A Sozo Health Ministry update from Rev. John Rich, RN:
A friend of mine started a new job at the Evansville-Vanderburgh Public Library recently. She loves working at the library. One day, I was browsing through the audio books section of the library. Seemingly out of nowhere, this friend rushes up to me, grabs my arm, and pulls me into a small study room where she is apparently having a meeting with her supervisor. A little shaken and confused, I shake the supervisor’s hand as my friend introduces us.
“This is what we need.” My friend tells the supervisor, “This is John Rich. He’s a nurse and a minister and runs the Sozo Health Ministry at Patchwork Central.” My friend goes on to explain that just a few days ago, she noticed a homeless patron in the library with a nasty, hacking cough. She thought of me and wished I had been there to listen to the guy’s lungs with my stethoscope and see if it was pneumonia.
“We should have him come in regularly to do blood pressure checks and talk with people about their health issues.”
The three of us continue talking and agree that this sounds like a great idea. So the Sozo Health Ministry started a collaboration with the Evansville-Vanderburgh Public Library. We’re calling it “Friday Mornings with Patchwork.” On the first Friday of each month, the Sozo Health Ministry will be at the Central Library branch from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. to do blood pressure checks and be available to answer questions and offer support.
Mary Damm, RN and I have already held several “Friday Mornings with Patchwork”. On our first Friday we checked 22 blood pressures and talked with people about health issues ranging from dry, itchy skin to the health risks of long-distance truck driving.
The library may not be the first organization that comes to mind when you think of health care, but it is an important part of the fabric of relationships that create community. In the same way that individuals build friendships (like my friendship with my arm-grabbing library employee buddy), organizations build collaborations.
The Sozo Health Ministry is honored to be partnering with the Evansville-Vanderburgh Public Library to help bring greater access, awareness, education, and care to improve the health of the Evansville community.