Newsletters from 2022 and 2023
Health Ministry Network of Texas Business Meeting Minutes
Friday, September 29, 2023
S. Denise Brown opened the meeting at 11:05 with 18 members attending. A devotion was given by Susan Trumps titled “An Agenda that will Never Satisfy” by Lysa TerKeurst. We were reminded in Mark 3:14-15 to be with our Father before going out to serve.
The financial report was given by Linda Schoene. HMNT had $17,407.54 in May, $400 was spent to Stephen Brown on technology and 11 members paid membership dues bringing the current total to $17,331.03. It was discussed that ways to utilize this money would be to promote scholarships or increase pay for more technology assistance. S.Denise Brown moved to accept this report, Verda Gaines gave the second and all were in favor.
Membership report was given by S. Denise Brown. A thank you was given to Rita Carlson for all of her efforts in membership. The largest growth in membership has been seen thru 1:1 invitations. Encouragement was given to continue to invite new members so this state organization can be a robust, meaningful opportunity for its members. Ideas to promote the organization were to create flyers, have conferences and/or retreats, have a book of stories to share what is done thru this community, and increase the public side of the website. Encouragement was given to share ideas to email@example.com.
Position Statement on the Use of Reversal Agents in Response to the Opioid Crisis was read and reviewed. This statement will be sent out to members and be on the website reminding licensed personnel to follow the scope of their licensure. Standing orders are available at txopioidresponse.org
Website report was shared by S.Denise Brown. A reminder that the $30 membership fee is for the membership, not just access to the website. Members are encouraged to get to know the website and submit information that would be useful to firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Officer nominations were discussed. Catalina Schultz-Kraft will be stepping down as president elect, a new position of media officer, and a position to mentor for the communications position to eventually fill Rita Carlson’s role are all available. Consideration for these positions is needed.
Announcements: Many in the community are beginning to work on flu vaccines and continue to educate on advanced directives. Verda Gaines and Margaret Goetz shared about activities and programs going on in Houston, these will be added to the website. Send in any activity or notices that you would like to share to email@example.com. A reminder that faith based communities can apply for grants-that “intentional care of the spirit is given to promote health and healing”.
Meeting was adjourned at 12:04 to return for CEU opportunity thru program provided by CASA at 12:30.
Next HMNT meeting will be held January 26, 2024. Please send any ideas for speakers or CEU opportunities to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dana Roby, Secretary
Happy New Year!
The webinars and online classes listed here are shared solely as opportunities to learn more information of interest to public health personnel. All times listed are in Central Time.
January 10, 2024; 10–11 a.m. NaNDA: An Open Data Resource for Health Science Researchers [nnlm.gov].
This webinar from the Network of the National Library of Medicine will provide an overview of the National Neighborhood Data Archive (NaNDA) and discuss how neighborhoods operate as a social determinant of health. NaNDA is a publicly available data archive containing measures of the physical, economic, built, and social environment at the “neighborhood” level. Each NaNDA dataset covers all or most of the entire nation (including both rural and urban areas) and represents a set of measures on a single topic of interest, including socioeconomic disadvantage, healthcare, housing, political partisanship, and public transit, with temporal coverage dating back to at least 2000. Anyone with research questions that address "place" – researchers, students, clinicians, policymakers, public health departments, and community organizations, among others – can download NaNDA measures at the census tract, zip code, or country level, and link them with other data sources such as survey data, cohort studies, electronic medical records, and other microdata. A “tour” of the NaNDA archive and its data holdings will be provided.
January 18, 2024; 12–1:30 p.m. The State of State-level Public Health Advocacy
The challenges surrounding public health advocacy are profound, yet many opportunities to strengthen it exist in every environment. Attend this webinar from The Network for Public Health Law [networkforphl.org] to hear about the findings of the recently released report, The State of State-level Public Health Advocacy, which examines specific markers of advocacy capacity and interviews with advocates in 50 states and the District of Columbia.
January 24, 2024; 12–1 p.m. The Employer Pathway to Diabetes Prevention.
