Sept. 13, 2021
Meeting Recaps
By: Sue Cox BSN, RN- BC, Faith Community Nurse Network Manager, Advocate Aurora Health

Sept. 8 Meeting
Our presentation on Medical Cannabis: What Nurses Need to Know was guided by cannabis nurse and educator, Dedee Culley. A member of the American Cannabis Nurses Association, Dedee presented an excellent overview of medical cannabis. 

Using guidelines from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, she reviewed the history of cannabis use for medical purposes, research on medical cannabis, our internal endocannabinoid system and ways medical cannabis is used for symptom management, pharmacology interactions with other medications, and legal implications for use depending on state laws. 

Dedee was a wealth of knowledge and not only provided the science behind understanding medical cannabis, but she demonstrated the importance of nurses having a basic knowledge of its use. We can feel proud that nurses like Dedee are helping nursing claim a pivotal role in this type of medical treatment.  

July 14 Meeting
Our conversation on Trauma Resilience was led by Amy McNicholas, Manager, Advocate Aurora Faith & Health Partnerships.  Amy provided a wonderful presentation that day, emphasizing the importance of active listening and validating as a beginning point for providing safe space and care for those who have experienced trauma.

Once again, the unique role of faith community nurses positions us well to provide just that type of care for those in need. Great thanks to Amy for her presentation that day, and her willingness to consult with us in our ongoing work.

In case you missed the gathering, you can hear Amy's presentation via a link to the zoom recording. You will need the following passcode to access the recording:  F3jFSc=1
Congratulations, Sue!
Health Ministries Association recently announced its award recipients who will be honored during the 2021 HMA national conference next month.

Congratulations to Sue Cox who will receive the 2021 Granger Westberg Leadership in Faith Community Nursing Award.

Established in 2011 (first award was given at the National Meeting June 2012), this award recognizes an outstanding Faith Community Nurse who exemplifies faith community nursing and has achieved success in implementing a practice that is faith centered, community driven and wholistic in its approach toward health promotion, disease prevention and spiritually integrated.

We are so proud of you Sue!
Upcoming Meetings
Oct. 5 & 7, 12 & 14, 19 & 21 - Health Ministries Association Conference (2-3 hour sessions/day)

Nov. 10: Day retreat

Dec. 8, 10:00 a.m. - noon: End-of-year holiday celebration
How Faith Community Nurses Can Empower Congregants in Preventing Stroke
By Rebecca Eberhardt, Quality Coordinator, Sr., Sepsis and Stroke, Advocate Aurora Health

At Advocate Aurora Health, our mission is to help people live well. How can we apply this to stroke prevention in our faith communities?  

Transportation or mobility issues can impact congregants’ food choices, especially if they do not live near a supermarket. Faith community nurses can make an impact by sharing information about the Women Infants and Children (WIC) program, senior meal programs, Meals on Wheels, and other nutrition programs.

Older adults on a tight budget may shop less frequently for groceries, so may buy fewer fresh fruits and vegetables. Faith community nurses can talk with them about the foods they like and encourage them to make more homemade soups and stews that are easy to chew and digest. They can freeze and reheat leftovers as a good alternative to frozen dinners, which typically have a high sodium content.

Encourage families to cook by sharing healthy seasonal recipes with ingredients that are easy to find and prepare. If they lack confidence in the kitchen, encourage them to start with easy recipes.

Immobility can lead to weight gain and muscle loss and can set up older adults for falls and pressure injuries. Some may avoid leaving their home for fear of their safety. Faith community nurses can suggest congregants start small with simple exercises, such as seated stretches and marching in place during commercial breaks or around mealtimes. Faith community nurses also can share local recreation guides with diverse options that can get people moving together socially.

Identify Stroke Risk Factors and early Warning Signs
Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in Wisconsin and the third leading cause in Illinois.
Faith community nurses can offer blood pressure screenings and teach congregants about stroke risk factors and how to identify a stroke. Nursing students and staff from Advocate Aurora Health hospitals or clinics can be fun partners for this. Connecting congregants who have high blood pressure to a primary care provider and sharing information about nearby clinic locations can help congregants receive the care they need.

Display BE FAST materials at your sites. Even children can identify stroke symptoms in parents or grandparents based on this information, so sharing widely can be beneficial. 

See a list of related resources here.
A Passion to Reverse the Statistics
Did you know that Wisconsin has the nation’s highest rate of deadly falls among older adults? In 2019, 1,672 Wisconsinites age 65+ died from fall-related injuries. Among them: 234 in Milwaukee County.

