August 24, 2020

Welcome to Faith Community Nurse Quarterly, a newsletter with updates on resources, programs and events to help strengthen your practice in your faith community.
June 24 Meeting Recap
The Advocate Faith Community Nurse Network gathering on June 24th featured Rev. Kevin Massey, Advocate Health Care System Vice President, Mission and Spiritual Care, who provided training on Psychological First Aid. Kevin's familiarity with the faith community nurse role allowed him to tailor the training to our unique roles, and his interactive presentation was inspirational and affirming.

Psychological First Aid is defined as humane, supportive and practical assistance to fellow human beings who recently suffered exposure to serious stressors, and involves:

  1. Non-intrusive, practical care and support
  2. Assessing needs and concerns
  3. Helping people to address basic needs (food, water)
  4. Listening, but not pressuring people to talk
  5. Comforting people and helping them to feel calm 
  6. Helping people connect to information, services and social supports 
  7. Protecting people from further harm. 

The importance of developing resilience was explored, and the ways it impacts an individual's ability to weather a crisis event. Resilience can be fostered and supported; and as faith community nurses, we are positioned well to under-gird this quality in our clients.

The Psychological First Aid action principles include: Prepare, Look, Listen, Link. These principles can be adapted for a group setting focusing on understanding normalization, developing resilience and reinforcement of support systems.

An online training course is available if you missed Kevin's wonderful presentation.
Our upcoming August 26th gathering will feature Jamie Aten, Founder and Executive Director of the Humanitarian Disaster Institute in Wheaton. Jamie will guide us through "Houses of Worship Building Safety 101." Knowing what we can do to be prepared in the event of potential danger, and knowing how best to respond, will be valuable tools for our work.

Blessings in your Wellness Journey!

Sue Cox BSN, RN-BC
Faith Community Nurse Network Manager
Advocate Health Care
Advocate Aurora Health Safe Care Promise
Your health and safety is our highest priority. We want you to feel confident that you will be safe when you enter an Advocate Aurora Health site of care. The Advocate Aurora Safe Care promise provides additional measures to protect you and our team members.

Measures include virtual check-in, screening of those who enter, enhanced cleaning and more. See Safe Care Promise video and flyers in English and Spanish.
September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month
September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, a time set aside to reduce stigma around the topic, share resources and raise awareness about actions we can all take to prevent suicide.

While addressing suicide prevention year-round remains important, you and your community can commemorate National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month by learning about more about suicide: its warning signs, how to support those at risk for suicide and how you can care for suicide loss survivors - friends and family members affected by the suicide loss of a loved one.
Feel free to share the bulletin insert and worship slide (below), with your faith community, as well as this special edition of Faith and Mental Health Quarterly (right), which includes suicide prevention resources, articles and first-person accounts from those personally impacted by suicide.

Suicide Prevention Workshops

QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) is a suicide prevention course that teaches participants to help someone who may be considering suicide. Participants will learn how to recognize the warning signs of suicide, interact with a person who may be suicidal, and apply the three-step QPR approach to helping someone who may be considering suicide.
TOMORROW: Virtual Conversation on Upcoming Flu Season

Moderated by Cristy Garcia Thomas, Chief External Affairs Officer at Advocate Aurora Health, this virtual community conversation will focus on this upcoming flu season and the importance of flu vaccinations for marginalized communities.

Joining Cristy will include Advocate Aurora Health physicians:

  • Dr. Hammad Haider- Shah, Chief Medical Officer (Aurora West Allis Memorial Medical Center)  
  • Dr. Jacqueline Ivey-Brown, Internal Medicine Physician (Advocate Aurora Health)

This conversation will lead us through dialogue and topics around clinical expertise about the flu and its symptoms, insight between the connection of the flu and Covid-19, demystifying myths and misconceptions about vaccinations and access to flu shots and ways to keep families safe this upcoming season.
Plous Family Virtual Lecture and Panel Conversation

The 2020 Plous Family Lecture will focus on racial health disparities and COVID 19. Learn how raising awareness about how structural inequalities influence racial disparities brings diverse partners together to devise responses.