Join The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health for a presentation on diabetes prevention and work. Parul Rahbari from the CDC Division of Diabetes Translation will cover the importance of diabetes prevention and the role of businesses. Sara Hanlon of Empower Outcomes will explain their work with businesses to develop a tool that employers can use to support workers. Finally, David Shapiro of the Center for Health, Work & Environment will present his experience supporting businesses as they implement these practices. A question-and-answer session will follow the presentation.
January 31, 2024; 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m. DSHS Grand Rounds: Diabetes and Pathways to Health Management.
This webinar is offered by the DSHS Office of Practice and Learning Grand Rounds [dshs.texas.gov] program. DSHS Grand Rounds explores the science and evidence-based practice of population health and awards continuing education credits/contact hours for various disciplines. Visit the Grand Rounds calendar to see information on upcoming sessions. Held monthly on the fourth Wednesday, sessions last 90 minutes with the final 20 minutes for Q&A.
Websites and reports on trending topics
The Cochrane Library - This library resource consists of a collection of evidence-based medicine databases, including the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. It provides up-to-date information on the effects of interventions in health care and evidence to support decisions taken in health care and to inform those receiving care. Search for systematic reviews, protocols, trials, methods studies, and more.
eBooks at EBSCOhost – This TexShare resource offers full-text of thousands fiction and nonfiction books on a variety of topics. It also hosts the ebook titles that the DSHS Library has purchased. When logged in through DSHS, you will find the Library’s ebooks on public health and management topics in addition to the titles TexShare provides. Please contact the Library for remote access options.
DSHS Library TDNet site – Use this site to access journals and other DSHS Library subscription resources. As an example, here are the top 10 most accessed DSHS Library journal titles for 2023:
1. American Journal of Public Health
4. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association
5. Nursing Management
6. Obstetrics and Gynecology
8. International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
9. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice
10. Breastfeeding Medicine
Journal articles of note
Ahmed M, Shumate C, Bojes H, Patel K, Agopian AJ, Canfield M. Racial and ethnic differences in infant survival for hydrocephaly-Texas, 1999-2017.
Birth Defects Res. Published online December 18, 2023. doi:10.1002/bdr2.2285 [doi.org]
Background: Congenital hydrocephaly, an abnormal accumulation of fluid within the ventricular spaces at birth, can cause disability or death if untreated. Limited information is available about survival of infants born with hydrocephaly in Texas. Therefore, the purpose of the study was to calculate survival estimates among infants born with hydrocephaly without spina bifida in Texas.
Methods: A cohort of live-born infants delivered during 1999-2017 with congenital hydrocephaly without spina bifida was identified from the Texas Birth Defects Registry. Deaths within 1 year of delivery were identified using vital and medical records. One-year infant survival estimates were generated for multiple descriptive characteristics using the Kaplan-Meier method. Crude hazard ratios (HRs) for one-year survival among infants with congenital hydrocephaly by maternal and infant characteristics and adjusted HRs for maternal race and ethnicity were estimated using Cox proportional hazard models.
Results: Among 5709 infants born with congenital hydrocephaly without spina bifida, 4681 (82%) survived the first year. The following characteristics were associated with infant survival: maternal race and ethnicity, clinical classification (e.g., chromosomal or syndromic), preterm birth, birth weight, birth year, and maternal education. In the multivariable Cox proportional hazards model, differences in survival were observed by maternal race and ethnicity after adjustment for other maternal and infant characteristics. Infants of non-Hispanic Black (HR: 1.28, 95% CI: 1.04-1.58) and Hispanic (HR: 1.31, 95% CI: 1.12-1.54) women had increased risk for mortality, compared with infants of non-Hispanic White women.
Conclusions: This study showed infant survival among a Texas cohort differed by maternal race and ethnicity, clinical classification, gestational age, birth weight, birth year, and maternal education in infants with congenital hydrocephaly without spina bifida. Findings confirm that mortality continues to be common among infants with hydrocephaly without spina bifida. Additional research is needed to identify other risk factors of mortality risk.
