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October 2020 Newsletter

Dear Health Ministries Network community,

Despite the many challenges facing our communities, health ministries continue as faith community nurses and health ministers find creative ways to support their congregations. For example, check out the photo above of United Church of Ferndale and their blessing boxes that they keep stocked with personal care items, masks and sanitizer. A blessing indeed!

I’m excited to share the recording of the September 23 event, the Latest in COVID-19 Research and Spiritual Care. More than 60 people attended the event which included a engaging Q & A. Many thanks to our panelists from PeaceHealth and Family Care Network, and to the Whatcom County Health Department for collaborating on this event. Please note, due to user error (me) the recording begins 25 minutes into the event when Dr. Lindner is speaking.  

As you may already know, I am leaving my position at Health Ministries Network later this month to focus more time on my family. Please help us share this Executive Director opportunity with your networks!

It has been my pleasure to work with the HMN board, faith community nurses, health ministers, Foundations course instructors and faith community leaders over the last two years. I know there is more work to do, especially in our recruitment of new faith community nurses and health ministers to serve diverse communities. I am excited to see what’s ahead for Health Ministries Network.

Please continue to use to contact HMN. 

With deep gratitude and blessings to you,


Executive Director


HMN Monthly Meeting

Friday, October 16 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Zoom Video Conference

Check in with and learn from fellow faith community nurses and health ministers. All are welcome! We'll hear from Dr. Mike Massanari about the epidemiology of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Please bring questions and stories to share. 

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 825 2769 5764

Passcode: 365059

Dial-in:  +1 253 215 8782


Recording Now Available: COVID-19 Research & Spiritual Care

Thank you to everyone who participated in our September 23 event, especially our panelists! This online event featured 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.

COVID-19 Communications Assistance Available 

The Whatcom County Health Department staff are available to collaborate on a set of messaging materials that could be shared by congregations. For example:

  • Ready to go samples of social media posts

  • Short video of local faith leaders

  • Ready-made graphics with short message that could be used in newsletters

  • Blog posts

Please contact Allison Williams for more information 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.

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 September 25, - 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 Lose to Win

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.

Lose to Win is a weight loss program that addresses many topics regarding weight loss, provides group support, encourages goal setting and tracking.  This program can also be useful for people who have been diagnosed with diabetes and need help losing weight.

Jennifer Willner, YMCA Health Coach, will be facilitating DPP and Tara Marshall, YMCA Healthy Living Coordinator, will be facilitating Lose to Win. Questions about either program can be sent to Tammy Bennett or Tara Marshall at

Financial assistance is available.

Move 4 A Cause

Every Friday, 4 - 4:30 PM - Zoom Video Conference Call

Dementia Support Northwest

Motivation can be hard to find these days, so every Friday from 4 - 4:30 PM 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 olunteers 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:


Creative Offering

This poem was shared by Rev. Tessie Mandeville at recent event. 


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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