Nationwide, falls are the leading cause of injury-related death among adults age 65 and older, and the age-adjusted fall death rate is increasing, according to the CDC.
Click to see state-by-state data on deaths from older adult falls per 100,000.
Linda Radder, an Advocate Aurora Health Faith Community Nurse with Cross Lutheran Church and St. Bernadette Catholic Parish, Milwaukee, has a passion to reverse those statistics. She shares literature with congregants on how to correctly use a cane, walker, and other assistive devices. Linda also teaches the Stepping On fall-prevention course at Cross and Aurora Sinai Medical Center and hopes to introduce the course at St. Bernadette later this year.

Through Stepping On, Linda teaches participants how to build and maintain the physical strength and balance they need to walk confidently, and how to decrease their risk for a fall. The course also includes making an individualized fall-prevention plan and hearing from peers on how the class has helped them.

“The class is so needed,” Linda says. “It has raised my own awareness of fall prevention too. I hold onto railings more and have become more thoughtful about ways to stay safe when I’m at home or out in the community.”
Linda recently joined the Milwaukee County Falls Prevention Coalition and looks forward to participating in its fall screening and prevention programs, such as the Free From Falls Resource Fair that takes place during Falls Prevention Awareness Week, Sept. 20-24.

Other Advocate Aurora Health team members participate in the Coalition, as well, including Suzie Ryer, board certified geriatric physical therapist/senior project coordinator, and Ann Gallo, senior services program coordinator, who co-lead the Coalition. “They are a great team,” Linda says. “Suzie and Ann know how to get things done."

Despite the statistics about falls, Linda has optimism. According to the CDC, falls are not a normal part of aging and can be prevented.

“It’s rewarding to see people learn how to use a walker correctly or start an exercise program so they can keep moving safely,” Linda says. “Just seeing people change their habits and become safer is very joyful.”

Learn more: 

Click to access sharable graphics
Ask family and friends to help check and rid your home of fall hazards.
Talk with your pharmacist about how medications can affect your risk for falling.
Ask your local fire department for help making a fire escape plan to reduce your falls risk.
Talk to your doctor about falls, especially if you have fallen or are unsteady on your feet.
Fall Prevention Tips from the Milwaukee County Falls Prevention Coalition
Step Into Independence - Footwear and Falls
Feet and footwear play an important role in fall prevention and maintaining safe and independent mobility and function. People who experience foot pain are 62% more likely to suffer recurrent falls and disorders of the foot can also increase likelihood of falls. Shoe selection is also important in fall prevention. Walking barefoot or in socks indoors and in high-heel shoes both indoors and out have been shown to increase the risk of falls in older people.

  • Talk to your provider or see a podiatrist to address foot pain and disorders of the foot.
  • Avoid going barefoot or wearing only socks or slippers in the house.
  • Pay attention to the fit of your shoes – especially if foot size varies due to swelling.

Have Fun Without Falls
Consider safety precautions when outdoors, as nearly 50 percent of falls among older adults 65+ occur outside.

  • Be aware of your surroundings, particularly changes in surface or elevation. Take level paths when able.
  • Use good footwear. Slip-resistant sole, full back and low heel are ideal.
  • Wear sunglasses to maintain vision in sunny conditions. Ensure adequate lighting in the early morning and evening.
  • Make sure to have plenty of water on hand and take breaks to manage fatigue.
Exercise and Physical Activity
Exercise and physical activity are important to a healthy lifestyle. The CDC recommends 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity exercise or 75 minutes a week of vigorous intensity exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Exercise can help keep you independent and reduce falls risk by improving balance, strength and activity tolerance.

  • Some activity is better than none – make it your mission to move more!
  • Decrease the amount of time spent sitting.
  • When watching TV, get up to walk during commercial breaks.
  • Stand when doing household chores like laundry or dishes.
Back Issues of e-Newsletters Available
See the latest toolkits from Faith and Health Partnerships:

Promoting Health Equity for All:
English and Spanish issues.

Advance Care Planning:
Illinois and Wisconsin issues.

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.
Health Ministries Association Updates and Resources

One Voice, One Vision: Wisdom for Healthier Communities

Oct. 5 & 7, 12 & 14, 19 & 21

As a health ministry organization, we want to acknowledge this difficult time and allow conference attendees to focus on staying well, serving others, and recovering from this crisis. With this in mind, we have decided to have the 2021 National Conference as a virtual event.