McDougal AN, DeMaet MA, Garcia B, et al. A cluster investigation of Candida auris among hospitalized incarcerated patients. Antimicrob Steward Healthc Epidemiol. 2023;3(1):e244. Published 2023 Dec 19. doi:10.1017/ash.2023.520 [doi.org]
Objective: Investigate and mitigate a cluster of Candida auris cases among incarcerated patients in a maximum-security prison hospital utilizing contact tracing, screening, whole genome sequencing, and environmental sampling and decontamination.
Design: Outbreak investigation.
Setting: Inpatient prison hospital affiliated with an academic tertiary referral center.
Patients: Inmates of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
Methods: Epidemiologic and environmental investigations were conducted including contact tracing, point prevalence surveys, and environmental sampling. Whole genome sequencing was performed on positive patient isolates.
Results: Following a clinical case of C. auris fungemia, 344 patients underwent C. auris surveillance screening. Eight (2.3%) patients were identified with C. auris colonization. All patients were male. Our index patient was the only clinical case and death. Whole genome sequencing was performed on the nine patient isolates. All isolates were clade III (Africa) and clustered together with the largest SNP difference being 21. Environmental cultures from 7 of 61 rooms (11.5%) were positive following terminal disinfection with bleach. Sites nearest to the patient were most often positive including the hospital bed rails and bedside table. The transmission cluster was successfully mitigated within 60 days of identification.
Conclusions: Implementation of an aggressive surveillance and decontamination program resulted in mitigation of a C. auris transmission cluster among our incarcerated patients. This investigation provides valuable insight into C. auris transmission in the incarcerated population, which is not considered a classic high-risk population as well as the challenges faced to stop transmission in a facility that requires the use of shared patient environments.
Nyachoti DO, Fwelo P, Springer AE, Kelder SH. Association between Gross National Income per capita and COVID-19 vaccination coverage: a global ecological study. BMC Public Health. 2023;23(1):2415. Published 2023 Dec 4. doi:10.1186/s12889-023-17241-y [doi.org]
Background: Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has claimed over six million lives and infected more than 650 million people globally. Public health agencies have deployed several strategies, including rolling out vaccination campaigns to curb the pandemic, yet a significant proportion of the global population has not received the COVID-19 vaccine. We assessed differences in COVID-19 vaccination coverage by Gross National Income (GNI) per capita of WHO members (i.e., countries, areas, and territories, n = 192) and by WHO member regions (n = 6).
Methods: Using an ecological study design, we analyzed publicly available data from the WHO website merged with the World Bank's GNI per capita data. We included a total of 192 WHO members and six WHO regions in the analysis. We utilized negative binomial regression to assess the associations between the GNI per capita and COVID-19 vaccination coverage (cumulative number of persons fully vaccinated and/or received at least one dose of the vaccine per 100 population), and ANOVA test to assess the differences in vaccination coverage per WHO regions.
Results: Low GNI per capita WHO members had significantly lower full vaccination coverage (aRR 0.30, 95% CI 0.22-0.40) compared to high GNI per capita WHO members. These members were also 66% less likely to receive at least one dose of the vaccine (aRR 0.34, 0.26-0.44) relative to high GNI per capita WHO members. Africa region had a significantly lower fully vaccination coverage (aRR 0.71, 95% CI 0.36-0.54) and received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine (aRR 0.78, 95% CI 0.62-0.99) than Europe region. Conversely, the Western Pacific region had significantly higher fully vaccination coverage (aRR 1.40 95% CI 1.12-1.74) and received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccines (aRR 1.40 95% CI 1.14-1.73) relative to European region.
Conclusion: WHO members with low GNI per capita and the African region reported significantly lower COVID-19 vaccination coverage than those with high GNI per capita or other regions. Efforts to strengthen and promote COVID-19 vaccination in low-income WHO countries and African region should be scaled up.
