and equity alongside spiritual care. Thank you, Mount Baker Foundation!

One important component in the way HMN cares for and connects more deeply with community is our Ask a Nurse Program. This month, we invite YOU to attend our monthly meeting and learn about this program: HMN monthly Meeting on Friday, March 17th, 12-1:30 on Zoom. Joni Hensley and Sarah Lane will be sharing a class on our Ask a Nurse Program and how you can be involved or start up an Ask a Nurse in your community! Yes, we'll be back to Friday this month, but based on the feedback of those friends we hadn't seen in a while, we'll offer a Monday meeting once a quarter.

Please check out all the good opportunities for learning and resources below!

HMN wishes you you peace, love and good community connections today and each day!

With gratitude,

Sarah Lane

Executive Director


Thank you, Sonlight Church! Thank you for bringing the hygiene supplies to the East Whatcom Regional Resource Center this month, blessing our guests at Ask a Nurse with your love and those little necessities that help us stay healthy and feel good! We are so grateful for you and your support of Ask a Nurse, among so many other things that you do!


HMN March Meeting: Learn about Ask a Nurse

You've heard a lot about it over the past couple of years, but wouldn't you want to know what exactly goes into an "Ask a Nurse" program, or perhaps how you, as an FCN/HM/CHA might start one in your community?

Meet our Ask a Nurse folks, take a look at the DRAFT Ask a Nurse manual, learn what might be involved and find out how HMN might support you in joining us for Ask a Nurse or in starting your own program.

Everyone is welcome! Our meeting will be held on Friday, March 17th, 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! And yes, we will record this Zoom meeting so that you can watch later if you miss it the first time!

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


HMN February Meeting: Replay and notes from Road2Home and Skookum Kids!

In February, we enlarged our hearts by learning about the great work and love that our neighbors are sharing! Please contact these organizations if you or your faith community would like to be involved in the good work of Road2Home and Skookum Kids. At the end of this email, I am including the poem I read at the beginning of our meeting. It was not recorded, but it is appropriate for this season and might provide a good opportunity to pause and meditate.

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." POC is Nota Tsitsiragos at

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."

POC is: Ellie Takemura, Volunteer & Program Coordinator

Skookum Kids, 360.393.5598,

Please contact Sarah Lane with questions at


HMN Super Simple Hours Reporting!

It's 2023, and January & February have flown by--time seems to move faster and faster, doesn't it? Before time and our service get away from us, I wanted to offer you an opportunity to record your hours through SurveyMonkey. Before you feel that internal "gripping" of administrative requests (as I sometimes do when I'm asked to do admin work, rather than serve people in a more hands on way), this survey is super simple!

It includes your name/faith community, the month you're reporting (and you can check multiple months), the number served and the approximate hours of service. Check it out. And while the year is young, feel free to offer feedback on the survey!



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.


March is Kidney Health Awareness & Nutrition Month!

How do these two subjects fit together? Over the past year, we have shared information on prediabetes, blood pressure and kidney disease. All three of these subjects are inextricably linked to the food that we eat (among other factors). Nutrition is one interlocking piece in the puzzle of good health! Learn more about kidney health and nutrition and please share these tools with your community in this new season!

From the Mount Baker Foundation:

Please share Dr. Bill Lombard's presentation. To learn more, check out the following resources on kidney health, prediabetes and nutrition:


Resources from the Mount Baker Foundation

More resources from the Mount Baker Foundation



More resources from the Mount Baker Foundation:



National Nutrition Month!

From the USDA: National Nutrition Month® is an annual campaign created 50 years ago in 1973 by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. During the month of March, everyone is invited to learn about making informed food choices and developing healthful eating and physical activity habits.Join us in congratulating the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics on their 50th Anniversary of National Nutrition Month®! For more resources and information, click here.


WSU Diabetes Prevention Program Spring 2023 Class!

Starting March 14, 2023 Tuesday evenings • 6-7pm, online

Course includes year-long support and motivation beginning with 12 weekly class meetings, bi-weekly for the next four sessions and then monthly meetings for the last six sessions.

Take the “Could You Have Prediabetes?” online quiz:

If your score shows you are at high risk for prediabetes, talk to your health care provider or contact our program.

With the WSU Diabetes Prevention Program you get: • A CDC-approved curriculum • The skills you need to lose weight, be more physically active, and manage stress • A trained lifestyle coach to guide and encourage you • Support from other participants with the same goals as you • 12 weekly sessions • Monthly follow-up sessions to help you maintain healthy lifestyle changes – and fun

The Diabetes Prevention Program is in your Community Lifecoach Kate Foster can help you change your lifestyle to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. The sessions in a facilitated group are fun and provide you with the support you need to say Not Me! to diabetes. Prediabetes can lead to Type 2 Diabetes One out of three American adults has prediabetes, and most of them do not know it. Having prediabetes means your blood glucose (sugar) level is higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. This raises your risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Without weight loss or moderate physical activity, many people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within 3 years. Type 2 diabetes is a serious condition that can lead to health issues such as heart attack; stroke; blindness; kidney failure; or loss of toes, feet, or legs. The lifestyle changes you make in WSU DPP may help you prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. Risk Factors… You may have prediabetes and be at risk for type 2 diabetes if you: • Are overweight • Have a family history of type 2 diabetes • Are physically active fewer than 3 times per week • Ever had diabetes while pregnant (gestational diabetes) or gave birth to a baby that weighed more than 9 pounds • Are 45 years of age or older Make a change – Start today! Share this opportunity by posting the flyer: Information Flyer (pdf)


"Old Friends Clubs are designed to give care providers worry-free time to be at home, run errands, catch up with a friend, or relax and recharge in order to protect and maintain their own physical and mental health. ​A typical five-hour program at the Old Friends Club includes:

  • Low-impact social time to encourage group engagement and support

  • Light physical activities

  • Art and other creative projects

  • Group-oriented games and other forms of cognitive stimulation

  • Lunch, snacks, and light refreshments throughout the day

Other events may also appear in our programming, including guest performers from around our area, including musicians, presenters, and more, as well as some activities facilitated by those groups. Programming is constantly reviewed and updated to make sure it is aligned with the interests and passions of the members." Learn more about current programs by clicking here: Lynden Program 9:30 - 2:30, Mondays and Tuesdays Sonrise Church, Lynden, WA Bellingham Program 9:30 - 2:30, Wednesdays and Thursdays Christ the King - Bellingham Complete the interest form here.


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 Would your faith community like some "988" wallet cards to hand out? Sarah Lane has some in the office. Please request them!


Creative Offering

In February, we visited the Gurudwara, but perhaps you missed it! if you'd like to get to know our Sikh community better and have a little arts and crafts fun with kids or grandkids, you are invited to the Children's Art Festival:


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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