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May Newsletter

Dear Health Ministries Network Community,

As I write this on May 6th, PeaceHealth reports that 27 patients are in critical care with COVID-19 at the hospital. Kaiser Family Foundation reports that over 3,600 healthcare workers have died in the US, since this pandemic began. In India, roughly 226,000 have died of COVID-19, and many more have been lost without diagnosis. Before we move into the newsletter--into the work we're doing, the gratitude we hold and the hope that we maintain--let us take a moment or silence or pray, each in our own way, or perhaps read the words here for those suffering and dying during this pandemic:

Prayer During a Pandemic

Loving God, Holy One, Your desire is for our wholeness and well-being. We hold in tenderness and prayer the collective suffering of our world at this time.We grieve precious lives lost and vulnerable lives threatened. We ache for ourselves and our neighbors, standing before an uncertain future. We pray: May love, not fear, go viral. Inspire our leaders to discern and choose wisely, aligned with the common good. Help us to practice social distancing and reveal to us new and creative ways to come together in spirit and in solidarity. Call us to profound trust in your faithful presence, You, the God who does not abandon, You, the Holy One, breathing within us, breathing among us, breathing around us in our beautiful yet wounded world.

- Sisters of IHM, Scranton, Pennsylvania

Indeed, we must remain vigilant and encourage our faith communities to remain vigilant and wise. We must connect people with good information and vaccination resources, and we must continue to do our good work.

Last week, we hosted a special event for Faith Community Leaders--to keep people connected, to share good information about safety, to offer resources and to continue to educate on vaccination. Please see the video link and resources below. More conversations are coming!

And next week, we will be supporting a mobile pop-up vaccination clinic, alongside a number of other organizations, at Kendall Elementary School. Please see the information below, and know that we are looking for more opportunities to reach out and support our rural communities. Thank you for all you're doing!

We continue to progress through our Foundations Course 2021, and though it is a small group, it is mighty. Thank you to Carol Nicolay, our Course Coordinator, Bill Lonneman, our Course Instructor, to all our guest speakers, to our students and to YOU, who fortify us with your prayers as well as donations. Thank you!

And as one last BIG thank you, in addition to this being Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Heritage (AANHPI) Month and Mental Awareness Month, this month is the month of the nurse. In fact today, May 6th, is the Day of the Nurse! And 2020-2021 is the year(s) of the nurse. Thank you, nurses! This is such a small thank you for all you do here and wherever you share your knowledge, professionalism and compassion, but thank you!

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

With gratitude,

Sarah Lane

Executive Director


May Monthly Meeting - Friday

Friday, May 21st 12:00 PM-1:00 PM

Come and share in our monthly Zoom Meeting, featuring Mindfulness NW, sharing meditation, mindfulness and self-compassion. These are important tools for self-care and tools to offer to others in our community. Did you know that Mindfulness NW offers Zoom learning and classes throughout the Puget Sound? Come and learn! Please bring questions and stories to share at the Zoom Meeting!

For questions or Zoom link, contact


Serving with Love: HMN Nurses & Faith Communities Serve East County on May 12th

These past couple of weeks, we've had the beautiful opportunity to plan alongside a team of organizations (see all the logos below) who will host a pop-up mobile vaccine clinic at Kendall Elementary School this upcoming week.

Hoagland's Pharmacy will be vaccinating, and our nurses will be monitoring those who have gotten their vaccination. It is important that we call out a big, pre-emptive thank you to First Christian Church Disciples of Christ and Reverend Tamalyn Kralman who put out a call to their congregation to send volunteers. We have a number of people who will be coming together to serve our County--to bring this opportunity to those who may have trouble makin

g it into town. Please widely share this opportunity to get vaccinated in Kendall. And keep your eyes open for upcoming opportunities to serve with HMN!


Announcing the first-ever Aging Well Whatcom grant round!

We’re very excited to announce our inaugural Aging Well Whatcom grant round! Through our work with the Aging Well Whatcom coalition, we’ve connected with many agencies, networks, and projects serving older adults in our community, and now we want to hear from YOU! We are accepting proposals for projects that align with the Aging Well Whatcom Blueprint and address the needs of older adults in the following areas: Housing, Transportation, Cultural Shift, Information & Navigation Services, Intergenerational Community, and/or Wellness & Healthcare.

Head over to the Chuckanut Health Foundation website to view the grant guidelines and application.

We’ll also be hosting a Q+A session on May 3rd from 3:30-4:30pm – join us for an opportunity to learn more about the application process and ask us any questions you may have about your proposal. Email us for details!

Applications are due June 1st 2021.


