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September Newsletter

Dear Health Ministries Network Community,

What's this? Faith Community Nurses, Health Ministers and partners, gathering together for a picnic on a beautiful summer day! It was our "First Annual HMN Appreciation Picnic," and I throw the word, "annual," in there because it was so much fun, I'm pretty sure we'll be doing it again.

We gathered at Cordata Park, a relatively new park that is sheltered and peaceful and bustling with the joyful noises of kids in the splash park and vibrations of chimes and bells at the musical playground. While Costco provided us a shopping card to defray expenses, HMN Board Members brought lots of goodies, from drinks to desserts. And we welcomed HMN volunteers from as far as Seattle and Snohomish Counties. Friends who hadn't seen each other in several years caught up. And those who had met only on Zoom marveled at how much taller or shorter someone was in person! We gave thanks to and with everyone, as we reflected on the critical role that each of us has played during pandemic and that each of us continues to fill each day. And we agree that, no matter the time, place or season, our greatest role is to love--and I'm happy to say that we do that very well!

September is not only "Back to School" month, but it's also National Recovery Month and Women's Gynecological Awareness Month, and September 18th is AIDS Awareness Day. Every month, I include working links in our newsletter so that you can download information to share on your faith community bulletin boards, and September is a great month to freshen up those information boards!

Please join us on September 16th 19th, 12-1:30pm on Zoom to meet the latest member of the PeaceHealth Advance Directive Team, who will present new information AND to spend a little time talking about Best Practices in Taking BPs. Get useful tools and tracking sheets, ask questions and order a new BP cuff with HMN if your faith community needs this! And if you enjoyed our time in person together at the picnic or long for this face-to-face connection, we will be offering opportunities to host monthly meetings in person AND online. See details and signups below!

If you feel called to become involved with the lifegiving daily work at Health Ministries Network (HMN), know that we are still seeking a part-time Assistant Director to support and work with the Executive Director to perform our ongoing mission of linking Faith Community Nurses & Health Ministers, congregations and local resources, to nurture community health equity with spiritual well-being in our four-county area (Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish and San Juan Counties) of Western Washington.

As we look to the new season—autumn--we enter with appreciation for each of you. We enter with love. With tremendous hope and optimism—because of our love—your love—the love all around us. We know what love does. And that it lives eternal. Let’s enjoy the love of each other today!

Wishing you continued peace, health, and love. Take good care today!

Yours in gratitude and hope,

Sarah Lane

Executive Director


Thank you to all who donated household cleaning and hygiene items at our HMN Appreciation Picnic! As you can see by the donation box that Joni Hensley made (thanks, Joni!), we gathered a good number of items for our partners at the Foothills Food Bank. Sam Norris and team were present at our picnic to share in a meal and take these back to Maple Falls, directly to the people who need them. We are so grateful for this year of Ask a Nurse at the East Whatcom Regional Resource Center and all of our partners--and to the granting organization, Aging Well Whatcom of the Chuckanut Health Foundation.


A BIG Thank You to HMN Volunteers! Attending Events, Serving With Love and Spreading the Word!

Thank you to Joni Hensley, RN, Mike Massanari, MD, and Rebecca Cavanaugh, RN, who talked to families, handed out fidget toys, networked and took BPs at the 2nd annual Back to School Block Party @ Bellingham High School(BHS). We were thrilled to share information about health and wellness as well as Health Ministries Network alongside partners like Mt. Baker Foundation! Doctors Mike Massanari and Bill Lombard are pictured here, serving, supporting and educating!

And thank you to Joni Hensley, RN, and Sunny Garza, RN, who served alongside Sarah Lane, Community Health Advocate, at the Kendall Summerfest. We shared a space with the EWRRC at Kendall Elementary, and enjoyed music and food, arts and crafts--and a great community--as we provided health education support and took BPs! Here, Joni and Carl McDaniel (masterful community leader!), share some of the cool and educational items from the Mt. Baker Foundation.

Thanks to all who volunteer, share the love and spread the word that Health Ministries Network is here, living our mission:

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


HMN September Monthly Meeting: Your Voice, Your Choice PeaceHealth Advance Directive Program Offerings and a Refresher in Best Practices for taking BP

Today, we'd like to introduce you to the newest member of the PeaceHealth AD education team, Lindsey Boldrin! She is excited to share their update program: Your Voice, Your Choice, and she says, "I would love to co-teach live community classes or support however I can." We invite you to meet Lindsey, learn about changes to the program, and then . . .

Stay for a refresher and good resources for best practices for taking Blood Pressure. We'll have handouts from the HHA and make BP record cards available to you! As always, we'll offer a time to catch up!

Everyone is welcome!

Please join us via Zoom on Friday, September 16th, 12-1:30pm.

Please contact Sarah Lane for a Zoom link or with questions at


UW On Demand! Reasonably Priced Classes to Support Your Faith Community Nursing Practice

Are feeling like a little bit of education would be welcome about right now, as the world opens up and we're stepping out to do more? Perhaps you have a specific interest in a certain area of focus. Check out UW On Demand for reasonably priced modules (with CECs) to support you in your work as a Faith Community Nurse!


