top of page

October Newsletter

Dear Health Ministries Network Community,

I hope that this letter finds you well amidst the changing days of autumn. We have sun, clouds, wind, rain--and lots of care and compassion for our communities. Did you notice another change? HMN has a new logo! Learn more below about how HMN is not only honoring our caring tradition, but we are also embracing the changing landscape of our world and the needs of our communities as we serve in our new logo, our website and our work.

Last month, we launched the Ask a Nurse Grant and served 50-60 people during each of our visits to the East Whatcom Regional Resource Center. We provided a warm, healthcare presence in the community, through blood pressure checks, and this opened up great conversations about physical, emotional and spiritual well-being with our visitors.

Of course, we've known for many years that we can "build a relationship through blood pressure checks." And we are grateful to partner with the Mt. Baker Foundation and the Whatcom Family YMCA to offer our communities a home blood pressure monitoring program in upcoming months. We invite you to learn more about how you can become a Health Heart Ambassador for your faith community, whether or not you are a nurse, at our October Monthly Meeting, 12-1pm on Friday, October 15th.

Between now and then, there are some great opportunities to connect, learn and serve! One opportunity that I want to highlight is Indigenous Day Celebration, hosted by Children of the Setting Sun Productions online, via Zoom. What a wonderful opportunity for faith communities to listen and learn and to honor those who have stewarded the land where we live since time immemorial.

Last, please save the date! HMN will be offering a Season of Gratitude and Hope to our community and each other during the month of November, and we'll begin on November 6th.

As the days grow shorter, and the weather becomes consistently cooler and wetter, please take good care. Please stay connected. And please continue to love one another as you serve in your communities. Wishing you continued peace, health, and compassion in service. Take good care today!

Yours in growth and gratitude,

Sarah Lane

Executive Director


Three RNs, Joni Hensley, Rebecca Cavanaugh and Holly Telfer, serve the East Whatcom Community at Ask a Nurse in September, thanks to a grant from Aging Well Whatcom! We served alongside the Foothills Food Bank, Whatcom County Health Dept. and other organizations and visited with 50-60 people during each visit and offered BP checks, health education and connection, emergency medical and food kits from the North Sound Accountable Communities of Health (NSACH). And we had so much joy! What a great season to be a part of Health Ministries Network!


HMN Monthly Meeting - Our Partnership with the Whatcom Family YMCA and Mt. Baker Foundation

October Monthly Meeting - Friday 10/15, 12-1pm

This month, we'll feature the the Whatcom Family YMCA, who is launching the Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring Program, an evidence-based home blood pressure monitoring program that not only empowers people to care for themselves by monitoring their blood pressure, but also supports a larger conversation around physical, emotional and spiritual wellness! Do you think you'd like to host a blood pressure self-monitoring program at your faith community or in your community? Whether or not you're a nurse, you can become a Healthy Heart Ambassador in Whatcom County! Come and learn more!

Mt. Baker Foundation knows the connection between blood pressure, diabetes and kidney disease and wants to support our faith community nurses in Whatcom County by providing funding for BP monitors for our nurses in faith communities. Please join us to learn more! All are welcome to share, listen and learn! And we always record and post our meetings.

For questions or Zoom link, contact


Health Ministries Network has a new look!

You may have noticed one version of our new logo in the opening letter. And the version above is yet another. The seed for this new look was planted during our HMN Board strategic planning session in June, when we carefully considered and updated our mission statement:

Linking Faith Community Nurses & Health Ministers, congregations and local resources, to nurture community health equity with spiritual well-being.

While we loved our stained glass window image and all the thought and prayer that went into it to ensure it captured the spirit and history of faith community nursing and was visually accessible, we felt it was time for an update that clearly reflected the golden hearts of our faith community nurses, health ministers, community health advocates and diverse faith communities, as well as partners and supporters.

Time and time again, our network illuminates hearts by praying, sharing and being present. But we also know how important prayer in action is. Driving parishioners to appointments, connecting community members with resources, hosting classes and taking blood pressures--these actions that we take with our hands are critical to the physical, emotional and spiritual well being of the whole person and our whole community.

After our strategic planning session, several of our board members, Chaz Nelson, Joni Hensley, Emily Gibson and LeAna Osterman worked diligently with our web designer to develop this logo in gold, teal and blue. Helping hands, healing hearts and communities.

