Lead Faculty

Wanda Alexander, MPH, RN, FCN and Cheryl Lanigan, MA, BSN, PHN, FCN are our lead faculty members. The lead faculty are complemented by an interfaith team of Adjunct Faculty comprised of experienced faith community nurses and nursing educators.

Wanda Alexander 2

Wanda Alexander, RN, MPH, FCN

Wanda graduated from the University of Iowa with a BSN. She was awarded the Master of Public Health in Maternal Child Health and Public Health Nursing by the University of Minnesota. She has worked as a public health nurse and public health nurse consultant with the City of Milwaukee, State of Indiana, City of St. Louis and Hennepin County. She has extensive nonprofit organization development experience having founded the Girls Clubs of St Louis and the Faith Community Nurse Network of the Greater Twin Cities. She is currently employed by Hennepin County and assigned full time to supporting the work of FCNN.

Cheryl Headshot

Cheryl Lanigan, MA, BSN, PHN, FCN

Cheryl received her BSN from the University of Minnesota and MA (Health and Human Services) from Saint Mary's University in Winona, MN.  She is recently retired from a greater than 40 year career of providing either direct care or administration focused in infant and adult critical care and public health. Cheryl serves as the FCN at Grace University Lutheran Church and a Stepping On Leader. Her objective is to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, incorporating holistic nursing skills.

Adjunct Faculty

Lori Anderson, Foundations course faculty
Jessica Drecktrah, Program Director

Jessica Drecktrah, MHA, MN, RN, FCN

Jessica launched FCNN’s Stepping On program as it’s Program Director. Over the last decade, Jessica has championed innovative healthcare initiatives within academia, provider settings, and retail. Prior to her current role within the Faith Community Nurse Network as Program Director, Jessica served as a management consultant to the YMCA to help define their healthy aging strategy. She also has held leadership positions within Target, the University of Minnesota, Allina Hospitals and Clinics, and Ecumen, a provider of homes and services for older adults. Her areas of expertise include strategy development, program development, as well as project and performance management.

Dee Huanca, Foundations course faculty

Delores (Dee) Johnson Huanca, RN, BS, MS, FCN

Dee received her B.S.N. from the University of Minnesota School of Nursing and her M.S. from the School of Public Health with majors in public health and mental health and minors in education and social psychology. Her work experience includes camp, public health, migrant health, mental health, nursing education, corporate health, home health and faith community nursing. She was one of the FCN's of First Free Church, Minneapolis from 2005-2017 and served as lead faculty in the FCNN basic preparation course from 2009-2013. Currently she is active in the Stepping On program, Health Care Directives, a support group for those with chronic illness and teaching the Behavioral Health module of the FCNN basic preparation course. While at Metro State and Normandale Community College she incorporated spiritual care into their nursing curricula. Dee serves on the board of Elim Care Faith Community Nursing of the Evangelical Free Church of America.

Carol Oldowski, Foundations course faculty

Carol Oldowski, RN, BS, MS, FCN

Carol received her undergraduate degree in nursing from St. Xavier University, Chicago, IL. and her master of science degree in Clinical Counseling and Psychological Services from St. Mary’s University, Minneapolis. Her basic preparation course in faith community nursing was completed through Concordia University in 1997.  Immediately after becoming a FCN she established faith community nursing at Nativity of Mary Catholic Church in Bloomington, MN.  Prior to that she was a public health nurse for the City of Bloomington.  She also is a Clinical Specialist in Adult Mental Health.  She has been gathering information regarding community resources for many years (the module that she teaches in the FCNN course) and enjoys sharing this information with others.

Sondra Weinzierl, Foundations course faculty

Sondra Weinzierl, RN, BA, MA, FCN

Sondra received her Bachelor in Nursing degree from Gustavus Adolphus College and her Masters of Arts degree from the University of St. Thomas in Adult Education and Human Resource Development with a Certificate in Training. Her nursing experience includes Medical-Surgical, Neurology, Diabetes Education and Health Promotion and Education. Sondra was the owner of Weinzierl Education Associates for over 25 years and provided workshops, team facilitation, strategic planning and health promotion consultation to a wide variety of organizations in government, health care, education and industry. From 2009-2010 she was a FCN in the Boston, MA area and currently serves as FCN for two churches in Plymouth, MN: Peace Lutheran and Messiah United Methodist.

Joann Wessman

Joann Phoebe Wessman, RN, PhD, FCN

Joann is a servant of the Riverdale Church in Andover, MN where she has coordinated Family Health Ministries.  Her undergraduate nursing degree is from Columbia University (New York), her MSN from the University of MN, and her PhD in nursing from the University of Texas at Austin.  She has taught in courses preparing faith community nurses at the College of St. Benedict, Bethel University, and recently through FCNN. Prior to retirement from Bethel University, she was privileged to serve on the nursing faculties of five different Christian institutions of higher learning teaching both at the undergraduate and graduate levels (Lutheran, Catholic, Interdenominational, and Baptist). Scholarly interests have focused on faith-health integration, most recently expressed in a study of faith-health integration in the church-affiliated frail elderly with Nancy Olen.  She and Dr. Olen are currently completing a FCNN heritage project looking at the patterns of Metro-based MN pioneers in the faith community nursing role.