GrapeVine Project Parish Nurse Highlight

Meet Shirley Bennett, Parish Nurse

Shirley Bennett

Shirley Bennett was trained in WWHF’s GrapeVine Project in September 2012. She is a Parish Nurse at the Congregation of St. Mary’s and St. Paul’s in Mineral Point where she has presented a GrapeVine educational session. She also shares presentations and participates in outreach with United Church of Christ in Mineral Point.

The GrapeVine Project is a free health education program for women presented by Faith Community/Parish Nurses (FCNs) right in your own community! The Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation partners with FCNs throughout the state by providing them with tools and educational information about various health topics. Holding free educational sessions, the nurses then share the information with women in their communities. Sessions can be held anywhere!

 

What is your favorite aspect of Faith Community Nursing/what made you want to become a FCN?

SB: My initial inspiration for getting involved in faith community nursing came from a dear friend and coworker who was the Lutheran Parish Nurse from Barneveld. I had always thought very highly of her and saw the impact that she was making in her community.  She propelled my decision to become a FCN.  Although I did not think I could ever be her (I still don’t), after retiring in 2011, I felt I had a responsibility to continue sharing my knowledge and clinical experience so I could be that source of support to my community.   

As the first Parish Nurse of the Congregation of St. Mary’s and St. Paul’s I’ve enjoyed the evolving responsibilities of my role. Education and the increasingly advocacy-based components are the most rewarding aspects of being a FCN.  Informing my congregation about community resources and organizing activities promoting well-being provides me with the opportunity to increase health literacy. In the past, I’ve led a compression-only CPR training to 58 parishioners and 3 times a month I communicate via Parish Bulletin articles about health issues.  I also enjoy acting as an advocate for fellow parishioners with their health professionals. Often patients are left with unanswered questions and concerns when it comes to medical issues because their doctor does not have the time for extensive explanations or patients do not ask the questions.  As such, I am able to offer my knowledge and experience to address their concerns. Recently I gave an anatomy lesson to a woman who would be having surgery. The information about her organ placement helped her understand what was happening to her body.

Working in a rural community, my responsibilities are varied and always in response to interest and what people are in need of, whether that be educational programing, assessment, referral, or support navigating the medical system.  Although at times I am limited in what I can do, I enjoy working in an environment where I know everyone at a personal level. 

How or why did you get involved with the GrapeVine Project?

SB: I was first introduced to GrapeVine through Sue Richards, a fellow classmate in the Faith Community Nurse course at Viterbo. Sue roped me in with her enthusiasm and verve for the program. Additionally, Peggy Weber is another mentor that has answered many of my questions and been a fantastic resource.  Knowing such dedicated and spirited individuals were involved with GVP, I decided that joining was the right decision for me and am glad to be one of the GrapeVine Project’s nurses.    

What is your favorite part of the GrapeVine Project?

SB: GrapeVine is another way for me to expand my service to my community.  There is a peer group of other Parish Nurses for me to connect with and share ideas. I’ve enjoyed sharing breakfast with fellow nurses at The Egg & I because they offer a wealth of information and I am always interested to know what is going on at their churches, and if there is something I can incorporate in my community.  Before I joined GVP I did not realize that such a resource was available to FCNs.  I am also grateful for the abundance of free educational materials and programing because it allows me to be a better resource for my community.  I am trained in the cardiac session, have enjoyed presenting it to parishioners, and am looking forward to being trained in the other health topics available.   

What is a little known fact about you (what are your hobbies and interests)?

SB: I enjoy pursuing different professional experiences.  For example, this summer I am looking forward to embracing the role as a Camp Nurse and am excited to see what new experiences I will encounter.  Also, I work seasonally at Lands’ End because, when I was still working at the hospital, I took care of many individuals who worked there and wanted to better understand what their experiences were like.  I also love utilizing the benefit of the year round fitness center and pool that Lands’ End provides for all employees.

Although I do not always have the time, I love to read and enjoy trinity-based reads like those by William P. Young as well as other fiction including any book by Sue Monk Kidd. 

Do you have any stories about a session or a participant who contacted you after a session where you were able to help someone specifically because of the session – Go with them to a doctor appointment?

SB: When I presented the cardiac health session I had a few participants who experienced heart issues in the past. Through sharing their stories, they were able to provide a personal perspective and offer real life experiences that related to the material. For example, there was an individual that underwent a cardiac bypass and another that experienced a cardiac catheterization. Their accounts made the information that I was conveying much more real and powerful because individuals were able to contextualize the consequences of heart health. 

Anything else you would like to share (kids, grandkids, pets)?

