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HMA April Eblast 2016



It’s Spring again, and nature blossoms into renewed life around us: the green of budding trees, the chorus of birds, the palette of flowers.  

Illness, despair, war, poverty, shootings, environmental degradation—the things that make for death still abound.

While it sometimes takes time to move through experiences of pain, trauma, despair, our great Spring faith traditions are foundations for life.  
Easter—in celebrating Jesus’ resurrection, we proclaim that life prevails over the things that make for death in our lives, in the Earth, in the world.

Pesach (Passover)—in remembering the exodus from slavery in Egypt, we declare that there is freedom from the things that enslave us spiritually, physically, communally.

Also, a relatively new cultural observance, held in April, Earth Day reminds and encourages us to cherish this beautiful, astounding planet that nourishes us, that we get to call home.  This year, the Earth Day Network is starting a worldwide campaign to plant 7.8 billion trees.  Learn more at   

We believe, as we immerse ourselves in our faith traditions, in the primacy of the love of God and the power of G-d.  May our living announce, day by day, the divine mandate for fullness of life, for ourselves, for all people, for the Earth.  And plant a tree!

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

2016 HMA Annual Meeting

and Conference

Excitement is building for the upcoming HMA annual meeting and conference, set for September 12-14, 2016.  Catch all the latest details on our Upcoming Conference Page.  You can also reserve your hotel room at the Crowne Plaza San Marcos Resort from that page.  

Here are introductions to two of the keynote speakers for our time together:
Cynthia Saver, MS, RN, is president of CLS Development. In her role she collaborates with clients to provide editorial management and presentations related to writing for publication, effective communication, and other topics. Cynthia has written for many publications such as Nursing Management,, American Nurse Today, Journal of Nursing Regulation, American Journal of Nursing, and OR Manager. The second edition of her book Anatomy of Writing for Publication for Nurses was published in 2014. Cynthia has more than 30 years’ experience in nursing, including clinical practice in the critical and perioperative care units, pharmaceutical and device research, staff development, and management. She received her diploma from Aultman Hospital School of Nursing and her master’s in nursing from The Ohio State University. Cynthia will address effective interpersonal communication to help everyone in working with individuals, as well as effective communication within faith communities. This will be beneficial information to enhance our working for health in and through our faith communities.
Sr. Joan Brown, OSF is a Franciscan Sister whose community is based in Rochester, Minnesota.  Originally from a farm in Kansas, her life has always revolved around love of and care for creation and social justice.  She serves as the Executive Director of the New Mexico Interfaith Power and Light (NMIPL), one of 40 state affiliates of the national Interfaith Power and Light founded by Episcopal Priest Sally Bingham.  NMIPL educates and inspires faith communities; engages them in energy efficiency, sustainability, local food, and action for renewable energy; and advocates for various public policy concerns around climate justice and energy.  She participated in the UN Climate Change meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark in December 2009 and at COP21 in Paris in December of 2015 as an official observer with the Franciscan’s International NGO.  She has written for various publications including Catholic Update, US Catholic, National Catholic Rural Life Magazine and The New Theology Review. She was one of twelve recipients of the 2015 White House Champions of Change award for faith leaders working on climate change.  Sr. Joan will share with us during our Peace Breakfast, helping us make connections between our faith, health, and Earth care.
We’ll be introduced to other keynote speakers in future e-blasts and on the HMA website.  In the meantime, mark September 12-14 in your calendars-- we’re looking forward to seeing you in Chandler, AZ (near Phoenix) in the gorgeous desert Southwest!

Be looking for the brochure and registration - available in May!

Award Nominations Open!

It is with great excitement that HMA announces the Call for Nominations for two 2016 prestigious awards in Faith Health Ministry:
  • Granger Westberg Leadership in Faith Community Nursing Award: Recognizing 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.
  • Wilkerson-Droege Award: Given annually to recognize an outstanding HMA member who exemplifies vision, creativity and faithfulness to faith/health ministry. It is presented in honor of its first recipients: Sister June Wilkerson and in memoriam of Dr. Thomas Droege.
We again congratulate the 2015 Award winners, Rev. Craig Schneider, MDiv, BCC (Wilkerson-Droege) and Lyn McIntyre, RN (Granger Westberg).  
View Award Criteria/Nominate Now!