Williford EM, Yang W, Howley MM, et al. Factors associated with infant sex and preterm birth status for selected birth defects from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study, 1997-2011. Birth Defects Res. Published online December 28, 2023. doi:10.1002/bdr2.2294 [doi.org]
Background: Birth defects and preterm birth co-occur, with some overlapping risk factors. Many birth defects and preterm births tend to have a male preponderance. We explored potential risk factors impacting sex and preterm (<37 weeks of gestation) birth differences among infants with selected birth defects delivered from 1997 to 2011 using data from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study (NBDPS).
Methods: The NBDPS was a large multisite, population-based case-control study. Using random forests, we identified important predictors of male preterm, female preterm, and male term, each compared with female term births for each birth defect. Using logistic regression, we estimated odds ratios for associations between important predictors and sex-preterm birth status by birth defect.
Results: We examined 11,379 infants with nine specific birth defects. The top 10 most important predictors of sex-preterm birth status from the random forests varied greatly across the birth defects and sex-preterm comparisons within a given defect group, with several being novel factors. However, one consistency was that short interpregnancy interval was associated with sex-preterm birth status for many of the studied birth defects. Although obesity has been identified as a risk factor for preterm birth and birth defects in other research, it was not associated with sex-preterm birth status for any of the examined defects.
Conclusions: We confirmed expected associations for sex-preterm birth status differences and found new potential risk factors for further exploration among the studied birth defects.
Westburg Institute for Faith Community Nursing
The Spiritual Care Association (SCA) is proud to partner with the Westberg Institute for Faith Community Nursing to pursue our common goal of compassionate, whole-person care of body, mind, and spirit. We are excited to work with Westberg [r20.rs6.net]’s extraordinary network of organizations and nurse professionals – across the country and around the world – to continue growing the calling of faith community nursing and further establishing spiritual care as integral to the nursing profession.
SCA’s broad mission is to help build and support a well-trained workforce of many disciplines to care for the human spirit wherever health care is provided, including in the homes and other community settings where faith community nurses reach vulnerable congregants and neighbors. SCA, in turn, is buoyed by the depth of resources of our close affiliate, HealthCare Chaplaincy Network (HCCN), which has 60+ years’ experience helping people faced with illness and suffering find comfort and meaning. HCCN’s mission for decades has included person-to-person care, research, and education on best spiritual care practices.
We invite you to visit our websites: www.spiritualcareassocation.org [r20.rs6.net] and www.healthcarechaplaincy.org [r20.rs6.net] – that offer courses, webinars, and written resources on various aspects of spiritual care. Materials specific to the nursing profession includes courses and webinars on faith community nursing, teacher training, and management and leadership skills. Here are two foundational papers I think you will find very helpful:
SPIRITUAL CARE: What It Means and Why It Matters in Health Care
Spiritual Care and Nursing: A Nurse’s Contribution and Practice
We look forward to our work with the Westberg Institute to advance faith community nursing and enrich the entire nursing field. Together we will bring greater understanding of spiritual care and its place in the provision of patient- and family-engaged care for all.
Rev. Eric J. Hall, DTh, APBCC
President and CEO
The annual HHSC Innovators in Aging awards are open for nominations through November 17th!
The US Census Bureau reported that in 2022, Texas had over 30 million residents and estimates that by 2030 more than 20 percent of Texas’s population will be 60 years of age and older. Aging innovations is important for supporting aging and living well in Texas. In 2019, Texas HHSC launched the Innovators in Aging awards to highlight the inventive ways individuals, groups, programs, communities and new technologies are serving older adults, improving quality of life and promoting healthy aging.
Visit the Innovators in Aging web page [hhs.texas.gov] to learn how to nominate an innovator in one or more of the three award categories: Be Healthy, Be Connected and Be Informed. The web page also provides award category descriptions, a link to the online nomination system and a link to all previous award winners.
Please share this information with your contacts to promote the awards and encourage nominations of individuals, groups, programs, communities and new technologies serving older Texans.
For more information, contact Camden Frost at Camden.Frost@hhs.texas.gov.
