The October Trinity Hospital Foundation newsletter featured two parish nurses, Brenda Sherrick and Carol Jackson. These two parish nurses were the first-ever recipients of Trinity Hospital's FOCUS award. Brenda is technically a Trinity employee working at Asbury; Asbury pays her salary to Trinity. Carol is considered a "volunteer" for the Trinity Parish Nurse program, as she is a direct employee of Asbury. Both Carol and Brenda are long time members of Asbury United Methodist Church in Bettendorf.
Brenda and Carol have taken their parish nurse ministry "out of the box" in order to help meet the needs of Asbury-Bettendorf UMC members—and others in the Bettendorf community. This story is very exciting for Asbury-Bettendorf to share, yet for Brenda and Carol, it's just "normal ministry." They work in a team with Pastor Heather Dorr and Senior Pastor, Kerrin Kirkpatrick, to meet the pastoral care needs of the congregation. Gone are the days of foot clinics and blood pressure checks—they simply do not have time.
The team meets every week to share information and create strategies around how best to meet the pastoral care needs of the congregation, especially the older members and members caring for parents. The vast majority of the visitation to people in nursing homes, hospitals, and assisted/independent living is done by Carol and Brenda.
The congregation is quickly learning that, while the pastors and congregation can pray for them, Brenda and Carol are the best ones to help them navigate the complexities of Medicare, evaluate the quality of hospital care, advocate for insurance coverage, recommend nursing homes and skilled care, do home visits following medical procedure, offer Griefshare classes, and translate complex medical terminology into understandable language. In short, they are advocates for people in a very confusing and complex medical system. And, they can pray, too!
If you would like to have more conversation about the ministry of our parish nurses, please feel free to contact Pastor Kerrin Kirkpatrick. Brenda and Carol are two of Iowa's biggest "Difference Makers." Congratulations!