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Faith & Community Nursing

Faith Community Partnerships

Since 1992, St. John Providence Health System has partnered with a diverse group of faith communities (churches, houses of worship) in defining and supporting parish nursing. Parish nurses focus on assessing and addressing the spiritual, physical and emotional needs of individuals and families within the context of a faith community.

In partnership with the pastoral staff and church members, the parish nurse promotes the faith community as a source of health and healing. Building relationships and friendships, parish nurses regularly engage in activities that teach prevention and encourage healthy lifestyles.

Becoming a Faith Community Partner

As part of our mission, St. John Providence Health System is focused on promoting physical, mental, social and spiritual health to the communities we serve. We are eager to partner with faith communities who are committed to improving the whole person health of its members and community. Click on Becoming a Partner to learn more.

Roles of the Faith Community Nurse

Health Educator

Promotes an atmosphere where individuals of all ages, through a variety of educational activities, explore the relationship between values, attitudes, lifestyle, faith and health.

Personal Health Counselor

Discusses health issues and problems with individuals; makes home, hospital and nursing home visits as needed.

Referral Agent

Referrals are provided to other congregational resources as well as those found in the community at large.

Facilitator of Volunteers

Recruits volunteers and coordinates resources within the congregation to serve in various health ministries.

Developer of Support Groups

Facilitates the development of support groups for members of the faith community and people from the external community.

Health Advocate

The faith community nurse works with the client, faith community and primary health resources to provide what is in the best interest of the client from a whole person perspective.

Integrator of Faith and Health

In all activities and contacts, the faith community nurse seeks to promote the understanding of the relationship between faith and health.

Health Ministry

Faith communities are places of hope and love. People turn toward them for ongoing connectedness and encouragement. A health ministry focuses in on the needs of the people it serves, both members and the community at large. Its strength is in listening and teaching. Health ministers provide information about healthcare, monitor those with chronic illness and encourage healthy lifestyles among members of the congregation. They serve as the connection between the members of the faith community and health care services in the community. Whereas faith community ministries require a registered nurse, health ministries do not need to have any medical training or background. They need to have a heart for caring, and training focused on improved listening skills and health promotion. Health ministry and faith community nursing frequently coexist.

Sample activities of a Health Ministry

  • Grief/loss outreach
  • Mailbox Ministry
  • Health article in the newsletter or bulletin
  • Shut in visits
  • Food Pantry
  • Loaner closet

To become a partner of St. John Providence Health System, call Community Health at 248-849-5714.


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