“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
– Jeremiah 29:11
Since it’s conception in1989, the Heath Ministries Association has been encouraging, supporting and empowering people who integrate faith with the promotion of health and whole person care in local communities. In the beginning, there were the pioneers, followed by committed leaders through the years who have understood the convergence of health promotion and religious beliefs. The HMA leadership has worked from one premise since the beginning, they were guided by God and He would direct the organization’s path. Strategically, these individuals have combined their faith, leadership, expertise and engagement to build a solid foundation for the association, in the beginning, today and moving forward.
We hear a lot about engagement these days, because it is essential for effecting change and achieving transformational objectives. Engagement is a leadership act that is contextual and requires a strategy. Since 2009, HMA has been on a strategic path to expand mission-critical activities. This has meant facing infrastructure challenges head on. Some of those challenges-to-accomplishments include: fiscal responsibility, organizational restructure, bylaws revision, elevating the professional roles, committee and workgroup development, mentoring, certification for faith community nurses, FCN Society, Granger Westberg Leadership in Faith Community Nursing Award and improved communication on multiple levels. In concert, processes and policies to support the organization activities have been developed to support the changes.
HMA has also been growing partnerships with national organizations that allow the organization to focus on innovative programs and expansion into uncharted areas. The collaborative partnerships that HMA has engaged in, in part, have enabled the organization to remain not only relevant but vibrant.
It is my honor to share with you another major milestone for HMA, becoming the latest American Nurses Association Organizational Affiliate. This is the designation for specialty nursing organizations that hold an organizational-level membership of ANA. This will give HMA two seats, with one official representative who has voting privileges at the ANA House of Delegates. HMA representatives will have the ability to network with the nursing community, ANA and the 38 other Organizational Affiliates representing their specialties. The HMA representatives will attend two half-day meetings per year, be involved in discussions on several programmatic issues and garner in-depth information regarding activities occurring throughout the nursing community. Conference calls will occur throughout the year on a variety of practice and policy issues that cut across the specialties.
Felicia Stewart, DNP, NP-C, RN-BC, Director for Practice and Education will be the HMA official representative and will be attending the June meeting in Washington DC. Alyson Breisch will be attending as the ANA liaison for HMA and as the chair of the workgroups for the past two revisions of the Faith Community Nursing Scope and Standards. I will be attending as president. We will be completing the Organizational Affiliate orientation in early May. We will also develop a process to keep you informed about the June meeting and the Organizational Affiliate status moving forward. We are very excited for this new role for HMA as the membership organization for Faith Community Nurses. This collaboration will strengthen our partnership with ANA, allow us to work with various nursing specialties and share our story of faith community nursing.
I continue to believe that God has plans for this ministry. My hope for the future of HMA is that it can continue to be the resource for enhancing health ministries and inspiring your practices along the way. I am cheering you on as you grow in your ministries and seek to glorify God through your work. Bless you, bless your work and all the possibilities that lie ahead for your ministries.