SB: I graduated from St. Mary’s School of Nursing and for 43 years was actively employed as an RN primarily at Upland Hills Health in Dodgeville.  In a rural community you need to be a generalist, but my primary focus for most of my active years was the Emergency Department and Operating Room.  The last 15 years before my retirement I was the Surgical Case Manager, which has greatly benefitted me in my current role as a FCN.  I live in rural Mineral Point with my husband.  We have 3 children and 5 grandchildren.  We love spending time with all of them, especially attending all of our grandkids’ sporting and extracurricular activities.

GrapeVine Project Nurse Highlight

Meet Ardyce McMillen, Parish Nurse

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Ardyce McMillen was trained for the WWHF’s GrapeVine Project in April 2008 and has presented sessions in Reedsburg, WI. Ardyce has held 9 educational sessions. She is a Parish Nurse at the Reedsburg Bible Baptist Church.

The GrapeVine Project is a free health education program for women presented by Faith Community/Parish Nurses (FCNs) right in your own community! The Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation partners with FCNs throughout the state by providing them with tools and educational information about various health topics. Holding free educational sessions, the nurses then share the information with women in their communities. Sessions can be held anywhere!

 

WWHF: What is your favorite aspect of Faith Community Nursing/what made you want to become a FCN?

AM: I like teaching people about their health, so they can do something about it themselves.  I think more and more it’s going to be important that people take responsibility for their own health and I really want to help them be able to do that.  I know one of the things we’ve always said as a Parish Nurse is that when people go to the doctor, they should make a list of questions before they go.  Encouraging people to take responsibility for their own health, learn as much as they can about health issues, and don’t be afraid to do something about their health teaches them to become their own advocates.

 

WWHF: How or why did you get involved with the GrapeVine Project?

AM: Tammy Koenecke talked about the GrapeVine Project at a Regional Parish Nurse meeting I attended.  It sounded like something I wanted to do as I enjoy teaching individuals and was invited by the Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation to attend one of the trainings.

 

WWHF: What is your favorite part of the GrapeVine Project?

AM: Interacting with different people and teaching them about their health. Doctors and nurses are so busy, that it seems like patients have less and less time with them, so it is nice to be able to talk to individuals about their health concerns…sometimes, people just need someone to listen to them.

 

WWHF: What is a little known fact about you (what are your hobbies and interests)?

AM: I love gardening, especially flowers.

 

WWHF: Do you have any stories about a session or a participant who contacted you after a session where you were able to help someone specifically because of the session – Go with them to a doctor appointment?

AM: On two different occasions after sessions on Women and Heart Disease, several individuals shared their stories, many did not realize some of the symptoms specific to females.  One woman in particular had jaw pain for weeks and didn’t realize there was any connection to heart disease. After learning it was a symptom of heart disease, she went to her doctor and ended up having valve replacement.  Numerous people have stated that they wished they learned some of the signs, symptoms and risk factors earlier in life as they would have done things differently.  People are making some changes and applying some of the things they are learning at the sessions.

 

WWHF: Anything else you would like to share (kids, grandkids, pets)?

AM: My husband, Don, and I have 4 kids and 11 grandchildren.  My oldest granddaughter, who lives in San Diego gave birth to our first great grandson May 28, 2014.

WWHF Releases a CME!

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We have released our new Continuing Medical Education (CME) video – Perinatal Smoking Cessation: Challenges and Opportunities.

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This free informational video incorporates information from our First Breath program to describe the unique treatment needs of pregnant smokers. The video was created based on recent research and evidenced-based clinical practice guidelines. Perinatal Smoking Cessation: Challenges and Opportunities illustrates common barriers to quitting smoking while pregnant and effective strategies for treating tobacco dependence in the perinatal population, in addition to highlighting 3 physician/patient case studies.

The CME highlights the unique needs of pregnant smokers. “Many women smoke to deal with strong emotions, which can be common during the perinatal period. Others’ social networks may be saturated with smokers, making tobacco use, even during pregnancy, a social norm. Other patients may hold the cultural belief that small babies are good. So when a healthcare practitioner explains that smoking causes low birth weight and preterm labor – this might be the evidence they need to continue to smoke,” explains Kristine Alaniz, MPH, Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation.

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Perinatal Smoking Cessation: Challenges and Opportunities highlights why this issue is so important. “Smoking is the leading preventative cause of poor birth outcomes, including: premature rupture of membranes, placental abruption, and placental previa,” However, maternal smoking doesn’t just affect the direct participants. “The smoking attributable neonatal costs in the United States represent almost 400 million dollars every year,” and Wisconsin outnumbers the country’s average in pregnant smokers, with 13% of pregnant women reporting tobacco use.

The CME targets physicians including ob/gyns, family practitioners and pediatricians, advanced practice nurses, physician assistants, nurses and other members of the care team who provide perinatal support to mothers, but is available to anyone.

 

 

WWHF was able to produce this video with grant funding from CS2Day, a collaborative of nine partners who work toward developing an unprecedented and comprehensive approach to intervene and decrease the smoking rates in the United States. 

