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HMA July Eblast 2015


“Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death!”

Patrick Henry
On March 20, 1775, the Second Virginia Convention met at Richmond, Colonial Virginia--in what is now called St. John's Church.  According to historical records of Colonial Williamsburg’s Foundation, they avoided meeting as usual in the capitol town of Williamsburg to avoid resistance and interference of the ruling British government which had ignored or denied their petitions for at least ten years.  Hence, Delegate Patrick Henry spoke on behalf of forming a volunteer Virginia militia to join others in the process of revolt and support the common people’s efforts towards freedom with a new government that later was established with  the signing of  the Constitution of the United States of America at the Philadelphia Convention on September 17, 1787.1  The Preamble of the Constitution states, “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”2  
As one reflects, this Fourth of July, on the famous speech given by Patrick Henry, we should note how faith-based and relevant his remarks were to the concept of ‘Freedom” in any context pertaining to the mind, body, spirit, and social dimensions of human existence.  In his opening statement, Patrick Henry reminds us of how important democracy with “freedom of speech” is when he says, “…the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfil the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offence, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.”1   In our calling to health ministry, one must hold to their faith in God regardless of circumstances which is also a strength that needs conveyed to others even when faced with prolonged battles of sickness, pain, and possible death.  The Apostle Paul, though imprisoned and battle worn, was not defeated in his ministry.  He encouraged others to stay the course.  The Scripture verse, 2 Timothy 4:7 states, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 3   To do this, often means speaking out the truth, advocating for other’s healthcare access, rights to fair treatment, and against injustices and abuse. We must keep the faith regardless of how we feel or what we see confronting us.
Patrick Henry’s words can be heard in the cry of confined nursing home patients, invalids, wheel-chair bound, those suffering from mental and intellectual disabilities, the poor, addicted, and homeless. There are many kinds of imprisonment people face on a daily basis.  Health ministry is on the front lines.  Do not give up hope.  Patrick Henry declared to his fellow delegates, “Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations; and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave.”1   May these words which still ring throughout history empower you to conquer personal doubts and fears that may be blocking your ministry’s advancement and growth as you endeavor to aid those in the fight for freedom this Fourth of July. 
3 Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.  
Janice Holmes, PhD, MPH, MDiv, RN,  Faith Community Nurse
Pastor, Olivet United Presbyterian Church, PCUSA
West Elizabeth, Pa. &
Health Ministries Specialist
Mercy Parish Nurse & Health Ministry Program,
Pittsburgh Mercy Health System
Pittsburgh, Pa. 
HMA Member


HMA Conference Updates

Pre-Conference Sessions

Session A – The Seeds of Resilience: Faith, Community, Hope and Caritas

The afternoon of this pre-conference session will feature a community immersion experience via a bus tour! Participants will join members of the 2015 local HMA Conference Planning Committee to see first-hand how the Crescent City has been rebuilding since Hurricane Katrina, a Category 3 storm, made landfall on August 29, 2005, devastating the Gulf Coast.
This year marks the 10th year anniversary of this nation’s greatest catastrophe, where New Orleans and other nearby towns suffered the brunt of Katrina’s wrath as it left thousands of shattered lives in its wake. Many lives and properties were lost and damaged.  Many still lay in waste until today.  But many more have been reborn, revitalized, renewed and re-strengthened.  

Our tour will serve as the vehicle for participants to immerse themselves in the city’s journey to wholeness.  Participants will see and hear how the events of the catastrophe unfolded and how this compromised yet resilient southern town and its citizens responded. Participants will witness the state of the city’s recovery and how its rich history, indomitable culture and deepening ritual continue to live and thrive.  

