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

June 8 Meeting Recap:
Current Trends in Pain Management

Faith Community Nurse Network member, Julie Evanish, gave a comprehensive view of the care provided by pain clinics in the field of pain management. Through a variety of treatment options and support, clinics provide hope for those struggling with chronic pain.  Julie recommended these procedural teaching videos for a clearer understanding of treatment options in this field.  

Aug. 11 Meeting Recap:
Children's Health Resource Center and Advanced Care Planning

Advocate Children's Hospitals in Oak Lawn and Park Ridge are blessed with Children's Health Resource Centers staffed by dedicated manager Kathy Smart. Beyond an inviting library of resources for families, the center provides sibling support groups, community health events, early literacy initiative programs, medical play experiences, and injury prevention programs. To reach the library call 847-723-2472 or check out their website and extensive library catalog. Here is a link to the recording of the Zoom meeting that day. The required passcode is j!.cfX5x

Faith Community Nurse Network member, Shawndra Ferrell, shared her extensive wisdom and clinical expertise with Advanced Care Planning. Shawndra is System Clinical Manager for Advocate Aurora Health Advanced Care Planning & Shared Decision Making in Serious Illness Program. Through Shawndra's teaching, we were reminded that Advanced Care Planning is a process, not an event, and our goal is to ensure that clients receive medical care that agrees with their personal values, life goals, and treatment preferences. Shawndra shared her presentation and downloadable tools for use with our client conversations. 
"The Map You Make Yourself" Fall Retreat
St. Mary of the Lake Conference Center, Mundelein, IL
September 14, 2022
Using retreat materials from Artist / Poet / Minister Jan Richardson, 14 Faith Community Nurse colleagues gathered on a beautiful sunny day at St. Mary of the Lake Retreat Center in Mundelein, Ill.

We looked at where our life's maps had taken us, what was to be learned from detours and obstacles, and embracing the possibilities when viewing the path ahead through a different lens.

Each participant chose a handmade "pilgrims coat" and was asked to embellish the garment with at least one additional item. Our brightly colored and patterned pilgrims coats represented an ancient version worn by those on a spiritual journey in Japan, walking from one Buddhist temple to another. We were fellow pilgrims for a day!

The group sang, shared stories, listened deeply to one another, reconnected, and soaked in the sunshine of our beautiful surroundings. We were rejuvenated by our time together.
Upcoming Meetings
October 18, 20, 25, 27 
HMA Virtual Annual Conference

November 10, 3:00-5:00 p.m. via Zoom
Wound Care and Hyperbaric Treatment
Amanda Kelley, BSN, RN, CWON

December 7, 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Holiday & Year End Celebration
Advocate Support Center
3075 Highland Parkway
Downers Grove

Zoom link for all meetings:
Meeting ID: 838 8506 4222
No pass code required
10th Annual Caring for the Human Spirit® and The International Westberg Symposium Conference
April 17 - 19, 2023

Registration will open in late September!

The Annual International Westberg Symposium is a gathering place for education, fellowship and information sharing for faith community nurses and others interested in spiritual care. The first Westberg Parish Nurse Symposium was held in 1987 at Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois. It included 3 general sessions and one breakout. The symposium has grown in attendance and scope over the past 35 years. In 2020 the Westberg Symposium began a mutually beneficial partnership with the Caring for the Human Spirit Conference bringing together nurses and chaplains for a combined, interdisciplinary conference experience. Due to the COVID pandemic, the last several symposiums have been offered virtually. Plans are already being made for a live conference in St Louis, Missouri for 2023.

Click here to learn more.
Other Upcoming Events

Sept. 28, Oct. 19, or Nov. 16

Companionship is a ministry of presence, a relationship responding to isolation and suffering and supportive of healing and recovery. Companionship welcomes the stranger, building a circle of care with individuals who are facing emotional and mental health challenges. Companionship is rooted in our natural capacities as human beings to be sensitive, compassionate and concerned.

​There are Five basic principles of Companionship:

  • Companionship is a basic human relationship between two equals
  • Companionship is a response to suffering; it is not about “fixing it”
  • Companionship is a Public Relationship
  • Companionship aims for mutuality
  • Companionship recognizes our need for a circle of care and support

Orientation and Kickoff: Oct. 1, 1:00-2:30 p.m.
Tabernacle Community Baptist Church
2500 W. Medford Ave., Milwaukee

Aurora Health Care is launching a new initiative at Tabernacle Community Baptist Church to help you manage your heart and soul for better health.

Heart and Soul is a series of seven monthly sessions where participants will:

  • Meet with Aurora Mobile Health providers for blood pressure screenings twice a month at Tabernacle
  • Track your numbers at home with a blood pressure home monitoring device
  • Use spiritual care practices to stay calm and manage stress
Oct. 4, 9:30-10:30 a.m.

This virtual workshop offers you the inspiration and tools to move in the direction of what you would like to accomplish, rather than what you have always done.

During the workshop, you will gather information, engage in honest and hopeful conversation, and share experiences and ideas.

You also will:

  • explore fresh insights in navigating programs
  • look at your volunteers with increased empathy
  • begin defining the future directions of your leaders, groups, and teams

This workshop will help you change the way you think.
Wednesdays, Oct. 6-27, 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.

