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November Newsletter

Dear Health Ministries Network community,

November greetings of gratitude to everyone!  I am joy-filled and honored to have been selected as the Executive Director of HMN.  For several years, as the YMCA Chronic Disease Prevention Education Coordinator, I attended meetings with Amelia Vader and Carol Nicolay and learned a bit about HMN.  Ever since, I have admired the love and dedication that this group of faith community nurses and health ministers bring to their congregations, particularly during this challenging time of pandemic.  From keeping up with current health issues to providing preventive education, from connecting and caring creatively through blessing boxes to seeking social justice through health equity, the HMN community is amazing, and I look forward to serving you and serving with you.

This month, as I get my feet on the ground and begin to get to know everyone at HMN, I’m excited that we have a steady flow of excellent information to share with you.  We are so happy to have as our guest at our monthly meeting Dr. Emily Gibson, who is providing behavioral health telehealth services with WWU.  You may also be interested in several other upcoming webinars. Please see the links below.

Thank you to Amelia and  the Board and and all of you for creating this beautiful community, and further, for welcoming me into it with warmth!  I look forward to the relationships that we will build and for all we will do together as we move through and beyond these times together! 

I'd love to meet all of you, so please feel free to introduce yourself by email!

With gratitude and joy,

Sarah Lane

Executive Director

Grateful, excited and honored to be here and serving with HMN, Sarah Lane, ED


HMN Monthly Meeting

Friday, November 20, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Zoom Video Conference Check in with and learn from fellow faith community nurses and health ministers. Everyone is welcome, as we hear from Dr. Emily Gibson, a Board-Certified Family Physician who has provided primary care in a variety of settings: an inner city community clinic, in private practice, inpatient chemical dependency and behavioral health, child abuse evaluations and as medical director for WWU Student Health.  Dr. Gibson is currently providing behavioral health telehealth services with WWU and will discuss "Behavioral Health Issues Today."

Specifically, she will be addressing symptoms of clinical depression vs. quarantine loneliness.  Could the symptoms be both?  She will discuss symptoms of concern, including self-medication with substances.  Dr. Gibson will also discuss how online PDQ9 and GAD7 screening questionnaires can help discern what is going on in order to appropriately guide an individual to a physician or therapist. 

Dr. Gibson has requested that FCNs and HMs send her their behavioral health questions in advance so she is more directly addressing the concerns you are seeing in your own congregations.  Email directly at

You may also bring questions and stories to share at the Zoom Meeting! 

Join Zoom Meeting via link in emailed newsletter.

For questions contact 


Reminder:  Please Enter Hours

As we quickly come to the end of 2020, 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.  


Hastings Conversations: Featuring Dr. Fauci

Dr. Anthony Fauci will explore the ethical issues raised by the erosion of trust in science in a new virtual discussion hosted by The Hastings Center. The nation’s top infectious diseases official and Hastings president Mildred Solomon will look at how we can improve public understanding of complex issues in ways particularly suited to problem-solving and respectful dialogue. What is the proper balance between safety and speed when developing new therapeutics and vaccines? And who should decide when scientists and members of the public disagree? The event is part of The Hastings Center’s series, Securing Health in a Troubled Time. (Photo Credit:  NIAID)

Thursday, November 9th, 2020, 11-11:45am EST


NASEM Webinar, "The COVID-19 Pandemic & Schools

"As schools begin to reopen on a limited basis, our congregations will undoubtedly have questions and concerns.  You may also be interested in attending the NASEM Webinar “The COVID-19 Pandemic and K-12 Schools: Updates From the Field”

Speakers include:  

Preeti Malani, Infectious Diseases and Geriatric Medicine, University of Michigan

Nathaniel Schwartz, The Annenberg Institute, Brown University

Christina Silcox, Margolis Center for Health Policy, Duke University

Neeraj Sood, Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics, University of Southern California

Thursday, November 9, 2020, 12:00-1:30 pm ET.


Clinical Trials 101 for CHWs and Other Front-Line Health Communicators

Families often look first to trusted individuals in their community for reliable information on how to respond to today's critical health issues, including COVID-19 and a future vaccine. This webinar training, offered by The Partnership Center and taught by a leading expert in health literacy, will provide Community Health Workers, Faith Community Nurses, Promotoras de Salud, and other trusted front-line health communicators with the latest information on COVID-19 vaccine development and the clinical trials, and why it is so important that community members participate in this life saving process.