The afternoon part of the session will begin and end at the conference hotel, with routing that will include the areas of the Ninth Ward, Gentilly, Lakeview and Central City neighborhoods.  The tour will focus on learning about the following:

  • History as a port city and the relationship with the surrounding water
  • Timeline and impact of Hurricane Katrina
  • Process of recovery, progress and lessons learned 10 years post-Katrina
  • Economic development and infrastructure improvement projects

Stops will also be made at two churches and at a key community-based facility that was impacted by the storm. This part of the tour will focus on learning the following:

  • Impact of the storm on religious and community gathering places
  • The rate of recovery juxtaposed to public and private entities
  • Response of faith-based and community-based institutions
  • Effect of rituals, culture and faith on recovery

Please note -This tour is part of Pre-Conference Session A. Seats will not be sold separately and are limited to approximately 50 participants.


Session B:  The Code of Ethics for Nurses: Application to Professional Practice
See more on this session in the article 2015: The Year of Ethics in this eblast issue.

Entertainment for Conference Opening and Welcome Dinner

Welcome to New Orleans! On opening night August 31st, we will enjoy one of New Orleans famed rituals, the Second Line. The “Laissez le bon temps rouler” Second Line will lead our participants through this cultural experience! As in a traditional New Orleans jazz funeral, the entertainment will start with a solemn dirge to remind us that Hurricane Katrina is still dead. From there we will plunge headlong into a rousing parade of dancing and singing to celebrate the “Journey to Wholeness”. The Second Line will feature a local brass band belting out dazzling New Orleans jazz and a second line crew that will rival and mesmerize the rowdiest of dancers with their flashy, fancy footwork. There will be umbrella twirling, handkerchief waving, bead tossing and a whole lot of smiles and cheers.  Come prepared to “let the good times roll”. 

Complimentary Workshop, Monday August 31, 2015 3:00 – 4:30 pm

Join us for this additional workshop offering on Monday afternoon provided by AARP.  This is open to all conference participants but is especially ideal for those arriving on Monday and not attending a Pre-Conference.  Continuing education credits will be provided for this session and no registration is required!

Prepare to Care: Taking Care of You, Taking Care of Me

Debra Tyler-Horton, Associate State Director for Multicultural Outreach, AARP

As the nation grows older, the need for care-giving will be as common as the need for childcare.
Every family should have the opportunity to talk about a care-giving plan tailored to both the needs and wishes of those receiving the care as well as the caregiver. Discussion in this offering will include the following issues:

  • Types of stress and burnout experienced by a family caregiver and the knowledge, skills and attributes needed to handle caregiver stress
  • Creating a care-giving action plan to enhance caregiver self-efficacy
  • Developing a checklist to coordinate assistance and ensure effective communication amongst care partners
  • Dealing with challenging situations when making care-giving decisions

Debra Tyler-Horton joined the AARP North Carolina team in 2010 tasked with developing a deeper presence in diverse communities by strengthening visibility, engaging volunteers and members, building key relationships, conducting grassroots activities,  and participating in educational forums.  Tyler-Horton has become a well-known voice and a leader for minority populations in North Carolina.  She is the host of AARP’s “Real Life, On the Radio,” a weekly public affairs and discussion program that can be heard from the mountains to the coast.

A Brooklyn, New York native,  Tyler-Horton has traveled to South America as an Eisenhower Fellow, observing poverty and illiteracy, and has helped fight drought and hunger as a board member of Project Tanzania.  She has received numerous awards and recognitions over the years, but the one she says she is most proud of is recognition from the National Council of Negro Women for her devoted service to the community.  Tyler-Horton serves as a member of the board of deacons at Poplar Springs Christian Church in Raleigh and holds a B.A. in Psychology from Shaw University.

We are pleased to announce the following presenters who will be conducting concurrent sessions as noted:

Tuesday, September 1, 2015; 2:30 pm – 3:45 pm, Session 2-D
National Heroin and Prescription Pain Medication Epidemic: A Call for a Response

Rita K. Noonan, Ph.D.
Chief, Health Systems and Trauma Systems Branch
Division of Unintentional Injury
CDC - National Center for Injury Prevention and Control

Wednesday, September 2, 2015; 9:00 am -10:15 am, Session 3-D
Facts and Myths About Faith Community Nursing Certification Through Portfolio

Christine G. Leyden, MSN, RN, ANCC Vice President for Certifications Measurement
Deborah Dixson, BSN, RN-BC and Deborah Ringen, MSN, RN-BC


For more information visit our Upcoming Conference Page!

