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HMA September Eblast 2016



Discontent and hatred permeate our public life.  Fear of intractable diseases and of each other takes hold.  Wildfires and earthquakes and floods wage devastation.  It could be enough to drive despair.

So go to Nature.
Summer night—
even the stars
are whispering to each other
in The Essential Haiku
edited by Robert Hass

Go out in a summer night and hear the stars whispering.  Feel a breeze caress your face on an autumn day.  “Consider the lilies of the field….”  (Jesus, in Matthew 6:28)  Know in our soul that these are All Our Relations, that the Spirit of Life is our common Source, that Love is the force of life.

Life insists.  Earth, with us on it, spins around to bring us to greet the Sun in another day.  Flowers sprout in rubble.  My grief-stricken father finds new joy.  Birds still sing. And God insists through you and me.  

So let us pray, in words and actions, for peace and joy and hope and life.  Cherish Earth, ourselves, each other, each day.  And we’ll be a gift of life in our struggling world.

Rev. Karen MacDonald, M.Div.
Interfaith Community Services, Tucson, AZ
HMA Director for Spiritual Leadership


Our Annual Gathering is

Just Around the Corner!

Karen MacDonald, M.Div.
Conference Chair

In just a matter of days, participants from across the country will gather in Chandler, AZ, September 12-14, 2016.  This will be a wonderful time of learning, connecting, and rejuvenating for the momentous work of faith and health we do.  Conference and hotel registrations are now closed, but if you have any questions please contact the HMA office (800) 723-4291
before Sept. 8, 2016.  See you in the Grand Canyon State!

In gratitude to our 2016 HMA Conference Sponsors!


  • Monday Evening Welcome Dinner – Dignity Health
  • Monday Opening Lunch – Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas
  • Keynote Speaker – Vesper Society
  • Wilkerson-Droege Award – Advocate Health Care
  • Westberg Award – Vesper Society
  • Conference Bag – Duet: Partners in Health & Aging, Phoenix and Faith Community Health & Wellness Network, Tucson
  • General Conference Sponsorship –
    • Halfpap Designs
    • St. Elizabeth Healthcare
    • Westberg Institute for Faith Community Nursing

In Memory of Those Who Have Served in Health Ministry:

It has become our custom at our annual HMA conference to close our time together by remembering colleagues in health ministry who have died.  This is a heart-felt time to celebrate and give thanks for those with whom we’ve worked to promote faith and health, who have enriched our endeavors and our lives, who have left an indelible mark on our hearts and our movement.  Whether broadly-known by many or known mostly by those with whom they labored locally, we treasure these saints.  
We invite HMA members, whether or not you’ll be at the conference, to share the people whom you’d like to memorialize in this closing service of our 2016 conference.  Please forward the following information to Deborah Dixson:  

  • the person’s name and credentials (if applicable)
  • the person’s role/position in health ministry
  • the state/country in which the person served
  • the date of the person’s death

The deadline to submit your memorials is September 2, 2016.  Thanks in advance for helping us share the memories of cherished colleagues.  And thanks for all you do!

Last Call for Auction Items!

Helen Amena, BS, RN
Silent Auction Chair    

Donations are still welcome for the Silent Auction! Items such as gift cards, non-perishable gift baskets, books, jewelry and other items will be accepted. We encourage you to donate things that can be easily transported home in a suitcase. Be creative! Please notify me of what you will be donating at: Be sure to include the name of the item along with the retail value and the suggested minimum bid. Deadline is
September 7, 2016 to get item information submitted.

HMA Faith Community Nursing Society

Since announcing the development of the HMA FCN Society, 13 HMA faith community nurse members have received their certification and have been selected to be a part of the Society.

On-line applications are completed and then sent to members of a review committee: Jill Schafer, BSN, RN, Pam Hurley, BSN, RN and Carla Warnock, MSN MPA RN-BC. The committee then personally connects with and interviews each applicant.
Once welcomed into the Society, each nurse is then asked to discern where their time and talents might be best used in HMA. Case in point, during her interview process, Carla Warnock expressed interest in the Society and subsequently joined Jill and Pam in the review process!
Are you an HMA member and faith community nurse who has achieved certification in our specialty? We welcome your application to the Society and a key role in leading our specialty into the future.

