Alegent Creighton Health Faith Network recognized by Governor for volunteer service

Article Date: Feb 24, 2014
Media Contact: Jodi Hoatson
(402) 343-4514

Nebraska Governor Heineman and First Lady Sally Ganem honored the Alegent Creighton Health Faith Community Health Network (FCHN) 

Nebraska Governor Heineman and First Lady Sally Ganem honored the Alegent Creighton Health Faith Community Health Network (FCHN) with the Governor's Points of Light group award.

The volunteer-based service group was started in 2005 and has impacted more than 13,000 individuals with 714,055 group contacts (education, screening and group support), and more than 105,000 volunteer hours, saving more than $1.9 million by avoiding emergency room visits, surgical procedures, advocating for treatment, and providing no cost fitness classes and health screenings. 

"This wonderful recognition is a testament to the faithful service to community health that is championed by nurses and other lay ministers in their faith homes," said Beth Llewellyn, vice president of Mission Integration for Alegent Creighton Health. "We are proud of the duo leading this group, Ronnette Sailors and Nicki Ayer, who provide servant leadership for this program."  

The FCHN is comprised of 50 congregations and 73 active faith community nurses and health ministers. The group builds capacities in congregations by leveraging the resources of Alegent Creighton Health and the strength of faith communities to build a culture of health and healing within the congregation and community it serves. This empowers people to make positive choices for whole-person health. Faith community nursing or parish nursing is the intentional integration of faith and health from a nursing perspective. 

"We are so proud to work with these dedicated individuals who are called to care in their congregations. They are truly points of light," said Sailors, coordinator of the FCHN. "We are also grateful to Alegent Creighton Health for supporting these efforts that facilitate the promotion of population health." 

The faith community nurses and health ministers volunteer in their congregations to promote health of body, mind, spirit, relationships and earth, and solicit other congregational volunteers to help grow their health ministry. These professionals collaborate with state and community agencies and groups to share resources and expertise. 

With chronic conditions on the rise and the population aging, changes in health care are making preventable re-hospitalizations a priority issue, and the need for prevention and health promotion is increasingly important. Rather than practicing from a medical or home health model, faith community nurses and health ministers strive to promote healthy lifestyles for all ages, advocate for those who are ill, encourage social justice, and refer when necessary.

Governor's Points of Light awards are sponsored by ServeNebraska and are presented quarterly in recognition of volunteers who give their time, talent and energy to help Nebraskans build stronger communities.

About Catholic Health Initiatives in Nebraska and Southwest Iowa

Alegent Creighton Health and the Catholic Health Initiatives organizations in Nebraska and southwest Iowa are integrating to create single, regional health network with a unified mission: nurturing the healing ministry of the Church while creating healthier communities. Headquartered in Omaha, the combined faith-based organization will consist of 16 hospitals, two stand-alone inpatient behavioral health facilities and more than 150 employed physician practice locations in Nebraska and southwest Iowa. Nearly 15,900 employees comprise the workforce of this network that includes 2,820 licensed beds and serves as the primary teaching partner of Creighton University's health sciences schools. In fiscal year 2013, the network provided a combined approximate total of $138 million in quantified community benefit including services for the poor, free clinics, education and research. With locations stretching from Kearney, Neb. to Corning, Iowa, the health network is the largest in Nebraska and serves residents of Nebraska, southwest Iowa and northern Kansas. For more information, visit our websites: www.alegentcreighton.com and www.chinebraska.org

16 Hospitals

Bergan Mercy Medical Center - Omaha
Community Memorial Hospital - Missouri Valley, Iowa
Creighton University Medical Center - Omaha
Good Samaritan Hospital - Kearney
Immanuel Medical Center - Omaha
Lakeside Hospital - Omaha
Memorial Community Hospital - Blair
Memorial Hospital - Schuyler
Mercy Hospital - Corning, Iowa
Mercy Hospital - Council Bluffs, Iowa
Midlands Hospital - Papillion
Nebraska Heart Hospital - Lincoln
Plainview Hospital - Plainview
Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center - Lincoln
Saint Francis Medical Center - Grand Island
St. Mary's Community Hospital – Nebraska City

2 Stand-alone, Inpatient Behavioral Health Facilities

Lasting Hope Recovery Center - Omaha
Richard Young Behavioral Health Center – Kearney


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