HMN August Meeting Notes and Video Link: WSU Extension offers the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) to Skagit and Whatcom Counties

In August, we continued to build our awareness of and toolkit around prediabetes and diabetes. Many of you have attended one or more of the recent "Prediabetes is not Benign" presentations, hosted by the Mt. Baker Foundation. In September, we met with Kate Foster of WSU Extension (and also an RN!) who shared theirDPP Program with us--while their September class is now full, they will continue to place people on a waitlist as well as share the YMCA DPP program. What a great way to keep the education and wellness going throughout the year!


HMN Monthly Meetings: A Hybrid Proposal!

During pandemic, Zoom allowed us to connect closely with Faith Community Nurses and Health Ministers who live well beyond the four-county area that HMN primarily serves. We have built and value new relationships, and we want to keep that new community going!

However, we also know that it's refreshing to meet in person. Some of our FCNs/HMs/CHAs have suggested a hybrid model meeting in which you offer your church space to host one monthly meeting by providing space, healthy snacks and Wifi.

Sarah Lane would bring the meeting into that space, setting up Zoom from your location, so that some can attend in person, while others attend online. Each month, we'd move to a different space, and the changing location would allow people in different areas to attend in person. Throughout, the HMN Monthly Meeting would be available simultaneously on Zoom and via recording afterward.

Would you and your faith community like to host a meeting? Please let Sarah Lane know, and she will start a calendar of monthly locations and work with you to set up the meeting in your space! We look forward to seeing you in person (or on Zoom!). Please contact Sarah 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.


A Practical Guide for Supporting Recovery in Faith and Community Settings

Overdose deaths accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic, with CDC estimating that more than 105,000 people died from overdose in the 12 months ending in October 2021, the highest number ever recorded in a 12-month period. The HHS Partnership Center’s newly revised and releasedPractical Toolkit for Preventing Drug Overdose and Supporting Recovery in Faith and Community Settingsyour community can take to support those in treatment and recovery and lean into the hope of primary prevention efforts- both those that may save a person from overdose or prevent a young person from future misuse.

The toolkit has been translated into Spanish for use in Spanish-speaking congregations and communities

And from the North Sound Accountable Communities of Health (NSACH): Awareness events happening in the North Sound region:

  • Island County: Awareness and Memorial Walk, there will be a candlelight vigil with community resources, free BBQ, and Naloxone training. For more information please see the event flyer here.

  • Snohomish County: Sixth annual A Night To Remember, A Time To Act on August 31. There will be a resource fair beginning at 5 p.m., with the candlelight vigil and program starting at 6:30 p.m., more information can be found here.

  • Skagit County: Awareness Walk on August 31 from 5-8 p.m. There will be free Narcan kits and training provided along with food, music, resources, and more, for more information please see the event flyer here.

  • Whatcom County: Naloxone Education & Distribution Event on August 31 from 1-7 p.m., for more information please see the event flyer here.

Also, check out SAMHSA resources here.


It's also Women's Gynecological Awareness Month

From The Foundation for Women’s Cancer (FWC): "[FWC] understands the importance of bringing awareness to all gynecologic cancers—cervical, ovarian, uterine/endome, vaginal and vulvar cancer—and declared September as Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month (GCAM) with a goal of reaching more and more people each year." Click here for resources to spread the word.


On September 18th, we observe National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day

September 18 is National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day (NHAAD). NHAAD brings attention to issues related to HIV among older Americans, including new infections among older adults and adults over 50 aging with HIV. Share the social media posts below to help raise awareness of HIV, address stigma and other barriers to care, and encourage older adults to get tested and know their status. You can also share Let’s Stop HIV Together campaign resources in English and Spanish.


Expanded and free or discounted hospital care for Washington State Residents

At the end of June, the Washington State Office of the Attorney General Announced: "The legislation requires large hospital systems to provide more financial assistance. Beginning July 1, approximately half of all Washingtonians will be eligible for free or reduced-cost care at hospitals that represent approximately 80 percent of the licensed beds in the state." To learn more, click here. The Seattle Times also reported, "Millions of Washingtonians recently became eligible for free or discounted hospital care after an update to a state law went into effect last month, a significant step toward eliminating residents’ costly medical debts." To see more information and to read the full article please go here.


FDA Hearing Aid Announcement: Soon Available Over the Counter

From the FDA: Last week, the FDA issued a final rule to make hearing aids available over the counter – delivering on the President’s Executive Order calling for more competition and lowering costs for the American people. This action means that in October, hearing aids will be available over the counter, saving nearly $3000 per pair for American families. Below are resources on the announcement. POTUS Statement: VPOTUS video: FDA Release:


WDOH Monkeypox Virus (MPV) Hotline

The Washington State Department of Health launched a hotline to provide information and answer questions on the Monkeypox virus (MPV) in response to the growing number of cases in the state. If you have an unexplained rash, please take the following steps:

  • Cover the rash;

  • Avoid skin-to-skin contact with others; and

  • See your health care provider to determine what testing and treatment may be available to you.

For more information about MPV, you can go to the Washington State Department of Health MPV information page.


All about 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline from SAMSHA

If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat


Creative Offering

Today's creative offering is brought to you by Lara Welker (left), who works closely with the Chuckanut Health Foundation to make Aging Well Whatcom happen. Not only is she a great leader, coordinator and supporter, but she is a gardener with a green thumb and some beautiful dahlias! She delivered 6 beautiful bouquets of her flowers to adorn our tables for the HMN Appreciation Picnic! Thanks, Lara!


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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