Marilyn Faber, BSN, RN, Parish Nurse Coordinator, St. Vincent's Medical Center, Recognized by Connecticut Hospital Association as a 2017 Healthcare Hero

June 15, 2017

BRIDGEPORT, Connecticut – June 15, 2017Marilyn Faber, BSN, RN, Parish Nurse Coordinator, St. Vincent’s Medical Center, was recognized by the Connecticut Hospital Association (CHA) as a 2017 Healthcare Hero. CHA’s Healthcare Heroes award was developed in 2002 to celebrate the invaluable contributions of healthcare workers, both to their field and to the community at large.


Marilyn’s efforts help safe lives in the greater Bridgeport area by identifying heart disease and diabetes in the poor and underserved. A founder of the Know Your Numbers (KY#s) campaign – which involves performing blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and BMI screenings – Marilyn has led the efforts to address three top health concerns affecting Bridgeport area residents: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity.  She realized that KY#s needed to serve poor people where they were – in soup kitchens and food pantries, not in the usual clinical settings.  Starting in 2014 with eight sites, the most recent KY#s campaign has grown to 13 sites and 288 people served. Twenty-six people have been identified as either pre-diabetic or having undiagnosed diabetes, while 61 people received physician follow-up care referrals. Marilyn also implemented “Blood Pressure Sundays” at area congregations, where an additional 255 people had their blood pressure checked in February 2017. 


Marilyn, a resident of Shelton and a 35- year veteran of St. Vincent’s Medical Center, currently serves as Parish Nurse Coordinator. In this role, she leads an active group of 76 churches and 222 registered nurses that extends healthcare services through local congregations of all faiths, responding to the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of individuals. She is in the process of establishing the first such university site in Connecticut at Sacred Heart University. She has also partnered with St. Vincent’s Pastoral Care to recruit volunteers into a new patient visitation program.


Currently, Marilyn is working on a Community Development Block Grant to further expand KY#s, and has received approval for a retrospective analysis of the data to determine impact. She is also working with a nutrition educator to develop a training class for food pantry volunteers to help clients make better food choices. In addition, she is collaborating with a Church Council representative, the UCONN Rudd Center, and St. Joseph College to implement the “Stop Light” nutritional rating system to further assist pantry volunteers in recommending healthy foods.


The KY#s success rests in part on Marilyn’s vision and ability to establish collaborations. She has partnered with Fairfield University, Sacred Heart University and St. Vincent’s College, whose nursing students play a vital role in conducting the screenings, using it as part of their clinical requirement.  She is also working with nursing faculty from Fairfield University and Sacred Heart University and ultimately the American Diabetes Association to develop a research-dependent grant proposal for KY#s and the “Stop Light” system. She has also involved the American Heart Association in recording screening data.


Marilyn’s passion for holistic healing and her strong spirituality has informed all aspects of her nursing career, and she understands how medicine is a mix of the clinical and holistic.  She is known for her hands-on healing and gentle, caring manner. While she honed her clinical skills as a St. Vincent’s maternity nurse, she also learned to perform “Healing Touch” for maternity, cancer, and other patients in need. Participating in the joy of birth as a maternity nurse, she also has served as the co-facilitator for St. Vincent’s We Care Perinatal Grief Support Group for almost 19 years. Mothers who have lost a baby still keep in contact with her for support. At St. Vincent’s Medical Mission at Home event for the poor, Marilyn leads her group of parish nurses in washing the feet of homeless people in the community – an act she considers an honor.


St. Vincent’s Medical Center congratulates Marilyn on this well-deserved recognition.


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Founded by the Daughters of Charity in 1903, St. Vincent's Medical Center is a mission-driven organization committed to exceptional health care for all with special attention to persons living in poverty and those who are most vulnerable. St. Vincent's Medical Center is a part of Ascension, the nation's largest Catholic and non-profit healthcare system, and is at the forefront in patient safety and quality, with a focus on creating holistic, compassionate environments. St. Vincent's was awarded the Nursing Magnet® Recognition, the highest national award for nursing excellence. In 2013 St. Vincent's Medical Center was named Top Performer on Key Quality Measures® by the Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of health care organizations in America, and has been recognized by both the Joint Commission and OSHA as a model of a highly reliable organization dedicated to patient safety. The American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer awarded St. Vincent's an Outstanding Achievement Award with Accreditation in 2012, and it also has earned its designation from the National Accreditation Program for Breast Cancer. For more information on programs and services, visit


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