Taking a holistic approach to wellness–focusing on the body, mind and spirit–Faith Community Nursing practice, also known as Parish Nursing, provides critical health promotion and maintenance within the context of the values, beliefs and practices of a faith community and healthcare assistance by assisting individuals who might not be receiving the care they need.
2008, after initial strategic planning a 501(c)(3), created the Georgia Parish Nurse Resource Center (GPNRC) through the leadership of Debbie Huckaby MAT, MBA, RN, FCN. As the Board worked together it became clear that an ‘association’ was needed to support local Faith Community Nurses and those associated with Health Ministry.
May 2013, the Georgia Parish Nurse Resource Center chose to move in this new and exciting direction of creating an association in which all Faith Community nurses had access to each other through one portal. Through the hard work of Debbie Huckaby, Jean Holley, Madeline VanDyck, Mary Cooper and Kathy Parrish the Georgia Faith Community Nurses Association (GFCNA) was created as a 501(c)(4) organization.
This new structure will allow for a ‘Member’ association for all Faith Community Nurses and “Associate” Members to work together, share information, maintain high professional standards to encourage faith communities to create Health Ministries and Faith Communities to provide programs that will influence the health & wellness of church members as they seek to balance the mind, body & spirit.
Parish nursing itself began in 1985 through the pioneering efforts of a Lutheran minister in Chicago, Rev. Dr. Granger Westberg. It has grown into an international movement including 10,000 nurses in the U.S. and 2,000 others globally, according to statistics from the International Parish Nurse Resource Center (IPNRC) in Memphis, Tennessee.
Mary Cooper, RN, BSN, FCN is the new Gwinnett Medical Center's Faith Community Network's "NAVIGATOR!"
Mary has just accepted a new & exciting position as the first Gwinnett Medical Center’s Faith Community Network ‘Navigator.’ In the landmark position, Mary will seek to connect newly discharged patients with a local congregation. This is a new & exciting concept that has had wonderful outcomes, saving millions of healthcare dollars as it improves the patients journey through the illness. This relationship will intentionally build stronger relationships, bridges & support between local faith community’s and Gwinnett Medical. This unique approach gives the patent support as it includes the congregation as a part of the health care team to provide a network of care that improves patient outcome to wellness.
Mary, we are so proud of you!!!!!!
Debbie Huckaby,M-Div, MAT, MBA, RN, FCN
Debbie has been a leader of nursing for over three decades in the fields of healthcare, business and ministry. She is a Registered Nurse with a Masters of Business Administration from Brenau University, a Masters of Theology from Wheaton College and a Masters of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary where she is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Ministry degree.
Debbie, thank you for your commitment to faith community nursing and all of your hard work to create GFCNA!