Deadline for submissions is May 31, 2016!
Update: Scope and Standards of Practice Faith Community Nursing 3rd edition Revision

Alyson J. Breisch, MSN, RN-BC
Faith Community Nursing
Chair, Scope and Standards Work Group
Current work:  The HMA work group is now focusing on updates and revisions to the Scope of Practice section of the text.  Teams of three or four work group members are working on specific sections of the Scope (i.e. Historical Perspective, Roles and Practice Settings, Educational preparation and certification, Essential knowledge and skills, research, Nursing Diagnoses, Nursing Interventions, Nursing Outcomes, ANA Code of Ethics, and trends).  References and the Glossary of Terms are being updated.

The drafts of the Standards of Practice and Standards of Professional Practice are completed.  The plan is to post a draft of the complete document in early May for public review.  HMA will post the document on and inform members and stakeholders of the posting by electronic notice.  The American Nurses Association will also make the posted document available on

Anticipated publishing of 3rd edition is early autumn.

A Creative Way to Compensate Faith Community

Nurses as Part of a Healthcare Program 

Angela Sheehan, MS, RN - BC
Directory Faith Community Nursing
St. Peter’s Health Partners
Troy, New York

Nine years ago, I entered the amazing world of Faith Community Nursing. Not only did I enter it, I fully embraced it as the Director of a Faith Community Nursing Program in a small Catholic community hospital, (St. Mary's) that has since merged with a very large healthcare system, St. Peter’s Health Partners.

The nurses in the program are true Angels of Mercy as they continually minister to the members of their faith communities and their communities at large. They are devoted to their clergy, churches and roles as Faith Community Nurses and some are also Pastoral Care Coordinators. Diligent and faithful, they are devoted, giving tirelessly of themselves and it is never, ever about them and always about the people they serve.  One nurse was in the hospital as a patient awaiting surgery for herself and emailed me to put her roommate on our prayer chain!

Throughout the years, it often grieves me as to why we cannot get the Faith Community Nurses a proper salary; why they are not recognized for who they are and what they do, very often going unnoticed. I wanted to do something for them. Granted some were paid part-time by their Faith Communities but what could St. Peter’s Health Partners do?  That’s when the Incentive program was created.

The incentive program has two parts. In the first part the nurses are required to have all of their position documentation submitted. This consists of the annual hospital requirements such as PPD, Driver’s License, auto insurance, RN license, CPR and carrying malpractice insurance which is highly recommended. In addition to this, a signed agreement with the clergy and nurse and volunteer application and paperwork is also needed.

If all of these requirements are met for the first part, they are automatically given free malpractice insurance.

The second part consists of:
  • Working 40 hours a month
  • Documenting monthly
  • Attending 6 meetings/events

The following items are awarded as follows:
  • If one requirement is met for part two and all of part one, they get a free membership to IPNRC and to HMA.
  • If they meet two of the requirements in part two and all of part one, they get free membership to IPNRC and to HMA plus a paid registration fee to either the Westberg or HMA conference.
  • If they complete all three in addition to part one, they are eligible for all the above plus their name goes in for a drawing for a $300.00 gas card.
  • This incentive program has been in effect for one year and has proven successful in improving morale and cohesiveness among the nurses.
As for me, I am very pleased that we are able to show the nurses that their work and dedication is appreciated.
Thanks be to God that our health care system values our Faith Communities Nurses!
HMA FCN Society

HMA is delighted to announce the names of the following nurses recently inducted into the Faith Community Nursing Society.

Ruth Syre                       MSN RN-BC
Helen Bhagwandin       Ed.D MSN RN-BC
Sharon Hinton               DMin MSN RN-BC
Ruth, Helen and Sharon all achieved their Certification in the nursing specialty of faith community nursing and completed the application process for the FCN Society. We are so proud to welcome these HMA faith community nurse leaders to the Society.

We continue to invite HMA FCN members who have received faith community nursing certification to contact HMA about their achievement and to consider applying for the FCN Society.  Visit our Practice Support page for more information on the FCN Society and how to apply.

Visit us at the Westberg!

