Reflections on the HMA Annual Conference


In this episode of the Heart and Soul of Health Ministries Podcast, we give listeners a glimpse into the Health Ministries Association’s Annual Conference. Listen in as Faith Community Nurse leader Nicki Ayer interviews participants at the 2018 conference The Sacred Practice of Caring: Partnering For a Healthy, Hopeful Future. The first interview is of Brenda Simpson a first time attendee and the second interview is of Felicia Stewart the director of practice and education for the Health Ministries association. You can just hear the excitement in the air at the 2018 conference!

We hope you can join us at the 30th annual Health Ministries Association Conference Oct. 11-14, 2019 in Erlanger, KY.

Register now:

Don’t wait too long, the registration closes Sept. 20.

We hope to see you there!


Faith Community Nursing Scope and Standards

In this episode of the Heart and Soul of Health Ministries podcast, Nicki Ayer interviews Aly Breisch about the process and experience of updating the Faith Community Nurse Scope and Standards

Alyson (Aly) Breisch, MSN, RN-BC
Alyson completed a Post-Master’s Certificate in Health and Nursing Ministries at Duke Divinity School and School of Nursing and directed this graduate degree program for 8 years. She developed foundational curricula for faith community nursing and health ministry leadership. Alyson is a Commissioned Minister of Congregational Health in the United Church of Christ denomination. She was employed as the Parish Nurse at United Church of Chapel Hill, NC for 17 years and served as Director for Congregational Care from 2017 to 2018.

Alyson was the Health Ministries Association (HMA) Director of Practice and Education from 2006 – 2014. She was lead editor for revision of Faith Community Nursing Scope and Standards of Practice, 2nd edition, and 3rd edition. She achieved ANCC certification by portfolio in faith community nursing in 2015. In 2017, Alyson received HMA’s Wilkerson-Droege Award in recognition of her vision, creativity and faithfulness to the faith and health movement.

As the owner of Breisch Health Education, PLLC, Alyson provides faith community nursing and health ministry educational and spiritual renewal programs. She is the Executive Committee Chair of the North Carolina Nurses Association Faith Community Nursing Council. Learn more and connect with Aly on LinkedIn

Nicole (Nicki) Ayer, BSN, RN-BC
Nicki has been a faith community nurse since 2006. She co-coordinates a network of faith community nurses and health ministers for CHI Health. She also is a volunteer FCN for her church, and leads the congregation’s Health Ministry Team. She received certification in faith community nursing in 2014 and served as ANCC Content Panel Expert from 2014-2018. She co-leads a national affinity group of FCN network coordinators for Catholic Health Initiatives. Nicki is currently pursuing her master’s degree in nursing with an emphasis in education. Learn more and connect with Nicki on LinkedIn.

Resources referenced in this episode and other helpful tools: 

An Exclusive Interview with Pam Cipriano and Marlene Feagan

Listen in on an interview with Pam Cipriano, the 35th President of the American Nurses Association and Marlene Feagan, the Health Ministries Coordinator and past President of the Health Ministries Association.

Pam Cipriano, PhD. 35th President of the American Nurses Association and Research Associate Professor at the University of Virginia School of Nursing, Charlottesville, VA

A distinguished nursing leader, Dr. Cipriano has extensive experience as an executive in academic medical centers. In 2018, she was named one of the “Top 100 Most Influential People in (US) Healthcare” by Modern Healthcare magazine for the fourth year in a row. In 2015, the publication also named her as one of the “Top 25 Women in Healthcare.” Dr. Cipriano’s tireless efforts to advance the role and visibility of nurses are well recognized throughout the profession. Learn more about Pam here:

Marlene Feagan, Health Ministries Coordinator at St. Elizabeth Healthcare in Covington, KY.

Marlene Feagan, MA, BSN, RN-BC is the Health Ministries Coordinator for St. Elizabeth Healthcare, Northern Kentucky. In 1997, Marlene developed and implemented the Parish Nursing/Health Ministries Program to establish a holistic wellness and prevention program serving area faith communities. Marlene has served the Health Ministries Association, Inc. – both locally and nationally, as board Secretary, co-chair of the 2001 annual conference held in Cincinnati, OH, president-elect and currently is serving as past-president of the organization and co-chair for the 2019 Health Ministries Conference. She has served on the work group for the Scope and Standards of Practice for Faith Community Nursing last two publications. Learn more about Marlene here:

A Mother’s Story of a Son who Struggles with Addiction

This episode of the Heart and Soul of Health Ministries Podcast brings you a mother’s story of a son who struggles with addiction.

Resources for addiction recovery:

  • PAL Parents of Addicted Loved ones – Parents with a child addicted to drugs and/or alcohol can find hope in a support program called Parents of Addicted Loved-ones (PAL).