160333 Champions of faith community nursing: An effective partnership between the faith community and local government

Monday, November 5, 2007

Wanda J. Alexander, MPH, BSN , Resource Development Group, Hennepin County Human Services & Public Health Department, Minneapolis, MN
Carol Oldowski, BSN , Nativity of Mary Catholic Church, Bloomington, MN
Barbara J. Leonard, PhD , School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, Mpls., MN
Laura Rydholm, MA, BSN , Presentation College, Mankato, MN
The Hennepin County Human Services & Public Health Department in Minneapolis, Minnesota began exploring the faith community nursing (parish nursing) movement in 2003. Research revealed 65% of all Hennepin County residents and 89% of seniors identify themselves as members of a faith community. Informational interviews were conducted with more than 50 faith community nurses (FCN) of all denominations, as well as all area health and human services systems with a history of supporting faith community nursing. More than 200 congregations with active FCN programs were identified with a combined membership of more than 250,000 people. Faith community nurses identified ways in which Hennepin County HS&PHD could provide key assistance: (1) Identifying community resources and assisting with referrals; (2) Providing continuing education programs; (3) Assisting with funding needs/resource development; (4) Improving communications/networking between parish nurses; and (5) Helping to promote and champion faith community nursing.

Working as partners, area faith community nurses and Hennepin County formed a nonprofit agency the Faith Community Nurse Network of the Greater Twin Cities to champion the FCN movement. FCNN has provided free educational workshops (offering at least 12 CEUs annually), established a Faith Community Nursing Collection in the County Library System, awarded multiple small project grants, sponsored research, and encouraged expansion into new communities (including diverse faith traditions, new immigrant faith communities, etc.)., The network now includes more than 350 nurses in the 9-county metro area. Keys factors in effective relationships between faith community and local government partners and research findings will be discussed.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the role of the faith community nurse as a unique type of public health nursing practice. 2. Identify aspects of effective partnerships between local governments and the faith community. 3. Discuss key factors in the successful development of a community network. 4. Recognize the potential impact of effective referral relationships with faith community providers. 5. Articulate funding opportunities available to community partnerships. 6. Describe research projects sparked by a community partnership.

Keywords: Public Health Nursing, Faith Community

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.