Beyond Hospital Walls Bringing Hope to Our Communities

Adventist Health’s mission extends far beyond the walls of our facilities and reaches into the communities we serve. Whether it is a program designed to reach out to area seniors or a group of employees lending a hand to Habitat for Humanity, Adventist Health is always looking for new and innovative ways to share its mission.

Here are just a few examples of the many ways our hospitals and employees are making a difference in the lives they touch.

After returning from the mission field, Daniel Crawford, M.D., wanted to continue his passion of serving the underserved. He discovered the Portland Adventist Community Services Clinic (PACS) and, 15 years later, he still volunteers once a month at the clinic. PACS treats more than 2,000 of Portland’s working poor each year with lab, radiology and imaging support provided by Adventist Medical Center (AMC). Always willing to go the extra mile, Crawford taught longtime patient Dena Speer, formerly homeless, how to manage her diabetes and knot a tie in preparation for her new job in the hospitality industry.

“Her ambition is truly remarkable,” said Crawford of Dena, who now has a degree and an address and works with advocacy groups for the homeless.

Every year numerous Adventist Health facilities participate in local races and events that raise money for medical research and health education. In the Northwest, both AMC and Tillamook County General Hospital (TCGH) annually participate in the Relay For Life. Sponsored by the American Cancer Society, the event raises money for cancer research, education and patient support programs.

“Participating in the Relay For Life is important to our community and a natural outgrowth of our mission,” said Wendell Hesseltine, TCGH president and CEO. “Events like this give the hospital and our staff an opportunity to give back to the community.”

Walla Walla General Hospital (WWGH) believes in the pursuit of wellness and abundant living for its entire community—including those ages 50 and better. Enter PrimeTime, a free program aimed at educating its participants and encouraging healthy lifestyles through various events and activities.

“We’re committed to helping our seniors in all aspects of their lives—not just when they’re admitted into our hospital,” said Morre Dean, WWGH president and CEO.

Participants have access to a wide array of programs and events from educational lectures to support groups and social activities. In addition, free or discounted health screenings are available to members.

Each year, the Auditing Department at Adventist Health’s corporate office selects a community outreach program to sponsor. This past holiday season the team decided to physically make a difference and partnered with Habitat for Humanity to put the finishing touches on a Sacramento-area home.

The team spent a busy day blowing insulation into the home’s attic, caulking doorways, as well as installing and painting baseboards and doors.

“The whole experience was so rewarding,” said Melanie Ratzlaff, Adventist Health staff auditor. “One of the most important things is to give of ourselves and make a difference in someone else’s life.”

June 01, 2006 / Adventist Health