Allen Zelno’s work at the Parish Nurses Department at St. Luke’s University Health Network’s Sacred Heart Campus usually takes him to Sacred Heart or Our Lady Help of Christian Parishes in Allentown. At St. Luke’s Sacred Heart, the Parish Nursing Department routinely goes to faith-based community outreach sites and interfaces with community members who may need assistance from a nurse.
But on Wednesday (5/6), Zelno was in the Oval Office at the White House with six other nurses as President Trump signed a proclamation declaring it National Nurses Day. “I was grateful to be there as the President recognized the heroic sacrifices being made by nurses in this time of pandemic,” Zelno said.
Zelno’s invitation to the White House came from Catholic Medical Association Executive Director Mario Dickerson. The Fort Washington, Pa-based association works to uphold the principles of the Catholic faith in the science and practice of medicine.
Zelno told the President that he was a “faith community nurse working in faith-based health sites throughout Allentown.” Besides Sacred Heart and Our Lady Help of Christians, Zelno also provides outreach at St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church and Bright Hope Pregnancy Support Center, also in Allentown.
Before Zelno became a nurse, in 2014 and 2015 he was on the staff of the Diocese of Allentown in the Marriage and Family Life office. But becoming a nurse was his dream. “It’s pretty cool that I can now marry my Theology and Nursing degrees into one mission: Parish Nursing,” Zelno said.