Parish nurse Judy Roth with just a few of the prayer cards inside the Alton Memorial Hospital chapel.

ALTON, IL -- The altar in the chapel at Alton Memorial Hospital is covered with prayer requests. New requests appear daily and each request is held in place by a healing stone. Years ago, a group of hospital employees formed a prayer chain to include these requests in their prayers.

Parish nurse Judy Roth is a member of that prayer chain. In fact, Judy uses technology to help her keep track of the many people for whom she prays.

“I have a prayer app on my phone,” Judy says. “I usually have about 30 people on my prayer list. The app allows me to divide my prayers into categories such as health concerns, family problems or special needs. I can also keep track of answered prayers. Right now I have 10 answered prayers on my list.”

Judy is well suited to her job as a parish nurse. Parish nurses minister holistically, caring for the body, mind and spirit. They serve as a resource by offering health screenings and support groups. And they help parishioners navigate the health care system.

Armed with a blood pressure machine and stethoscope, Judy serves the Episcopal Parish of Alton - St. Paul’s and Upper Alton Baptist Church. Whether she’s visiting the homebound, teaching pre-schoolers good hand-washing techniques or checking on patients in the hospital, Judy is rarely seen without a smile on her face.

When she’s not caring for parishioners, Judy spends her time reaching out to the community at health fairs, screenings and lectures. Her position is funded by Alton Memorial Health Services Foundation and is made possible through the generosity of donors -- another way in which your gifts are making medicine better.

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