Keynote speaker, Rev. Dr. Patrick Smith,PhD., is Associate Research Professor of Theological Ethics and Bioethics, Duke Divinity School; Senior Fellow,Kenan Institute for Ethics, Duke University; and Associate Faculty, Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities, and the History of Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine. He is a trusted scholar in the areas of bioethics, social ethics, Black Church studies, and philosophical theology. His work and service in bioethics and social ethics has spanned academic, professional, community, and ecclesial spaces.

Fall Engagement Walks
Advocate Aurora Health is proud to support our communities and provide opportunities for community members to engage in healthy, fun activities that benefit us all — you and the overall wellness of our community.

Sept. 13 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at Naperville-Nichols Library.
Alzheimer’s Association Virtual Walk to End Alzheimer’s.
Register at (search for Advocate)

Sept. 18 from 12 p.m. until Sept. 19 at 5 p.m.
American Heart Association Metro-Chicago Virtual Heart Walk.

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer - Details coming soon!

Questions? Email Christine Rybicki, Manager, Community Relations

Additional Upcoming Events
August 25, 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

1.5 CEs included
Disproportionate COVID-19 deaths, due in part to healthcare disparities, and recent social unrest over systemic racism, have brought the experiences of Black Americans into sharp focus. This webinar focuses on how centuries of inequity and trauma, both acknowledged and ignored, have manifested as cumulative grief in the Black community; how that reality impacts health, health care, death, and loss; and what can be done to affect positive long-term change.
August 25, 11:00 a.m.

This webinar will describe how faith leaders can make effective referrals to mental health professionals as well as outline projects that are bringing together faith and mental health leaders to address clients’ mental health and spiritual needs.
August 25, 1:00-2:30 p.m.

Maryanne Kyle and Henrieta Ribeiro of Intentional Energy 3 will lead the talk about all things volunteers. In this workshop we will cover how to find, retain and celebrate your volunteers, vetting and training of volunteers, avoiding volunteer burnout and more.

September 8, 7:30-8:30 p.m.

The Healing Shofar is a workshop for bereaved people anticipating the major Jewish Fall Holidays after the death of a loved one. Please join us for information on the grief process, strategies for coping with loss on the Holidays, some reflective Torah texts on the Days of Awe, ways to memorialize your loved one, ideas to help you move forward at this Yomtov Season, and special support during this era of Covid-19.

Facilitated by Rabbi Joe Ozarowski, D. Min., BCC, Rabbinic Counselor and Chaplain, and Marsha Raynes, LCSW, Coordinator and Clinical Educator of JCFS Chicago.
September 11, 10:00 a.m.

Presented by the Faith Community Nursing and Health Ministries Network. This webinar will describe how social determinants impact health and health outcomes and how one's own faith and individually lived experiences might influence one's perception of social determinants of health

Register by Sept. 4 by emailing Madelyn Humbert at or Janet Banks-McElrath at
Human Trafficking Webinars
Session One: Sept. 16, 1:00 p.m.
Session Two: Sept. 23, 1:00 p.m

While some of the issues of our day seem beyond our healing/helping touch, there is one issue in which a few commonsense steps can have lasting impact on our families, neighborhoods and communities: human trafficking. By participating in this webinar series, you will become more aware of what trafficking can look like in your area, access tools to guard your loved ones, and be part of bringing hope and healing to those trafficked.

Sept. 17, 2:00 p.m.

Support Teams are groups of volunteers who come together to provide practical, emotional, and sometimes spiritual support to people in need of extra care. During this two-hour online workshop you will discover what makes teams work and successful, participate in simulations on ways to offer practical, emotional and spiritual support, and more.

