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Gwinnett Medical Center Congregational Nurses Promote Good Health

02.16.2012

Linda Bailey is dedicated to conducting blood pressure screenings as least twice a month.  She knows it saves lives. Several times, the blood pressure readings were so high that the congregants knew they should see a doctor immediately.  In the case of one gentleman, who also wasn’t feeling well, it led to emergency treatment including cardiac stenting to remove blockages.

Duluth, Ga., resident Bailey is a congregational nurse, who was trained through the Congregational Health Ministry program at Gwinnett Medical Center. For the past 10 years, she’s provided health counseling and education to the congregation at Duluth First United Methodist Church.  Now, Bailey also helps instruct those nurses new to the program at GMC, the only hospital in the state to provide such training.

Parish nurses are advocates, educators and health and spirit counselors who lead the community towards physical, social, emotional and spiritual wholeness in their lives.

“Through this unique program, we provide individual attention,” said Bailey, who received her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Iowa Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant, Iowa.  “Because there is nothing that’s considered ‘off-limits’ with parish nurses, individuals confide with the most difficult situations in their lives, especially as it relates to illness, abuse, grief and family issues.”

Beyond blood pressure screenings, Bailey maintains an aggressive schedule to support her faith community.  She offers monthly Alzheimer’s care giver support meetings, organizes a grief support group for children, visits the homebound congregants regularly and provides them communion.  Bailey also organizes shipments of care packages to troops stationed overseas and weekly delivers meals to those who have been recently discharged from the hospital.

For more information about the Congregational Health Ministry program, contact Debbie Huckaby at dhuckaby@gwinnettmedicalcenter.orgor call 678-312-2423.

About Gwinnett Medical Center

Gwinnett Medical Center is a not-for-profit healthcare network with acute-care hospitals in Lawrenceville and Duluth that provide award-winning healthcare services. GMC’s 4,200 associates and 800 affiliated physicians serve more than 400,000 patients annually. To learn more about how GMC is transforming healthcare, visit gwinnettmedicalcenter.org or follow us at facebook.com/gwinnettmedical, twitter.com/gwinnettmedical or youtube.com/gwinnettmedical.