The Health Ministries Association Wilkerson – Droege Award was created in 2002 to honor Sister June Wilkerson and The Rev. Thomas Droege, two legendary leaders in the faith – health movement.  They were the inaugural award recipients in 2002.  The award is given to an outstanding HMA member who exemplifies vision, creativity and faithfulness to the faith and health movement.

Nomination Form

*Nominations for 2019 are now closed.

Awards Criteria

Click to View Awards Criteria
  • Creative leadership.
  • Compassionate ministry.
  • Visionary faithfulness to Faith Health Movement.
  • Serves in HMA governing roles both regionally and nationally.
  • Recognized as an advisor and leader within HMA and other professional and ministerial organizations.
  • Contributes in diverse ways to the growth and transformation of the Faith Health Movement.
  • If a Faith Community Nurse, recognized as a contributor to multiple aspects of advanced specialty practice.
  • If a Faith Health Leader, recognized for significant leadership regionally and nationally.

Past Recipient

Marlene Feagan, MA, BSN, RN-BC – 2019 Wilkerson-Droege Award

Marlene has been the Health Ministries/Faith Community Nursing Coordinator for St. Elizabeth Healthcare of the Greater Cincinnati region for the past 22 years. Marlene is responsible for the program’s development and operations, including field site supervision of over 400 volunteers in 80 faith communities, and eight faith-based community sites in the northern Kentucky area.

Marlene joined HMA in 1997 and is a lifetime HMA member. In the early 2000’s, she served on the HMA Board of Directors as member-at-large and secretary. She returned to HMA leadership during the reorganization in 2008 in the role of Vice President. From 2009 to 2018 Marlene served as HMA president and on the Executive Committee. During her tenure, HMA became both fiscally and organizationally stronger. During Marlene’s term as HMA President she was often the driving force behind nationally based collaborative agreements and projects with over 28 faith-health organizations. Marlene has presented at regional and national venues promoting HMA. More recently she has served as the Annual Conference co-chair in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Marlene works tirelessly to promote and enhance the professional role of the faith community nurse, including development of FCN certification. Marlene spearheaded HMA becoming an organizational affiliate of ANA. She served as a workgroup member for both the 2nd and 3rd editions of the Faith Community Nurse Scope and Standards of Practice. Marlene achieved her certification in faith community nursing in 2014 and recertification in 2019.

Peggy Matteson, PhD, MS, RN – 2018 Wilkerson-Droege Award

Peggy Matteson, PhD, MS, RN has been selected as the recipient of the 2018 Wilkerson-Droege Award which is given each year by the Health Ministries Association to an outstanding HMA member who exemplifies vision, creativity and faithfulness to the faith and health movement. This award was created to honor Sister June Wilkerson and The Rev. Thomas Droege, two legendary leaders in the faith–health movement.

Peggy has served as a dedicated member in multiple HMA administrative positions with visionary leadership. She was the board chair for Education, chair of the National Conference Planning Committee, and national liaison with multiple denominations before serving as HMA President. She masterminded development of the Health Ministry Journal and served on its editorial board. She chaired revision of the second edition of the Scope and Standards of Faith Community Nursing Practice which transitioned the specialty’s title from Parish Nursing to Faith Community Nursing. She continues to be recognized as a mentor within HMA.

Peggy’s commitment to health ministry is also evident in her call to ministry within the United Church of Christ (UCC) denomination. She first served at Smith Mills Christian Congregational Church, UCC in Dartmouth, MA for 7 years and then served as the Faith Community Nurse at United Congregational Church in Middletown, RI for 11 years.

In 2004 she was installed as a Commissioned Minister of Congregational Health. She served as adjunct faculty at Andover-Newton Theological School teaching health ministry courses to Divinity students and lay leaders. Her publications and speaking events are extensive. She wrote a monograph titled I am… which is a program of spiritual development and support for women living with cancer. She currently serves as an Authorized Minister of Congregational Health in the Rhode Island Conference of the UCC. She is the editor of the UCC Faith Community Nurse Health Ministry Newsletter, Mind, Body, Spirit: Linking Lives for Health and Wholeness. Peggy continues to lead and counsel as a gifted advocate through her practice and ministry.

Previous Recipients

The following recipients have shown their deep dedication to the health ministry movement and a strong, committed leadership in the Health Ministry Association. Their leadership was pivotal in establishing a firm foundation and vision for the future… both of which serve us well today and are the blueprint for the further growth of this ministry of care. To find out more about the recipient click on their name.