2015: The Year of Ethics

Angela Sheehan, MS, CNS, NPP, RN, HMA Director for Practice and Education
Alyson Breisch, MSN, RN-BC, Chair, HMA Annual Conference Planning Committee
The American Nurses Association (ANA) has designated 2015 as the Year of Ethics.  ANA is committed to spotlighting ethics throughout 2015.  A live webinar in January introduced the revised Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements (The Code).  The theme for the 2015 National Nurses Week May 6-12 was, “Ethical Practice. Quality Care”, and an ethics symposium featuring experts across the health care spectrum was held in Baltimore June 4-5.  An underlying emphasis is “a sound foundation of ethics is essential to decision making and clinical practice in all nursing specialties and settings.” (ANA, 2015).

This is certainly the case in Faith Community Nursing.  Integrity and a strong ethical code are essential to the infrastructure on which each Faith Community Nurse practices.  The Health Ministries Association (HMA) joins ANA in spotlighting ethics.  Join us in New Orleans August 31st for Pre-Conference B: The Code of Ethics for Nurses: Application to Professional Practice presented by Marsha D. Fowler, PhD, MDiv, MS, RN, FAAN.

This pre-conference of the 2015 HMA Annual Conference will include an introduction to the history of the Code and will examine the 2015 Code with an emphasis both on its changes and those portions that are of special relevance to nursing in faith communities.  Discussions will explore the impact of ethical practice on patient safety and quality of care.  Dr. Fowler will bring her broad-based knowledge of ethics and her experience in faith community nursing and health ministry to the discussions in this offering.

Dr. Marsha Fowler has published extensively in the field of social ethics and bioethics.  She was the co-lead writer of the 2015 revision of The Code.  In July two of her books will be published: Guide to the Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements: Development, Interpretation, and Application, 2nd ed. and the forthcoming Guide to Nursing’s Social Policy Statement: From Social Contract to Social Covenant.  She is also the recipient of the ANA Honorary Human Rights Award.  Dr. Fowler is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and has served as past vice-president of HMA.  HMA invites you to join this national nursing leader and participate in thought-provoking discussions on application of ethics in nursing practice.
HMA on Social Media
Are you on Social Media (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, etc.)?  If yes, HMA is here to support you and your Health Ministry.  Link to us at and
Is our theme for July leading up to the 2015 Conference.   Follow us on Facebook and share your favorite Ritual(s) for health, healing and wholeness.
CHI Health Faith Community Health Network Video

Ronnette Sailors
Coordinator, Faith Community Health Network
CHI Health
HMA Lifetime Member
Every year, the CHI Health Faith Community Health Network in Omaha NE has held a Recognition Banquet, to celebrate all the accomplishments of Network members during the past year.  On May 26, almost 150 Faith Community Nurses, Health Ministers, clergy and congregational leaders, community partners, and co-workers gathered for a special Banquet recognizing ten years of existence!!! 
Our boss thought a special video would be in order, and with help from our Marketing Department we got it done!  We chose one FCN from one church to represent us all.  Her Tai Chi class members were reporting marvelous results—some were getting off blood pressure medication.  One reduced his insulin by two thirds.  Two participants had double mastectomies and were back to class in four weeks with full range of motion.   
It is amazing how much work it takes to produce a 5-minute video!  Our marketer took all morning interviewing and then untold hours editing, to come up with this story.  Not only did we end up with a great video for our tenth anniversary, but can use this as a wonderful tool to tell our story for a long time to come. 
Even though it’s about our Network at CHI Health in Omaha, we want to share it, to help tell a story of what this wonderful ministry is all about, we also hope to encourage and affirm those who are working in the area of health ministry that they are making a difference where they are! 
View Video now.  We hope you enjoy it!
National faith leaders launch 24-month national education campaign, Tale of Two States, to promote handgun purchaser licensing

Vinnie Demarco
Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence
HMA member

“So now it is on us… the nation’s faith leaders, yes… but also anyone and everyone with the ability to write a letter-to-the-editor, to post on Facebook, to tweet, to raise your voice and share this Tale of Two States.”

