Region 2 includes:
Sierra Pacific Synod, Southwest California Synod, Pacifica Synod, Grand Canyon Synod, and Rocky Mountain Synod
Welcome to ELPNA-the Evangelical Lutheran
Parish Nurse Region 2 web page.
Allow us to introduce ourselves.
Nursing peaked my interest when I was 10 and received a Christmas gift o fCherry Ames Student Nurse. Little did I know then what a wonderful profession nursing would be for me. Loving science in high school was the first step on the road through to a nursing degree in college and continuing through graduate programs in nursing and adult education. While the bulk of my career was in nursing education, I started, like most new registered nurses, at the bedside and continued off and on in that capacity through the years. In addition to teaching, my practice area has also been gerontology. I became a parish nurse in 1999 in Oklahoma and coordinated the Foundations of Parish Nursing curriculum in that state until I moved to Colorado in 2007. In 2009, the International Parish Nurse Resource Center in St. Louis advertised for the position of Director of Curriculum and Research and I was selected for the position which I held until the Center was moved to the Church Health Center in Memphis in 2011. In that capacity I was responsible for updating the Foundations of Parish Nurse course and the Coordinator course, educating parish nurses in the role of educator, planning and assisting with the Westberg Institute, and planning and coordinating the annual educators conference.
However, practicing as a parish nurse has been a challenge. The congregations where I have worshiped did not have a program and, for the most part, the clergy were not aware of this ministry and showed little interest. Currently, the small congregation where I worship is "warming" to the idea of a parish nurse ministry and the pastor is supportive.
Being active in a nursing professional organization was stressed in my nursing education at the University of Texas. So, throughout my nursing career, I followed that advice by serving as an officer in the local nursing student organization and continuing as a member and officer of local chapters of ANA and NLN. This interest has carried through to my participation in professional organizations for parish nursing. I have been a member of the planning group and board member for both the Oklahoma Parish Nurse Association and Faith Community Nursing International and a member and officer of Rocky Mountain Parish Health Ministry and ELPNA. Through these organizations, I have interacted with dedicated parish nurses throughout the country and have learned the many facets of our ministry as we work toward advancing the practice of parish nursing and meeting the needs of God's children.
Little did I know when I started on the journey at ten years old that I would end up many years later serving in a specialty practice that would be so rewarding to my soul. Little did I know the wonderful, dedicated nurses that I would interact with and the lives I would touch. Little did I know . . .
"For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope." Jeremiah 29:11
Sue Ann is currently serving as Faith Community Nurse at Augustana Lutheran Church, ELCA, in Denver, Colorado. Her nursing career started in 1994 as a second career after working as a elementary school teacher and full time Mom of three active children. Sue Ann started her nursing career as a VA nurse and loved caring for our veteran population in both St. Louis and Minnesota. She also served as a part time Parish Nurse in St. Louis, MO and Minneapolis, MN before relocating to Denver, CO where she worked at Porter Adventist Hospital for 12 years. The first six years at Porter she worked as a bedside float pool nurse and the last six years as the Med/Surg Clinical Educator after receiving her Master’s Degree at Regis University in Nursing Education/Nursing Leadership. During her years at Porter, Sue Ann became faculty for the Colorado Consortium for FCN education teaching in the basic prep course for four years. She is grateful God called her back into parish ministry at this time. Sue Ann is known as the singing parish nurse because she sings hymns with folks on all her visitations. Sue Ann enjoys hiking & snowshoeing in the mountains of Colorado, gardening, cycling, running, yoga, singing, cooking and travel. Her photo was taken while biking the Camino trail in northern Spain. She is married to Ron, an ELCA pastor, and together they share two sons, one daughter, two daughter-in-laws, and one precious granddaughter, whom they love traveling to visit in Seattle, Chicago, and Atlantic Beach Florida, respectively.
Deborah is originally from Michigan and moved to Arizona in 1999. She received her BSN from University of Detroit Mercy and has worked as an RN for over 37 years. While in Michigan she was active in her church, St. Peters Lutheran Church where she was involved in Stephen Ministry and in volunteer nursing activities. As nurse in Michigan she worked in ICU, Hospice, Homecare and did volunteer work at a domestic violence shelter, Salvation Army Homeless Shelter and AIDS Interfaith Network.
After moving to Arizona in 1999, she worked at Phoenix Children’s Hospital as the Pediatric HIV Nurse Coordinator from 1999-2015. While at Phoenix Children’s Hospital she served on the Nurse Practice Council and was the representative on the Phoenix Metropolitan Area HIV/AIDS Ryan White Planning Council. She also had the privilege of working extensively with refugee populations from all over the world with spiritual and psycho-social needs in addition to their medical needs.
She has been a member of Spirit of Grace since 1999 and has been coordinator for CPR/AED training, blood pressure team, Stephen Ministry, Advent Giving Tree and has served on the church council. Deborah has been on staff at Spirit of Grace in a part time paid position as the Faith Community Nurse since January 1, 2019.
She completed Faith Community Nurse training in 2007 and updated her training in 2018 through Duet Congregational Health Services. She is an instructor for the Foundations of Community Nursing course at Duet for the mental health and grief modules.
Our Covid-19 Stories Feeding the Hungry
In Golden, CO, we have a thrift shop/food bank that our Church helps support with food all through the year. However, this Spring, we not only started a food drive amongst ourselves, but many of us asked our friends and neighbors to help out. The response was great. Some even gave large donations of money, so the Christian Action Guild could buy those items that were needed that hadn’t been donated. While the Church is closed, we can remain the hands, feet and voice of our Lord in our hurting world!
There are many ways we can reach out to those in our communities, our country and our world. Please share, either on our webpage or in our newsletter, ways in which you and others are dealing with this pandemic. You may spark an idea for someone looking for a way to help!
The following are Educational Partners with the Westberg Institute and provide the Foundations of Faith Community Nursing Course. As you will notice, there are several courses scheduled at this time, but included is the contact information for the course coordinator for each site. You can contact them directly for dates of the next course.
1. Arizona: Contact person there is: Ann Varner. Her email is email@example.com
4. New Mexico - No current program
5. Utah - No current program
6. Wyoming - Wyoming Health Council, Contact Person: Sue Tardif, firstname.lastname@example.org
No Current program, but Sue is working on it.
We would like to identify all Lutheran parish nurses working in congregations of Region Two. Please send an e-mail with your information to Andy West at email@example.com so we can keep an updated list of Lutheran parish nurses in this region.
We have money available to provide displays for synod meetings if you are interested in presenting the concept of parish nursing to groups within your synod. Please let us know how we can help.