From Wedding Rings to Nose Rings, Generational Differences in the Pews
By Faith Roberts, MSN, RN, NEA-BC
Sponsored by the Lutheran Faith Community Nurse Association
Have you been wondering why some churches elect to rent a high school gym or area hotel for worship? Or why the front of the worship space is an electronic haven? For some, church attendance is a given for others it is "nice if you can make it". At the time of this presentation worship is being done with up to SIX generations attending/ watching/listening. The world we live in changes continually as has attendance patterns and financial support of places of worship. Understanding what defines each generation helps the practicing Faith Community Nurse (FCN) to support programming and services that speak to different age groups.
Faith Roberts holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing and a Masters of Science Degree in Nursing-Health Care and Nursing Administration. She served as the Director of the Community Parish Nurse Program for Carle in Urbana IL from 1997-2021. During that time, she taught the FCN preparation course to 500 plus nurses representing over 220 congregations. Concurrently she held other positions at Carle and served as the Executive Director of Magnet, Pathway, Professional Practice and Faith Community Nursing. Faith is well known to the FCN community. Her gift of storytelling captivates her audience to both the drama and humor found in nursing practice.
OBJECTIVES Participants will:
1. Define date spans of each generation presently in your congregation
2. Explore the styles of worship associated with traditional and contemporary faith groups
3. Discuss the impact of Covid on attendance, types of services offered by places of worship
While the primary audience for this event is Faith Community Nurses, nurses who are not members of LFCNA, and non-nurses are welcome to attend. See the registration link below.
DATE: October 10, 2023 TIME: 3-5 pm AKT, 4-6 pm PT, 5-7 pm MT, 6-8 pm CT, 7-9 pm ET Registration fee: $30 for LFCNA members/ $50 for non-members Nursing Contact hours provided: 2.0 (see below) TO
REGISTER FOR THIS EVENT PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK: https://lutheranfcna.org/event-5408822
This activity has been submitted to Montana Nurses Association for approval to award contact hours. Montana Nurses Association is accredited with distinction as an approver of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. To receive contact hours for this event, attendees must attend the entire event and submit a completed evaluation form.
FAITH COMMUNITY NURSE (FCN) ANNUAL SAVE-THE-DATES 2023
Both In-House and Virtual-Live Webinar
June 2, 2023 - FCN Connection: In-House, 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
June 23, 2023 - FCN Virtual-Live Webinar 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Dr. Stinson: Drug Awareness on the Dangers of Fentanyl!
2 Contact Hours
July 21-23 & 28-29, 2023 -Foundation Course for Faith Community Nurses:
August 25, 2023 - FCN Virtual-Live Webinar 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Dr. Elizabeth Long: What Matters to Older Adults
1.5 Contact Hours
September 29, 2023 - FCN Virtual-Live Webinar
Dr. Sharon Hinton: Overcoming Fear and Anxiety After COVID
1.5 Contact Hours
October 27, 2023 - FCN Fall Virtual-Live Conference 2023
Gay-Lynne Jones, RN: The Importance of Early Detection & Screening Guidelines for Cancer
2 Contact Hours
Dr. Sharon Hinton: Cultivating Happiness in a Crisis Filled World
TBD Contact Hours
December 1, 2023 – FCN Holiday Open House: In-House, 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
If you are not on the FCN Webinar Master List receiving the Registration Request, please email, Rebekah.email@example.com
Update Winter 2022
Texas Health Ministries Network January Meeting
The THMN May 26, 2022 @11 a.m. meeting will be conducted virtually.
THMN members will receive a May virtual business meeting announcement by email. Meeting is hosted by Catalina Schulze-Kraft, Methodist Healthcare Ministries of San Antonio. Health Equity is the education topic with CE’s offered. To join the THMN see the membership application form on the last page of this newsletter. If you need help with the cost, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below is the website via gratis by the *Texas Department State Health Services (DSHS) that relates to health ministry. Rita Carlson updates the calendar on a regular basis. Scroll past the calendar to see the THMN listings. Please visit this site and let Rita know what you like, dislike or want added. https://www.dshs.texas.gov/library/nursing.shtm
THMN is developing its own website. Stay tuned
Words of Encouragement
Words of Encouragement- Hand of God. By Andrea C. Davis. Contributing writer
The hand represents divine approval, and specifically acceptance of his sacrifice! Will you hold on to his unchanging hand!