Rabbi David Lerner, Rabbinical Assembly
Tale of Two States Press Conference
June 11, 2015

Key national faith leaders gathered with researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health on Thursday, June 11, to share new research about one of the most effective gun violence prevention measures in the nation: handgun purchaser licensing. And to contrast two states: one where this licensing requirement was in place but was repealed and another that has had handgun purchaser licensing on the books for decades.

The results are startling. Dr. Daniel Webster and his team at Johns Hopkins found that Connecticut, in the 10 years following the enactment of its handgun purchaser licensing requirement, realized a 40% drop in firearm homicides. Compare that with the same team’s research on Missouri, released in 2014, which showed a 25% increase in firearm homicides in the 5 years after the state repealed its licensing law. Both studies ruled out other possible explanations for the changes in gun homicides.

But in this tale of two states, there are no winners and losers… there are lives saved and lives lost… and lessons to be learned.
At the Tale of Two States press conference, Episcopal Bishops Ian Douglas of Connecticut and Wayne Smith of Missouri spoke about the impact handgun purchaser licensing has had on their respective states. “While we have had our share of heartache and we know better than most that laws are only preventative and not a guarantee, we in Connecticut are thrilled to see the real numbers… the evidence that our laws have resulted in real lives saved,” noted Bishop Douglas.
Bishop Wayne Smith of Missouri pleaded with other states to learn from their experience. “Eight years ago, our legislature and governor overturned our handgun purchaser licensing requirement and we’ve been paying dearly for it ever since,” said Bishop Smith.
Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence is asking that organizations, community groups, businesses and congregations of all faiths go to TALEOFTWOSTATES.COM and sign the resolution calling for handgun purchaser licensing to be a priority for our nation. Over the next 24 months, the coalition will provide resolution signers with tools to educate their members and others in the community about the need for handgun purchaser licensing everywhere in the nation.
“We believe that by educating our congregants, they in turn will educate their friends, family members and others in their communities,” said the Rt. Reverend Gary Hall, Dean of the Washington National Cathedral and Chair of Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence. “We also will be reaching out to organizations outside of the faith community to share this new research with them and ask that they also commit to educating the public that handgun purchaser licensing will save lives in their state.”
Health Ministries Association is a proud member of Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence and encourages all to sign the resolution at and to spread the word far and wide.
Also In This Issue:  
  • HHS Grant Opportunities
    Demonstration Grants for Domestic Victims of Human Trafficking
    Click Here for More Information
    Last Day to Apply: August 19, 2015
    Grant Administered By: Administration for Children and Families, Department of Health and Human Services
    Responsible Fatherhood Opportunities for Reentry and Mobility
    Click Here for More Information
    Last Day to Apply: July 7, 2015
    Grant Administered By: Administration for Children and Families, Department of Health and Human Services
    New Pathways for Fathers and Families
    Click Here for More Information
    Last Day to Apply: July 7, 2015
    Grant Administered By: Administration for Children and Families, Department of Health and Human Services
    Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education Grants
    Click Here for More Information
    Last Day to Apply:  July 7, 2015
    Grant Administered By: Administration for Children and Families, Department of Health and Human Services
  • ANA Lauds Supreme Court Decision Upholding Affordable Care Act Tax Credit Subsidies

    On June 25, 2015 the American Nurses Association (ANA) commended the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act by preserving tax credit subsidies that have allowed more than 10 million Americans to obtain health insurance coverage.  To read the full News Release and for further information on the ANA’s advocacy efforts to support access to health care for Americans please go to their website.
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