Two years of planning and preparing came to fruition in October 2010 through the offering of a comprehensive training for Health Ministers. Interfaith Community Services and Carondelet Health Network (in Tucson) and Duet: Partners in Health and Aging, with assistance from Mercy Gilbert Medical Center (Phoenix area) sponsored the event.

Basic Training for Congregation Health Leaders was a wonderful succes. For two consecutive days, lay leaders and Faith Community Nurses looking for a refresher gained a solid foundation for leading health programs in their congregations. Topics covered included:

    • Historical and Theological Foundations
    • Building BlockPrayer and Worship Leadership
    • Ethics and Accountability
    • And much more[/list]

Fifteen people in Tucson and 30 people in Phoenix participated simultaneously through the adventure of video-conferencing. Evaluations of the program by the participants were overwhelmingly positive, with good ideas for enhancing it even further Said one person, “I learned that our whole ministry team needs to take this training…”

We patterned the curriculum after the Basic Preparation Course for Faith Community Nurses provided by the International Parish Nurse Resource Center, tailoring it to cover information needed by Health Ministers. Each site also included resource information pertinent to their locale. In addition, we presented the new HMA Health Minister: Role Identification and Guidelines document as a tool and are soliciting feedback. Participants’ engagement at each site and across cyberspace was lively and the presenters thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

We are excited by several outcomes of this first endeavor;

    • This is the first presentation of training geared to Health Ministers in Arizona, and it was well-received.
    • Forty-five people received training to lead congregation health programs, furthering the health ministry movement in general, and the involvement of Health Ministers in particular.
    • Our organizations developed productive partnerships for the future.
    • The new HMA guidelines for Health Ministers were presented and will elicit feedback.[/list]

Were looking forward to presenting this training together on a regular basis. We’re also working on an ongoing support/mentoring system for participants and their congregations, of this and future offerings.

Team included Rev. Karen MacDonald, Interfaith Community Services; Maricela Reynaert, RN, FCN, LEM, Interfaith Community Services; Evelyn Jacobs, BSN, RN, FCN, Carondelet Health Network; Linda Parker, BSN, RN, CDE, Carondelet Health Network; Denise Viker, BSN, RN, FCN, Duet: Partners in Health and Aging.

For more information please contact team member:

Rev. Karen MacDonald
Interfaith Community Services
(520)297-2738 x221