Larry Dodds Celebrates a Career Dedicated to Mission

May 01, 2011 | Brittany Russell

After almost 40 years of dedicated service at Adventist Health, Larry Dodds, executive vice president and COO, is retiring. While he is looking forward to trading his suit and tie for something better suited for spending time with his grandchildren, he will be greatly missed by his colleagues and friends.

“Larry has been a dedicated and skillful leader in our system. We will miss his talents and management acumen,” says Robert G. Carmen, Adventist Health president and CEO.

Career Beginnings

Dodds says his health-care career was providential. His life was interrupted when the Army drafted him during the Vietnam War, and he was stationed in Washington, D.C., as part of Operation Whitecoat. While golfing, Dodds was introduced to the brother of a hospital CEO. The connections made during the golf game helped Dodds land his first job in healthcare.

Time at Adventist Health

Two years later, in 1973, he joined Verticare, a forerunner of Adventist Health in the Northwest. In 1979, he became associate administrator at Walla Walla General Hospital, and shortly after was appointed senior vice president at Adventist Medical Center in Portland, Ore. In 1983, Dodds was promoted to AMC president and CEO.

“Larry’s passion for mission fulfillment made him a driving force for mission at our hospital and throughout the system,” says Tom Russell, current AMC president and CEO.

Fifteen years later, Dodds became senior vice president at Adventist Health’s corporate office and was later promoted to his current role, where his emphasis on mission continued.

Church Involvement

During his career, Dodds participated in many church activities, from teaching children’s Sabbath School to local church leadership, as well as serving on the Oregon Conference executive committee, the North Pacific Union Conference executive committee and the Walla Walla University board.

As a young man, Dodds knew he wanted to work for the church and has valued his time spent on these committees. “These activities have enriched my life,” says Dodds. “Seeing the challenges church leaders face and their dedication to the work is inspiring.”

“Dodds’ efforts have contributed significantly to helping the church remain faithful to its holistic mission,” says Max Torkelsen, NPUC president. “I have appreciated his ability to enable group consensus and articulate a conclusion that brings unity and direction.”

Plans for Retirement

Dodds and his wife, Jane, plan to move to Walla Walla to be closer to their children, grandchildren and her parents, who all live in the Pacific Northwest. In addition to time with family, Dodds is interested in doing volunteer and mission work with schools, hospitals or “wherever the Lord might lead.”


Dodds says the people and the relationships formed over the years are what he will miss most. His workplace philosophy of spiritual mission first, quality care and patient experience second and business outcomes last, guided him as an advocate for mission. This was evident, as he lived that philosophy every day, and it is the legacy he leaves behind.