June 2022
Meeting Recaps
By Sue Cox BSN, RN- BC
Faith Community Nurse Network Manager, Advocate Aurora Health

March 9 - Let's Talk Mental Health
Amy McNicholas, Mental Health Specialist and Illinois Manager, Faith & Health Partnerships with Advocate Aurora Health, led us through a meaningful and practical look at mental wellness. Amy opened our gathering with a Reflection Lectio process using a poem from Jan Richardson. We were challenged to examine the concept of self-care at a much deeper and personal level. Self-care is about awareness, balance and connection; it is about the practice of taking action to preserve one's own health. Learning to prioritize positive over negative coping strategies is key and adopting small strategies to reduce stress that are low cost and easy to implement will help boost our wellness. Amy challenged the group to be curious about ourselves and become aware of what energizes and what depletes us - choose accordingly! We learned that on July 16, the new 988 Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Line will launch nationwide, providing easy access to help for anyone in need. Lastly, Advocate Aurora Health is working on a Loneliness Project to address social isolation, so watch for future information related to that work. 

April 7 - Understanding Basic Principles of Islam
Advocate Aurora Health FCN Network member Nancy Romanchek gave a wonderful presentation about the Islamic faith, tailoring the learning to be most helpful for those of us from a different faith tradition. Nancy is the FCN with Islamic Foundation North and Executive Director of the Mosque Community Nurses of Chicagoland. Our meeting took place during Ramadan, a holy month of fasting, introspection and prayer for Muslims. Fasting is one of the 5 fundamental principles of Islam and Nancy provided great insight into this and other traditions of the faith. She highlighted the many faith and health connections within Islam, and taught us the phrase, "Trust in God, but tie your camel." It was a good reminder that learning to trust in God is essential, but at the same time we need to take care of the practicalities of life - take care of our health, protect our possessions, and plan for the future. Nancy brings great passion to her FCN work and similar great passion to enlightening colleagues about the Islamic faith. 

May 11 - Walking With Ease Program
Nick Turkas of the Arthritis Foundation joined us to explain the Walking With Ease program, an evidence-based program combining self-paced walks with group discussion and support. The program helps people improve arthritis symptoms, improve balance and strength, and improve confidence in one's ability to manage arthritis symptoms. One model of the program utilizes a trained group leader (training course available through the Arthritis Foundation) with participants meeting three times a week for six weeks. Another model is a self-guided format and participants utilize an Arthritis Foundation guidebook to help develop a plan for walking, address motivation, and learn to exercise safely. This link takes you to the AF website with additional information about the Walk With Ease Program.

Nick offered his contact information for anyone seeking additional information about the program: nturkas@arthritis.org.
Upcoming Meeting: Current Trends in Pain Management
TOMORROW: Wednesday June 8, 10:00-noon

Meeting ID: 838 8506 4222
No passcode required
Participants’ eating habits – and health – have improved thanks to nutrition class at Cross Lutheran Church, Milwaukee
Since he began taking a nutrition class at Cross Lutheran Church, Milwaukee, Henry Fuller has made positive changes in his lifestyle. He eats more fresh fruits and vegetables, checks food labels, and eats healthier portion sizes.

“Before, I didn’t really consider what I ate,” he said. “If it was something I liked, I ate it. Through the class, I’m more cognizant of what I take in.”

As a result, Henry feels better. “I’m less lethargic,” he said. “When I wake up, I’m not so groggy. I have more energy, so the class has definitely benefitted me.”

Henry learned about the class from the instructor, Linda Radder, an Advocate Aurora Faith Community Nurse who has served Cross over the past 17 years.

“I thought the class was a great idea,” he said. “So, I said, ‘Okay, let’s see what it’s all about.’ The class has been very informational.”

The nutrition class began as an initiative called HEALE– Healthy Eating and Active Living Environment, which was a collaboration of several neighborhood organizations brought together by the American Cancer Society (ACS) to help residents in the 53205-zip code learn how to eat healthier and exercise more. Cross Lutheran is blessed to continue this work with funding from ACS and the Kohl’s Healthy Family program.

The class meets twice a month and includes an educational component, meal, exercise, and resources.

Among the topics covered so far: how to eat well, even when on a budget, the importance of exercising, and how eating less sodium, carbohydrates and sugar can improve health – and even help prevent cancer, diabetes, hypertension, and other chronic diseases.

Linda Radder breaks down the tortilla soup recipe; her goal is to have participants help prepare the meals. (Photo by Ana Martinez-Ortiz, WNOV The Voice)
Program participants learn about nutrition and how to manage their health through diet and exercise. (Photo by Ana Martinez-Ortiz, WNOV The Voice)
As part of the active living portion of the class, Linda Radder leads the group in a series of exercises. (Photo by Ana Martinez-Ortiz, WNOV The Voice)
Faith Community Nurse Career Opportunity
Grace Lutheran Church
River Forest, IL

Grace Lutheran Church, River Forest, Ill., has an open Faith Community Nurse position. The primary responsibility is to integrate faith and health by coordinating health and wellness initiatives within the congregation and local community, promoting whole person (mind, body, spirit) care for congregation members, identifying opportunities and referrals within the community, and nurturing disease prevention education.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Foster and encourage connections between faith and health, in collaboration with the pastors and the Health Cabinet
  • Create a culture of health and wellness within the congregation
  • Coordinate care offered by the congregation to its members, and partner with the pastors and others in delivering such care
  • Visit members of Grace at home, in hospitals, and in care facilities
  • Design and oversee programs and events at Grace that promote faith and health in daily living
  • Provide health education and support to members of Grace
  • Provide spiritual care for members of Grace
  • Identify health needs in the congregation and community, in collaboration with support groups, health care professionals, and other civic and religious groups

Interested candidates should send a cover letter and resume to Grace’s Senior Pastor, David Lyle, at dlyle@graceriverforest.org.