  • Sept. 18: Gambling and Health - Including Gambling During COVID-19
  • Oct. 23: Safer Sports Betting - What You Need to Know
  • Nov. 13: Think Teens Don't Gamble? Think Again!

Sept. 21, 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Madison, WI

Madison Christian Community is pleased to announce an important training, Keeping Faith: Empowering Faith Communities to Recognize and Respond to Child Abuse, on September 21. This interfaith training is co-sponsored by the Wisconsin Conference United Church of Christ and endorsed by Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Tuesdays from 8:30-9:00 a.m.
Thursdays from 6:00-6:30 p.m.
The Prayer Support Line allows us to come together in unity to release our burdens, receive comfort and express our gratitude to God for holding us close during this pandemic. The Prayer Support Line is a place where we can join with others in prayer for health, healing and spiritual care with the expectation that God will meet us and provide us with encouragement.
Wednesdays from 6:00-7:00 p.m.

The effects of grief and loss interrupt meaningful connections in our lives. This path can lead to broken hearts, painful detachments and unmet desires. These sessions will offer tools of reconstruction. We will learn how to embrace various feelings associated with loss with courage and anticipation toward wholeness. Download a flyer to share.
8 Questions Your Church Needs to Ask Before Reopening

Many pastors and church leaders are now feeling, even more acutely, the pressure of deciding when and how to reopen and resume in-person services. But in order to reopen well, a church must be committed to biblical guidance and best practices identified by local governments, scientists, and epidemiologists. Below are eight questions church leaders need to ask before reopening.

1. Do we have the time to prepare effectively?

Church leaders need and deserve time to effectively prepare to reopen safely. Reopening requires careful and thoughtful planning, intentional and effective communication with every person in the congregation, recruiting and training volunteers, purchasing requisite resources that are already in limited supply, and more. Reopening too quickly will not allow churches to have enough time to serve their congregation well and will not encourage the safety needed at this time.

2. Do we understand how church life is inherently different than other expressions of civic life?

While many of the businesses that have stayed open, or are being authorized to reopen, are inherently transactional, what happens in churches in inherently social and relational. We eat together; we sing together; we embrace one another; we care for one another’s children. These familiar patterns have been ingrained in us through years of meeting together, and will be challenging for many to shake even when we know the risk and have a plan in place.

Helping Seniors Combat Isolation During COVID-19
Quarantining, social distancing and spending less time with family and friends have left many people feeling isolated and lonely during the COVID-19 pandemic. This has been especially true for seniors. There are ways, though, to prevent the detrimental effects of loneliness and social isolation for older adults, according to a recent study. Tips include:

  • Maintain social connections with technology, such as Facebook, Skype, Twitter and other social media platforms.
  • Maintain basic needs and healthy activities, such as structure every single day, maintain physical and mental activities, and pursue outdoor activities with social distancing.
  • Manage cognition, emotion and mood through conscious breathing, meditation and other relaxation techniques.
  • Take special care of older people with dementia and their family caregivers. According to the report, “Recognizing that people with dementia may find it difficult to understand and comply with social distancing, caregivers should try to give instructions on hand hygiene, social distancing, and other protective measures in a simple, straightforward and understandable way. Regular daily schedules and activities should be arranged and individually tailored to the dementia patient’s interests. Family carers might be under especially severe levels of stress and feel even more isolated and alone.” For more information, visit Alzheimer’s Disease International.

The following resources can provide additional ideas on how to prevent loneliness and isolation for older adults:

Webinar recording: Innovative Solutions to Address Social Isolation in Older Adults During the COVID-19 Pandemic - Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Administration for Community Living.

Managing Isolation and Loneliness During COVID-19 - Massachusetts Department of Mental Health.
CDC Expands List of Defined Symptoms of COVID-19
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has expanded its list of symptoms of COVID-19 to include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing* NEW
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches* NEW
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose* NEW
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Advocate Aurora Health COVID-19 Resources
The spread of COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving situation. Continue to check the CDC website for up-to-date information and guidance.

