Health Ministry

Sacred Heart Health Ministry provides health related services to members of the Sacred Heart Faith Community. Registered Nurses trained in Faith Community Nursing, and other Health Care Professionals provide health related services to maintain health and to provide support to individuals and families with acute/chronic illnesses and life transitions. Services provided include assessment, education, active listening, home visits, prayer, advocacy, and referrals.

Parish Nurses

To contact a parish nurse, please call the parish office. 208-344-8311

What Parish Nurses DO

  • Provide wellness education to various groups as needed.
  • Coordinate health fairs and various screenings (i.e. Blood Pressure).
  • Advise parish members on health care at their invitation (confidential office space).
  • Inform or refer members to community health and social service agencies.
  • Coordinate healing services and healing prayer teams as needed.

What Parish Nurses DO NOT DO

  • Home Health Care - We do not replace home health care. We only refer or add a supportive service such as counsel, prayer, respite or meals.
  • We do not do medication procedures.
  • We do not provide wound care.
  • We do not perform invasive procedures.

Ten ways to keep your mind sharp

  1. Exercise your mind: Learn to play a musical instrument, play scrabble or do crossword puzzles, read.
  2. Stay active: Exercise daily for 30 minutes.
  3. Eat, drink, and be healthy: Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
  4. Take time to remember things: Slow down and pay full attention to the task at hand.
  5. Learn relaxation techniques.
  6. Develop a system of reminders and cues: Write it down, establish a routine, set up cues, repetition.
  7. Keep a positive attitude: Happiness makes us more alert, and when we're alert, our senses are more open to receiving information.
  8. Talk to your doctor.
  9. Check your levels: Blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar.
  10. Keep your perspective: Everyone has difficulty remembering things at times. So don't lose sight of how much you do remember. Wisdom is built from a lifetime of memories.

(Adapted from Dr. Paul Takahashi, Mayo Clinic)


Cover your cough

  • Prevent the spread of germs: Cover your cough!!!
  • Do not cough or sneeze into your bare hands.
  • Use a strong tissue or your sleeve every time you cough or sneeze.
  • If possible, clean your hands after coughing or sneezing - use soap and water or alcohol based hand cleaner.

Hand Sanitizers

Did you know that alcohol-based hand sanitizers provide several advantages over handwashing with soap and water?

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers...

  • ...require less time than handwashing.
  • ...act quickly to kill microorganisms on hands.
  • ...are more effective than handwashing with soap and water.
  • ...are more accessible than sinks.
  • ...reduce bacterial counts on hands.
  • not promote antimicrobial resistance.
  • ...are less drying and irritating to skin than soap and water.

With the cold and flu season just around the corner, you might want to get some to carry with you and use!

Source: Minnesota Department of Health

Blood pressure: What you don't know CAN hurt you!

What is a blood pressure?

Usually displayed as one number over another number - example: 116/74.

The upper number is the systolic pressure; it indicates the pressure of the blood inside the blood vessels when the heart muscle is contracted (beating).

The lower number is the diastolic pressure; this number indicates the pressure of the blood inside the blood vessels when the heart muscle is relaxed (between beats).

Normal blood pressure is any reading below 120/80. High blood pressure happens when either one of these numbers is too high.

Do you know what your blood pressure is?

If you don't know it -- get your blood pressure checked. If you have numbers of 120/80 or higher, talk to your doctor about what is acceptable for you.

Keep a record of your blood pressures and take it along to show your doctor the next time you see him or her.

Teen Health

What should I know about my teenager's emotional health?

The teenage years are a time of transition from childhood into adulthood. Teens often struggle with being dependent on their parents while having a strong desire to be independent. They may also feel overwhelmed by the emotional and physical changes they are going through.

At the same time, teens may be facing a number of pressures--from friends to fit in and from parents and other adults to do well in school, or activities like sports or part-time jobs. The teenage years are important as your child asserts his or her individuality.

What can I do to help my teen?

Communicating your love for your child is the single most important thing you can do. Children decide how they feel about themselves in large part by how their parents react to them. For this reason, it's important for parents to help their children feel good about themselves. It is also important to communicate your values and to set expectations and limits, such as insisting on honesty, self-control and respect for others, while still allowing teenagers to have their own space.

