A Community Health Ministry
Mercy Faith and Health Partnership is an interfaith community outreach program that encourages, supports and nurtures local faith communities to develop and sustain health ministry programs that advocate health promotion and disease prevention in their communities. We partner with community agencies and congregations of all denominations and faith backgrounds. The approach is "whole person" care: care of the body, the mind and the spirit. Mercy Faith and Health Partnership is a direct reflection of Dignity Health's vision to enhance the health and well being of the individuals, families and communities we serve. The service area includes Sacramento, Yolo, Placer, El Dorado and Nevada Counties.
What is Health Ministry?
Health Ministry emphasizes the wholeness of body, mind and spirit as part of the mission and ministry of a faith community. It is a cooperative effort of health professionals, clergy and other interested members who have a desire to focus on health promotion and disease prevention programs in their congregations. This is done by forming a Health Ministry Team or Committee. This team of health ministers or health advocates, with their combined knowledge, experience and willingness to serve, implement programs that respond to the unique needs of the congregation and the surrounding community.
Activities may include:
- Health screening
- Educational programs promoting whole person health
- Advocating for people and connecting them with health resources
- Listening and personal health counseling
- Training and coordinating volunteers
- Home and hospital visitation
Health Ministry encourages whole person health through increased self-knowledge and also encourages people to take personal responsibility for their own health. The health ministers or health advocates facilitate the use of available resources in the congregation and the community. They do not duplicate available services, such as nursing or medical services, but seek to creatively bridge the gaps in care.
What is a Faith Community Nurse?
A faith community nurse serves in a professional capacity as a member of a Health Ministry Team and as a staff member of a faith community. She/he provides care to the faith community as a whole as well as to member groups, families and individuals. Faith community nursing is a specialized practice of professional nursing. It is an independent nursing practice model. The setting can be described as a faith community, church, congregation, parish, synagogue, temple or mosque. Intentional care of the spirit is central to the practice of faith community nursing.
The independent practice of nursing is defined by the state (California) Nursing Practice Act. The standards of practice for this nursing specialty are set forth in Faith Community Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice (ANA, HMA; May 2005). The American Nurses Association (ANA) first acknowledged Parish Nursing as a specialized practice of professional nursing in February 1998. In May 2005, the term Faith Community Nursing was adopted in order to have a name inclusive of all faith traditions and to accurately label the location and focus of the practice. A faith community nurse, in collaboration with the pastoral staff and the congregation, participates in the ongoing transformation of the faith community into a source of health, healing and wholeness. Through partnerships with Mercy and other community health resources, faith community nursing fosters new and creative responses to health and wellness concerns.
Mercy Faith & Health Partnership
3400 Data Drive
Rancho Cordova, CA 95670
Phone: (916) 851.2094