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
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.
Advocate Health Care Faith Community Nurse
Ebenezer Lutheran Church & Immanuel Lutheran Church
firstname.lastname@example.org cell (773) 936-4751
COVID Resources for Illinois
Advocate Faith Community Nurse Program