The Detroit Parish Nurse Network of Southeast Michigan

Shining our light together for whole health

About us

The history of parish nursing and the Detroit Parish Nurse Network of Southeast Michigan in Detroit, Michigan

The first formal Parish Nurse Programs were established in two Detroit churches.

The Greater Detroit Interfaith Roundtable's "Community Health Connection" invited two Parish Nurses to speak to their group in order to learn more about the model and to promote it to other faith communities.

In 1995, Mercy Health Services offered a training program for Parish Nurses. Out of this gathering, a network of Parish Nurses came together. This was the beginning of the Detroit Parish Nurse Network.

October 2, 2003
Founding of Detroit Parish Nurse Network of Southeast Michigan, Inc. (DPNN).

The Detroit Parish Nurse Network of Southeast Michigan, Inc. was founded as a non-profit organization by Kathleen Ruth, RN, Parish Nurse, Kathleen Lynch, Chaplain, and Evelyn Mann, RN, Parish Nurse.

Since that time and to the present, the DPNN Board of Directors and its Advisors have continued to uphold its mission and vision to serve the needs of the poor, elderly, and uninsured and underinsured through our advocacy and support of Parish Nurse ministries.

We thank God for His unfailing grace and love as we work together in this ministry He has entrusted to all of us.

The evolution of parish nursing

The Parish Nurse is given eyes of faith, ears of compassion, and the touch of warmth to recognize God's healing presence. God then unifies the Parish Nurse's education and experience with these senses and works His wonders for those in need of healing in mind, body, and spirit.

The Parish Nurse concept originated in the United States under the pioneering guidance of the late Rev. Granger E. Westberg, a Lutheran Pastor, hospital chaplain and author of the celebrated book, Good Grief.

In 1984, Rev. Westberg developed a partnership between Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois and six Chicago-area churches, each with a Parish Nurse.

The rest is history that Parish Nurses continue to write...

Simply, Parish Nurses serve in God's image to effect whole health healing in mind, body, and spirit through their expertise and presence in:

  • Personal home, hospital, and nursing home visits
  • Health education and counseling
  • Advocacy
  • Referrals
  • Community activism
  • Facilitator of volunteers