A Distinctive Calling

Seventh-day Adventist health care has been around for more than a century. What began as a humble sanitarium in Battle Creek, Michigan, has expanded into a worldwide health system that has touched millions of lives around the globe. As vice chairman of Adventist Health’s board of directors, I have the privilege of seeing firsthand how our West Coast hospitals are fulfilling the health care vision of those who came before them.

In our annual issue devoted to health care, you’ll be reminded of just how long some of our Adventist Health hospitals have been serving their communities. You’ll also receive updates on some of the system’s most ambitious building projects—all aimed at providing the best possible care to patients up and down the West Coast. As you read, you’ll realize that high-quality health care isn’t the only thing our hospitals are delivering—they house a workforce dedicated to the distinctive mission of Christ-centered caring.

Bricks, mortar and cutting-edge technology are all essential elements of running a competent health care business, but it’s the people working inside the walls who set Adventist Health apart from other health care providers. As you read through the following pages, you’ll be amazed—as I was—to hear the story of a Portland nurse who donated one of her kidneys to a patient. You’ll read about a team of dedicated volunteers in Tillamook, Oregon, who are bringing hope to the homebound. And you’ll become acquainted with a social worker in Walla Walla, Washington, who’s been called to a very special ministry.

These touching stories, and others like them, reveal that little has changed in the past century. While technology has made record strides, the ministry of Seventh-day Adventist health care is still alive and well thanks to a workforce that has answered a distinctive calling. More than 100 years later, our hospitals and health care providers still believe that healing means caring for the whole person—mind, body and spirit. I’m proud of and thankful for our Adventist Health institutions and the people who help them consistently achieve their mission.

October 01, 2004 / Editorial