The primary goal of Freshstart is to help participants plan a successful quit attempt by teaching effective ways to overcome nicotine dependence.

Freshstart is designed to help any tobacco user, including those who may be unsure about wanting to quit, and specifically addresses ambivalence about quitting. The information, activities and discussion topics help participants discover why they smoke and what motivates them to quit.

You will be required to attend all four sessions for program credit.
New IL law makes it legal to donate and reuse medication
The Illinois Drug Reuse Opportunity Program Act took effect January 1, 2022, making it legal to donate and reuse medication in Illinois.

This is good news for anyone who works in drug distribution or with patients who can’t afford their medications. The environment will benefit, too, as unused medication can go to patients in need instead of incinerators and landfills.

The Illinois Prescription Drug Repository Coalition (I-DROP) is an alliance of organizations working to operationalize the Illinois Drug Reuse Opportunity Program Act.

Check the I-DROP website for outreach materials, regulatory updates, and information on where you can donate medication and how to access donated medication.

If you would like an I-DROP expert to speak at an event, or if you have questions, contact them here.
A Trauma-Informed Care Practice Supports Patients
Submitted by Melanie Gray, Trauma Informed Care Manager, Aurora Sinai Medical Center

Learn to recognize the different types of stress and signs of trauma. It can help you identify when you, a friend, or a loved one, or a patient may need help.
Types of stress

Positive stress: While every child experiences stress differently, a little stress is a normal part of healthy child development. The first day of child care, meeting new people, or getting an immunization at the pediatrician’s office can cause positive stress.

Tolerable stress: Tolerable stress turns the body’s alert system up higher and for longer. As long as these experiences are short-term and made easier with support from caring adults, most children recover from difficulties like natural disasters and pandemics, the loss of a family member, or a serious illness.

Toxic stress: When the stress children feel is strong, frequent, or prolonged, it can disrupt healthy brain development and impact the way they think, feel, and grow well into adulthood. Without a caring environment, attention from caring adults, or other protective factors to soften the effects of toxic stress, children who’ve experienced trauma have higher risks for physical, mental, and behavioral health problems throughout their lives.
Symptoms of trauma and toxic stress

Changes in thinking: Confusion, disorientation, heightened or lowered alertness, poor concentration, difficulty identifying familiar objects or people, memory problems, and/or nightmares.

Changes in emotions and behavior: Anxiety, guilt, denial, grief, fear, irritability or Intense anger, emotional outbursts, depression, withdrawal, panic, feeling hopeless or overwhelmed, difficulty sleeping, changes in sexual behavior, excessive alcohol consumption, and/or temporary loss or increase of appetite.

Changes in physical health: Fatigue, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, profuse sweating, thirst, headaches, visual difficulties, clenching your jaw, and/or aches and pains. Seek immediate medical care if you experience chest pain or difficulty breathing.
Back-to-School & Wellness Event Offers Resources and Fun
The South Chicago Neighborhood Network and numerous community partners, including Advocate Aurora Health, hosted a back-to-school and wellness event on Aug. 18, at Claretian Associates in Chicago.

The event offered blood pressure screenings, one-on-one conversations with physicians, health presentations, social determinants of health screenings – and even musical entertainment, games, and a book bag giveaway for children.

A similar event that took place in April was so well received by community members, organizers knew they had to offer it again, said Shonie Purnell, RN, a Faith Community Nurse with Advocate Aurora Health, who played a key role in making the April event a reality.

Fifteen medical students and medical residents, sponsored by Advocate Aurora, participated in the August event. The medical students performed health screenings, and the medical residents had one-on-one conversations with participants about their health concerns, thus increasing their medical literacy, Purnell said.

“Attendees could see that we cared enough about them to come out to their community and engage with them,” said Dr. Roxanne Smith, a family physician and program director of Advocate Christ Family Medicine Residency Program.

“Many go into medicine because of their commitment to service and call to give back in any way they can,” she added. “The medical students and residents have been asking for a long time how they can engage in the community. During the health fair, they enjoyed meeting one-on-one with community members and answering their questions. Afterwards, they asked when they can participate again.”

“The health fair made the Southeast Side community feel very special,” Purnell said. “It felt like a big reunion. We were all happy to work in tandem with each other and see the impact we can make on a community. Just being there – our presence and the comfort we provided – spoke volumes.”
“Every time I witness or am a part of impact on the Southeast Side, it inspires more hope in my life because I am from the area. I went to high school there I grew up there. I do understand the struggles that are accompanied with limited resources. I co-voyage with the community and our fight for freedom, health literacy, and health equity and having more options and tools to build a healthier life.”

Shonie Purnell, RN, serves as a Faith Community Nurse through the South Chicago Loving and Healthy Community Collaborative of Advocate Aurora Faith and Health Partnerships.
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

The FCNI digital prayer book was created for and by faith community nurses, so you can upload prayers for those you service and to encourage patients, family, and fellow nurses as we practice.

We encourage you to prayerfully consider the messages within your heart to share with your fellow nurses. Please submit your original prayers to be an encouragement and support for other nurses. Click the release form to submit your prayer. It will be read by others in an effort to provide strength and support.

The IJFCN is the official journal of Faith Community Nurses International. You may submit manuscripts until November 15, 2022, to be considered for the Fall 2022 issue. Click here to learn more.

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.