Are you attending the upcoming Westberg Symposium? Plan to stop by the HMA exhibit table to ask questions on the certification through portfolio for Faith Community Nursing and the revisions on the next Faith Community Nursing Scope and Standards of Practice. HMA leadership will be available throughout the conference to assist you.

Further information on the HMA 2016 Conference will also be available. Stop by the table for a free gift and learn more about our location in the Phoenix area! We look forward to seeing you!

When Your Most Active Supporters Need Your Support

April 2016

There are many active members of your congregation who may be struggling to quit cigarettes and tobacco of any form. These members may serve in several ministries including the choir or usher board. These active members are supporting the ministry and we must make sure we’re supporting them with the resources to quit smoking and stay healthy. Here’s a story about Julia, an active church member who sang in the choir and struggled to quit smoking even after being diagnosed with colon cancer.

Julia tried her first cigarette out of curiosity when she was in her early twenties. She had left her large family in Mississippi for the adventure and opportunities of living in New York. Within a year of that first puff, Julia was addicted and smoking a pack a day. Getting sick never entered her mind. She continued to smoke for many years, and at age 49, Julia was diagnosed with colon cancer, which is a danger for all smokers.

After having abdominal cramps and other symptoms, Julia’s sister took her to the doctor for a colonoscopy, a simple exam of the colon that uses a narrow tube and a tiny camera. That exam helped saved her life." I will never forget that day. I was so sick. They found the tumor in my colon and rushed me to the hospital," said Julia. The tumor completely blocked her intestines, which can be life threatening. Julia had surgery right away, followed by months of chemotherapy to treat the cancer. She also needed an ostomy bag, which was taped to a hole in her abdomen to collect waste.

Over the years, Julia had tried to quit smoking. She stopped while she was pregnant and made every effort not to smoke around her son. Family members kept urging her to quit. "My niece said, 'Think about your child. What means more to you, him or the cigarettes?' I knew they weren't good for me, but I was addicted."

Julia’s family members kept after her to quit smoking, and they supported her in the first hard days as she adjusted to life without cigarettes. “My colostomy was an important part of my healing process. It allowed me to heal and prevented me from getting an infection or worse. I would do it again, because it saved my life.”

Today, Julia says her life is so much better without cigarettes—her energy, her breathing, and her strong voice in the church choir. "My singing voice is better than it ever has been."

There may be members of your congregation just like Julia. Reach out, share resources and let them know you are there for them. Thank them for what they do for your ministry and let them know that they can always call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for free help to quit smoking. They can also get resources and help at

Watch and share these powerful videos about Julia:

To learn more about CDC’s faith-based resources, go to

Provided by: CDC Office on Smoking and Health


April 27th Faith United Against Tobacco - CDC Webinar Alert

Don't forget to attend the "It Takes Faith" Tips From Former Smokers Campaign Webinar, April 27, 2016, from 3:00 - 4:00 pm EST.  You will learn more about how faith-based organizations are teaming up with Faith United Against Tobacco and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to encourage their members to stop smoking.  Guest speakers will include our very own Marlene Feagan, HMA President, Vinny DeMarco, National Coordinator for Faith United Against Tobacco, Bishop Larry Lee Thomas from Smoke Free Holy Grounds and more.

To register for this event go to:
HMA information from IHP at Emory!

The Interfaith Health Program has produced a toolkit that describes 14 model practices unique to successful partnerships with the faith community.  This provides you with evidence based reasons why faith based partnerships are important.  This document is valuable because it describes capacities that are unique to the faith community and is in a language and form that can be used: 1) to help public health recognize the why and how to partner with this community and 2) gives language and meaning to the faith community about its distinctiveness and contributions they make to health, particularly reducing health disparities. The link to the toolkit is
The Interfaith Health Program is partnering with HMA and other national religious organizations with health commitments to provide a context and history to faith and health collaborations through this toolkit.  Working with the Interfaith Health Program, HMA will be working to disseminate and build the capacity of faith communities receiving public health information (CDC and ASTHO (Assoc. of State and Territorial Health Officials) so they can effectively partner with faith-based organizations in reaching hard to reach populations.

Also In This Issue:
  • In March's eblast, Paula Miller submitted a timely article on the Zika Virus.  To access the links she included as well as some additional resources on the CDC website, visit our Tools page where we created a section for these links!
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