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Table for Six:
The Beloved Community

Table for Six takes place over lunch to facilitate conversation around new community health initiatives in Houston and creates space for in-depth questions and answers with experts in the field of community health.

Date: Saturday, February 23, 2019
■ 12:30–2 pm
Location: The Original Carrabba’s (3115 Kirby Drive in Houston)
Cost: price reduced to $30/person

Online registration is now closed. For more details or to check if there are still available spots, please contact Rev. Andrew Wolfe via

table leaders’ BIOS:

Linda Jenkins - Faith Community Nurse (RN, iRNPA)

Linda has been a nurse for 40 years, interfacing with medical communities, and those in need, throughout the world. During this time, she has seen many changes in the healthcare landscape, but as a Faith Community Nurse for the past 15 years she has witnessed the positive effect a faith community plays in the role of helping the individual and family achieve wholeness (body, mind, & spirit). Linda writes, “It’s time for the churches to step back into the role of providing the path to better health and to care for those lost in a revolving door of long-term health issues including physical, mental, and spiritual. Let’s get to work!”

Janice Finder - Director of Population Health at M.D. Anderson (RN, MSN)

Janice has over 25 years of nursing, nurse leadership, and health care administration experience. Her clinical and administrative duties include nursing positions (from emergency room to labor and delivery), as well as director of nurse staffing at The Methodist Hospital. Her passion is helping people transition from hospital to home. Janice writes, “We need a team of nurses, pharmacists, social workers, behavioral health specialist, and end of life champions to identify needs and insert the program in an effort to prevent unnecessary re-admissions and foster living comfortably in the next environment.” Janice was a Senatorial Fellow for Senator Robert Dole and worked on the Senate Finance Committee as a legislative aid for health care initiatives and Medicare. She is currently involved in a number of civic and professional organizations, and was the previous Chair for The Teen Health Clinic (Harris County), providing health services for low-income pregnant teenagers.

Stuart C. Nelson - Vice-President at the Institute for Spirituality and Health at the Texas Medical Center

Stuart manages an interdisciplinary team that works within the intersection of spiritual/religious belief, practice, and community life, and health. Stuart completed bachelor’s degrees in cognitive science, psychology, and religious studies at Rice University, and went on to complete a master’s in religious studies at University of California at Santa Barbara. His work focuses on applying theories and methods from cognitive science of religion in the context of health systems to increase quality of care. Most recently, he has been a leader in the Faith & Diabetes Initiative, which empowers lay leaders from across communities of faith to lead diabetes self-management classes with special attention to religious belief and practice. Stuart is a musically-minded lover of hip-hop, folk, and classical Indian music, as well as impressionism, surrealism, and modern art. He is also an avid birder.

Dr. Shainy Varghese - Associate Professor/Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PhD, RN, CPNP)

Dr. Varghese received her PhD at UTMB in 2009 and has been on staff at the University of Houston’s College of Nursing since 2007. As a nurse and professor, Dr. Varghese has been passionate about utilizing telehealth to provide healthcare to communities that lack adequate care. This spring, Dr. Varghese is starting a telehealth practice in collaboration with St. Paul’s United Methodist Church and the Emergency Aid Coalition. Students from UH College of Nursing and Dr. Varghese will be on campus to provide care to families who visit the EAC- the goal of this project is to provide important medical care for those who do not have access, as well as help patients establish medical homes. Other research interests of Dr. Varghese include vitamin D deficiency and depression in children, as well as violence and media addiction in children.

Dr. Sandra Tyson - Senior Policy Planner for Community Health at Harris County Public Health

Dr. Sandra Tyson has 13 years of experience in public health, with expertise in behavioral science, policy and strategic planning, healthcare delivery, health promotion, public health disaster response, and program evaluation. She received her B.A. in anthropology and her M.A. in medical anthropology from the University of North Texas, and her Ph.D. in public health from the University of Texas, School of Public Health in Houston. Over the years, Sandra has been responsible for many health projects including 22 that were under the Texas Medicaid 1115 Waiver DSRIP program and another 22 that were a part of the Texas Medicaid Network Access Improvement program. Dr. Tyson has just finished the Community Health Improvement Planning process for Harris County, including a county-wide assessment of access to health care and other resources that support health, and is working with community partners on implementation.

Staci Lofton - health equity strategist and ATTORNEY (J.D., M.P.H.)

Staci Lofton has over 18 years of public health experience in government, corporate, and non-profit organizations. Staci is primarily known for her work as a health equity strategist, guiding development and implementation of approaches that prevent health inequities based on race and class. At Harris County Public Health, Staci works to ensure operational and programmatic initiatives advance equity. As an attorney, Staci is particularly interested in the utilization of laws and policies that facilitate equitable opportunities for oppressed communities.



Our vision is to:
• advocate for patients through visits by a Faith Community Nurse,

• make healthcare referrals for under/uninsured individuals,

• provide education around preventative healthcare strategies, and

• organize a faithful response to health disparities and healthcare access through civic engagement.

The Congregational Health Ministry team is assessing the needs of our faith community and developing plans and interventions to meet those needs. This ministry seeks to be a collaborative effort between church volunteers, hospitals, health agencies, and Faith Community Nurses who seek to provide holistic care to the congregation and our community. Won’t you be a part of this new ministry?

For more details, contact:
Rev. Andrew Wolfe
(713) 528-0527


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