Health Ministry

Health Ministry is a Blending of Spirituality and Nursing to Support Wholestic Health.

Desert Palms Presbyterian Church has a Health Ministry Team that supports and guides the Faith Community Nurse and the programs.

We support and care for the physical, intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual needs of the faith community.

Fitness Fun

A fabulous exercise class that includes stretching, cardiovascular, strength training and balance.
Certified Instructor: Coleen Burke
Meets Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 7:30am or 8:45am in the Fellowship Hall with limited class sizes.

Bring a large beach type towel to cover chair - Bring your own weights, resistance band, small ball and water.
(Balls and resistance bands available for purchase at the church office or before class)

Masks are optional for those that have been fully vaccinated with the COVID vaccine.
Masks are required for those that have not been fully vaccinated.

A COVID waiver and annual disclaimer must be signed.

Sign Up

Create a SignUp Genius Account and sign up for days and times you wish to attend.
Click the link below to sign up. You will open a SignUp Genius window. Click either the Create a SignUp or Log In button.

July Sign Up - Click Link Below

August Sign Up - Click Below

Please click the link below to complete the Fitness Fun 2021 Disclaimer Form.
Email the completed form to
Fitness Fun 2021 Disclaimer Form

If you are unable to sign up online, there are sign up packets available at the church office. You may call Nurse Mary at 623-584-4602 ext.209

Donations, either online or at the door are necessary to sustain the offering of the classes. Thank you for your generous donations

  • Online donations accepted and encouraged, click this link to donate
      Click on the "Other" fund and write Fitness Fun in the Memo Line.   
  • Check or cash donations accepted at the class.

Sign-Up for August classes will begin on Monday, July 19 for Desert Palms Presbyterian Church members, and on Wednesday, July 21 for community members.


Health and Wellness Classes

Health and Wellness relates to a person's physical, emotional, and spiritual state.

Improving your health and wellness promotes good health and reduces the risk of disease with a wholistic approach. A variety of health-related classes are offered throughout the year.

Upcoming Classes

Cardio Drumming

You will want to join this fun and invigorating class!

This class takes a simple movement and turns it into a full-body workout that will leave you smiling, sweating and feeling great. It brings together drumsticks, an exercise ball that sits on a round laundry basket or plastic pail to create one of the most fun workouts you'll ever do.

When: Mondays, July 12 - August 30 at 10:30 am in the Fellowship Hall
Donations accepted (to pay the instructor)
Instructor: Sherry Henning, Certified Fitness Instructor

Contact Mary, Faith Community Nurse to register.

Equipment Needed:

  • An Exercise Ball (sold on Amazon, at Target or Walmart)
  • A round plastic laundry basket or a 5 gallon plastic pail
  • and Drumsticks ( You may purchase at class for $3)


Vitalant Blood Drive

In partnership with Vitalant, DPPC hosts two blood drives a year: Spring and Fall.
The next Vitalant Blood Drive is November 2021. Sign up online or call the church office.

Vitalant Blood Drive Update

Blood Drive - Mary - IMG_7798The blood drive we held on June 10 will help 111 people who need blood. Thank you for all your help in making this drive a success! Nurse Mary

The thank you letter that we received is below:


Dear Mary,

Vitalant thanks you for organizing the recent blood drive at Desert Palms Presbyterian Church. Your drive will help to assure that blood is available for patients in need.

At the blood drive, 36 lifesaving donors stepped up to donate, resulting in 34 procedures for our community and reaching 131% of your blood drive goal.

Your efforts and the support of Desert Palms Presbyterian Church are greatly appreciated and will go a long way toward assuring a strong blood supply, and ultimately saving lives.

Again, thank you for your contribution and ongoing support of the community blood program. I enjoyed working with you and look forward to our next meeting to plan your upcoming blood drive in November 2021.

Greg Wieking,
Vitalant Senior Coordinator

Meals of Joy

See our Missions page for more information.

Responding to An Emergency Training in Spring

A class held in the Spring that prepares the participant to respond to an emergency at home, at church and in the community. Participants learn hands only cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR). This is not a certification class.

Influenza Shot Clinic

In partnership with a local pharmacy, an influenza shot clinic is held in October.

Palms Newsletter Article

From Your Faith Community Nurse Mary

The month of August is Summer Sun Safety Month. The goal is to encourage enjoyment in the summer but also encourage each of us to protect our skin from the sun year round.  And if you notice anything unusual on your skin, consult your dermatologist.

The American Cancer Society shares that our skin is the body’s largest organ and the most common kind of cancer is skin cancer. More than 5 million skin cancers are diagnosed each year in the United States.  These cancers in the outer layer of the skin occur most where skin is exposed to the sun, such as the face, ears, neck, lips and the backs of the hands.

Take the American Cancer Society Sun Safety Quiz

I can’t get skin cancer, because my normal routine (such as drive to work, hobbies, and vacations) doesn’t include a lot of time outdoors.

False: Dermatologists (skin doctors) say brief sun exposures all year round can add up to major damage for people with fair skin. And some of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can even pass through windows, so driving or even sitting by a window during peak sun hours, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., can expose your skin to damaging UV rays if the sun is shining directly on you. 

