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September Newsletter

Dear Health Ministries Network Community,

As the kids return to school, outdoor celebrations wind down and we return from summer outings and travel, we celebrate the harvest. In my neighborhood, I have become the "tomato, egg and zucchini lady," handing out boxes to neighbors and gladly receiving their apples and pears and plums. Quietly, and socially distanced, we celebrate the harvest and express gratitude for the many blessings we have. Whether it is the harvest, access to clean water and medical care or the freedom to live and practice in our different communities of faith, indeed, we are blessed.

We simply must acknowledge all the goodness in a world that also offers a generous portion of sorrow. We simply must breathe and offer gratitude and continue to share the harvest with those who suffer behind the door of sorrow, oppression and hopelessness. We must be the ones who, as board member, Dr. Emily Gibson, says so eloquently in a featured essay this month, open the door for others. For those who have lost hope, particularly during this Suicide Prevention Month.

Thank you to all who do this here, as Faith Community Nurses, Health Ministers and Community Health Advocates. We are grateful to serve you through connection and continuing education--and good opportunities to serve our community.

Last week, we learned that our Ask a Nurse Grant through the Aging Well Whatcom Grant Round 2021 was approved! We will be providing a warm, healthcare presence at the East Whatcom Regional Resource Center on two Tuesdays a month, while the Foothills Food Bank is open.

This week, we wish all those of the Jewish faith a Happy Rosh Hashanah (New Year) and a celebratory and contemplative time through Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) on September 16th.

This month, we're pleased to introduce our regional initiative to share three Foundations Courses online with partners in Tacoma and Lebanon, Oregon. We continue to work on our new logo and website. And we share good resources en Español and in English.

We invite you to explore a number of training opportunities in our newsletter with special emphasis on our upcoming monthly meeting, a presentation by NAMI on Faithnet on Friday, September 17th, at noon via Zoom. Please see the link below and log on for a time of community and learning.

Please continue reading, as we share HMN Board changes and other important news. Wishing you continued peace, health, and compassion in service. Take good care today!

Yours in growth and gratitude,

Sarah Lane

Executive Director


HMN Monthly Meeting - NAMI Faithnet: Mental Health Matters!

September Monthly Meeting - Friday 9/17, 12-1pm

This month, we'll feature the director of our Whatcom County NAMI Office, Kim Sauter, speaking with us about NAMI resources for faith communities. Please explore this link to learn more about NAMI and resources that are available to all faith communities. NAMI FaithNet is an information exchange network of NAMI members, friends, clergy and congregations of all faith traditions who wish to create more welcoming and supportive faith communities for persons and families touched by serious mental illness. NAMI FaithNet also encourages the role of faith in recovery for those for whom faith is a key component of their experience. Please join us! All are welcome to share, listen and learn! And we always record and post our meetings.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 870 3130 1954

Passcode: 780083

One tap mobile

+12532158782,,87031301954#,,,,*780083# US (Tacoma)

For questions or a Zoom link, contact


Ask a Nurse Grant is Awarded!

Dr. Emily Gibson (HMN Board), pictured here, as well as Joni Hensley (RN, HMN Board President) and Rebecca Cavanaugh (RN) and Anita Busby (RN) served at Summerfest at the EWRRC, taking blood pressures and sharing information about our upcoming Ask a Nurse Program in Mt. Baker School District #507.

Thank you to Chuckanut Health Foundation's Aging Well Whatcom for awarding Health Ministries Network a generous grant to provide a warm and consistent healthcare presence in the Mt. Baker School District, primarily at the East Whatcom Regional Resource Center in 2021-2022.

HMN faith community nurses, health ministers and community health advocates will be present on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month from 9:00-noon while the Foothills Food Bank (co-located) is in service to allow older adults and their families the opportunity to talk to an HMN nurse about health concerns, connect with health resources and participate in limited screenings.

We look forward to taking blood pressures and referring visitors to services; connecting people with health records and telemedicine appointments; and more importantly, getting to know people and learning what they want and need most in healthcare in this geographical area.

On the fourth Tuesday of each month, a community partner will accompany us, introducing their services and providing good connections. Partners and supporters include the Foothills Food Bank, Whatcom Family YMCA, Mt. Baker Foundation, Dementia Support NW, the Opportunity Council, PeaceHealth and others.

