Reaching out to our neighbors

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 10, 2012

As healthcare recognizes the union of body, mind and spirit, so does the practice of faith community nursing. Providing healthcare in a religious atmosphere joins two sources of health and healing: the faith community and the medical environment.
Recent research indicates that your state of well-being influences your immune system, affecting your overall quality of life. Prayer, grief and forgiveness also have measurable effects on your immune system. “Numerous studies have demonstrated the positive effects that prayer, meditation and religious practice or faith in a higher power exert on health outcomes, ability to cope with illness and on patient’s reported sense of well being”, says James Scheer, DO, family physician, Fellowship trained in Integrative Medicine, with NorthEast Internal and Integrative Medicine in Concord. “Medical schools are now teaching and addressing spiritual and mind-body components of health.  This is an important trend as prayer was cited as the most commonly used complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapy used by 43% of adults in the United States National Health Interview Survey in 2002.”
Parish nursing came to Charlotte in 1988 and spread to Concord in 1997. The director of Pastoral Care Services cast a vision for Parish Nursing and along with the support of nursing and administrative leadership implemented the Parish Nursing program at NorthEast Medical Center, now Carolinas Medical Center-NorthEast. As a member of the Carolinas Healthcare System, the CMC-NorthEast Faith Community Health Ministry includes more than 70 faith communities in Cabarrus, Rowan, Stanly, and Mecklenburg counties     The program is seeing a positive growth as the benefits of faith community nursing and health ministry are recognized.