The HMA National Conference will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays over a three-week period. Click here to see the brochure.
News from the Westberg Institute
The FCN Knowledge Sharing Platform on Yammer has moved

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 FCN Knowledge Sharing Platform on Yammer has moved here.

To move your membership and join the platform:

  1. Visit
  2. Click on "request an invitation"
  3. Respond to the invitation email and complete your profile
  4. Join in the conversation and select from the many groups available to you.

March 28-30, 2022
Santa Fe, New Mexico

The Westberg Institute, in partnership with the Nursing Division of the Spiritual Care Association is proud to present the 2022 Westberg Symposium at the Caring for the Human Spirit Conference.

The International Westberg Symposium is the premier gathering of faith community nurses that provides an international platform for nurses who are serving as FCNs or parish nurses in communities around the world.

Theme: Embracing a Bright Future: diversity in faith community nursing practice

Diversity is multifaceted. Culture, race, religion, and practice setting are only a few of the influences faith community nurses combine to provide wholistic care. Along with diversity, the multifaceted aspects of healthcare also influence the future of our specialty practice.
Resources from the American Nurses Association

This ANCC certification and credential are available for renewal only. You can renew this certification every five years and continue to use the credential by maintaining your license to practice and fulfilling the certification renewal requirements in effect at the time you submit your application.

The Sept. 14 event will offer rich discussions around the health priorities of the new administration, the impact of COVID-19 across care delivery systems nationally, and more.

The NCPD Summit taking place in conjunction with the ANCC National Magnet Conference® and ANCC Pathway to Excellence® Conference in-person November 9-10, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia.

The ANCC Pathway to Excellence® and ANCC National Magnet Conference® in-person event will take place November 11-13, in Atlanta, Georgia.
Upcoming Events

Sept. 13, 20 & 27, 6:00-7:00 p.m.

Faith community nurses: do you want to know more about starting your FCN practice? Need a boost to your current practice? Having challenges sustaining your practice? This free webinar series is for you!

Ann Solari-Twadell RN, Ph.D., MPA, FAAN Associate Professor Loyola University Chicago Niehoff School of Nursing, and current President Faith Community Nurses International will present this series.

Sept. 14-March 15, 2022

We would like to invite you to join us for our next discussion group via Zoom of CHHSM's new online courseReason to Have Hope: A Public Health Response to Racism.

Reason to Have Hope was created as a resource for the UCC General Synod Resolution "To Declare and Respond to Racism as a Public Health Crisis," which passed at this summer's Synod and was co-authored by CHHSM and COREMThis will be our third Together We Learn offering, and we chose to go through this course to continue the resolution's momentum and call to action.

Reason to Have Hope is intended to support a deeper understanding of the harm that racism and white supremacy have on life, health, and well-being. The material focuses on the systemic causes of health disparities for People of African Descent, Indigenous Peoples, and other People of Color, and how the work of health equity is tied to liberation for all. The course details painful realities, but it also relates stories of hope, solutions from lived experience, spiritual grounding, and healing work from CHHSM organizations and UCC ministries. To learn more about the course, check out the welcome video below or read more about it here.
Children’s Mental Health Plan Community Engagement Webinars

Sept. 14, 15, 18

Dr. Frank Belmonte, Chief Medical Officer of Advocate Children’s Hospital would like to invite you to participate in upcoming community engagement webinars sponsored by the Illinois Children’s Health Partnership (ICMHP)

Under the Children’s Mental Health Act of 2003, ICMHP is charged with developing a Plan that supports the creation of a comprehensive and coordinated system of mental health that supports the wellbeing for Illinois’ youth and families. As a professional, advocate, or community resident invested in supporting Illinois youth and families, we need your input into the key recommendations for this statewide plan.
If you are a provider/engaged in health and mental health care or advocacy and are available on Sept. 14, 11:00 a.m.-noon, click here.
If you are a family member, youth, or community member and are available either
Sept. 15, 5:00-6:00 p.m., or Sept. 18, 10:00-11:00 a.m., click here (Spanish registration also available here

Download a flyer to share in English and Spanish.

Sept. 21, 5:30 p.m.

The critical intersection of substance use and mental health has been a growing concern for many years. We all feel its impact in some way or another. Join us to learn how Lake County leaders are working to effect positive change—today and for the future.

