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.
Alyson J. Breisch RN, MSN, RN-BC, 2017 Wilkerson Droege-Award
Alyson J. Breisch epitomizes servant leadership in the field of health ministry and faith community nursing. A quote from Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream reads, “Though she be but little, she is fierce!” Aly Breisch embodies that quote. While she may be “vertically challenged,” she has had a very tall impact on building the role of Faith Community Nursing. Her compassionate ministry is one of practical ministry as well as promotion of the practice of faith community nursing through
education, mentoring, and leadership.
Aly is currently a Commissioned Minister of Congregational Health in her local faith community of 1,000 congregants serving as their faith community nurse. She serves her congregation, providing tender, loving care to those in need of ministry. She is sensitive to the impact of cultural diversity and a changing health care environment. Aly “gets it.” She understands the complexity of the human condition, and our connection to the divine. She helps to create space for the spirit to work in small and large places.
On a state level, Aly was instrumental in working with the North Carolina Nurses Association to form
the Faith Community Nursing Council and serves as chair of the Faith Community Nursing Executive Council for the North Carolina Nurses Association. She is a past president of the Carolinas Health Ministry Partnership. Nationally, she has served as the Director for Practice and Education for HMA (2006 – 2012) and is a lifetime HMA member.
Aly is a national leader in the field of health ministry and faith community nursing. As president/owner of Breisch Health Education PLLC, she provides consultation and education in faith community nursing education, health ministries, clinical advancement, and nursing leadership. She has presented more than 700 lectures, courses, and workshops across the nation. Aly created a 34-hour CE Foundations of
Faith Community Nursing curriculum which she teaches nationally. As a gifted writer, Aly has authored/co-authored multiple articles. Her vision to promote the practice of faith community nursing lead her to become the HMA liaison to the American Nurses Association in 2009. Aly served as the workgroup chair responsible for revisions to the Scope and Standards of Faith Community Nursing
Practice, 2nd edition published in 2012 and the 3rd edition in 2017.
To further promote the practice of faith community nursing, Aly served as a member of the committee charged with seeking ANCC credentialing for faith community nursing practice. The process (which began in 2009) was finalized in 2014. Aly became one of the first faith community nurses to be
credentialed in this practice. Faith community nursing would likely not be as strong as it is today without Aly’s leadership, commitment, work, and passion for the practice of faith community nursing. Her tireless effort is unmatched. “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
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.
- 2016 – 25th Annual National Conference, Chandler, AZ, Ronnette Sailors
- 2015 – 24th Annual National Conference, New Orleans, LA, Craig Schneider
- 2014 – 23nd Annual National Conference, Hyattsville, MD, Dorothy Wagner
- 2013 – 22nd Annual National Conference, South Lake Tahoe, NV, Nancy L. Rago Durbin
- 2012 – 21st Annual National Conference, Nashville, TN, Ameldia Brown
- 2009 – 20th Anniversary Year Regional Conference, Covington, KY, Sharon Becker
- 2007 – 18th Annual National Conference, San Antonio, TX, Linda Pape
- 2006 – 17th Annual National Conference, Durham, NC, Lois Peacock
- 2005 – 16th Annual National Conference, Omaha, NE, Sharon Stanton
- 2004 – 15th Annual National Conference, Seattle, WA, Dr. Dave Hilton
- 2003 – 14th Annual National Conference, Valley Forge, PA, Norma Small & Dave Carlson
- 2002 – 13th Annual National Conference, Asilomar, CA, Sister June Wilkerson & Reverend Dr.Thomas Droege