Get Counted! Westberg Institute Worldwide Faith Community/Parish Nurse Census and Registry 2021

The mission of the Westberg Institute for Faith Community Nursing is to "support the professional practice of faith community nursing through education, resources, and knowledge sharing." In order to support the professional practice, the Westberg Institute has initiated a worldwide faith community/parish nurse census project in order to gather information to measure the number of faith community/parish nurses worldwide as well as their location, preparation for, and information about various aspects of practice.

You are invited to complete this short survey. Your information will not be sold.

At the conclusion of this census on September 30th, 2021, the Westberg Institute will be establishing and maintaining a permanent worldwide faith community/parish nurse registry. The census is a critical component of creating the registry.

Thank you for taking the time to be counted!


Educated and Equipped in Oregon (& Washington)!

Did you know that Deb Fell-Carson and Tawni Pfaff, co-hosts of the Faith Community Health Network, based out of Lebanon, OR, hosts dynamite monthly meetings with great information? If you're in her area, please let her know you'd like to get connected! But whether you're in Oregon or not, we know we can never have enough tools in our caring toolkit. Here are great notes and opportunities from their monthly meeting. Please contact Deb Fell-Carson at

to stay connected!

COMP Northwest Medical Students presentations on COVID-19 - the Basics.

Here is the link to their presentation and their bios are below. Link will be available until May 25, 2021, but you should be able to download it if you want to keep a copy for your own listening enjoyment.

Huxley Smart grew up on Orcas Island Washington. She attended college at the University of Washington where she earned a B.S. in Microbiology. She is currently a first-year medical student at Western University of Health Sciences in Lebanon Oregon. Huxley is passionate about education, travel, and the gastrointestinal tract.

Nicole Sims is a graduate from the University of Oregon with a degree in Biology and Chemistry. She is a current 1st year medical student at Western University of Health Sciences, COMP Northwest. She has a passion for global travel, education, volunteering, and student mentoring. She is the president of the White Coats for Black Lives club at COMP Northwest and has made issues on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion a priority during her time in medical school.

Dr Lyon and Dr Cieslak - Oregon Health Authority - Post-covid management - handout is attached.

Here is the link to their presentation and their bios are below. Link will be available until May 25, 2021, but, just like with the above presentations, you should be able to download it if you want to keep a copy for your own listening enjoyment.

Dr. Paul Cieslak is the OHA Medical Director for Acute and Communicable Disease and Prevention and Immunizations. Dr. Paul Cieslak earned both his bachelor and medical degrees at The Ohio State University, finishing the latter in 1986. He trained in internal medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle and then completed a fellowship in infectious diseases at Washington University in St. Louis, with his research focused on amebiasis. During 1992–1994 he worked as an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer in the Foodborne and Diarrheal Diseases Branch of the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta.

He holds adjunct clinical faculty positions with OHSU’s Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine and Division of Infectious Diseases; and for the past 15 years has been a member of the Portland Guild of the Catholic Medical Association. One weekend a month he sees patients in infectious disease consultation for Legacy System and PeaceHealth hospitals. In 1988, Dr. Cieslak married a gal from Enterprise, Oregon; they have 6 children and live in northeast Portland, where they are active members of St. Rose Parish.

Douglas Lyon is a Spanish speaking family physician and epidemiologist with more than 25 years spent working in Oregon and Internationally with Doctors without Borders, the US Centers for Disease Control, and the UN High Commission for Refugees. His work in the US has been primarily caring for the underserved in county and migrant health clinics. His international work as been in a variety of positions as clinician, medical advisor, and country director, this principally in complex emergencies and the management of epidemics – HIV/AID, Cholera, Ebola and COVID-19. He is the founder of an NGO called TodoSomos ( which collects first person narratives of Venezuelan refuges in Colombia and South America -- TodoSomos hopes to bring global attention to the hardship and cause of the displacement of the more 5 million that have left their country over the last three years. He has been worked as a Senior Health Advisor for the Oregon Health Authority since September of 2020. His favorite quote this week is from Mahatma Gandhi, ‘The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.’

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


Summary Notes, Links from our Reconnecting & Reopening Meeting

We just barely scratched the surface of the challenges that faith communities face in reconnecting. It sounds like it would be good to connect more regularly to continue to share and problem-solve and walk forward together. HMN will work with WCHD to plan our next gathering.

A special thanks to our speakers yesterday: our speakers from Whatcom County Health Department, including Allison Williams, Darin Klein, Amy Hockenberry, Julie McElroy, Melissa Morin and Jennifer Moon, as well as Elizabeth Boyle (Safer Stronger Together) and Lara Welker (Healthcare Coalition). Thank you to Church of the Assumption leadership, especially Dr. Kathy Ernst, for sharing.

Here is the video and a quick summary of resources and points of contact as well as a link to the Resource Slide we showed at the end. Please don’t hesitate to email me or any of the speakers who offered assistance. We want you to feel well-supported in your leadership.