Topics include:

  • Data is the key to understanding the breadth and impact of the opioid epidemic—Learn about the cutting-edge data we gather here in Lake County.
  • Mental health and substance use are linked—Hear our professionals unravel that crucial relationship.
  • You and your community can combat opioid abuse towards greater mental health—Embrace the ideas and options we offer to guide you.

Sept. 23-24, 11:00 a.m.

Session Topics Include:
-Cancer Screening & Healthier Outcomes
-Cancer Research & Treatment
-Cancer & COVID-19 Vaccine
-Community Experiences & Real Talk
-Grief, Loss & Healing

Download flyer in English and Spanish.

Sept. 25, 10:00-11:30 a.m.

This workshop incorporates the basic understandings of spiritual care with the current social, emotional, existential and spiritual needs of African Americans simply surviving in an increasingly divided America.

The learning event will offer specific spiritual care strategies and interventions for African Americans dealing with particular physical, social, and emotional health challenges in the midst of rising statistics of racism, sexism, classism, and homophobia, leading to violence in the United States.

This webinar series is designed to narrow the knowledge gaps regarding the new lung cancer screening eligibility criteria from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. The webinars are hosted by the American Cancer Society National Lung Cancer Roundtable, in partnership with the ACR®, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Thoracic Society, and American College of Chest Physicians.

Sept. 29, 11:00 a.m.-noon
Meeting Patients Where They Are: Lung Cancer Screening Outreach Efforts Among Vulnerable Populations (Part 1)
  • Advocate Perspective: How Lack of Access Impacts All Patients and Exacerbates Disparities
  • Lung Cancer Screening in Low-income Populations in Chicago
  • Mobile Lung Cancer Screening in North Carolina
  • ACS Return to Screening Campaign

Speaker: Efren Flores, MD. Panelists: Andrea Borondy Kitts, MS, MPH; Kelly Irwin, MD, MPH; Dorothy Rhoades, MD, MPH; Mellisa Wheeler, BSW, MHA

Oct. 6, 11:00 a.m.-noon
Meeting Patients Where They Are: Tools for Building Capacity (Part 2)
  • Advocate Perspective
  • NLCRT Lung Cancer Coalition-Building Guide
  • NLCRT Early Detection Modeling Tool

Speaker: Christopher Lathan, MD, MS, MPH. Panelists: Debra Dyer, MD, FACR; Timothy Mullett, MD, MBA; Carey Thomson, MD, MPH

Sept. 29, 1:00-3:00 p.m.

Compassion is an empathetic awareness of another’s distress, combined with a desire to alleviate it. Join us for our second annual webinar on human trafficking and exploitation to explore with us how to practically and compassionately support people who are caught in exploitive situations, even in the midst of our current distancing and isolative culture.


Karen Schultz, Staff Member at Large for Refuge for Women, Chicago, will lead the webinar.

Dawn Moeller MHA, BSN, RN, CEN. Dawn has 35-years’ experience in Emergency Medicine and is the Clinical Manager of Emergency Services at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital and the Crystal Lake Immediate Care Center.

Suzanne Martinez, coordinator for congregational outreach for the Office for Mission and Spiritual Care for Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital, Advocate Condell Medical Center and Advocate Sherman Hospital, will facilitate the webinar.

Sept. 30, noon-1:00 p.m.

Sooner or later, suicide is something every ministry leader will encounter. Whether it’s someone experiencing suicidal thoughts or a community that needs comfort after a loss, what’s important is to be ready.

In this webinar, Glen Bloomstrom, the developer of LivingWorks Faith, will give an overview of the LivingWorks Faith program, an online skills training program that gives church workers readiness and confidence in suicide competencies. Blending Scriptural wisdom and proven best practices, LivingWorks Faith is designed for all Christian ministry leaders to learn key skills for suicide prevention, intervention, and post-vention within their faith community setting through engaging evidence-based video instruction and realistic scenario simulations.

Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23, 10:00-11:30 a.m.

Advocate Aurora Health invites you to experience the Just Eating? Practicing Our Faith at the Table program to explore the links between our faith, the way we eat and the way we live.

Skillfully weaving scripture, prayer, and stories from our local and global community, Just Eating? is an experiential study series for Christian congregations that encourages people to eat in more intentional ways by seeing the links between our eating habits and larger issues of hunger, environment, community, body awareness and spiritual growth. The program takes participants on a journey from the table of the Lord to the table of the world that will challenge, encourage, and enrich all who participate.