More information is available, including the application on the HMA website.
Nancy L. Rago Durbin, MS BSN RN-BC
Director for Faith Community Nursing

Networking calls for Catholic Nurses and Those Working in Catholic Parishes and Catholic Healthcare!

The Catholic Health Association (CHA) is pleased to host networking calls among faith community/congregational nurses working with Catholic parishes, Catholic hospitals or other Catholic health care organizations. Calls are an opportunity for nurses practicing in health ministry in a Catholic setting to meet each other over the phone, to share inspiration, challenges and successes.

The next call is set for: Nov. 10, 2016, 3-4 p.m. ET

Access Instructions: (866) 579-8110 and using passcode 513146.

If you have a topic you would like discussed on one of the calls or would like to speak briefly about your program, please contact Julie Trocchio, BSN, MS,
Senior Director, Community Benefit and Continuing Care at (202) 721-6320.

Get in the Know on the Great ShakeOut Earthquake
Drills this October!

Everyone, everywhere, should know how to protect themselves during earthquakes. Even if earthquakes are rare where you live, they may happen where you or your family travel.  Millions of people worldwide will practice how to Drop, Cover, and Hold On at 10:20 a.m. on October 20* during Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills!  There are many ways for individuals, businesses, schools, faith-based organizations, community groups, government agencies, and others to participate in the ShakeOut. One example is the faith-based fact sheet designed specifically for each region (some states) of the country.

To access your fatih-based sheet follow these instructions:
  • Go to the website.
  • Scroll down and click on the state or region you would like a faith-based sheet.
  • Click on the Shakeout Resources under the Learn the Latest section - right side of page.
  • Under Shakeout Resources section, click on Resources for Specific Groups.
  • You should see a drop-down menu, click on the arrow to open the menu and then select Faith-based Organizations, then click "Go"
  • This should open up a ShakeOut faith-based tip flyer for your area.
You can also check out further information and resources on what is happening in your area on their website   Be safe and be prepared.
Tools for Your Faith-based Smoking Cessation Efforts

Would you like to learn more about the tool that smoking is taking in your state, where you live, and what you can do as a faith-based provider to help smokers quit?  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed fact sheets specific to every state to help you make a difference in the lives of those you minister to.

To get your state fact sheet, just access this link and click on your state, found on the map.  Every state fact sheet is downloadable and printable.

These fact sheets can be used in several ways:
  • Use the content as a conversation starter with those in your congregation or community
  • Cut and paste facts or content from fact sheets into church bulletins
  • Create signs or posters with state numbers and facts
  • Share the Quitline number or Tips campaign website links on your website or throughout your place of worship
  • Use fact sheet content in presentations to those in your community
For more information on how you can help those in your congregation quit smoking, check out CDC’s Faith-based Organization’s page.

CDC Office on Smoking and Health
HMA Office Closed

The HMA Office will be closed Sept. 9 - 18, 2016 to attend the HMA Annual Meeting and Conference and will have limited access to respond to emails and phone calls.  If you have an urgent issue, please call (800) 723-4291 and we will do our best to respond to your needs in a timely manner.

U.S. Surgeon General Urges a “Turn the Tide” on the

Prescription Drug Epidemic
The U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek H. Murthy sent a letter to 2.3 million American health professionals last week, asking them to lead a national movement to turn the tide on the nation’s prescription opioid epidemic. The letter contains a pocket card outlining the CDC’s opioid prescribing guidelines. 
This is the first time that a U.S. Surgeon General has sent a letter directly to the nation’s health professionals seeking their support in addressing a public health crisis.
The Surgeon General urges clinicians to visit a website his office launched this month,, where they can pledge their commitment to combating opioid misuse by:

  • enhancing education for treating pain, 
  • screening patients for opioid use disorder, and 
  • leading a shift in the public perception of addiction so that it is treated as chronic illness rather than as a moral failing 
This effort builds upon the
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Opioid Initiative focused on tackling the nation’s opioid epidemic, as well as the National Pain Strategy, the federal government’s first coordinated plan to reduce the burden of chronic pain in the U.S. 
Click for more details about today’s historic news and share through HHS on Facebook and on Twitter @HHSgov.

CMS Office of Communications
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