Notes by topic:

Masks: Where can we get masks? They are available in limited quantity from the WUC through the Chamber of Commerce. Contact Liz Boyle via email to schedule pickup.

They are also available right now in bulk at Costco and available on Amazon: 50/$8.

Are surgical masks N95 masks? No, they are not. Surgical masks are the blue ones that we see commonly at the doctor’s office, and now our in public. N95 masks appear different, are made of a different material and sometimes have a filter.

Singing. There were some questions about singing, specifically soloists. We discussed guidance from the Governor's Guidance for Faith Based Organizations:

"Soloist singers are permitted to sing during the service without a mask provided that the individual maintains 15 feet of physical distancing"

Church of the Assumption stated they are not allowing congregant singing right now, even with masks. They do have one cantor, but this person is far away from others during the service. WCHD responded to this question as well. Even if choirs are vaccinated, they cannot sing without masks.

Vaccinated vs. Non-Vaccinated Congregants: Are we allowing those who are vaccinated and those who are not to attend the same service? Yes. They can. They should continue to wear masks, following the guidelines for faith-based organizations and the CDC's guidance on what we can/cannot do once vaccinated, and continue to take precautions. Church of the Assumption has “church buddy” families who can sit together during church (a fine way to build reconnection), while still following all the rules for faith-based communities.

Lara Welker shared a new infographic handout from the CDC, which shows different kinds of activities, indoor vs outdoor, vaccinated and unvaccinated:

Indoor vs. Outdoor Worship Gatherings. What is the major difference between these two? There are a number of differences, which are nicely summarized here, and elaborated on in links within the document: If you have trouble navigating this document or need clarification for your specific situation, please contact Darin Klein at the WUC, and he will work with you.

Pastor Jana Schofield from Christ Lutheran shared: “We are planning to reopen with outdoor worship on May 30 for at least the summer. We invested in 2 large tents from I agree that it will be getting much harder now that many are vaccinated. I keep saying that children and some others (for many different reasons) are not vaccinated, so to keep our whole community safe we will still require masks and distancing.”

Faith Community Services. How do congregants exit services safely? Church of the Assumption and others shared that they dismiss congregants row-by-row, back-to-front. Regarding gathering after services, see the guidelines more specifically. Julie McElroy shared the Outdoor and Open Air Seating Guidance

Weddings and funerals have been the hardest. There is updated guidance for weddings/funerals

Allison Williams shared a few resources specifically for businesses and community organizations:

Signage for Faith Communities: Whatcom Together will support your signage needs and even help develop signs. Learn about Whatcom Together and request signs here:

And feel free to contact Elizabeth Boyle of the Safer Stronger Together Campaign to Everyone : For signage, sign up for our newsletter, or to ask questions...we'd love to hear from you!

Vaccinations: There were questions about where to get vaccinated or to get specific information about vaccines. Allison Williams, WCHD, shared the following link to the COVID-19 Vaccine Information page or WA Dept. of Health Vaccine Locator,

Jennifer Moon offered, if you go to, you can search by zip code and find some providers listed as providing J&J currently.

Julie McElroy, Public Health Nurse, offers herself as resource for vaccination information/history/community immunity advocate email:

Julie McElroy offered links for vaccine info for organizations: or (Understanding How COVID-19 Vaccines Work | CDC How mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines Work ( How Viral Vector COVID-19 Vaccines Work (

Amy Hockenberry from WCHD also offers herself as a resource:

Additional Resources Health Washington Roadmap to Recovery Phase 1, 2, 3 Religious and Faith-Based OrganizationCOVID-19 Requirements CommunitiesOVID-19_FAQ_Faith-Based_Communities COVID-19 & Your Church(This has reopening plans from a number of churches!) Washington State Partner Toolkit And here are some vaccine communication resources to respond to questions about vaccination, to include videos and information sheets in multiple languages: North Sound ACH Vaccination Toolkit (Excellent videos and information sheets in multiple languages) State of Washington COVID-19 Vaccines: Questions & Answers State of Oregon COVID-19 Community and Communications Resources Do you have other resources? Please send them to Sarah Lane at or bring them to our monthly Zoom meeting on April 23rd at noon!

“If you save one life, it is as if you have saved the entire world.” (A variation on a Jewish Proverb, the Talmud, and Oskar Schindler in Schindler's List) Thank you all for saving the world.

Please email Sarah Lane at with your questions or connections.


