Parish Health Ministry

The Parish Health Ministry is a program sponsored by the Episcopal Retirement Homes.  St. Mark’s is looking for volunteers who might be interested in assisting with this important ministry.  Please visit the Parish Health Ministry web site for more details.


Web Site Resource List (Developed by Dept. of Health and Human Services) (Health Central) (National Institutes of Health) (National Library of Medicine) (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases) (American Heart Association) (American Diabetes Association) (American Medical Association) (Family Doctor) (Johns Hopkins) (Mayo Clinic)




Some previous Parish Health Ministry activities

spearheaded at that time by Parish Nurse Lisa Zglinicki.

Interested in signing up???

See Lisa Zglinicki or any of our Parish Health Ministry members.





On Sunday, January 26, 2003 a presentation was made at the St. Mark’s Annual Parish Meeting by Lisa Ziglinicki on the topic of “Humor and Wellness”.  Below is a summary of her talk.  Lisa’s PowerPoint slides are shown immediately following the summary.

Presentation by the Parish Health Cabinet:  “Humor and Wellness?”

— by Lisa Zglinicki, CNS, RN, MSN —

Lisa distributed copies of her presentation to all those present. She reviewed some of the services that the Parish Health Ministry has provided to St. Mark’s including the “Vial of Life,” information on nutrition, and regular blood pressure screening. Next, Lisa began her presentation by explaining the meaning of humor. It can be laughter, giggles, smiles, snickers, chuckles, etc. All these are healthy behaviors that should be experienced daily. The best way to handle stress is to give yourself equal amounts of time to think how to enjoy yourself. If you’ve spent 10 minutes worrying about what you haven’t done, spend the next 10 minutes thinking about some fabulous thing you can do for yourself or with your friends and family! Incorporate fun and laughter into as many moments as you can. At the end of life, your eulogy should contain a list of all the wonderful things you did for yourself and others. Think of a favorite person in your life. Did you laugh or smile a lot when you were around them? In 2000, the American Heart Association reported that laughter might actually reduce the effects of heart disease. They felt that laughter therapy should be incorporated into cardiac rehabilitation because of the depression that typically goes along with the condition. Hospitals are using humorous TV shows or Movies to assist patients in recovery from surgery. In 2001, 9.3 billion dollars were spent on stress management. Then there are the holiday seasons to consider. “I can’t wait for the holidays to be over, they’re so stressful.” We have forgotten that the word holiday is supposed to mean a time of joy and that Christmas is a birthday celebration for a child named Jesus. “Birthdays are supposed to be fun. The gifts the three wise men gave were simple. They did not get up at 4:00 AM to wait in line for a talking camel!” — Loretta LaRoche. Do you think Christ had a sense of humor? How often are we laughing and enjoying life? This is an accurate indication of whether you are living life at its fullest. Yet it is seldom that our medical professionals ask, “How often do you laugh?” or “Are you having fun?” Share cartoons, read books about humor or by funny people, sing, watch TV programs that make you laugh, introduce children to other types of humor, read silly children’s books or poetry, and check out humor on-line. What’s really important? (what really impacts your well-being). Lots of Laughter! Lots of Love! And, a great deal of time spent with people you really like!







On Sunday, January 27, 2002 a presentation was made at the St. Mark’s Annual Parish Meeting by Lisa Ziglinicki on the topic of “wellness”.  Below is a summary of her talk.  Lisa’s PowerPoint slides are shown immediately following the summary.

Presentation by the Parish Health Cabinet:  “What is Wellness?”

