History of Mercy Health Ministry

Mercy Health Ministry has been a pioneer in our community, partnering with a diverse group of local faith communities who advocate for health promotion and disease prevention. Together, we value and support whole-person care where body, mind and spirit are all integral to a person's well-being.
Mercy Health Ministry had its early beginnings at Dignity Health in 1993 when an ecumenical meeting of community members concluded there was an overwhelming interest in health ministry and parish nursing. That led Mercy Healthcare to establish Health Ministry as a department within Mission Services.

In 1995, Mercy Health Ministry partnered with Lutheran Social Services to support the establishment of a local chapter of the national Health Ministries Association (HMA). HMA is a nonprofit membership organization that aspires to engage, educate and empower people of faith to be passionate and effective leaders for creating healthier communities. HMA encourages, supports and empowers leaders in the integration of faith and health in their local communities, and is the professional membership organization representing Faith Community Nurses.

In 2000, Mercy Health Ministry and four other health systems in Northern California established the Central Valley Parish Nurse Education Committee, now known as NorCal FCN Education Network. This group provides professional educational opportunities for FCNs in Northern California.

And in 2009, the nonprofit Greater Sacramento Health Ministry Network was established with the support and assistance of Mercy Health Ministry.

Since 1998, Dignity Health has provided scholarship funds to 35 nurses for the purpose of attending a 30+ hour continuing education course for Faith Community Nursing. What started in the greater Sacramento area in the early 1990s in 10 faith communities has now grown to include more than 75 faith communities being supported by Mercy in promoting this healing ministry.

We welcome you to join with us on this journey to healing and wholeness.