Each session will include time to listen for the Biblical Word to us, an opportunity to engage in faith practices that connect us more deeply to our faith, and education about how our eating habits connect us to the world and to the larger food system.

Please plan to attend all four sessions. Each participant will receive a copy of the Leader Guide for the curriculum and a book of devotional readings for reflection and action.

Oct. 3, 12:30- 1:30 p.m.

Grace Lutheran Church and River Forest Township invite you to this free virtual event presented by Margaret Wente Danilovich, PT, DPT, PhD.

A Zoom link will be sent to participants on October 1 and again on the morning of October 3. Please register here to receive the Zoom link.

For those without internet access, Grace will host a limited number of people to watch the program on a large screen. Please call Grace Church at 708-366-6900 to reserve a spot.

To register, click here or call Grace Church (708) 366-6900 or Betsy Kelly, River Forest Township (708) 366-2029 x13 or

Oct. 4-7

Please join us for our annual trauma-informed symposium. This will be a virtual four-day series that will examine a different topic each day. This platform will be used to engage providers, residents, community organizations, faith institutions, and youth to have community discussions and workshops that will highlight the following:

Monday, Oct. 4 Introduction to Trauma : Featuring Keynote Speaker Vaughn Bryant

Tuesday, Oct. 5 Trauma- informed Care: Moving from Philosophy to Practice

Wednesday, Oct. 6 The impact of Gun violence and effects on the community

Thursday, Oct. 7 Community Panel " How can we break the cycle as a community"?
Freshstart Smoking Cessation Program

Wednesday Evenings, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Oct. 7-28.

Are You Ready to Quit Smoking?

Join Advocate Aurora Health’s 4 Week (weekly for 4 weeks) Smoking Cessation Program, Freshstart, sponsored by the American Cancer Society.

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.

  • Freshstart is offered at no cost. 
  • Anyone who wants to quit using tobacco can participate in Freshstart. 
  • You will be required to attend all four sessions for program credit.

Nov. 4, 11 & 18, 7:00-8:00 p.m.

Many of us are exploring how our teams can work together in new and different ways. In the momentous time we are in, we have an opportunity to re-imagine how our teams can come together with purpose and connection. This series is a conversation around bringing our teams together, creating a community that cares for each other, and accomplishing the work that they are designed to do.

Part One - Developing Team Community--Thursday, November 4, 7 p.m.

  • Examining your team's "Why" and values
  • Starting new teams and ways to nurture existing teams

Part Two - Meetings 2.3--Thursday November 11, 7 p.m.

  • Creating meaningful gatherings in-person, virtually and hybrid
  • Holding effective, efficient and engaging meetings

Part Three - Getting the Work Done--Thursday November 18, 7 p.m.

  • Who is your "End User"
  • Serving safely and effectively

Maryanne Kyle-Di Pietropaolo (right) and Henrieta Ribeiro of IE3 who are writers, speakers and retreat leaders with extensive experience in leading Support Teams and training others to lead them.

Nov. 6, 10:00-3:30

While persons of diverse abilities and their families live throughout our communities, the church has been challenged to move beyond accommodation to full inclusion. Imagine how the well-being of everyone in the church would be strengthened by being fully welcoming of persons of all abilities, reflecting the kingdom of God.

Working together, congregations and healthcare professionals can collaborate in responding faithfully to the challenge of disabilities, considering what can be done together that neither can do alone. This fourth biennial faith and health symposium is provided by North Park Theological Seminary and North Park University School of Nursing and Health Sciences as education for healthcare and ministry professionals in service to the church. The Good Shepherd Initiative is a sponsor.
Support Groups
Virtual Exploring Grief Groups

Tuesdays, from 3:00-4:30 p.m.
Through Oct. 19.

Thursdays, from 7:00-8:30 p.m., Oct. 14-Dec. 9
Are you or someone you know grieving the loss of a family member, partner, or friend? If so, find comfort and support in our virtual Exploring Grief Groups, available at no cost to participants. Our Exploring Grief Groups provide a confidential, educational, and nonjudgmental environment. During the session, attendees learn how to cope with their loss and continue to find meaning in their lives. These groups are facilitated by professional counselors.
To register for Lake Forest group, contact Denise Kitanovski at 847-446-6955, ext. 422 or
To register for North Shore group, contact Joellen at 847-446-6955, ext. 419 or
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
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