In upcoming months, we'll launch our new website that will not only offer great information to our broad community about faith community nursing and health ministry and how we can help faith communities start their own health ministry, but we're working on a community forum page, where our volunteers can come for specific resources, information, support and mentorship.

Thank you to all of you for being a part of and supporting Health Ministries Network as we continue serve our communities.


Celebrate, Learn and Grow: October 11th is Indigenous People's Day!

At HMN, we seek to cultivate health equity in our faith communities and the greater community. We seek to support physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. One great way to cultivate healthy community is to listen and learn about those around us--for we are inextricably linked and so very valuable. As we pray about and consider the role of our faith communities in caring for one another well, we offer this generous invitation from Children of the Setting Sun Productions to observe Indigenous People's Day on October 11th. Please click here to participate.


Information on Nursing Licensure and Quality Assurance from our Board President, Joni Hensley

Dear Faith Community Nursing Colleagues,

As we give of ourselves to our friends, family, faith communities and the general public questions often come up about maintaining our registered nurse license. Please see the latest updates on our requirements from the Nursing Commission and a bit about malpractice insurance. Stay safe, stay healthy and always in gratitude. Joni

Protect Your Nursing License: See the latest from the Washington State Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission

Continuing Education Requirements and Active Nursing Practice Hours Change

As of June 12, 2021 the Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission (NCQAC) has reduced education and active nursing practice hour requirements for active, inactive, expired, and retired-active nurse credentials, and changed the reporting period. Changes include:

  • Continuing education and active nursing practice hour renewals are now yearly.

  • Active nursing practice continuing education hours changes to at least 8 hours a year.

  • Active nursing practice hours changes to at least 96 hours a year.

  • Retired active nursing practice continuing education hours changes to at least 8 hours a year.

  • Retired active nursing practice hours changes to at least 24 hours a year (max of 90 days a year).

Here is a helpful fact sheet if you have questions. NCQAC Continuing Competency changes June 2021 (

Nursing Commission statement on COVID-19 misinformation

The Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission supports Federation of State Medical Boards’ statement released on July 29, 2021 regarding COVID-19 vaccine misinformation. On Sept 10th the commission issues this statement: ”Read the Nursing Commission's full statement on COVID-19 misinformation (PDF)

“NCQAC expands this statement to include nurses in Washington State and does not limit this perspective to vaccines but broadly applies this standard to all misinformation regarding COVID-19 treatments and preventive measures such as masking. Nurses who generate and spread COVID-19 misinformation, or disinformation, erode the public trust in the nursing profession and endangers patients”.

Do You Need Malpractice Insurance?

The Washington State Nursing Association has information about determining if you might need malpractice insurance to protect your license. At this time they support working with NSO. See the website: NSO Insurance – Nurses Malpractice Insurance – Nurses - NSO® | NSO

(On a personal note: I just renewed my retired nurse malpractice through them. It is a peace of mind for me and only costs $58/year.


Deadline Approaching for the Fall Foundations in Faith Community Nursing Course

The Faith Community Health Network and Linn-Benton Extended Learning in Lebanon, OR, will offer the Foundations of Faith Community Nursing Course for nurses and a concurrent Foundations for Health Ministry course for lay members of faith communities from 8:00am-5:00pm on 11/15-16, 11/29-30, and 12/13 and from 8:00am until 2:00pm on 12/14/2021.

We are grateful to Samaritan Health Services; its financial support allows us to offer this six-day course for the reduced cost of $299, which includes three textbooks and 38 contact hours for continuing education. The course is offered on Mondays and Tuesdays from 8a-5p, November 15-16, 29-30, and December 13. Our final day, December 14, will conclude at 2p after our Dedication Ceremony. The course will be offered via Zoom. Contact Deb Fell-Carson,

Health Ministries Network is happy to support scholarships for prospective Faith Community Nurses and Health Ministers from Whatcom, Skagit, Island and San Juan Counties who support underserved communities and choose to take this online course. Please contact Sarah Lane at if you or someone you know would like to apply for a scholarship through HMN. If this course does not work on your timeline, please remember that we have two more courses coming up this year.


Save the Date! A Season of Gratitude

and Hope!