A sunscreen labeled SPF 15 blocks more UV radiation than one labeled SPF 30.

False: The Sun Protection Factor (SPF) describes how well a sunscreen protects against UVB rays (although it says nothing about protection from UVA rays). SPF 15 sunscreens filter out about 93% of UVB rays, while SPF 30 sunscreens filter out about 97%.

The great thing is, we can do things to protect our skin!! ?
Seek shade (especially 10 am – 4 pm)

  •  Cover up with clothing
  •  Wear sunglasses
  •  Wear a hat
  •  Don’t use tanning beds or lamps

Use Broad Spectrum sunscreen which protects against both UVA and UVB rays

  •  SPF 30…at least! SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB rays
  •  Expiration Date – Sunscreen lasts two to three years, so check the date
  •  Lip balm with an SPF of at least 30
  •  Be generous! One ounce (about a palmful) should be used to cover the arms, legs, neck and face.
  •  Don’t forget your ears, hands, feet and under sides of your arms.


Helpful links at the American Cancer Society website:

Learn More //  

Stay Protected //

Detect It Early //  

I will have the ACS handout entitled, Preventing Skin Cancer, available at the Health Ministry Table in Fellowship Hall on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of August or stop in my office to pick up a flyer.

Blessings on your safe summer,



Meditation Monday on Tuesday with Nurse Mary

May this verse fill you with hope. Even if yesterday was filled with challenges, today is a new day and our Lord’s care is new every morning. May your week be blessed. ~Mary
MM 0601

Health Related Resources

COVID-19 Community Care Resources
COVID-19 Community Care Resources - This is an overwhelming time for communities around the world as we face the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’re like many others looking for essential resources, support, tips to de-stress and ways to help, you’ve come to the right place! This Community Care Resources page will be updated as more resources for Surprise residents become available. Symptoms & Testing

The Surprise Resource Center is a one-stop-shop for social services. Through strategic partnerships with community-based organizations and government agencies, the center offers Surprise residents connections to services that include everything from rent and utility assistance, employment support, food and nutrition resources, and more.

Covid Resources
Resources collected by Mary, Faith Community Nurse
The 2-1-1 Arizona Information and Referral Services program was founded in 1964 as Community Information and Referral Services and incorporated as a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization in 1979. Solari acquired the program in 2017.

2-1-1 Arizona Information and Referral Service operates 24 hours per day, seven days per week and every day of the year. Live-operator service is available at all times in English and Spanish and assistance is available in other languages via real-time interpreter services.

2-1-1 Arizona operators will help individuals and families find resources that are available to them locally, throughout the state, and provide connections to critical services that can improve – and save – lives
Arizona is here for you.
As we work to get through COVID-19 and support public health in Arizona, we are committed to making sure Arizonans have access to the resources they need to stay healthy and be part of our state's recovery. We’re in this together and we will return stronger.


Organizations Providing Care In Your Home

  • About Seniors Placement Services: Contact Christina Cave at About Seniors, 602-772-6490.
  • ComforCare
  • Home Instead

Community Support Groups

  • Benevilla Phone Support Groups Phone: 623-584-4999
  • Banner Sun Health Phone Support Groups Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Phone Number: 623-832-6530 Arizona Caregiver Coalition Caregiver Resource Line: 1-888-737-7494
  • Alzheimer's Association Phone Support Groups Phone Number: 602-528-0545
  • 24 Hour Helpline: 1-800-272-3900
  • Area Agency On Aging Phone Number: 1-888-264-2258
  • 24 Hour Senior Helpline: 602-264-4357

Support Groups

Caregiver Support Group

CaregiverSupportGroupCaregiving is a blessing and a burden. If you are caring for others in your home, at a facility, a neighbor or a loved one that lives far away, please join our Caregiver Support Group.

It is a warm and caring time where you can share your story, find new ideas and resources and be cared for.

We meet every month:

In-person Caregiver Support Group
When: typically, every first Monday of the month - Note: In July we will meet July 12th
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Where: Conference Room

ZOOM Caregiver Support Group
When: every third Monday of the month
Time: 11:00 a.m.
Join Zoom Meeting
    Meeting ID: 489 192 2044

It is time to share stories, be listened to, supported and cared for while learning of resources.

If you have any questions, please call Mary, Faith Community Nurse at 623-584-4602 ext. 209.

Low Vision Resource Gathering

LowVisionResourceGroupDo you or a loved one live with a vision challenge? Please join the Low Vision Resource Group.
We meet on the third Wednesday of the month in the Fellowship Hall.

It is a time to share your story, challenges and resources. Educational programs offered at some meetings.  Questions, call Mary,  Faith Community Nurse at 623-584-4602 ext. 209.

When: every third Wednesday of the month
Where: Fellowship Hall
Time: 10:30 a.m.


Grief Support Group

GriefandLoss SupportGriefShare is for people grieving the death of a family member or friend. 

There are grief share programs offered in Sun City West. For more information, go to:

Mary Nordtvedt, RN, BSN
RN Faith Community Nurse
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