When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained;
The Lord will accomplish what concerns me;
Your lovingkindness, O Lord, is everlasting;
Do not forsake the works of Your hands.
But now, O Lord, You are our Father,
We are the clay, and You our potter;
And all of us are the work of Your hand
I will put the cedar in the wilderness,
The acacia and the myrtle and the olive tree;
I will place the juniper in the desert
Together with the box tree and the cypress,
That they may see and recognize,
And consider and gain insight as well,
That the hand of the Lord has done this,
And the Holy One of Israel has created it.
Nursing 101: Listen to the Patient
Submitted by Linda Schoene, RN, MSN
On a recent Sunday a physician was jogging on the track across from our church when he noticed a woman in distress. He assisted her across the street to the door of the church where she needed significant help getting into the narthex. The temperature that day was warm. I noted that she was heavily dressed and her jacket felt damp. It was apparent she had been walking for a significant period of time.
She had no ID with her, but was able to state her name and that she had to get to the veterinarian’s office because he had to put her horse down. Further conversation yielded no more information and it became clear that she most likely had some dementia.
Several members of the church made phone calls to Adult Protective Services, SEARCH Homeless Services and 911. I knew the woman herself was the only one who could help us find her way to home and family. Nursing education taught me to always listen to the patient. I pursued the need to go the vet’s office which was indeed an upsetting subject that brought tears, but it also brought forth the name of the vet. I took a shot a did a Google search. One name popped up, but it was a vet in LaGrange. LaGrange and horse made sense so I called. Even though it was a Sunday the vet quickly answered the phone. To make a long story short he knew the woman, where she lived and how to contact her family.
I soon received a call from her son who said a family member would come to get her. Turns out she eloped from a nearby memory care unit. 911 arrived and talked with the woman who declined to go to the ER, but I was able to assure EMS that family was coming.
Very soon a family member arrived along with staff from the care facility. Together we helped our mystery guest into the car and she was on her way home. The whole process took less than an hour. Some may wonder how all of this came together, but I have no wonder at all. God’s hand was present in all of it. It started with a physician who recognized something wasn’t right. Otherwise, she may not have gotten attention until she passed out or fell down. Google was efficient and the vet was responsive as was her family. But most of all the woman herself was able to help us even in he dementia because of the love for a horse. The patient is always the key.
Newsletter May 2022
Texas Health Ministries Network Meeting
The fall virtual meeting will be September 30th with the Texas Health Resources hosting.
The THMN May 26, 2022 @11 a.m. meeting was conducted virtually with the meeting hosted by Catalina Schulze-Kraft, Methodist Healthcare Ministries of San Antonio. Health Equity was the education topic with CE’s offered.
Join the HIV Challenge Informational Webinar!
The HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH) and Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy (OIDP) will host a webinar to review the details of the new HIV Challenge, a national competition to identify innovative and effective approaches to enhance community engagement and mobilization on the reduction of HIV stigma disparities. This webinar will provide an overview of the challenge, judging and eligibility criteria, the challenge's timeline, and how to apply.
August 19, 3:00 p.m. ET.
2023 Westberg Symposium
Plan now to attend the 2023 Westberg Symposium at the Caring for the Human Spirit® Conference live in St. Louis, MO. The dates are April 17 - 19, 2023.
We are planning a celebration; think of it as a long overdue FCN family reunion along with many other activities for nurses and chaplains from various practice areas. Start planning now to bring your colleagues, networks, students and graduates so that those you interact with can share the experience. Send your suggestions for speakers and activities to email@example.com and watch for announcements in the coming weeks as the call for workshops and volunteers opens.
Word of Encouragement
mid-year Revival. By Andrea Davis.
