Meet Ardyce McMillen, Parish Nurse
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.