Adventist Medical Center's Everyday Hero

As a home-health physical therapist at Adventist Medical Center (AMC) in Portland, Ore., Tom Davis spends his days visiting patients in their homes, helping to put their lives back together after falls, breaks and other injuries that can bring life to a screeching halt. Like other Adventist Health employees, he wants to live the mission and bring healing to his patients.

Davis doesn't stop thinking about his patients when he gets home after work. He goes into his garage and builds things, particularly chair platforms that make his patients' lives ever easier. A strikingly simple idea, his creations make a world of difference for elderly patients who find it hard to get out of their favorite chairs. The platforms, which he makes with his own time and money, raise the chairs for better functionality.

When Davis visited the home of patients Lucile and Garth Harris, he noticed Garth was having trouble getting out of his recliner. When Davis asked the couple if they would like a platform for Garth, they were more than happy to accept. About a week later Davis brought the platform and installed it onto Garth's chair. After trying it out, Lucile and Tom Davis were relieved to find that Garth could get out of his recliner with ease thanks to the platform.

Davis has provided more than 20 patients with platforms. "My job is to help my patients function safely and comfortably in their homes," he says. "And if the platform will do it, that's what I'm going to do." Davis spent much of his life as a missionary and has a passion for service, which is why he is reluctant to accept praise for his generous actions. His coworkers didn't even know what he was doing until a patient mentioned it. Once hospital executives caught wind of it though, they were impressed with his mission-minded attitude and awarded him the 2011 President's Award for Inspirational Service Excellence (PRAISE).

"Tom actively lives the Adventist Health mission," says Tom Russell, AMC president and CEO. "He is a living example of exceptional customer service for all of our clinicians. He is driven to do the right thing at the right time to meet a wide variety of complex patient needs."

Davis, a member of the Sunnyside Church in Portland, reflects, "After spending many years overseas as a missionary, working at Adventist Medical Center has given me the opportunity to continue to serve as a missionary in my local community."

Sidebar: Tom was selected as an "Everyday Hero" by local Portland television news station KATU. Watch the segment on YouTube at

April 01, 2012 / Adventist Health