Recording Available: April Meeting with Whatcom Community Health Worker Network

Thank you for sharing in our April monthly Zoom Meeting, featuring the Whatcom Community Health Worker (CHW) Network! We heard from Megan Stephenson, who shared the work of the CHW as well as some of the services that Unity Care NW provides, to include dental! Kate Massey updated us on changes to the POLST form, and we will hold a special session to learn more about this in May. More to come. Here are a few helpful notes from the meeting. Some of you may be familiar with this, as you serve as both an FCN or HM and a CHW! We all seek to connect our faith communities and communities, in general, with good resources. Come and learn! Please bring questions and stories to share at the Zoom Meeting!

From Megan Stephenson at WFCN Community Health Worker (CHW) Network:

  • Website is:

  • Megan Stephenson’s email:

  • April Whatcom CHW Newsletter

As a Community Health Worker--or perhaps an FCN or HM--you may be asked about community resources for clothing, food or rental assistance. Here are some additional resources to which you can subscribe:

The CRN Newsletter (May issue includes information on WIC, clothing and rental assistance.)

From Kate Massey, POLST Links:

  • Honoring Choices Pacific Northwest:

  • (see forms tab in upper right corner)

  • Washington State Medical Association:

  • (see document list on right hand side)

From Health Ministries Network:

  • 28 April FCL Meeting. Insert survey link.

  • From Health Ministries Network : Hours entry.

You can click on the link here below to watch the recording.


Educational Opportunities from HHS:

E-Learning and Panel Discussions

Sat. May 8, 2021, 2:00 p.m. ET. Watch live here.

This panel discussion will highlight current federal efforts addressing racism and health inequities, including the COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force and the Presidential Memorandum Condemning and Combating Racism, Xenophobia, and Intolerance Against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the U.S.

Wed. May 5, 2021. 1:00 p.m. ET. Regiser here.

Webinar will provide an update on older adult vaccination rates and discuss strategies to overcome vaccine hesitancy and provide vaccine access for older persons in rural areas and among persons living in HUD-supported housing.

This session will provide updated information about older adult vaccination rates and vaccine hesitancy.


A Presentation: Home Care Workers for the Elderly in Washington State and Whatcom County

May 24, 2021 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm On Zoom

The Northwest Life Passages Coalition and the Palliative Care Institute invite you to a presentation on Home Care Workers for the Elderly in Washington State and Whatcom County

Baozhen Luo, PhD, Sociology Jodie Howson-Watt, Sociology Sawyer Jarvis, Sociology Jane Polinder, Palliative Care Institute & Human Services Washington State has been a national leader in long-term support and services among all 50 states. Despite these successes, we continue to suffer from the crisis of caregiver shortage. Such a challenge will only get worse as baby boomers begin to enter their later senior years.

The good news is that many entities in our state are working hard and creatively to strengthen and grow a quality long-term care workforce to serve our elderly at home.

A research team from Western Washington University will share with you the current conditions of the home care workforce in the state overall and Whatcom county specifically. They will also propose specific advocacy efforts that individuals and families within our community can engage in to help solve this challenge.

Time: May 24, 2021 03:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Meeting ID: 927 3511 709


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.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month! And today, during COVID-19, this awareness continues to be so very important.

Mental health is an important part of overall health and well-being. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.


Move for Mental Health

May is the month to check out the programs of Sanctuary Mental Health. Learn about their mission to move 100,000 minutes to raise $100,000 to reach 100,000 people with resources for mental health. Learn more or Sign up today People of all abilities invited to this inclusive event.


Healing in Color

Healing in Colour is now open! The art exhibit explores the intersection of race, faith, and mental health. Featuring Black, Indigenous, and artists of colour from around the world, Healing in Colour highlights their experiences and reflections on how their faith and culture have impacted their healing journeys. From now until June 11, you can visit the Dal Schindell Gallery online or book an appointment to visit the gallery in-person (if you're in the area!).


The Whatcom Family YMCA Teaches Urban Poling

New! Outdoors! Fun! The YMCA welcomes seniors and People with Parkinson's Disease to join them outdoors in local parks for poling. The Y will offer loaner poles, and the pilot session in June will be free. The Y is compiling a list of interested people right now, and will offer spots in classes first come/first serve. The main things we will be working on are posture, gait, and confidence in walking. The poles engage significantly more muscles than just walking, too, including the core which we know is super important to fall prevention. Interested participants can email me at

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.


Monthly CHW Meeting

Friday May 28, 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.


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

A Blessing for Nurses

May rest find you, In the peaceful moments when all is still, In the quiet times when you pause And breathe.

May rest find you In the chaos of the moment In the sorrow you seek to heal.

May rest strengthen and bless you. May it fill your spirit And give you unearned joy.

May you find rest in the care of others, In the knowledge of your worth, In the value of your service.

May the One who gives rest Bless you and hold you close. And may you, in your very being, Be a place of rest for others.

Amen. From Voices from the Journey, by Juliana Casey, IHM, published in 2015 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States


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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