Of all God's creations, I might be most amazed by the giant redwoods in Northern California. The redwood starts as a tiny seed, only an eighth of an inch long. Then, if nurtured by the right combination of moisture, fertile soil and mild temperatures, it can grow to a height of nearly 400 feet.
In 1908, community members sowed the seeds for AdventHealth. Our growth has been made possible by a combination of factors: Our mission of extending the healing ministry of Christ, nationally recognized delivery of health care services, and the support of generous individuals and businesses who believe in the importance of strong, quality community hospitals.
We are grateful that the same giving spirit that started our hospital in 1908 is still as strong today: Last year, AdventHealth employees, physicians, patients, friends and businesses donated nearly $20 million for a wide array of projects and programs that benefited our entire community.
As we have grown, we would be remiss without giving special thanks to the foundations who support us. Dr. Phillips Charities set forth an innovative challenge grant that proposed to match gifts raised from our physician team. We are grateful to the physicians of AdventHealth for helping us meet the terms of the challenge grant.
In 2014, we continued to reach for the stars as we welcomed Hospice of the Comforter into the AdventHealth family. We pledge to continue their mission and vision of providing expert, compassionate care for the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of patients and their families facing an incurable illness.
As I write this, I can see construction workers climbing one of our newest projects, AdventHealth for Women, a 12-story, 332-bed tower that will feature some of the area's most advanced technology to deliver unique, woman-centric health care in a hotel-like setting. Her hospital will be an important addition to AdventHealth Health Village, a destination for visitors and residents seeking world-class care.
The giant redwood is able to remain upright for hundreds of years because it grows close to other redwood trees, intermingling their root systems. I am grateful for the thousands of our donors who have stood close by AdventHealth for so many years, giving us their strength and helping us to continue to stand strong for our Central Florida community, our families and our friends. Thank you for helping us to grow and prosper in Christ.