Parents of teens often find themselves noticing only the problems, and they may get in the habit of giving mostly negative feedback and criticism. Although teens need feedback, they respond better to positive feedback. Remember to praise appropriate behavior in order to help your teen feel a sense of accomplishment and reinforce your family's values.

Establishing a loving relationship from the start will help you and your child through the teenage years.

What warning signs should I look for?

Remember that your teen may experiment with his or her values, ideas, hairstyles and clothing in order to define him- or herself. This is typically normal behavior and you shouldn't be concerned. However, inappropriate or destructive behavior can be a sign of a problem.

Teens, especially those with low self-esteem or with family problems, are at risk for a number of self-destructive behaviors such as using drugs or alcohol or having unprotected sex. Depression and eating disorders are common health issues that teens face. The following may be warning signs that your child is having a problem:

  • Agitated or restless behavior
  • Weight loss or gain
  • A drop in grades
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Ongoing feelings of sadness
  • Not caring about people and things
  • Lack of motivation
  • Fatigue, loss of energy and lack of interest in activities
  • Low self-esteem
  • Trouble falling asleep
  • Run-ins with the law

What should I do if there is a problem?

Work together to maintain open communication. If you suspect there is a problem, ask your teen about what is bothering him or her. Don't ignore a problem in the hopes that it will go away. It is easier to cope with problems when they are small. This also gives you and your teen the opportunity to learn how to work through problems together. Don't be afraid to ask for help with dealing with your teen. Many resources, including your family doctor, are available.

Source: American Academy of Family Physicians

Senior Health

What is a Stroke?

A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is suddenly interrupted or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts, spilling blood into the spaces surrounding brain cells. Brain cells die when they no longer receive oxygen and nutrients from the blood or there is sudden bleeding into or around the brain. The symptoms of a stroke include sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body; sudden confusion or trouble speaking or understanding speech; sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes; sudden trouble with walking, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination; or sudden severe headache with no known cause. There are two forms of stroke: ischemic - blockage of a blood vessel supplying the brain, and hemorrhagic - bleeding into or around the brain.

Is there any treatment?

Generally there are three treatment stages for stroke: prevention, therapy immediately after the stroke, and post-stroke rehabilitation. Therapies to prevent a first or recurrent stroke are based on treating an individual's underlying risk factors for stroke, such as hypertension, atrial fibrillation, and diabetes. Acute stroke therapies try to stop a stroke while it is happening by quickly dissolving the blood clot causing an ischemic stroke or by stopping the bleeding of a hemorrhagic stroke. Post-stroke rehabilitation helps individuals overcome disabilities that result from stroke damage. Medication or drug therapy is the most common treatment for stroke. The most popular classes of drugs used to prevent or treat stroke are antithrombotics (antiplatelet agents and anticoagulants) and thrombolytics.

What is the prognosis?

Although stroke is a disease of the brain, it can affect the entire body. A common disability that results from stroke is complete paralysis on one side of the body, called hemiplegia. A related disability that is not as debilitating as paralysis is one-sided weakness or hemiparesis. Stroke may cause problems with thinking, awareness, attention, learning, judgment, and memory. Stroke survivors often have problems understanding or forming speech. A stroke can lead to emotional problems. Stroke patients may have difficulty controlling their emotions or may express inappropriate emotions. Many stroke patients experience depression. Stroke survivors may also have numbness or strange sensations. The pain is often worse in the hands and feet and is made worse by movement and temperature changes, especially cold temperatures.

Recurrent stroke is frequent; about 25 percent of people who recover from their first stroke will have another stroke within 5 years.

What research is being done?

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) conducts stroke research and clinical trials at its laboratories and clinics at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and through grants to major medical institutions across the country. Currently, NINDS researchers are studying the mechanisms of stroke risk factors and the process of brain damage that results from stroke. Basic research has also focused on the genetics of stroke and stroke risk factors. Scientists are working to develop new and better ways to help the brain repair itself to restore important functions. New advances in imaging and rehabilitation have shown that the brain can compensate for function lost as a result of stroke.

Source: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke