Parish Nurse Program
Parish Nurse Program

Since 2001, the EAMC Parish Nurses have been serving the community though programs in churches as well as other sites, such as community health fairs (including an annual Hispanic health fair). The Parish Nurse Program provides the opportunity for registered nurses employed by EAMC to serve in their congregation or faith group. These nurses seek to reclaim the healing ministry of the faith community and serve as bridges between the community of faith and the medical community. The group currently is active in more than 20 congregations in Lee, Macon, and Chambers counties.

In 2006, the EAMC Parish Nurses collaborated with the J.W. Darden Foundation and the Auburn University School of Nursing to establish the Darden Community Wellness Center in the Darden House in Opelika. Since then, they have helped staff two comprehensive health fairs at the Darden House as well as free health seminars and blood pressure screens. The Parish Nurses provide health education on a different topic each quarter, and students in the Auburn University School of Nursing check blood pressures and give flu shots or test blood sugars, depending on what topic is featured. Other groups participate asParish Nurse Program well, including the EAMC Diabetes and Nutrition Center, the Cancer Center of East Alabama (which provides free PSA tests for prostate cancer), and more. In September 2009, the Parish Nurses and EAMC started providing weekly chronic disease management services at the Darden House on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. until noon, and see patients with heart failure, hypertension and diabetes. Most patients are referred by EAMC, although walk-ins are welcome. The parish nurses check blood pressures, monitor glucose levels, and check weights and calf circumferences. They also offer health education and provide referrals to other area resources.

Dardebn House The Darden House is the restored home of the late Dr. J.W. Darden, the first African-American physician to practice in the area. He built his home at 1323 Auburn Street in Opelika in 1904 and actually had a small clinic there. It has come full circle: in addition to being used for meetings for community groups, it serves as the Darden Wellness Center.

Each year, the East Alabama Medical Center Parish Nurse Program serves approximately 6,000 people in our communities, providing care, support, and health education.

Current List of Parish Nurse Churches

For more information, call Nursing Services at (334) 528-1166.