I cannot contain my enthusiasm about the upcoming 2016 Health Ministries Association Conference being held in sunny Chandler, Arizona this September. The conference planning committee is a diverse group of national leaders and local members from the Phoenix area. They are committed to making this years’ event relevant to our members’ practices, along with information provided from experts in the know, all with a spiritual element woven throughout the program’s context. Not an easy task, but one that this group has taken on.

They were also given a few additional challenges. HMA leadership, the 2016 Conference Planning Committee and the Local Host committee have been working to address all of your comments from the 2015 conference evaluations. The evaluations were excellent. The conference in New Orleans was full of excitement, passion for the community, excellent content and incredible guest experiences.
We have taken the time to “hear your voice” through the evaluation process, and have tried to address thoughts or suggestions you took the time to detail. You have inspired us to look at all suggestions and possibilities. This conference is designed to bring people together in a meaningful – and memorable – way.

So, we have pushed the refresh button. We are going deeper and getting more creative with our design and content in 2016 to make sure that we capture and keep your attention above all else. The first implemented change is the conference schedule. You will notice a difference in the pre-conference format, a new conference “kick off” time as well as extended breaks built in for networking.

This year’s conference title Journey to Wholeness – Faith Leaders Meeting Community Health Challenges allows for endless possibilities to explore faith-health modalities and truly make an impact on the lives of those we serve. From extraordinary keynote speakers to stimulating break-out sessions to provocative poster presentations, this year’s conference has stellar content. HMA has the privilege of leading the charge in communities’ nationwide, addressing current issues relevant to the faith-health movement. I believe our conference will truly help us do that.

Another goal of this conference is to deliver the latest updates to the Scope and Standards of Practice for Faith community Nursing, 3rd EDITION and the Health Minister Guidelines. These NEW documents will be presented by the respective work-groups during the conference. Attendees will have an opportunity to hear from the authors at the “roll out” sessions of the two documents. These publications will have new sources of information you will need for your practice settings along with suggestions about innovative ways to exchange this information nationally with your peers moving forward.

Our 2016 conference is the place for you to gain inspiration and re-energize yourself and your practice. The faith- health arena of the Southwest has not only strength but also longevity in its Health Ministries mission. This is the perfect location for this year’s gathering, for you to gain inspiration from leaders in this area of the country and to see what influences their practice patterns and success.

I predict that this year’s conference is one folk’s won’t stop talking about in the weeks that follow. It is going to be the conference where a leader or speaker utters something that hits home, an ‘ah ha moment’ occurs, leaving you altered in the approach to your practice and spiritual journey. You will experience plenty of time for learning, connecting, share-worthy selfies and wow-worthy results. So, for all of you “Movers, Shakers and Faith-Leader Difference Makers”, see you in Arizona!

Peace – Marlene