Faith Community Nursing


Faith Community Speakers and Biographies


Joyce Rupp


Joyce Rupp describes herself as a ‘spiritual midwife,” one who assists others in birthing their true self. She is a member of the Servants of Mary order, the author of twenty one books, and gives conferences and retreats both nationally and internationally. She is also a spiritual director, the co-director of The Institute of Compassionate Presence, and has been a volunteer for Hospice for fourteen years. She lives in Des Moines, IA.

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Robert Fulwood

AFTERNOON PLENARY: Robert Fulwood, Ed.D. 

Rob is an Adjunct Professor at Northeast Iowa Community College (Peosta Campus), Pastor-Educator and author. He has an MA degree in Religion from Liberty University and his Ph.D. in Education from Capella University.

Presentation: Sharing Stories of Compassion: Be Changed!
Acts of compassion shape who we are and become. Drawing to mind the compassion marker experiences in our life and ministry have substantive learning potential once we reflect further upon them. This plenary session is interactive and intended to integrate your understandings of compassion in dialog with your life experience.


Tim Boffeli

Tim Boffeli, Ph.D.

Tim is Associate Professor and Chair of Psychology at Clarke University, Dubuque, Iowa. He is also a Licensed Mental Health Counselor.  He holds an MA from Loras College in Applied Psychology and a Ph.D. from Capella University, Minneapolis, MN. Prior to Clarke, Tim worked for twenty years at the Gannon Center for Community Mental Health. As a therapist, Tim worked extensively with a wide range of individuals who experienced short term and persistent forms of mental illness. For the most part, he worked with individuals who had specialty treatment needs.

Presentation: Staving Off Compassion Fatigue
When ministering to suffering individuals and their families, pastors, pastoral workers and health professionals inevitably “carry the burden” of others. This emotional weight commonly leads to compassion fatigue with consequent loss of professional joy and effectiveness. Recognizing the impact of fatigue and the ebb of resilience is the beginning of the renewal journey. Developing a talent for resilience is essential to ministerial success.

Jean Conrad

Jean Conrad, R.N. FCN

Jean has been a Registered Nurse for 40 years with experience teaching at community college, working in long term care, hospital, public and home health, dialysis and as Faith Community Nurse for about 10 years in the St. Thomas Aquinas Cluster in the Cascade area.  Her first years as a Faith Community Nurse was in a volunteer position and the last 2 years as paid part-time. She is married, mother of four adult children and grandmother of seven. Jean became certified as a Parish Nurse in 2001 and took the Befriender  Program coordinator training in 2009.

Presentation: The Art of Active Listening
During this program we will talk about the importance of being “HUMAN BEINGS” not always “HUMAN DOINGS” and that really listening is very important in all relationships and can be a healing ministry when we reach out to others with our ears.

Constance Wessels





Brigid Ruden

Bridgid M. Ruden, ARNP

Constance Wessels, M.S.N., R.N., ARNP

Connie Wessels has her Masters in Nursing Education. She is a co-author of a publication, "Experiencing Chronic Illness: Co-Creating New Understandings".  She presently works at Medical Associates as a Cardiology Nurse Practitioner. 
Presentation: Revealing Compassionate Care/Surviving Traumatic Brain Injury
Connie is passionate regarding parish health and has personal life and professional experiences with various types and degrees of loss. She will facilitate exploring the compassion and not so compassionate interventions of the individual(s) and family members as to "their side of the story". This facilitated program will explore the many challenges endured when experiencing stress, acute and chronic illness and death. A panel of individual(s) and family member(s) will provide insight into their experience and perspective related to the needs they noted.

As part of Connie’s presentation, participants will hear the voice and story of Bridgid Ruden who endured brain damage as a result of a bicycle accident in 2008. Those in attendance will hear her speak about about the potential physical, cognitive and behavioral challenges subsequent to brain injury and the care she received.  Bridgid has been a nurse for 25 years and a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner for 15 of those years. She was working at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics until May of 2008 when she suffered this traumatic brain injury. As a brain injury survivor she is now publicly sharing her story to instill understanding, hope and amazing abilities that can be achieved during the healing and rehabilitation process.

kamalini_kumar 2

Kamalini Kumar, Ph.D.

Kamalini is the Director of Clinical & Professional Development. Mercy Medical Center in Clinton, Iowa. She received her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and her MA in Instructional Design & Technology from the University of Iowa. She has a BSN from Madras University, India as well as Midwifery AD from Madras. She has a nursing diploma in neurological nursing from Montreal Neurological Institute, Montreal, Canada. She is past president and board member of the Nurses Christian Fellowship. She has thirty five years of teaching experience in health care and the public sector; she has presented internationally and nationally. Kamalini and her husband, Dr. Surendra Kumar are the parents of two children.

Presentation: Living a Balanced Life
Life in the real world has the potential to take us in so many directions at the same time. Each of us needs and desires to experience joy, compassion, personal growth, peace, and spiritual well being. Taking charge of our personal direction requires awareness and a purposeful balance in daily life.


Roberta Lavin

Roberta P. Lavin, Ph.D., APRN-BC

Roberta Lavin is Chair and Professor of Nursing and Health at Clarke University. She spent 20 years as a U.S. Public Health Service officer and held multiple senior leadership positions within the Department of Health and Human Services.  She received her Ph.D. from the Uniformed Services University and hold Master’s degrees in Nursing and Emergency Management.

Presentation: Spiritual Assessment in Nursing
Patients do not leave their spiritual beliefs and needs at home when they are admitted to the hospital, or treated in a clinic, or being cared for in a shelter. Illness and crisis are times when a person may revisit, reencounter, strengthen or even discover spirituality. In this context nurses should be taught and incorporate spiritual assessment and care into the nursing process as part of the holistic plan of care.

Regina Boarman

Regina Boarman, Ph.D., LISW

Regina Boarman, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Social Work Department at Clarke University. Regina received her Master’s in Social Work from Loyola University and her Ph.D. in Social Work from the University of Chicago. She spent over 20 years as a Social Worker in Chicago. Her experience includes clinical work with individuals and families in inpatient and outpatient settings at Rush Presbyterian St Luke’s Medical Center, Michael Reese Hospital and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago where she was the Director of Social Work. In addition to her work as a medical social worker, Regina maintained a private practice in Chicago, working with women who were experiencing transitions in their lives.

Presentation: Family Systems: Helping Families Heal
Families during crisis often struggle with patterns of communication that interfere with their ability to relate to one another in an effective manner. This presentation will utilize the systems framework to help participants understand individuals and families in the context of their environment. Challenges and opportunities for helping families in the healing process will be identified using an eco-map. Finally, participants will be guided in identifying areas of strength and methods of intervention.

Dave Pacholke

Rev. Dave Pacholke, M.Div., Th.M.

Rev. Pacholke has been active as Chaplain at The Finley Hospital since 1974. He also volunteers as a chaplain with the Dubuque Law Enforcement Center and has volunteered as a Spiritual Care Coordinator with Hospice of Dubuque. He did his graduate training at Duke Divinity School in Durham, North Carolina and was ordained an elder in the United Methodist Church in 1971.  He is married to Jan Pacholke who is an R.N. at the Finley Hospital.

Presentation: Being Open to the Source of Life in Prayer
Participants will explore the source of prayer/spirit within them as well as the purpose of prayer. This workshop will be presented with an opportunity to practice listening in prayer and consider what it might mean to learn the act of compassionate prayer for another person in their care.

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