Nurses, Health Ministers and Community Health Advocates, would you like to serve with us? Contact Sarah Lane at to learn more about how you can provide that warm healthcare presence once, twice, periodically or throughout 2021-2022. Click here to see the tentative schedule.


HMN Board Changes: Gratitude for Service

From Joni Hensley, HMN Board President,

As we approach the changing of the seasons, there are many new and exciting activities happening with your Health Ministries Network. There are also reasons for expressing a deep gratitude to some of our past Board members who are leaving us or who have left. Please join us in giving a heart-felt “thank you” to:

Cindy Bauleke who stepped down from the Board and who served as our Spiritual Advisor for many years. Cindy was instrumental in creating our By-Laws and leading the dedications for our meetings. Her prayers and leadership are very missed and we extend our deepest gratitude to her for her years of service, her kindness and compassion for the community. We wish Cindy a safe and healthy journey in the years to come.

Kevin Majkut who recently resigned from the Board and who served as our Board

Treasurer. His patience and perseverance served us well as we navigated to function with increasing financial independence. Kevin’s leadership in budgeting and his attention to detail were amazing and we will be missing him greatly as we seek another person to fill such big shoes. We wish him well in his expanding family role and enjoying new grandbabies and a little more travel in the future.

Dick Cathell has graciously agreed to join our board and to serve as our HMN Board Spiritual Advisor. We look forward to sharing move about Dick in next month's newsletter!

We are continuing to seek new leaders to fill our board positions and if you have it in your heart to serve, please contact Sarah at And please stay tuned for an update on many of our newer projects, including the “Ask A Nurse” program in the Kendall area and a possible return of “Care Transitions” work. And as always, please know how eternally grateful we are to serve this wonderful community of faith leaders, community partners and all of you who support our efforts to promote spiritual well-being and peace in this world.

With gratitude, Joni Hensley, RN


Three Regional Foundations in Faith Community Nursing & Health Ministry Courses Available Online in 2021-2022

Today, more than ever, we feel a need to draw together--to offer the greatest possible accessibility to faith communities to start up health ministries--both to serve the complex needs of faith community members and to lighten the load on healthcare workers and faith community leaders. And so regional coordinators, Deb Fell-Carson and Tawni Pfaff, Debbie Saint and Sarah Lane, have come together to offer three courses and regional support to those who feel called to health ministry in the Pacific Northwest.

About Faith Community Nursing and Health Ministry

Faith Community Nurses (registered nurses with active licenses) and health ministers (laypersons trained to serve alongside nurses and other health professionals) serve their congregations and community through advocacy, by improving health literacy, health equity and overall access to care, and by promoting spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being.

About the Courses

In 2021-2022, our region offers three opportunities to get trained as a Faith Community Nurse or Health Minister to serve your community and serve as a bridge between the healthcare system and your faith community. If you will be serving in one of these three regions, you may apply for a scholarship to attend any one of these courses. No matter which course you take, your course coordinator will connect you with the network in your region. Please start by contacting the coordinator for each course to register and request a scholarship application.

Fall: 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,

Winter: Pacific Lutheran University and Congregational Health Ministries Program at CHI Franciscan in Tacoma offer the Foundations Course. Our 2022 course will be offered from January-February 2022. Dates and cost will be published later this month. Please contact Sarah Lane at to get connected!

Spring: Health Ministries Network in Bellingham, WA will offer the Foundations course for both Faith Community Nurses and Health Ministers through WWU. This course will be offered online over nine weeks, from 4/9/2022-6/11/2022. There will be live Zoom sessions on 4/9, 5/7, and 6/11. Each week's material and assignments will be posted in Western Washington University's Canvas system. The Foundations Course includes has 15 modules (providing 38 contact hours) with an emphasis on elements of spirituality in caring for the health needs of congregations and communities.

​The cost of the program is $375 per person for and includes course materials, thanks to generous support from Chuckanut Health Foundation. A $50 non-refundable deposit is required with each completed application. Group rates: $350 each for two or more persons (up to three). Contact Carol Nicolay at or (360) 510-9797.


Washington State Community Health Worker (CHW) Program: For community, connection and CEUs

Dear FCNs, HMs, CHAs and All who serve in community:

Earlier this year, we heard from Megan Stephenson, who served as the Whatcom CHW coordinator with the Whatcom Family Community Network (WFCN) here, in Whatcom County.

