December 14, 2006

Adventist News

Florida Hospital to Be Worldwide Hub
of Surgical Training


COMMITTED CONTRIBUTORS: Des Cummings, executive vice president at FloridaHospital, thanks Tony and Sonja Nicholson for their $5 million pledge. [Florida Hospital photo]

capAdventist-owned Florida Hospital, global Fortune 500 health-care leaders, and the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission are partnering to develop the Nicholson Center for Surgical Advancement, which will position Florida Hospital as a global site for teaching cutting-edge surgical techniques, say Florida Hospital administrators.

Slated for completion in two years, the training complex will span some 35,000 square feet and host approximately 20,000 surgeons from around the world annually. The center is the namesake of Tony and Sonja Nicholson, whose $5 million pledge financially launched the project.
“It is my hope that this facility will transform health care by uniting the efforts of researchers, entrepreneurs, medical device companies, and surgeons to meet the needs of patients both here and all over the world,” Tony Nicholson said.
Planners emphasize the internationality of the center, which will offer a satellite-based surgical training program. Also proposed for the center are a technology accelerator, a multimedia production center, and a surgical simulation laboratory, allowing a surgeon-in-training to master intricate procedures long before entering the operating room.                   —Florida Hospital/ANN/AR.

UK Church Participates in Climate Change Consultation

Representatives from various church denominations in the United Kingdom, including Seventh-day Adventists, participated in a November 20, 2006, consultation on climate change held at the London headquarters of the church-based humanitarian relief organization Christian Aid.  


CONSULTATION PARTICIPANT: Alan D. Hodges, Ministerial director of the British Union Conference [BUC photo]

“The potential ravages of climate change are so severe that they could nullify efforts to secure meaningful and sustainable development in poor countries,” reports Christian Aid officials. “At worst, they could send the real progress that has already been achieved spinning into reverse. No other single issue presents such a clear and present danger to the future welfare of the world’s poor. Climate change, then, is a pressing poverty issue.”

Set within the theological context of churches being “good stewards of creation,” Christian Aid stressed during the consultation the importance of lowering carbon emissions in order to protect the environment. This is important in the fight against poverty in the third world, officials said.
During 2007, Christian Aid says it will target the government and businesses in an effort to encourage companies to register and lower their carbon emissions by 5 percent each year. As part of its strategy the organization is planning an 11-week march in September, from Belfast, Northern Ireland, to London, England, via major cities such as Glasgow, Edinburgh, Leeds, Birmingham, Cardiff, and Bristol.
“In the discussion [on November 20], it was clear that the churches supporting Christian Aid should practice what they preach,” says Alan D. Hodges, Ministerial director of the British Union Conference. “What are the churches doing to lower their carbon emissions? . . . Is there more that could be done?”
He added, “Attending such a consultation raises some important issues that we as a church should be emphasizing. As a people we believe in creation, and every Sabbath is a memorial of God’s creative power. Although we see events and conditions in our environment as signs of the times, we should be good stewards of God’s creation.”                                                          —British Union Conference News/AR.

Adventist World Radio Podcasts Reach New Listeners
November 2006 marked the one-year anniversary of Adventist World Radio’s first podcasts, and the ministry has now launched two new languages.

AWR’s first podcast was offered in French, and the number of subscribers for that language has now grown to more than 48,000. The next languages added were Italian, Amharic, and Kiswahili. Amharic podcasts currently have 5,700 subscribers living in countries as diverse as India, New Zealand, and the Netherlands.

“This is one reason why podcasts are so valuable,” says AWR web manager Marvin King. “They attract subscribers who have moved away from their home countries, but who still wish to hear programs in their own language. These are whole new audiences for AWR.”
Another priority for AWR is creating podcasts in languages that are not written or written only phonetically, such as Juba Arabic. “Our podcasts in Juba Arabic, which began [in November], are history in the making, since there is hardly any Web content in this language,” says AWR resource engineer Daryl Gungadoo.
Other new podcasts are Arabic and English; Podcasts in Tachelit, a Berber language used in northern Africa, will begin soon.
All of AWR’s podcasts can be accessed through and iTunes.
                                                                                                                —AWR Communication Department/AR.