Two years ago, we met in person for the annual Spirit of Giving celebration. Last year, that in-person celebration could not happen due to COVID-19. We missed everyone, but even with the distance between us all, we seem to have grown closer.

We've made phone calls, written letters, had window visits and prayed with one another.

We've attended monthly meetings and faith community leader events and trainings. And we've helped older adults access vaccinations, started the Ask a Nurse program and supported partner programs. And while the community has contracted in some ways, we've also expanded, reaching faith communities, nurses and health ministers well beyond our four counties.

We are grateful, and we are very hopeful. So during the month of November, we invite you join us in a Season of Gratitude and Hope with us from wherever you find yourself!

Starting on November 6th, we'll be premiering a short gratitude and hope video, created by our board, network and partners, sharing what we've done and what we're grateful for. We'll share where we're going and where we find our hope. We will invite you to accept the light of hope and continue to share it throughout your community--and to continue to support Health Ministries Network! Look for details and links in our November newsletter!


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.

Click here for materials to support your faith community in promoting early detection of breast and ovarian cancer.

Whatcom Family YMCA Offers ACT! at Home in Spanish ACT! Cambiando activamente juntos

This 11-week virtual learning program, developed in partnership with providers and professionals at Seattle Children’s Hospital, provides engaging lessons on healthy nutrition, activity, and lifestyles and is designed for kids ages 8-14 and their parents and/or their adult care provider. By actively changing together, parents and kids can learn how to engage in healthy lifestyles as a family.

Click here to see and share the ACT! flyer in Spanish.

For information about ACT!, please contact Mary Latta, 360 255-0496 or

PARA MÁS INFORMACIÓN Y PARA REGISTRARSE: Envíe un correo electrónico a o llame a Mary Latta al 360-255-0496.


Mental First Aid Training and Toolkit for Faith Community Leaders from Oregon Health Authority

OHA has set up another Mental Health First Aid training for Faith Leaders at no charge. The class has a 13 spots remaining.

  • Tuesday, October 19th from 9am-5pm

  • Register here

This is a live Zoom course and you will also be expected to complete a required 2-hour, self-paced online pre-work class. Please let me know if you have any questions. You are also welcome to share this invitation with someone else on your team if you are not able to attend.

Please also see the Mental Health Toolkit for Oregon Faith Community Leaders here.


COVID-19 and Vaccination Resources

from HHS

Pregnant people are at higher risk for being hospitalized and dying from COVID-19. The vaccines are safe for pregnant people, and do not change fertility. Read more here.

Share CDC Director Rochelle Walensky’s conversation with What to Expect Heidi Murkoff about vaccine safety for pregnant women.

Use these outreach resources to help explain eligibility for COVID-19 vaccine boosters to your community. Learn more about booster eligibility at the CDC website.

NIH’s Community Engagement Alliance (CEAL) Against COVID-19 initiative aims to provide trustworthy information through active community engagement and outreach to the communities hardest-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Connect with CEAL teams in your state here.

The latest OMH Blog for Health Equity calls for Latinos to commit to protecting their children and communities by getting vaccinated and following recommendations from the CDC.

An easily sharable handout offering tips to assist healthcare professionals with communicating the benefits of influenza vaccination.



From Dementia Support Northwest

HEAD Talks

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

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 Whatcom Community Health Worker Network Meeting

Friday October 29, 9-11AM - Zoom Video Conference Call

Join other community health workers for networking and resources. Email for the meeting link.

Contact WCHW


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

If you've attended one of our Health Ministries Network meetings, you've our HMN Land Acknowledgement Statement:

Today, let us acknowledge the Peoples of the Salish Sea, Nooksack and Lummi people, who have stewarded this land and lived here since time immemorial. As we share and live in this sacred place, let us breathe with a sense of gratitude and move in the spirit of unity, caring for all who seek to thrive on this land and water and to honor those who have come before us and those who will come after us.

In this statement, we seek to honor Coast Salish Peoples and their stewardship in the past and present, and we affirm to work together to love and honor this land and all who live here.

If you'd like help developing a land acknowledgement statement for your faith community, please contact Sarah Lane at We will be offering the opportunity for assistance in upcoming months.

NOTE: This photo of salmon swimming upstream was taken on September 24th, 2021 at Whatcom Creek.


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,


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page