Adventist Health System (AHS) recently held its 28th annual Conference on Mission in Maitland, Florida. 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 Terry Shaw, president/CEO for Adventist Health System. 'Our challenge is to show up every day to make a difference. To show up every day and do a better job 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 Thursday with an opening banquet that included music from Lifelong Music, the music ministry of Florida Hospital Church, and the keynote address by Carla Gober, 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 where 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, Lynda Comfort of Florida Hospital Waterman and Fred Meyers of Florida Hospital Carrollwood received the Trustee of the Year Award, while Sheryl Dodds of the organization's Central Florida Division and Eddie Soler of Adventist Health System received 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.
More than a year later, 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 (which will occur on January 2, 2019 when AHS and its wholly owned care sites adopt the new name), and various mission-centered programs and initiatives are positioning the organization to deliver transformative care for body, mind and spirit. This included four stories that illustrated how the organization's increased focus on care navigation, spiritual care, service standards and CREATION Life principles (which describe how Choice, Rest, Environment, Activity, Trust in God, Interpersonal Relationships, Outlook and Nutrition all play a role in whole health), among other focal points, are making tangible differences in the lives of patients and families.
The 2018 Conference on Mission concluded on Saturday with a Sabbath day service where attendees gathered to worship and fellowship. 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 wonderful opportunity to bring together our organizational and church leaders to look at how we are living out our mission. 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,' said Ted Hamilton, MD, senior vice president and chief mission integration officer for Adventist Health System.