Faith and Health Ministries | Norton Healthcare Louisville, Ky.

Faith and Health Ministries

Guided by Faith, Committed to Serve

Norton Healthcare, a not-for-profit organization, demonstrates its ongoing commitment to serve the community by offering a full array of health care services. Norton Healthcare also serves the community through outreach activities provided by Norton Faith & Health Ministries.

The purpose of Norton Faith & Health Ministries is to honor the faith heritage of our founding churches — the Episcopal Church, The United Methodist Church and the United Church of Christ — and the Presbyterian and Roman Catholic churches, which also are part of our faith history. In honoring this heritage, we serve people of all beliefs and build relationships with faith communities to promote the connection between faith, healing and wellness.

What Is a Health Ministry?

A health ministry promotes whole-person health and healing — body, mind and spirit. It includes a wide variety of faith community services. Those can include coordinating blood pressure checks and other health screenings, helping people find health resources and visiting the sick and homebound. A health ministry can be organized in whatever way best meets the health and wellness needs of the congregation and neighborhood it serves.

What Is a Health Minister?

(Also called health ambassador, congregational health promoter or health advocate)

Health ministries often are led by faith community members who have a deep spiritual calling to serve others through the promotion of health, healing and wholeness. A professional health or ministry background is not required, although some health ministries are led by licensed registered nurses, usually called faith community nurses. Health ministers come from a variety of medical and nonmedical backgrounds and occupations.

Health ministers believe in the importance of whole person health in the role of faith communities and other faith-based agencies. Often, they are part of a health and wellness ministry or team. Some may work alone, while others may work with faith community nurses to organize, plan, and evaluate health ministry activities.

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What Is a Faith Community Nurse?

Faith community nurses focus on the intentional care of the spirit as well as the promotion of whole-person health. They aim to prevent or minimize illness within the context of a faith community and the wider community.

The faith community nurse promotes mind, body and spirit health as an educator, health counselor, resource person, facilitator and integrator of health and healing. Those practicing this specialty are governed by the American Nurses Association’s Scope and Standards of Practice for Faith Community Nurses, as well as state nursing regulations.

Roles of the Faith Community Nurse

  • Advocacy, education and referrals for clients
  • Actions that are derived from nursing diagnosis and assessments according to the nursing Scope and Standards for Registered Nurses and the Scope and Standards for Faith Community Nurses
  • Any medical care for which the nurse is licensed or has been declared competent to provide — if the medical care required is not a current skill of the nurse, then a referral to the appropriate caregiving service or emergency treatment is the only course of action
  • Any care that is provided as a “good Samaritan” in an emergency situation when other caregivers are not available
  • Actions and tasks that are not included: Administration of treatments, medications, medical care that must be directed/supervised by a physician’s order; routine medical care that is the responsibility of agencies under the client’s physician’s direction

(Source: WestbergInstitute.org; used with permission)

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Typical Health Ministry Activities

Programs and activities vary widely depending on community needs, health ministry resources, personnel, volunteer capacity and other factors. This list represents some of the more common activities.

  • Health screenings
  • Health care advocacy
  • Hospital and home visitation
  • Health fairs/clinics
  • Disease prevention and wellness education for all ages
  • Community gardens
  • Exercise groups
  • Prenatal and parenting education

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Norton Faith & Health Ministries Outreach Services

As faith communities work to become centers of whole-person health, people who are passionate about health and healing are answering the call to serve in health ministries. Norton Faith & Health Ministries helps faith communities weave health and faith together. We offer the following:

  • Introductory information about the concepts of faith community nursing and health ministries, and how to begin a health, wellness and healing program
  • Faith community nurse educators who are available to guide groups or individuals as they develop and nurture programs
  • Norton Healthcare and community resource connections
  • Assistance with coordinating health and wellness programs and community events
  • Blood pressure measurement and educational encounter program development and support
  • Networking opportunities, educational speakers, displays and information about health, safety, spirituality and more
  • Educational programs for faith community leaders and others to learn about faith community nursing, ethics, whole-person care and other topics related to health ministries
  • “Health Ministries Connection,” a newsletter featuring stories about program successes and articles on issues relevant to health and its relationship to the mind, body and spirit.
  • Bimonthly emails listing current faith-based community events and health information

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Email FHM@nortonhealthcare.org or call Norton Faith & Health Ministries at (502) 629-2700 to find out how we may assist you and your faith community.

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