Evangelical Lutheran Parish Nurse Association
(ELPNA)


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Welcome to Region 5!

Region 5 includes:

Metropolitan Chicago Synod, Northern Illinois Synod, Central/Southern Illinois Synod, Southeastern Iowa Synod, Western Iowa Synod, Northeastern Iowa Synod, Northern Great Lake Synod, Northwest Synod of Wisconsin, East-Central Synod of Wisconsin, Greater Milwaukee Synod, South-Central Synod of Wisconsin, and La Crosse Area Synod

Director:
                                                   


Michelle Knapp
Chicago, IL
mbretingk@aol.com

Welcome to ELPNA-the Evangelical Lutheran
Parish Nurse Region 5 web page.
Allow me to introduce myself.

From Michelle:  I was born and raised in Chicago.  I always wanted to be a nurse like my Aunt Cora, who left her home in Stoughton, WI and went to the big city Chicago to become a nurse at the Deaconess Hospital ,graduating in 1939.  At the beginning of my nursing career I worked on pediatrics at Evanston Hospital where I received my nursing education. My nursing career moved on from there and I worked for four local pediatricians.  In the mid 1980’s. I was fortunate to hear Rev. Granger Westberg, the founding father of parish nursing, speak a Lutheran Church Women gathering in Chicago about the his dream of a new ministry – “nurses in churches”- parish nursing.

In 1985 Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge began hiring parish nurses. Those first nurses were primarily in the suburbs. A couple of years later Rev. Westberg approached some of the Chicago churches about hiring a parish nurse and he came to my home church Immanuel Lutheran to spread the story of parish nursing. I attended some of meetings at the church and met Rev. Westberg who encouraged me to interview for the position. And I was interviewed and was welcomed into the ministry of Parish Nursing.

In 1989 I became the parish nurse, full time and paid, at Immanuel Lutheran and the sister church Ebenezer Lutheran. And I was also an employee of Advocate Health Care. What an amazing journey it was and a blessing to be part of the parish nurse ministry for 28 years! I retired in December 2016 and my churches hired another parish nurse to continue the ministry! I stay active in the parish nurse movement by serving here on the ELPNA Board. Oh, and my Aunt Cora was a member of the church’s Health Cabinet as we began the ministry at Immanuel! 

I am one of the parish nurses on the video listed here on the ELPNA website "The Spirit of Healing...." produced by Advocate Health Care.

A Note from your Region 5 Director:

With the help of the list of churches in Region 5 on the ELCA website, I've been looking for the parish nurses in our region by looking at church websites.  If you know of parish nurses, please let me know so I might reach out to them.   
Please send me news about what's going on in your area of Region 5 so we can publicize the events for you here on the website.  Is there anyone out there who would like to help organize a gathering for faith community nurses in our region?  Let me know.
Also I'd like to share our stories here on the website about how we became parish nurses and what our ministry is like at our church.  If you like to participate, email me.
Blessings to you and your ministry!

Michelle Knapp RN - retired (after 28 years)! but still active in Parish Nurse Ministry!
                                       
Advocate Health Care Faith Community Nurse                                     
                                        Ebenezer Lutheran Church & Immanuel Lutheran Church                               
                                        Chicago, Illinois
                                        mbretingk@aol.com    cell (773) 936-4751


COVID Resources for Illinois
The Center for Faith and Community Health Transformation, or The Center, was formed to transform the health of our communities through faith-rooted, collaborative action. We work to create health equity by building community, nurturing leaders and connecting with the unique spirit power of faith communities to promote social justice and abundant life for all.
https://www.faithhealthtransformation.org/coronavirus-covid-19-resources/

Advocate Faith Community Nurse Program
https://www.advocatehealth.com/about-us/faith-at-advocate/office-for-mission-spiritual-care/advocate-faith-community-nurse-ministry/

Advocate Aurora Health Faith and Health Partnerships Newsletter

To sign up for the monthly newsletter providing updates on resources and events to support the well-being of people in your congregation and community, click on this link:  https://www.faithhealthtransformation.org/newsletter-signup-form/


Last updated: 05/18/2021

ELPNA©
Please contact us with any website recommendations or corrections at elpna.national@gmail.com

Click for ELPNA brochure:
ELPNA_brochure.pdf

Email us at:
elpna.national@gmail.com

Mail us at:
ELPNA
PO Box 8117
St. Paul, MN 55108

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