Revival is real and revival is the heart of the Lord for His people. As followers and children of God, it is our delight to invite His Holy Spirit to breathe life back into this parched world. We can stand confident that He hears our prayers, and that they are precious to Him. (Crosswalk, 2019).
Jeremiah 30:17 For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal,” declares the Lord, “because they have called you an outcast: ‘It is Zion, for whom no one cares!’
Psalm 85:6 Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?
Psalm 80:19 Restore us, O Lord God of hosts! Let your face shine, that we may be saved!
We Celebrate Linda Schoene’s 50 years in nursing and
21 years as our congregational nurse
Reprinted per permission from The King’s Banner newsletter, Christ the King Lutheran Church
Linda Schoene wanted to be a nurse for as long as she can remember! She outlined her career plans in an essay in 8th grade but, growing up in the 1960’s, she didn’t always receive the encouragement she deserved. A guidance counselor told her she was too smart to be a nurse, and a youth advisor (a physician) recommended that she attend a hospital-based school for nursing: if she went through a degree program she would be a smarter—but not a better-- nurse. At the same time, while a junior in high school, Linda’s mother became seriously ill, and Linda cared for her until her death that summer. Nevertheless, in 1968 after graduating from high school in Lyons, NY (population 5000), Linda attended SUNY Brockport and earned her BS in nursing four years later. After graduation Linda and a roommate moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where Jim Schoene, whom Linda had met on Spring Break in Daytona Beach a few years earlier, was an engineering student. They married in 1973, and she worked in obstetrics at the UofM Hospital until Jim graduated in 1974. He was offered a job with MW Kellogg in Houston; they lived here for a short time, and then they were off to southern Maryland. Jim and Linda became parents to one boy and two girls— and Linda worked part-time work along the way, volunteering with the Red Cross, teaching childbirth classes, and working with the Bloodmobile. In 1988, in Shreveport, La., she resumed working in a hospital setting. It was here that Linda’s journey as a Lutheran began– when she visited Holy Trinity Lutheran in 1986 and then joined after falling in love with the liturgy. She taught first communion classes there, and, interestingly, one of her students was Evan McClanahan, now a pastor at First Evangelical Houston. The family moved to Houston (again) in 1999, never dreaming that it would be their last move! When Jim retired in 2016, they had crisscrossed the country, moving 13 different times in 42 years—and Linda had been licensed as a nurse in 9 different states. After the move to Houston in 1999 Linda would drive past Christ the King Church every day on her way to work at the Women’s Hospital and soon joined our congregation. In January 2001, the church council under the leadership of Pastor Moore, committed to “explore the possibilities for Parish Nurse Ministry” as one of the congregation’s missional emphases, and before year’s end had decided to add the position of a nurse to the church staff. At the same time Pastor Beth Warpmaeker and Pastor Fred Haman, working to build on our Congregational Care Team and to formalize a health ministry, asked Linda if she would like to be the congregational nurse. There was no job description, and no one was exactly sure what this new position would entail; nevertheless, she agreed and was commissioned as our congregational nurse in December 2001. Now, 20 years later, the work she began has become an integral part of our congregational life. Her focus in the early years of this ministry was the education of herself as well as the congregation about this new concept— through Banner articles, blood pressure screenings, home visits, and educational workshops. Courses in basic preparation for faith community nursing (Incarnate Word, San Antonio, in 2003) and in Lay Chaplaincy through an introduction to the Community of Hope helped her define her role, reach out to members, and build trust in our community. Karen Hahn from the Institute of Spirituality and Health along with Helen Appleberg, founder of Community of Hope, provided much guidance as the health ministry developed here at CTK. Together with the Congregational Care Team that ministry grew as member needs and member gifts were paired. Linda understands that the prime role of a congregational nurse is advocating for the patient as well as educating the family and their caregivers when there are healthrelated needs. She helps people understand what to expect during a hospital stay, and she stays in touch with them when they go home. Sometimes members request assistance with follow-up appointments as well as with meds issues, and others utilize her expertise while identifying and visiting rehab facilities. She has arranged CPR classes for the congregation and has established an emergency plan for incidents at the church; ushers have instructions to follow and there are yellow vests for responders to wear. Our LEM - Lay Eucharistic Ministry-program has been an important part of her ministry and she will continue as LEM coordinator. Linda believes that now is the right time to retire. Her nurse’s license expires June 30, and that will be her last day as our congregational nurse. Her husband is retired. Her son and two grandson live in Houston; her daughters and one grandson live in Portland, OR. There are many youth baseball games and much travel in their future! Nevertheless, Linda wants members to feel free to call her if they need help during this period of transition. Linda would also like all of us to know “what a blessing it has been to be able to connect my faith to the profession and calling that I love and to work in the context of a caring faith community!”
