Not Your Ordinary Concept of Care

October 01, 2010 | Brittany Russell

Adventist Health has a long-standing history of caring for the whole person. The mission of sharing God’s love by providing physical, mental and spiritual healing has been with us in theory since 1866 when early church leaders opened the first sanitarium in Battle Creek, Michigan. Since then, we’ve evolved in knowledge and technology, but our focus on the whole person has remained. This legacy continues at Adventist Health today.

Uniqueness Is in the Mission

Working to maintain our heritage is Paul Crampton, Adventist Health mission and spiritual-care assistant vice president. While new to this role, Crampton is very familiar with our mission and has previously served as the director of chaplaincy at White Memorial Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Crampton stresses the importance of our Christ-centered care as an extension of the ministry of the church. Since our hospitals provide countless opportunities to interact with non-Adventists, it is important for employees to own the sacred-work philosophy.

“If patients experience the love of God at our hospitals, we’ve helped prepared them for the evangelistic efforts of the church,” says Crampton. “Our mission drives everything we do, and without it we have nothing that sets us apart from other health-care providers — it promotes the uniqueness of the care we offer.”

Initiatives Ensure Effectiveness

At Adventist Health, several initiatives have been put into practice to ensure our distinctive brand of caring is carried out effectively throughout our institutions. To that end, Spiritual Life Councils have been chartered in all 17 Adventist Health hospitals. These multidisciplinary teams meet quarterly to discuss each facility’s vision for mission and how to achieve it strategically.

Another important program is Caring for Caregivers, which focuses specifically on employees. The philosophy behind this endeavor is to care for employees so they can, in turn, adequately care for others. If employees are healthy physically, spiritually and mentally, they will be more capable of healing those who aren’t. Chaplains play a key role in this program by promoting the spiritual needs of the staff so they will be able to respond better to the needs of patients.

From Mission to Movie

In an effort to make our distinctive brand of care even more persuasive, Adventist Health recently released a film about mission and faith in health care. God’s Fingerprints focuses on true stories of real employees going the extra mile to touch people’s lives in significant ways. The film showcases seven stories woven together that encapsulate Adventist Health’s mission, and it will be a key component of our mission education program.

To learn more about the organization and our mission, visit