To view this video, please log on to the IPMA Web site at http://www.ipmameded.org/online-cme. The session can be found under “Perinatal Smoking Cessation.”

National Women’s Health Week

Help us celebrate National Women’s Health Week!

Want to know what it means to be a “well woman”? According to the Office on Women’s Health it means: to be as healthy as you can be and taking steps to improve your health. These steps could include any of the following:

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How can you celebrate?

  • Spread the word about women’s health through word of mouth, email, social media and more!
  • Pledge to be a well woman
  • Donate to The WWHF to support women’s health in your community

 

White Paper – Women & Aging: The Impact of Dementia

On October 10th & 11th, 2013, WWHF held our 7th Annual Dialogue, Women & Aging: The Impact of Dementia. The Annual Dialogue is a moderated panel discussion of state and national leaders in prevention and treatment. Attendees learn about innovative solutions and strategies that can improve healthcare outcomes for Wisconsin communities.

As a follow up to the Annual Dialogue, WWHF produced a White Paper that provides an in-depth look at the issue of dementia and the discussion from the Dialogue. The White Paper is now available and can be accessed by clicking here or visiting WWHF’s website under publications.

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Last Chance – Nominate an Everyday Health Hero Today!

Nominations for Everyday Health Heroes will close tomorrow. Hurry and nominate your Everyday Health Hero today – it’s so easy!

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Everyday Health Heroes are individuals who have impacted the health and welfare of their families or communities. Nominees may include teachers, coaches, parents, neighbors, your family and friends.

Everyday Health Heroes are men and women who lead by example and make health a priority. Everyday Health Heroes:

  • Make courageous choices;
  • Are creative in how they live a healthy lifestyle;
  • Help others make changes to improve their health; and
  • Are generous with their time, talents and energy.

The Everyday Health Heroes Awards will be presented at WWHF’s Pre-Gala VIP Event on Saturday, May 3, 2014. Winners will receive complimentary tickets to WWHF’s Annual Spring Gala Event on Saturday, May 3, 2014.

Click here to nominate now!

The call for 2014 Everyday Health Heroes is now open!

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Everyday Health Heroes Awards honor individuals who have impacted the health and welfare of their families or communities. Nominees may include teachers, coaches, parents, neighbors, your family and friends.

Everyday Health Heroes are men and women who lead by example and make health a priority. Everyday Health Heroes:

Make courageous choices;

  • Are creative in how they live a healthy lifestyle;
  • Help others make changes to improve their health; and
  • Are generous with their time, talents and energy.

 

The Everyday Health Heroes Awards will be presented at WWHF’s Pre-Gala VIP Event on Saturday, May 3, 2014. Winners will recieve complimentary tickets to WWHF’s Annual Spring Gala Event on Saturday, May 3, 2014.

Online nominations for the 2014 Everyday Health Heroes will be open until March 14, 2014.  Nominate someone today!
 

Save The Date!

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Cervical Health Awareness

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The Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation wants you to know that there’s a lot you can do to prevent cervical cancer. About 79 million Americans currently have HPV (human papillomavirus), the most common sexually transmitted disease. HPV is a major cause of cervical cancer.

The good news?

  • HPV can be prevented by the HPV vaccine.
  • Cervical cancer can often be prevented with regular screening tests (called Pap tests) and follow-up care.

In honor of National Cervical Health Awareness Month, The Foundation encourages:

  • Women to start getting regular Pap tests at age 21
  • Women to get the HPV vaccine before age 27
  • Parents to make sure their pre-teens get the HPV vaccine at age 11 or 12
  • Men to get the HPV vaccine if you are under age 22

Thanks to the health care reform law, you and your family members may be able to get these services at no cost to you. Check with your insurance company.

Taking small steps can help keep you safe and healthy.

Healthy Weight Week

healthy weight weekThe Annual Healthy Weight Week is a week-long observance to recognize healthy diet-free living habits that result in the prevention of eating and weight issues.

Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial to healthy living, but people are often sucked into fraudulent diets and weight-loss “miracles.” Tuesday, January 21 is devoted to ridding the world of fad diets and gimmicks. Here are some tips on how to identify weight loss fraud and quackery:

  • claims a large, fast, easy weight loss
  • uses terms like “miraculous, breakthrough, secret, unique”
  • misuse of medical or technical terms
  • requires special foods purchased from the company
  • fails to state risks or recommend a medical exam
  • grants mystical properties to certain food or ingredients
  • demands large advance payments or long-term contracts
  • distributed through hard-sell mail order ads or television infomercials

Instead, we encourage you to improve your health habits in lasting, diet-free ways. Try this:

  • live actively
  • eat well (in normal ways and fully nourished)
  • accept and respect yourself and others – all women and bodies are different!

Click here for more reasons not to diet…