Congregational Health Ministry

Our Congregational Nurse (Donna Rutherford, RN) provides a healing ministry that helps support and fulfill the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of our congregation. She is a volunteer on staff, our nurse minister.

Health MinistryNotes from the Congregational Nurse

Congregational Health
January 2015

According to Tufts University, in 2010, the American Heart Association introduced “Life’s Simple Seven.” These are steps that people can take to reduce their risk of heart disease.  Heart disease is still the number one cause of death in this country.

A new study reports that these lifestyle changes really work.  For over 11 years people who met three or four of the heart healthy criteria had a 55% lower risk of cardiovascular death compared to those who adapted two or less of these lifestyle factors.

The Simple Seven lifestyle factors are:
Get active (at least 30 minutes of daily moderate physical activity such as brisk walking 5 days a week).
Manage blood pressure (lower than 120/80).
Manage cholesterol (lower than 200mg/dL).
Eat better.  A healthy diet includes: a large amount and a variety of fruit and veggies, whole grain foods, fish twice a week, skinless lean meats and poultry without added saturated fat.
Lose weight (normal BMI).
Reduce blood sugar (fasting glucose below 100)
Stop smoking.

The more of these steps you are able to achieve, the lower your risk of death from heart disease.  For those who met 5 or more of the criteria, the risk of death was 63% lower than those meeting the fewest.

Start this month by making small changes towards lowering your risk for heart disease.  Your health care provider can guide you on BP, cholesterol, blood sugar and BMI.  The diet and exercise portion everyone can do.  They both take time and commitment each day to succeed.  Start slow.  Make realistic goals that you can achieve. You are so worth the effort!  If not now, when??

Make the best use of what’s in your power
and take the rest as it happens.”

Services and Duties of the Congregational Nurse

Healthy Living

Donna serves our congregation as:

- a health and wellness educator
- a health and wellness counselor
- a community liaison and personal advocate
- a member of the Pastoral Care Team

All conversations and records are strictly confidential. All records are secure. No one else has access to the records of the congregational nurse.

Her duties include:

  • Meeting individually with clients in the home, church, or hospital to provide holistic care and support.
  • Advocating for clients in the health system.
  • Promoting health education.
  • Providing health screening and monitoring, as with our First Sunday Blood Pressure Screenings.
  • Assessing the needs of the congregation and establishing programs to meet these needs.
  • Assisting in locating resources for the community.

The Congregational Nurse does not give direct hands-on treatment but helps to empower and enable clients in their healing journey.

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