Tues., Nov. 17, 2020, 3:00 p.m. ET Register here.

Guest Presenter: Teresa Wagner, DrPH, MS, CPH, RD/LD, CPPS, CHWI, DipACLM, CHWC, Assistant Professor & Clinical Executive for Health Literacy, SaferCare Texas, University of North Texas Health Science Center. Full bio here.


Recording Available: COVID-19 Research & Spiritual Care

This was such an informative event that we wanted to make this online event available again in November  It features information on the latest COVID-19 research from physicians from Whatcom County with expertise in infectious diseases, senior health, and family health.

Speakers included:

• John R. Mastalski, MDiv, BCC, HEC-C, Manager, Spiritual Care

• Dr. Andrew Joel Chandranesan, PeaceHealth Infectious Disease Team

• Dr. Serge Lindner, PeaceHealth Center for Senior Health

• Dr. Chao-ying Wu, Family Care Network

Note: the recording begins 20 minutes into the event, missing the speaking of Chaplain Mastalski and Dr. Chandranesan. However, all panelists answer questions later in the program.


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.

CDC updated its guidance on how COVID-19 spreads and includes information about the potential for the airborne spread of the SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19).  This update acknowledges the existence of some reports showing limited, uncommon circumstances where people with COVID-19 infected others who were more than 6 feet away or shortly after the COVID-19-positive person left an area.  In these instances, transmission occurred in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces that often involved activities that caused heavier breathing, like singing or exercise.  *Also read Scientific Brief: SARS-CoV-2 and Potential Airborne Transmission

While it is known that communities have faced mental health challenges related to COVID-19–associated morbidity, mortality, and mitigation activities, new data reports that during June 24–30, 2020, younger adults, racial/ethnic minorities, essential workers, and unpaid adult caregivers experienced disproportionately worse mental health outcomes, increased substance use, and elevated suicidal ideation.  Read the report for implications related to public health practices.

Webinar Series: Palliative Care across Cultures

This webinar series will feature keynote speakers, panels and some complicated case studies to examine ways that inequity impacts palliative care patients and learn how to promote health equity on our teams or at the institutional level. Case studies will illustrate how our cultural identities and belief systems influence how we interact and engage with the patients and families we serve, and also examine how these elements impact family decision making when facing serious illness or death or after death care.

Together we will investigate how the medical model’s “culture” can impact how patients and families make medical decisions at the end-of-life, explore the importance of understanding and respecting culture at the end-of-life.

Each webinar will include time for Q&A.

Monthly CHW Meeting

Friday November 27, 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.

Diabetes Prevention Program and Livestrong

Whatcom Family YMCA

Tuesdays via Zoom starting October 2020

The YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program is a year-long, evidence-based program designed to help people diagnosed with pre-diabetes reduce their risk of developing diabetes.  The YMCA has a solid (10) class for virtual DPP and can accept new participants for 2 more weeks.  Classes are held from 12-1pm on Tuesdays, and Jennifer Willner, YMCA Health Coach, will be facilitating DPP.  This course is offered on a sliding payment scale.  Contact Tara Marshall, DPP Program Coordinator, for more information.

The first full session of virtual LIVESTRONG starts in January with the Cancer Center's blessing.  Alumni are welcome, too.  It is entirely underwritten, so there is no fee.  The YMCA will loan the necessary equipment, too.  

Financial assistance is available.

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.

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.

Whatcom medical corps volunteers needed!

We need your help! Health care provider volunteers are needed to revive the local medical corps. For more information and to sign up go to

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:

Virtual Advance Care Planning: Best Practice for Crisis and Beyond.

From Respecting Choices

Learn about what is different when preparing for, having, and following up after a “virtual” ACP conversation. A one hour discussion among experienced program leaders.


Creative Offering

From the ED.  Since I am new, and just coming into this position, I haven't had the opportunity to seek a creative offering for November.  I'd like to share a blessing from a poet who sustains me, the late John O'Donohue.

On Waking

by John O'Donohue

I give thanks for arriving

Safely in a new dawn,

For the gift of eyes

To see the world,

The gift of mind

To feel at home

In my life.

The waves of possibility

Breaking on the shore of dawn,

The harvest of the past

That awaits my hunger,

And all the furtherings

This new day will bring.


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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