— by Lisa Zglinicki, CNS, RN, MSN —

Lisa began by noting that the main purpose of her presentation was to try and obtain feedback from the congregation as to what the Parish Health Cabinet can do to help.  The three main areas regarding living a healthy lifestyle center around body, mind, and spirit.  BODY:  Regarding the body, there are many things the PHC could do.  They could recommend how many calories your body should have for its size, when to rest, when to exercise, what medications to take or avoid, etc.  However, that might not be possible to do for everyone in the congregation since the task would be too large.  However, they do offer a monthly blood pressure screening test, which is something that everyone in the parish can benefit from.  Programs offered to specific age groups and/or genders could also be considered such as information about breast cancer, etc.  It was suggested that a member of the PHC could perhaps participate in the review of the PERCEPT data, which has been recently acquired by St. Mark’s Vestry.  This data outlines demographics of the population in a five-mile radius around the parish.  For example, there is one area behind K-Mart, which is comprised of predominantly young families with low incomes.  A topic such as feeding children on a budget would be most appropriate.  MIND:  This area is individualized to some degree and tends to be culture related.  Lisa gave the example of listening to Joan of Arc as she was hearing voices compared to listening to the voice of God!  This is also a topic, which could be explored in more detail and would include information related to goals, self-esteem, humor, crisis and adversity, work and time management, etc.  SPIRIT:  Experiencing the spirit is obviously very individualized.  Lisa noted that she used to be much more private about discussing this topic but now feels more comfortable doing so.  For example, when working with cancer patients, spiritual well-being is a very high priority.  For complete wellness, body, mind, and spirit must all be considered.  Studies have now shown that prayer can decrease blood pressure and improve the odds of survival after cardiac surgery.  Those who regularly attended church services had higher rates of overall wellness.  Lisa’s final recommendation was that each of us should do something every day for our body, mind, and spirit.  If you like to sleep in, say your prayers after you hit the snooze button!  A glass of wine each day could be beneficial.  Do math problems to keep your mind sharp.  And remember, the Parish Health Cabinet is here to help you!






Reducing Stress

And your life will be brighter than the noonday, its darkness will be like the morning. And you will have confidence because there is hope.  Job 11:17-18

Stress is part of life. It is virtually impossible to avoid stressful situations. In fact, too little stress can lead to boredom and depression.  When stress becomes chronic, however, the body stays in constant ‘fight or flight” mode.  As a result, blood pressure, heart rate, respiration, metabolism and blood flow to muscles are constantly elevated. After time, this can lead to insomnia, backaches, headaches and even life-threatening illnesses like heart disease and cancer.

Stress has become epidemic in society. Did you know that…
·  Stress causes 75-90% of doctor visits?
·  Job stress costs businesses an estimated $150 billion a year?
·  50% of all diseases in the United States are stress-related in origin?

Relieving stress
Fortunately, there are many ways to manage stress.  One method to consider is prayer. whether reciting the Lord’s prayer aloud, or informal quiet conversations with God, prayer is powerful medicine.  It can lower your blood pressure and heart rate and create a feeling of well-being.  Relying on a God more powerful than yourself can give you confidence that you don’t have to handle your problems alone.

Exercise is a proven stress-reliever.  Recently, researchers discovered that after 30 minutes of exercise, subjects scored 25 percent lower on tests measuring anxiety. Even if you don’t have 30 minutes each day for exercise, a brisk 10-minute walk can help relieve stress.

Sharing your feelings is an important outlet for stress.  Talking with friends, joining a support group, or even keeping a journal can help you feel less alone and helpless. A study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association studied patients with either rheumatoid arthritis or asthma (stress-sensitive conditions).  They discovered that patients who wrote at length about their feelings and coping with their condition had far fewer episodes of their illness.

Stress can deflate even the best sense of humor. It is impossible, however, to feel stressed during a fit of giggles.  Research shows that laughter can relieve tension and actually improve the body’s immune function.  Sharing funny stories and jokes with friends is an easy way to lower stress levels.

Once a day, getting away for 10 to 15 minutes to meditate, pursue a hobby, read a novel or even sing can wipe the slate clean.  Being alone to relax and do something you enjoy can establish an inner feeling of peace and can relieve feelings of pressure.

Where to get help
If you are under extreme stress, more than just dealing with a passing difficulty, it may be helpful to talk to your doctor, spiritual advisor or local Mental Health Association.

This message is one in a series sponsored by Episcopal Retirement Homes’ Parish Health Ministry Program.  Episcopal Retirement Homes, Inc. is a not-for-proftt organization which owns and operates the Marjorie P. Lee Retirement community and the Deupree community in Cincinnati and Canterbury Court in West Carrollton, Ohio. For more information, call 1-800-835-5768 or visit


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