Adventist Health System (AHS) recently held its 28th annual Conference on Mission in Maitland, Florida, United States. More than 300 people were in attendance at the event, which brought together church leaders, clinicians, and AHS leadership to celebrate the organization’s mission of “extending the healing ministry of Christ” and also discuss ways to make an even greater impact in communities going forward.
“I’m so blessed and humbled to work with an amazing group of people across this company,” said Adventist Health System president and CEO Terry Shaw. “Our challenge is to show up every day to make a difference. To show up every day and do a better job of caring for our communities and also deliver something that others take notice of because we deliver preeminent faith-based care.”
With a theme of “Healing, Health and Wholeness,” the three-day conference began on Thursday, September 13, 2018 with an opening banquet that included music from Lifelong Music, the music ministry of Florida Hospital Church, and a keynote address by Carla Gober-Park, assistant vice president of spiritual life and director of the Center for Spiritual Life and Wholeness at Loma Linda University.
The opening-day program also included an awards ceremony, in which employees from across the system were recognized for their exemplary work in fulfilling the organization’s mission. Julie Myrick of Shawnee Mission Health received the Christian Service Award. Receiving the Trustee of the Year Award were Lynda Comfort of Florida Hospital Waterman and Fred Meyers of Florida Hospital Carrollwood. Sheryl Dodds of the organization’s Central Florida Division and Eddie Soler of Adventist Health System were given the Crystal Angel Award.
At the 2017 Conference on Mission, Shaw made it known that the organization would work to deliver on its mission in a new way, advancing its commitment to whole-person care and making it easier for consumers to get the care and resources they need to experience wholeness.
AHS leaders used Friday’s session at this year’s conference as a platform to take a deep dive into how its brand identity transformation to AdventHealth and various mission-centered programs and initiatives are positioning the organization to deliver transformative care for body, mind, and spirit. The system’s new name will go into effect on January 2, 2019.
Friday’s presentations included four stories that illustrated how the organization's changing focus is making a tangible difference in the lives of patients and families. Presentations emphasized care navigation, spiritual care, service standards, and CREATION Health principles (which define how Choice, Rest, Environment, Activity, Trust in God, Interpersonal Relationships, Outlook, and Nutrition all play a role in whole health), among other focal points.
The 2018 Conference on Mission concluded on Sabbath (Saturday) with a service during which attendees gathered to worship and fellowship as a group. The service featured musical selections and a sermon delivered by Randy Roberts, senior pastor at Loma Linda Seventh-day Adventist Church and vice president of spiritual life and mission for Loma Linda University Health.
“The conference is a wonderful opportunity to bring together our organizational and church leaders to look at how we are living out our mission,” said Ted Hamilton, senior vice president and chief mission integration officer for AHS. “Whether inside our hospitals or out in the communities we serve, it is such an honor and a privilege to advance Christ’s healing ministry to impart hope, healing, and wholeness in the lives of those we are entrusted to care for.”