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Parish Nurse Ministries of NY
By Carol S. Wolf

It is hard to believe that it is November already. Our fall has been beautiful. Last month I heard from a friend that the Parish Nurse Ministries were going to be doing a conference. The theme was ‘FINDING THE ABUNDANT LIFE- Hope and Light in the Midst of the Storm ‘ on Monday, October 15 from 9:00am – 4:15pm at the Tonawanda Castle 69 Delaware Ave. Tonawanda, NY. I had done an article about their organization several years ago and I thought this would be a good time to do an update.

I met with Lucinda (Cindy) Phillips MSN,RN, their President and Conference Co-Chair and Lois Tripp, RN, Past President PHMNY.

Lois started out by telling me that she has been a member of the organization for many years. She told me she took the course in 2009 and decided to formally become a Faith Community Nurse. She said she had been an RN for many years and that she started out working at ECMC and then worked at DeGraff hospital and was with the Visiting Nursing Assoc. working for the Infusion Pharmacy. I asked her what she did as a Visiting Nurse. She explained that it was helping people with doing IV’s at home and that you teach people how to do these things themselves. It was also teaching nurses how to do these things. She said she worked many years in ICU at Kaleida Health.

Lois said, ‘Then about 10 years ago I was thinking about retiring and what I would do and so I took the Foundations of Faith Community Nursing Course to find out what it was all about. I loved it. I was amazed at all that the Parish Nurses did. It is a specialty with the American Nursing Association.’ We recommend that all our Faith Community nurses take the course. She said that when you are working as an RN you cannot talk about your faith in your work. I feel I was lead into Parish Nursing because of everything I have done through the years in all aspects of my life. We work with the Pastor of the Church and the Pastor lets us know if there is someone that needs help with heath issues.”

Lois went on to say that she has been the organizations President 2014-2016, and also Secretary. Now she is a Spiritual Coordinator and has come back on the Board. She is the Faith Community Nurse at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church and was able to get a grant to facilitate it. She is also Faith Community Nurse Liaison to National Episcopal Health Ministries from 2012- to the present.

She said planning the conference has kept us all very busy. She said that this conference is to teach people to be prepared for every kind of disaster, from gun violence, mental health issues to first aid. One of the workshops is “Stop the Bleed”, so they can attend to someone who is bleeding and what needs to be done before the first responders get there.

Lois said she would invite RN’s to come to any future conferences and explore all the options and opportunities there are to start a Parish Nurse Ministry in their church. She also invites any RN’s to come to one of their meetings. They usually meet 4 times a year on a Saturday.

Cindy Phillips said,” I got into Faith Community nursing before I took the course in 2009. That was when and how I met Lois. I had gone to another conference with friends from work and they were talking about it there. I said that this was what our church, at the time -Cleveland Heights Christian Church- now New Light ,needed. The only thing we did there was blood pressures. This was a good way to get to talk to people in private and often they share their health concerns with you. We started to do seminars and really tried to do more health education. Most of our congregation are refugees from the Karen state.”

“I am currently working at D’Youville, teaching in the School of Nursing on-line classes and I am looking forward to spending more time with the refugees. It is difficult because I must have an interpreter every week. I am hoping one of the students will help me on a regular basis. Parish Nursing is taking a Holistic Look at the whole person.”

Cindy said they do their conferences every 2 years and will be doing another one is 2020. She said, “Our conference theme came about at our 15th Anniversary , when Rev. Amos Acree, RN, who is one of our members, talked about what we could do in a disaster. We said that would be a great theme for this years Parish Nurse conference. We have great speakers coming”:

Elise Pignatora, MS,CLC- Director of Public Health Planning and Emergency Preparedness

Ret. Fire Chief John Lapham – Member of Gratwick Hose #6 North Tonawanda and St. Johnsburg Fire Co. Wheatfield and is currently Lieutenant

Chris Warden, MS (Human Service Administration)- Director of Adult Services of a mental health agency

Pati Aine Guzinski/ Training Coordinator – Emergency Preparedness – First Aid/CPR trainer for the American Heart Assoc. and the National Safety Council

We will also have a panel discussion lead by :

The Network of Religious Communities Moderator – Rev. Dr. G. Stanford Bratton, Executive Director of the Network of Religious Communities – recipient of many National and Local awards.

The Panel was – Rev. Dr. James Lewis, Michael Martin, Jan Tyson and Randy Williams

I went to the conference. It was well attended and great information about what to do in a disaster.

Check out or call them at 716-834-4465

If you know of a successful program in your community or would like more information please let me know at

Carol Wolf is a writer, speaker, storyteller, and leader of workshops and retreats. She is retired from 35 years in health care administration and co-hosts a TV show called Challenge for the 21st Century for the Network of Religious Communities. She is the author of Journey into Prayer and Biblical Storytelling in Youth Ministry. She has been married to Dick for 58 years and they have two sons, four grandchildren, and one great-grandson.



Carol wrote this book as part of her two year Master's program in the Academy for Biblical Storytellers. It has just been published and is available for $10.00. Carol is an author, speaker and leader of workshops meditations and conference.
"This book give you an opportunity to experience how, when we become a part of the biblical story, we often find meaning for our own life. It is an incredible resource for confirmation, baptism, and intergenerational groups." Trracy Radosevic, Dean, Academy for Biblical Storytellers.
Anyone interested in buying a book can email me The book is $10.00 + $2.00 mailing.