See a list of COVID-19 resources specifically for faith communities in Illinois and Wisconsin, including resiliency resources, mental health resources, guidance on safely reopening your house of worship and more.

The Advocate Aurora Health COVID-19 hotline at 1-866-4-HEALTH is staffed by clinicians who can answer questions about symptoms and determine the next steps in care.

The Advocate Aurora Health online COVID-19 Symptom Checker is the best way for patients to find the care they need. By answering a few simple questions, they’ll quickly learn what they need to do next – from seeing a provider with a video visit – 24/7 – to contacting their doctor.

The Advocate Aurora Health LiveWell app offers virtual appointments and virtual visits with physicians 24-hours a day.

The Advocate Aurora Health COVID-19 Resource Center in English and Spanish provides the most up-to-date information, tools and resources, including the policies for visiting patients in our hospitals, a COVID-19 Symptom Checker, CDC resources, ways you can donate, volunteer and help—and more.
Flyers to Download and Share

How to Safely Dine at a Restaurant English version

How to Stay Safe at Gatherings and Cookouts English version

How to Protect Yourself and Others While Traveling in English

How to be Safe at Home in Spanish

Phase 4 Reminders English version and Spanish version

Mask Educational Flyer in English and Spanish

Correct and Incorrect Ways to Wear a Mask in Spanish.

How to Prevent Foggy Glasses While Safely Masking in English

What Activities are the Safest? in English and Spanish

For Your Health Shopping List in English and Spanish

The Power of Social Distancing Flyer: English version and Spanish version

COVID-19 Symptom Checker Information English version and Spanish version

COVID-19 Handout English version and Spanish version

COVID-19 Handout #2 English version and Spanish version

Learn the Difference Between Coronavirus, Flu and Allergies English version and Spanish version

E-Newsletters to Share

COVID-19 resource in Spanish that shares important tips to stay safe, flyers you can share with your community, links to the Advocate Aurora Health COVID-19 Resource Center and more.

A resource on safely preparing and sharing food includes information on how to avoid food or food packaging contamination and how to deliver food safely.

Worship Slides

HHS Releases Healthy People 2030 Plan
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released Healthy People 2030, the nation's 10-year plan for addressing our most critical public health priorities and challenges. Since 1980, HHS's Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion has set measurable objectives and targets to improve the health and well-being of the nation.

This decade, Healthy People 2030 features 355 core – or measurable – objectives with 10-year targets, new objectives related to opioid use disorder and youth e-cigarette use, and resources for adapting Healthy People 2030 to emerging public health threats like COVID-19. For the first time, Healthy People 2030 also sets 10-year targets for objectives related to social determinants of health.
Health and Wellness Resources
To get daily articles on a host of health topics that come to you via email, subscribe to Advocate Aurora Health's Health eNews service.

All Advocate Aurora Hospitals offer classes on health topics. See classes or events in Illinois and Wisconsin.  Select a Hospital/Medical Center and click on search to see what is being offered in your area.
Westberg Institute Sharing Platform
The Westberg Institute for Faith Community Nursing knowledge-sharing platform has welcomed more than 1,000 members worldwide. Within seven days of completing this brief questionnaire, you will receive an email inviting you to join. 
Health Ministries Association Book Club

Health Ministries Association has started a book club - a free benefit to HMA members. If you'd like to join the book club, send a message via the HMA Facebook page.

This year, when you renew or purchase your membership, you may gift to one person a year’s membership to HMA for $20. Learn more.
Mental Health e-newsletter available

Advocate Aurora Health Faith and Mental Health Quarterly provides updates on mental health resources, events and news to support the well-being of people in your congregation and community.

If you would like to be added to the mailing list, please contact Cindy Novak.

Other Mental Health & Substance Abuse Resources

Health & Wellness Resources

Learn more about the Healthy HotSpot Initiative, led by the Cook County Department of Public Health in collaboration with many partners to build healthy places in suburban Cook County.

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