THE PARISH NURSING COMMUNITY OUTREACH PROGRAM
The Parish Nursing Community Outreach Program is sponsored by the St. Francis Foundation and has been serving our local community since 1995. In 2003, with the closing of St. Francis Medical Center, Parish Nursing became a program of Cottage Hospital.
Parish Nursing is a specialty practice that works with our culturally diverse community. This includes several local faith congregations and numerous health service organizations in order to provide health assessments, education, emotional and spiritual support for individuals and families dealing with healthcare challenges.
Parish Nursing was established to ensure that people learn to incorporate good health habits into their daily lives. This includes a balance between body, mind and spirit. Parish Nursing integrates whole-person health in a confidential approach.
Parish Nurses partner with several local faith communities and service agencies such as: PATH, Transition House, Faulding Hotel, Hotel De Riveria (our community homeless shelters), Catholic Charities, St. Vincent’s Villa Caridad, Garden Court, Villa Santa Fe, and other low-income senior housing units, and the PathPoint Behavioral Health Program that serves over 125 mental ill clients. The program also serves 6 churches of different faiths. The nurse acts as a client-advocate who educates, assesses, and refers individuals to appropriate agencies to meet their healthcare needs.
Parish Nurses also collaborate with other community agencies and programs, such as:
- Cancer Center of Santa Barbara
- Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics
- American Heart Association
- DASH-Doctors Assisting Seniors at Home
- Hospice of Santa Barbara
- Sarah House
- Doctors Without Walls -Santa Barbara Street Medicine
- Direct Relief International
- Providing home and hospital visits
- Creating health education classes, newsletter articles and other educational resources
- Personal health counseling and resource referrals
- Medication supervision & emotional support
- Recruiting and training of congregational volunteers
Facilitating Health Clinics &Screenings, including the following:
- Blood glucose testing
- Blood pressure screening
- Cholesterol screenings
- Flu shots
Prevention and education in healthcare are the wave of the future. It is this approach that will help to keep healthcare costs down and encourage people to make healthy lifestyle choices that will extend and improve the quality of their lives.