New Clinic to Open in South Chicago
Residents in South Chicago will have a new clinic available to them from 3:00-5:00 p.m., on the first Friday of the month, at Masjid Al Farooq Healthcare (MAFCHC), 8950 S Stony Island, Chicago.

MAFCHC will offer affordable healthcare services from medical doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, and other medical providers from various fields.

Services include:

Blood pressure and blood screenings,
Referral to care,
Health education,
Mental and social health services.

The clinic needs volunteers in the field of nursing, medicine, and pharmacy. If you are interested in giving your time, or if you have questions, contact Bashiru Habib (President) or Rilwan Martins (CEO).
Advocate Aurora Local Services Guide
Ever have a congregational member look to you for a referral for services? Or have a family that needs extra support and you aren’t sure where to send them? Need to know more about programs that are available in the neighborhood you are serving? Advocate Aurora Health recognizes the need for an up-to-date, reliable, tested list of community services that are easily accessed with a click of a button.

The Advocate Aurora Health Local Services Guide, powered by NowPow, allows you to find free and low-cost options for food, safe housing, child care, transportation and more.

This resource can help you support the people you serve and it’s provided free-of-charge to you!

News from the Westberg Institute
Join the Faith Community Nurse Knowledge Sharing Platform

The FCN knowledge sharing platform was created to provide a safe, private community for all faith community nurses and those interested in spiritual care in nursing with the ability to communicate electronically. The platform is free and community member emails are not shared or sold outside of the platform.

Nurses from around the world interact individually and through the many interest groups that make up the FCN Knowledge Sharing Platform.

Subscribe to Faith Community Nurse Journal, Perspectives

Perspectives: Nursing Spiritual Care and Faith Community Nursing Practice is a publication of the Spiritual Care Association Nursing Division and the Westberg Institute. It features research news, educational articles and practical stories about the different aspects of faith community nursing practice along with spiritual care information and resources for nurses in all practice settings. Perspectives is published twice annually with occasional special themed issues and is a free benefit exclusively available to SCA members.

Click here to learn more.
News from Faith Community Nurses International
FCN Strategies and Tools for Aging and Loss Issues

June 23, 6:00-7:00 p.m.

Presenter will be Kathy Sanchez-Nelson, BSN, FCN. She has been a Faith Community Nurse since 2016; Registered Nurse for over 20 years. Assistant Director of Nursing and Director of Nursing in long term care settings over ten years. Nursing School instructor in clinical settings for two years.

Learning Outcome (s)
  • Identify how to help seniors find resources for improved social and spiritual living
  • Discuss how to recognize seniors in your congregation who may need faith community nurse help
  • Describe unique spiritual needs of seniors
  • Explain proven ways to promote physical health in seniors
  • Discuss strategies for helping seniors increase their sense of connection to the community and feel productive

Seniors present to the Faith Community Nurse with unique medical and spiritual issues. For example, the elderly face grief and loss differently than non-elderly. As negative aging effects lead to decrease on everyday functioning, the elderly need to rely more on adaptive strategies. This talk will address some of those resources and strategies that are available to the Faith Community Nurse.

Cost: $15 for members and $35 for nonmembers.

The Future of Nursing 2020-2030: Charting a Path to Achieve Health Equity explores how nurses can work to reduce health disparities and promote equity, while keeping costs at bay, utilizing technology, and maintaining patient and family-focused care into 2030.

This work builds on the foundation set out by The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health (2011) report.

Faith Community Nurses International offers a growing library of Practice Toolkits on topics like:

  • Advance Care Planning and End-of-Life
  • Fall Risk Prevention Resources
  • Aging and Elder Care
  • Mental and Behavioral Health

Faith Community Nurse International offers continuing education videos on a variety of topics, such as advance care planning, fall prevention, telehealth, mental health and more.

You can enjoy free video offerings, as well. Even though they do not offer CEs, they still offer valuable content.
Back Issues of e-Newsletters Available
See the latest toolkits from Faith and Health Partnerships:

Click here to access back copies of the Faith Community Nurse e-newsletter, COVID-19 updates, mental health e-newsletter and other Faith and Health Partnerships publications.
Philosophy of Faith Community Nursing

Faith community nursing is a recognized specialty practice that combines professional nursing and health ministry. Faith community nursing emphasizes health and healing within a faith community. The philosophy of faith community nursing embraces four major concepts: spiritual formation; professionalism; shalom as health and wholeness; and community, incorporating culture and diversity.
~Westberg Institute
Click here to subscribe to health enews, a news service of Advocate Aurora Health, which offers breaking health stories, weight loss tips, exercise advice, the latest treatment options and much more.