The International Parish Nurse Resource Center (IPNRC) moved from the Deaconess
Foundation in St. Louis to the Church Health Center (CHC) in Memphis on Oct. 1.
Since 1986, the IPNRC has been a leading voice in parish nurse education, consultation and research, serving parish nurses and nursing programs in the United States and abroad. Since 1988, the CHC has trained more than 1,000 lay health leaders to serve in area congregations and has produced a variety of congregational resources and curricula addressing health and wellness issues.
“This move will strengthen the role that nurses play in faith communities,” said Jill Westberg McNamara, a noted author on parish nursing and the daughter of the late Rev. Dr. Granger Westberg, the founder of the parish nurse movement.
Parish nurses, sometimes called faith community nurses, are licensed registered nurses who practice whole-person health and spiritual care as members of pastoral teams in a variety of religious faiths throughout the world. There are an estimated 15,000 parish nurses in the world.
“We are thrilled that the Church Health Center will be the new home for the IPNRC,” said Rev. Dr. Deborah Patterson, former executive director of the IPNRC and current executive director of Northwest Parish Nurse Ministries. “After a decade of faithful support from the Deaconess Foundation, following its founding and 15 years of growth at Lutheran General Hospital in Chicago, the IPNRC is now in a place to take the organization to the next level – with strong leadership and commitment to the vision of Granger Westberg for wholistic healthcare through congregations.”
“At certain times, there are wonderful connections that are created by the natural coming
together of designated people, resources and a common spirit, and this is one of those moments for the parish nursing community,” said noted parish nursing author Phyllis Ann Solari-Twadell. “Coming together with the CHC presents collaborations that are natural and life-seeking. I think we just need to hold on and see where the spirit takes us in our journey to improving health for all.”
“We are excited about the possibility of working with other people who are as committed to health ministry as we are,” said Church Health Center Executive Director Dr. Scott Morris. “Providing resources for people engaged in health ministry is a core part of our mission and work.” International Parish Resource Center