152180 Faith community nursing: A promising new paradigm for public health

Tuesday, November 6, 2007: 8:30 AM

Sandra L. McGinnis, PhD , Center for Health Workforce Studies, School of Public Health, University at Albany, SUNY, Rensselaer, NY
Frances M. Zoske, MSN, FCN, RN , Faith Community-Parish Nurse Program, Seton Health, Troy, NY
As the prevention and management of chronic disease becomes increasingly important to a health care system oriented primarily to acute care, Faith Community Nursing (aka Parish Nursing) offers a promising new model for the delivery of preventive, community case management services to diverse populations. Housed in faith communities, the focus of FCN practice is on health promotion and disease prevention, health care cost containment, chronic disease management and culturally sensitive services. Today, chronic diseases—such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes—are among the most prevalent, costly, and preventable of all health problems. Having been identified as the leading cause of disabilities, if not successfully managed, chronic disease will become the most expensive problem for health care systems.

Survey data from a national study of 516 active FCNs shows roles related to prevention, community case management, and access to care are central to FCN practice. Furthermore, FCNs serve congregations that include large populations of older adults and those with chronic disease. Issues such as obesity/nutrition and stress are also issues that FCNs commonly confront in their congregations. These results support that the prevention and management of chronic disease are key roles for FCNs, and that there is some potential for FCN programs to expand access for the underserved. In sum, FCN programs provide some of the services not typically available in the commercial health care system – services for which demand may rise as the chronic care burden related to aging adults and longer life expectancies becomes more severe.

Learning Objectives:
1. Recognize and define the term “faith community nurse”. 2. Describe five roles played by faith community nurses in the prevention and management of chronic disease. 3. Discuss possible applications of the faith community nurse model to public health in their community.

Keywords: Faith Community, Chronic Diseases

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.