Federal Prison Camp. Bryan, Texas (Note: Anne Kuempel a charter member of THMN. Her story is printed by permission)
Reaching Beyond Prison walls: Stories of Volunteer Visitors and the Prisoners They See By Eric Corson, Available in Paperback Barnes and Noble
My name is Anne Kuempel and I have been a visitor for 15 years at FTC Bryan, Texas. I became a visitor after learning from friends about their visiting FTC Bastrop, which is a men’s prison near Austin. I asked if there were visitors at the women’s prison in Bryan and learned there were none. I asked three other friends if they would consider visiting at Bryan and they said, “yes”. So, I contacted PVS and two of them were approved to visit.
So, on April 16, 2005, I began visiting a FPC Bryan. Once a month, usually on Saturday, I leave Austin and drive two hours to Bryan to see women there, many who have no other visitor except me. One time, I say a young woman who had been incarcerated ten years and never had a visit. She was so eager to meet with me, saying, “Yesterday, was telling everyone, I’m going to have a visit tomorrow!”
Many of the women I see, usually four each visit, usually have not seen a familiar face, family, or friend because they are too far away for them to receive a visit. During the remainder of their prison time, I will become that familiar face. The women are very appreciative and I feel the friendship we share is a mutual blessing for them and for me.
Some prisoners ask me, “Why do you do this?” I try to let them know I do it because they are important to me and when they leave Bryan and close this chapter of their lives they will see lots of people like me in the outside world I am their friend when they are in prison and they can share with me any confidence they have. Needless to say, many of them are others and desperately miss their children. Because I am older than most of the women I visit, they seem to share whatever is on their minds, thinking I will understand – which I do.
Before each visit, as we were instructed to do, we send postcards to the prisoners and a letter to the prison to let them know who we would visit ad the date. For eight years, we never heard back from the prison, but we went and were always allowed in, without any problem. However, one day when we arrived we were told that we would not be allowed in. There was a new officer at the entry and after telling him that we had been coming for years and hadn’t had a problem before he flatly refused to let us visit. He even contracted his supervisor and still no luck.
Since it was 110 miles from our home to the prison, we really didn’t want to go home without seeing the prisoners who were expecting us. Eric always told us to carry his cell phone number with us, so I dialed Eric and he immediately answered. Eric talked with the officer and he agreed to let us visit. We continued to visit for many more years. I still send cards to the prisoners and a letter to the prison and still never hear back, but that is okay because I have never had another entry problem.
It is amazing that we have a resource office in Philadelphia and visitors all over the U. S. can make visits like I do and feel support as we go about fulfilling the mission of PVS.
Shurley Sue Tucker Robinson Obituary
The first Treasurer of THMN and assisted in starting an adult day care.
Shurley Sue Tucker Robinson, age 81, was born on December 12, 1940, in Atlanta, Georgia, and went to be with our Lord on February 16, 2022. Shurley loved helping people and taking care of others so much that she chose that as a profession; she was a Registered Nurse for 43 years. Shurley graduated from the Brackenridge Hospital School of Nursing in 1962. Shurley worked for 18 years as a Cardiac Intensive Care Nurse at Seton Medical Center in Austin, Texas. The accomplishment she is most proud of is being part of the medical team that performed the first heart transplant in the region in 1986.