New Keyser Campus student organization aims to blend faith with health and wellness – WVU School of Nursing

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KEYSER, W.Va. — Through a newly created student organization at West Virginia University Potomac State College, interested students can join “Faith Community Health and Wellness” to learn how to promote health and well-being in local faith communities and beyond.
Led by WVU School of Nursing Keyser Campus instructors Dr. Diana Niland and Matthew Hottle, the organization is open to students from all different backgrounds and academic disciplines.
“We completed the Faith Community Nursing course together and we decided we would like to organize something here around what we learned,” Niland said.
Offered by the WVU School of Nursing, the Foundations of Faith Community Nursing curriculum is nationally recognized and available to individuals interested in addressing the unique health needs of faith organizations.
While the professional practice of faith community nursing isn’t new, the concept of a student organization focused on these efforts is novel within the WVU School of Nursing. And although the nursing faculty created the student organization, Hottle said they have extended membership beyond nursing students.
“We want to incorporate faith, health and wellness, which can span beyond nursing majors,” Hottle said. “We also hope to welcome pre-nursing students and other students who may be interested in healthcare.”
The organization will be student-led, with supervision by Niland and Hottle. The faculty members have applied for COVID-related grant funding and if awarded, the Faith Community Health and Wellness group’s first activity would be traveling to Mineral and Garrett County churches to discuss COVID prevention efforts.
Niland said she also hopes to have healthcare, wellness and faith leaders speak to the students, either in-person or remotely, during their monthly meetings during lunch.
“The development of this organization represents a wonderful mechanism for Diana and Matthew to pay forward their knowledge of health and wellness needs of individuals in our faith community with students on our Keyser campus,” said Dr. April Shapiro, WVU School of Nursing Keyser Campus Chair. “I am so excited about the service opportunities students will have and the impact their work may have in improving the overall health of our community.”
To learn more about the Faith Community Nursing course, please contact Dr. Angel Smothers at [email protected]. To learn more about joining the Faith Community Health and Wellness student organization, please contact Dr. Niland at [email protected] or Matthew Hottle at [email protected].
-WVU-
CONTACT: Wendy Holdren
Director of Communications and Marketing
WVU School of Nursing
304-581-1772; [email protected]
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