Karen Reinholz


Nurse Karen Reinholz headshot

Karen Reinholz, RN, CNOR, CAPA, FCN, works at CentraCare Plaza as an RN in the Ambulatory Surgery Center. Since 2007 she has also served as a Faith Community Nurse at St. Francis Catholic Church in Sartell. What led her to that added responsibility while raising three young children and working full time? She said the Pastoral Minister at her church, Sister Cordy Korkowski, approached her and asked if she would commit time because of her faith and nursing knowledge to being a parish nurse for her church. Rather than doing a lot of different things at the church, she told Karen, “Your ministry can be in combining your nursing and your faith, commit to one ministry of parish nursing”. Karen said, “I just loved Sister Cordy”. She was so patient, understanding and non-judgmental. Sr. Cordy encouraged Karen to “just try it”. It was very non-threatening and I was to do what I could. Karen started with occasional bulletin inserts on topics to educate her faith community members. She did blood pressure screening at church events like the Parish Festival. Her husband and children helped her with some of the educational events and so the church got five volunteers!

Karen and another RN, Jackie McCann, became parish nurses together for the church, taking the five day Foundations of Parish Nursing Class. Jackie arranged blood drives at the church and they brought Take Heart CPR Training to the church, speakers on different topics and when Jackie retired, two more retired CentraCare nurses, Bev Wiehoff & Rosemary Weiser, were trained as FCN’s and joined the team. So having three FCN’s, each doing different things, along with a very active and talented Health & Wellness Committee, they have multiplied what they do as a team. Rosemary makes phone calls and visits to members in nursing homes and on birthdays. Bev has a group making baby blankets for every baby baptized at the church and presents them to parents with a special prayer welcoming them into the St. Francis faith community family. They are trained by Light the Legacy to help members with Advance Care Directives. The Heath Committee meets every other month. Deb Rudolph, the Pastoral Minister meets with the three FCN’s before the meetings to plan.

The Pastor’s have considered them team members all along. Karen says the nine years have been very rewarding and her family has been fully supportive. When Sister Cordy asked me, she saw something in me and gave me the idea and she was so enthused, it excited me. Karen has been the President of the Central MN Parish Nurse Ministry Committee and now serves as the Secretary/Treasurer and also is on the Health Ministries of Central MN Committee which is an advisory committee to the FNC’s. Karen would love to talk to you if you have an interest in Faith Community Nursing.