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Kaye Wothe

kaye.webThe role of a parish nurse can vary vastly between parishes, and Kaye serves in that role at both Shepherd and at Normandale Lutheran Church in Edina.

At Shepherd, most of Kaye’s hours are spent providing pastoral care that has a parish nurse twist, like helping set up a “lifeline” type device, brainstorming more ways to get help into someone’s home, advocating for people in health care settings where there is not a clear understanding of the goal and progress of care, helping to find a care provider, developing a plan for recovery, “walking with” someone when recovery is not happening, supporting caregivers and their families, planning for transitions in health and living needs, and more.

During her visits, she typically shares a devotion and communion with someone, prays with them, and reminds them of the greater church community that surrounds them. Other things she does as parish nurse include overseeing a prayer shawl ministry and a prayer and visitation team; teaching classes; providing healing services; organizing a blood mobile and flu shot clinic; guiding people through completing their health care directives; organizing and serving Lent meals; promoting mental health awareness and wellness of mind, body, and spirit; organizing drivers or meals for families in need or crisis; and helping people plan things they want at their funeral.

Kaye has been an RN since 1986. Her first job was working in the internal medicine and oncology unit at the regional hospital in Wenatchee, Washington, and she met her husband while in Wenatchee. After moving to Seattle, she worked in oncology at the University of Washington Medical Center and “moonlighted” for a home IV company. Soon, she was asked to open a home IV company that served University hospital patients as well as others in the Seattle metro area. She did, and the company gave IV chemo, antibiotics, nutrition, pain meds, etc., in homes so people could decrease their risk of hospital-borne infections. As she moved around with her husband for his medical training, she worked at the University of Iowa Medical Center, managing the opening of its new multidisciplinary cancer center, and in Portland, Oregon, managing a home IV company. She and her husband then settled in Minnesota six weeks before their fourth child was born. She stayed home with her kids for a few years before becoming a parish nurse. She has also subbed as a school nurse in the Edina district.

Kaye just completed a master’s degree in congregation and community care from Luther Seminary, a process that has encouraged her in her ministry.