Mercy’s Parish Nursing and Resource Mothers Honored
Mercy strives to improve the health and lives of our community every
day. Two teams in particular excel at taking the Mercy mission beyond the
walls of our facilities and into the Lorain County community: the Parish
Nursing and Resources Mothers programs. And, they’re receiving national and
local recognition for it.
The Resource Mothers program was recently recognized in Health Progress, a
Journal of the Catholic Health Association of the United States, for their
innovative use of community health workers. The article, entitled “Reverse
Innovation for the Least of Our Neighbors,” recognizes the success of
nurturing positive health and improved outcomes for young mothers in our
Trained as mentors, teachers, advocates and friends, the resource mothers
are carefully matched with pregnant and parenting women to create a special
relationship which helps achieve healthier lifestyles and connect them to
the healthcare and social services they need.
Funded largely in part by the Mercy Foundation of Lorain County, the
program has demonstrated tremendous results. For example, 97 percent of
infants are born at a healthy birth weight of 5.5 pounds or above and 98
percent of infants receive necessary immunizations by their first birthday.
The program also includes Spanish interpretation, car seat installation,
friends and family CPR, infant massage and social services.
While the effects of the Resource Mothers program have been far-reaching,
they’re not alone in their efforts to make Lorain County a healthier
community. Mercy also provides a Parish Nursing program to address
immediate and pressing concerns affecting a number of residents in our
On Monday, January 21, the City of Elyria recognized the Mercy Parish
Nursing program with the Elyria Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Health Equity &
Awareness Award. The award is given annually to recognize service and
achievement of persons and/or organizations which serve Lorain County in
areas consistent with the teachings and example of Dr. Martin Luther King,
The Parish Nurse program was established with the understanding that the
healing ministry of the church and the need for healthcare focuses on the
whole person. Parish nurses strive to create a proactive approach to care
with a concentration on improving quality of life and overall health.
The nurses host educational opportunities to raise the health awareness of
the church community through a variety of options, including health
screenings and fairs, workshops, newsletters, seminars, and support groups.
Committed to helping local residents achieve their optimal health, the
Parish Nursing program currently works with over 80 churches in Lorain
Beth Finnegan, the director of both the Resources Mothers and also the
Parish Nursing program, was also recently recognized by Mercy for her
outstanding commitment to service and the success of her programs within
the Lorain community. Beth is the most recent recipient of the Humility of
Mary Mission Leadership award. Her approach to clients has been described
as much more than just ultrasounds or blood pressure screenings; a young
mother who is enrolled in the Resource Mothers program noted, “I went in
for my interview and was greeted by a woman with this vibrant, warm and
bubbly personality…we have since formed a bond like a family.”