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Image of various religious icons

We Are

Health Ministries Network (HMN) is an interfaith non-profit that initiates, develops and supports health ministry in Whatcom, Skagit, Island and San Juan Counties in Washington State.

Faith communities and health systems work in partnership to deliver whole person health and wellness, linking mind, body and spirit.

We train and support faith community nurses (FCNs) and health ministers (HMs) to serve their congregations and community by promoting preventive health care, health equity and spiritual well-being.

Our philosophy emphasizes mind, body and spirit holistic health while respecting the principles of faith held by those we serve.

Participants in a Foundations Course

What Health Ministries Network Does


We support the health ministries of FCNs and HMs with:

  • Education and certification through the Foundations in Faith Community
    Nursing Course;

  • Continuing education at monthly meetings with rotating topics;

  • Resources in person and online to enhance health ministries;

  • Networking and information exchange; and

  • Connection with community and health care agencies.

Our History

Photo of Granger Westberg

Parish nursing was conceived as a health care specialty in 1984 by Granger Westberg, a Chaplain at Lutheran General Hospital in Chicago. Rev. Westberg believed in holistic healthcare and thought that faith communities were a natural agency to integrate mind-body-spirit healing.

In 1997, Carol Story, a nationally recognized nurse educator in Bellingham, envisioned a health ministry network serving parish nurses in the Pacific Northwest. Using the curriculum from the Westberg Institute, she offered the first preparation course at St. Joseph's Hospital. Twenty-one years later, this course is offered in a hybrid learning format.

Photo of Carol Story from a newspaper clipping

In 2009, The Parish Nurse Program launched the new Health Ministries Network, which included 83 parish nurses and health ministers (in four counties), 18 community organizations, 45 community congregations and 6 hospital departments, all providing special services to the community. The title "parish nurse" was changed to "faith community nurse" in 2011.

In 2017, Health Ministries Network evolved again as it left the care of the PeaceHealth Spiritual Care Department and launched HMN as its own nonprofit. Support for the program continues with generous grants and support from PeaceHealth and Chuckanut Health Foundation, as well as private giving from individuals.

We would be remiss not to express our gratitude for the faith community nurses, health ministers, physicians and chaplains who have contributed their time, finances and support to make this ministry a success. Through our history there have been some shining stars.

Special thanks to: Sr. Judy Tralnes, Sr. Agatha Aicher, Sr. Mary Therese Bruening, Barry Meyers, ESQ, Jennifer Johnson, ARNP, Mary Lynne Palmer, RN, Bridget Carney, PhD, Rev Randy Pries, Leona Bergstrom, Elaine Granger, RN & PN, Carol Story, RN, Tisch Lynch, RN, Cheryl Grambo, RN, Donna Gustin, RN, Charles Nelson, PhD, Jeanne Brotherton, RN, Sue Sharpe, Chuckanut Health Foundation, PeaceHealth Spiritual Care, Chris Phillips, PeaceHealth Community Relations, Ross Fewing, Rev. Tessie Mandeville, Sharon Somers Hill, RN, Dick Cathell, PhD, and Carol Nicolay, EdD.

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