Georgia Faith Community
Nurses Association

Westberg on the Road - Atlanta

April 28, 2017 

On Friday, April 28th, the Georgia Faith Community Nurses Association hosted the Westberg Institute, a ministry of Church Health. The Westberg Institute serves health ministry programs around the globe and has been a leader in faith community nurse (FCN) education, consultation and research for over 30 years. Its mission is to promote the development of high-quality outcomes-based FCN practice as part of an overall health ministry program.        

            “Westberg on the Road” was held at six locations in conjunction with regional conferences or faith community nurse events. Gwinnett Medical Center was the venue for the Atlanta event. Beginning in early March, 2017, the first symposium was held in the United Kingdom. From there, Westberg traveled to Newport Beach, California, Lansing, Michigan, Atlanta, Georgia, San Antonio, Texas and finally to Kennebunkport, Maine. Workshops led by Westberg staff included Advance Spiritual Care and Faith Community Nurse Transitional Care, while each venue site provided two additional educational opportunities. Atlanta included an interactive discussion on what we as FCNs could do to promote, give back to, strengthen and increase awareness to faith community nursing. Ending with Christ Centered Yoga, we participated in a wonderful program designed to incorporate the physical benefits of Yoga, the emotional benefits of Prayer and the spiritual benefits of Faith.

                While each program was outstanding, providing in-depth, usable knowledge, what impressed me most were the stories of the presenters……the stories of personal growth, pain and spiritual awakening.  I wondered how and what others took away from the day and so I reached out to find out how others were touched through this experience.  Almost every response commented on the positive impact of the Transitional Care segment seeing it as something to improve community collaboration and increase patient engagement. One person acknowledged that, “we received valuable information that will benefit us as we embark on a relationship with local health systems to address transitional care”. Another stated, “the symposium more than met my expectations. ….  I was especially interested in the Transitions of Care segment as my hospital is attempting to incorporate the FCN in this aspect of patient care. Yoga was timely as well, teaching FCNs that self-care is important.” Finally, several found the atmosphere providing a “sense of community present from the moment I stepped in the door” where “everyone was so friendly and welcoming.”  The smaller group size, (around 100), allowed for more “interaction, collaboration and sharing.” Westberg also provided their store where one could purchase resources, many at a discount (books, flyers, and sign up for magazines).

                I am reminded of a C.S.Lewis quote: ““Don’t shine so others can see you. Shine, so that through you, others can see Him.”  Westberg and Gwinnett GCFNA provided us with tools to make a difference…… tools to help us shine for those we serve.

                                                                                                                                                ~ Peg Hudock DNP, RN, CCM

Enjoy a virtual tour of the event through these photos.

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