Spiritual Care

Seventh-day Adventist World Church Leaders Tour AdventHealth Design Center, Evaluate How Design Thinking Can Help the Church

General Conference officers and executives travel to the organization’s corporate headquarters to learn about design thinking and innovation centers.
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A group of Seventh-day Adventist leaders, including General Conference President Ted N.C. Wilson, Executive Secretary G.T. Ng and Treasurer Juan Prestol-Puesán, recently visited AdventHealth’s corporate headquarters to understand how the health care organization uses its design spaces to encourage innovation and creativity.

The group made its first stops at a collaborative coworking space and a da Vinci innovation lab in downtown Orlando, before making its way to AdventHealth’s corporate campus in Altamonte Springs, Florida, where they walked through biblically based statuary installations, the AdventHealth Leadership Institute and the AdventHealth Design Center.

For many of the leaders, it was their first time visiting AdventHealth’s corporate headquarters. Several of them had toured the AdventHealth Innovation Lab in Orlando on a previous visit.

“This tour has been very beneficial in helping us better understand leadership and design spaces and the potential for helping people feel at ease while we're solving challenging problems,” said Wilson. “It's a privilege to see how God is blessing, in so many ways, AdventHealth and its activities and outreach to people. Health care is the right arm of the gospel, so it’s an essential part of the work the Seventh-day Adventist Church is doing to carry out the ministry of Christ physically, mentally, socially and spiritually.”

At the AdventHealth Design Center, President/CEO Terry Shaw spoke to the delegation about the health system’s mission, vision, values and service standards, as well as its top mission-related programs and initiatives. These include AdventHealth Global Missions, a network of long-term, footprint relationships with Adventist hospitals around the world; CREATION Life, a whole-person care approach that is promoted in various institutions and ministries through multi-language materials; and Clinical Mission Integration, a program to address patients’ spiritual and emotional health after their provider has assessed their personal sense of love, joy and peace.

Shaw finished his presentation by sharing about the organization’s brand transformation journey, and a personal story of his wife’s car crash and subsequent experience navigating care with her. The latter experience helped inform two AdventHealth initiatives, care navigation and spiritual care in the outpatient setting, both of which were taken through the design process.

“The design process helps our team co-create to make our strategic initiatives better. It allows us to trial ideas, and to let them succeed or fail without viewing it as a personal success or failure,” said Shaw. “I'm honored that we were able to welcome our church leaders to campus to demonstrate how we use these innovation principles to advance our mission of Extending the Healing Ministry of Christ. Anything we can do to help them on this journey is a very meaningful opportunity for us.”

The visit to AdventHealth was organized with the help of Karen Tilstra, PhD, CEO of the consultant group Creativity Effect. Tilstra co-founded the innovation lab at AdventHealth Orlando and is helping the General Conference evaluate whether a similar space would benefit the church.

“The church is interested in doing leadership in perhaps a different way, and in creating a little more opportunity for dialogue for effectiveness,” said Prestol-Puesán. “We would like to create the space for our leaders to come together and share different ideas and perspectives around a common goal.”

Design thinking is a discipline built upon three pillars: empathy research, co-creation and iterative prototyping. At AdventHealth, leaders and team members from across the system have gathered in the AdventHealth Design Center to help drive user-experience innovation and strategy. Yet the organization recognizes that it’s not the physical room that leads to results. It’s the session participations and methodology.

“The AdventHealth Design Center is about creating a platform where our people can speak into the solutions and strategies we need,” said David Banks, executive vice president and chief strategy officer for AdventHealth. “It's always fun to look at the spaces, but an even more important piece is to learn the process and hear how the work happens. It was great to be able to dialogue with our church leaders around creating a culture of innovation that allows ideas to come from anywhere.”

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