And having had experience with CHWs in previous work, I took a particular interest in CHW training. I went to the Washington DOH website and explored the course description:

"If you have experience as a peer counselor, outreach worker, Promotoras de Salud, patient navigator or community health worker, add this training to your resume and become a part of the Community Health Worker workforce in our state."

I decided that it would be worth my while to take this course and become a CHW. I was not prepared to learn so much over the 10-week course, from how to speak about healthcare in plain language to how to build and promote a CHW or other program. I can only imagine the possibilities for CHWs to serve in our health ministries to augment the work of FCNs/HMs/CHAs.

The Community Health Worker Core Competency Training is offered online quarterly and by region. The course coordinator is extremely helpful and makes it easy to stay connected. And you can earn 30 CEUs through this course.

I highly recommend the course, both for the education and connection and for the continuing education. It is great for nurses and non-nurses, alike. And there is a course starting in October. Register here.

Grateful, Sarah Lane


Dementia Support Northwest Presents


New COVID-19 & Vaccination Resources

At HMN, we keep our finger on the pulse of COVID-19 information, requirements and updates. Here, we offer newer updates. For an extensive list of resources in Washington and Whatcom County as well as Oregon, please go to the HMN website.

This month, we'd like to feature Whatcom County pop-up clinics for vaccination and dental care. Please click here to access flyers in Spanishand Russian:

Thank you for doing your part to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to keep your employees, clients, and customers safe!


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 to find Suicide Prevention Materials from the CDC.


Familia y Amigos Un seminario para familiares y amigos de personas que sufren de condiciones de salud mental

Los participantes aprenderán sobre diagnósticos, tratamiento, recuperación, estrategias de comunicación, y preparación en caso de una crisis de salud mental. Los líderes también son miembros de familia, y saben lo que es tener un ser querido que padece de una enfermedad mental. Contáctenos para más información: 11 septiembre 2021 | 9:00am-1:00pm En línea – sobre Zoom Visita para registrarse Contáctenos para más información: Email: Teléfono/texto: (425) 298-5315 This online seminar is specifically for Spanish-speaking family and friends who have loved ones with mental health conditions. This free workshop will take place online via Zoom on September 11, 2021 from 9:00am to 1:00pm.

This event will be led by family members who know what it’s like to have a loved one with a mental health challenge.


Resources from HHS to Faith Communities

Help ensure that individuals, friends, and families have access to the resources they need to discuss suicide prevention and to seek help—and promote The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255).

Equipping Faith-based Communities to Respond to Substance Use Disorders (SUDs). Join us on September 15 at 1 p.m. EDT for a webinar, and learn how faith communities are playing a role in supporting individuals in recovery. Register here. We are also pleased that we will be joined by Melissa Rogers, Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, as we all come together to recognize National Recovery Month.

JAAN connects families and individuals to information, support, tools, and Jewish perspectives to help them face addiction and work toward recovery. Visit their website for current news and events.


The Art of Aging Features FCN LeAna Osterman

Please take a moment to get to know our very own LeAna Osterman, RN, who shares her life with us in so many ways--as a faith community nurse, a transitional care nurse, a faith community member, a leader and innovator, a friend and a child of God.

What a joy it was to interview and paint LeAna!

And learn more about The Art of Aging, a program of Aging Well Whatcom and the Chuckanut Health Foundation, and all those involved here.


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 September 24th, 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

By Dr. Emily Gibson, MD, HMN Board Member

5 Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6 a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ 7 And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need. 9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened." Luke 11: 5-10

Some time ago, a young woman I’d been seeing for several weeks in my clinic for depression called unexpectedly on a Friday afternoon and canceled an upcoming appointment for the following Monday and did not reschedule. The receptionist sent me a message as is our policy for patients who “cancel and do not reschedule”. It gave me a bad feeling that she was turning her back on her treatment plan and I was uneasy about the upcoming weekend without knowing what was going on with her. I decided to call my patient. She didn’t answer her phone. I mulled over my options, looked up her apartment address and drove there. As I approached her door, I could hear someone moving around in her apartment, but she didn’t respond to my knocks or my voice. Read the full offering here.


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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