CaroMont Health is taking health and wellness into the community through
its Faith Community (Parish ) Nurse Program. This program supports the
organization’s overall wellness initiative to provide the community
greater access to health information and services and improved quality of life.
The Faith and Health Ministry is a CaroMont Health System-supported, church-based
health initiative adapted from the Abundant Living model established by
Palmetto Health Baptist, Easley, SC. This model is similar to the Faith
Community Nurse Program (formerly Parish Nurse) developed by Granger Westberg
in the 1980’s. It is a hospital-supported volunteer model. The ministry
is part of CaroMont Health’s Wellness Division and reports directly
to the Director of Spiritual Care.
“What sets us apart is that all our volunteers in the program serve
because they feel it is a calling,” said Mike Johnston, Director
of Spiritual Care.
Last year, Charlotte Craig joined the team as the Coordinator of Faith
and Health Ministry bringing with her 12 years of experience in Parish
Nursing. Craig began as a Volunteer Faith Community (Parish) Nurse in
her home congregation, Providence Baptist, Gastonia in 1997 and later
developed a volunteer Parish Nurse Program at Kings Mountain Hospital
with a Duke Endowment grant. She has served in three United Methodist
churches in the Gastonia area as a Parish Nurse in a paid model.
“My Passion is to assist nurses and lay-persons with fulfilling their
call to health ministry,” said Craig. “It is rewarding to
see a nurse or lay-person seek out ways to use their gifts and profession
to develop a health ministry that impacts the spiritual and physical health
of their congregation and community.”
The first class was held last year, Integrating Faith and Health: A Ministry
for Congregations consisting of seven nurses and two lay Congregational
Health Promoters (CHP) representing four congregations: Agape Lutheran,
Bethlehem Church, Ebenezer United Methodist Church, and Mt. Calvary Baptist,
Shelby. The second session of orientation was held on January 14, 2012
in the Pine Room at CaroMont Health. Once nurses and lay CHPs complete
orientation, they will begin their ministries by interpreting the relationship
between faith and health for their respective congregations. After surveying
their congregations, the CHPs will meet the needs identified by providing
health assessments, health counseling, health education, referral and advocacy.
As the program evolves, more CaroMont employees step up to volunteer their
time and skill. Crystal Remilus, RN, has been at CaroMont for 13 years,
seven of those in the Birthplace. Remilus represents Bethlem Church in
Gastonia where she first learned about Parish Nursing. As a new church
member, Remilus feels led to use her nursing background as her ministry.
“In a sense it became a way for me to get involved in the church
and fellowship with Christians who I had something, besides serving God,
in common with,” said Remilus.
For further information on how you and your congregation can partner in
this ministry, please call Charlotte Craig, RN, Coordinator of the Faith
and Health Ministry of Gaston County at 704-834-3516 or Dr. Mike Johnston,
Director of Spiritual Care at 704-834-2888.
About CaroMont Health
As your locally focused, nationally honored health partner, CaroMont Health
is promoting a more vibrant community through individual health care.
To do this, we’ve created a network of top resources across five
counties, all centered on a state-of-the-art, 435-bed hospital that’s
ranked among the best in the nation. It’s a spectrum of health services
that’s just the right size to deliver high-quality, individualized
care that has been recognized by the following experts:
• CareChex rating service: First in the nation in medical excellence
for overall hospital care
• Region’s only Hospital to receive North Carolina’s Award
for Performance Excellence (Baldrige)
• Joint Commission: Top Performer on Key Quality Measures for heart
attack, heart failure, pneumonia and surgical care.
So get to know CaroMont, and let’s begin a healthy relationship.