2020 Health and Wellness Programs - Updated 1/8/20

Parish Health Ministry (PHM) provides partnering congregations with a variety of holistic activities and tools that focus on helping members live well. PHM has touched the lives of thousands of people with over 30,000 contacts annually through health screenings, educational efforts, and programs. 

PHM offers a variety of programs including:

  • Backdoor Reading: This program provides a unique means of communication with the congregation regarding health matters. Carol Sullivan, a parish nurse at St. Anne’s Parish in Annapolis, Maryland, has developed over 40 one-page informational sheets with colorful pictures and information about various health topics. This program is available through National Episcopal Health Ministries Association. Episcopal Retirement Services’ Parish Health Ministry has received permission from Carol Sullivan and the National Episcopal Health Ministries Association to distribute Backdoor Reading.
  • Blood Pressure Program: The congregation will be provided with the tools and information to implement both a congregational blood pressure screening and a community outreach program. The program includes educational materials and documentation forms. Coordinators may be available for phone or on-site consultation. BP Wallet cards are available for free while supplies last.  
  • Family & Friends CPR Anytime® Program:  Family & Friends CPR Anytime® program features a kit that contains everything you need to learn the basic lifesaving skills of CPR in about 20 minutes. It also includes instruction on AED awareness and choking relief.  It is a self-directed, video-based program. The kit can be used to train individuals, small groups and community organizations. It is designed for community education only and may not meet job requirements.
  • Friendly Visitor program: ERS offers support to recruit and train volunteers to visit home-bound individuals and befriend them as a means to alleviate issues of isolation and loneliness. This service also helps individuals to stay connected with the church.
  • Health Thoughts
    • Volumes I & II (combined): A collection of 24 health and wellness bulletin inserts on topics related to health in body, mind and spirit to share with your congregation in the church bulletin, church newsletter, or on a bulletin board. For your convenience, two sizes of bulletin inserts are included in the binder along with a CD containing all of the bulletin insert information. 
    • Volume III: A collection of 28 health and wellness bulletin inserts devoted to mental health topics to share with your congregation in the church bulletin, church newsletter, or on a bulletin board. As with Volume II, for your convenience, two sizes of bulletin inserts are included in the binder along with a CD containing all of the bulletin insert information. 
  • Journeying through Grief: This program provides PHM partners with a meaningful way to reach out to those grieving following the death of a loved one.  It includes a set of four booklets given at specific times during the first year after the loss.  It also includes a giver’s guide, points to consider, bulletin information, and Healthy Thoughts articles on grief and grief resources. 
  • Kindness Quotes & Holy Humor CD: This CD offers a number of meaningful quotes and humorous brief stories presented in a colorful and creative way. They can be used in church bulletins, newsletters, email communications, table tents or as part of a PowerPoint slide show at church functions, and much more. Also included are two articles on the effect of kindness and humor on a person’s overall health. 
  • Mental Health Sunday:  The focus is to provide a mental health resource table that includes informational materials and a mental health professional to provide information, answer general questions and make referrals.
  • Portion Plate Program: This program is a fun, family-oriented way to cut down on portion sizes and discover healthy food options for better health.
  • Project Activate:  This is an award-winning physical activity initiative, developed by healthy aging expert Kay Van Norman, to help older adults retain health and independence as they age. It is based on the premise that frailty is NOT part of normal aging. Lifestyle choices made day after day can have a profound impact on health and well-being. There are simple things that can be done to prevent frailty in later life. This program provides excellent information and hands-on activities and instruction to help people retain their independence.
  • Seasoning Lent:  Seasoning Lent uses the 40 days of Lent to focus on healthy recipes and weekly Lenten devotionals. Lent is traditionally a time for Christians to remember the sacrifices Jesus made leading up to his suffering on the cross and death. Fasting, honoring simplicity, sacrificing and working on spiritual growth are some of the common practices of Lent. Making an effort to do something positive in our lives is another way to observe Lent.  Seasoning Lent encourages a positive lifestyle change. It will teach us new ways to create healthy, tasty foods using ingredients and methods of preparation to enhance nutritional value. The recipes feed our bodies and the weekly scriptural reflections feed our minds and souls. Thanks to the Church Health Center for partnering with us to offer this program.
  • "Stayin Healthy" Fall Prevention program: A compilation of National Fall Prevention educational information, programs and resources which are organized in such a way to assist our partners as they educate older adults and their caregivers about fall prevention. Within the manual is a list of suggested ways to easily utilize or implement the information provided. 
  • Support & Networking Group: This group enables individuals involved in the health ministry to network, share ideas, offer support and obtain information on a variety of wellness topics.
  • Vial of Life: ERS provides free vial containers, forms and magnets to partnering congregations as part of this service. Members use the vials to house health information that is easily accessible to medical personnel during emergency situations.
  • Walk 50 Miles in 50 Days: This popular, spiritually based walking program encourages participants to walk 50 miles in 50 days to improve their health and well-being. It also serves as a tool to increase awareness of the benefits of walking.
  • Walking with Jesus:  Walking with Jesus is a six-week program designed to help you make small changes and simple lifestyle improvements in your health and to grow in faith. The inspiring devotional dimension of the program reminds you of the connection between physical and spiritual health.  As you work on physical health goals, daily Scripture readings and meditations help you follow the routes that Jesus walked. Participants encouraged to purchase the book (discounted cost of $9.00) through the Church Health Center. This program is offered in partnership with the Church Health Center in Memphis, TN.
  • Walk to Bethlehem: This program encourages walkers to become more physically active while providing a purposeful activity involving body, mind, and spirit. The program was developed by the health ministry team at Lake Shore Presbyterian Church in St. Clair Shores, Michigan in 2002 and distributed through St. John Health System. ERS’s Parish Health Ministry has developed additional beneficial tools to this program to further engage participants.
  • Yellow Dot program: The Yellow Dot program is designed to help people with current medical conditions communicate with the fire, police and paramedics in the event of an automobile accident.  It helps victims communicate with rescuers during the crucial “golden hour.”  The first 60 minutes after a serious accident can make the difference between life and death for the critically injured.

*Non-partnering congregations can access Parish Health Ministry Health and Wellness programs by contacting Jeanne Palcic at (513) 979-2238 or

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