Friday, February 22, 2013

AHS Conference on Mission

I have been in Orlando for the past two days attending the Adventist Health Systems Board session as well as the Conference on Mission which follows the first day board meeting and goes through Sabbath. AHS continues to execute what seems to me to be a wise and prudent plan of business, making acquisitions when they make financial sense, partnering with other organizations when THAT makes sense, and attempting to adapt to the rapidly changing health care industry which is of course, heavily regulated and always subject to changing policies and  almost unpredictable reimbursement rates. Through this murky regulatory swamp, the organization seems to continue to make money and most importantly, link their financial success to the desire to have a mission and ministry in North America.

This year's Conference on Mission is devoted exclusively to the Creation Health program that you may have heard about. It's an outstanding tool developed in-house by AHS, and brings a comprehensive approach to wellness and  disease prevention lifestyle based on the 8 natural principles of good health espoused by Ellen White and affirmed by medical experts today.

One aspect of the program is focused on providing financial incentives to individual hospitals throughout the system that apply for special funding for the purpose of using the Creation Health program to impact the community in measurable ways.  I was very proud of Erika Skula, CEO of our
own Manchester, KY, hospital who was one of three presenters recognized for receiving the grant money and, in her presentation today, shared how she has taken Creation Health and is using it to
assist patients in the county where Manchester lies in introducing them to better living. Interestingly, her proposal, now made a reality, was to buy a van, beautifully designed with Creation Health logo and graphics, for the purpose of transporting the often indigent patient population of the county to the hospital for non-emergency appointments. Transportation is a big problem in this very poor isolated area, and while the patients are being driven to the hospital, a tv monitor in the van plays through a presentation of Creation Health and invites them to consider learning more about it's principles and practices. Well done Erika!

This event is one of my favorite assignments to attend each year; it builds confidence, if any were needed, that our hospitals are being led by committed individuals who want to do more than make money; but want to introduce the community to better health, and ultimately, the healing ministry of Christ which is the mission/ministry focus of AHS.

The Thursday night devotional was given by Tony Campolo, well-known author and speaker. Sabbath, Dr. John Nixon, former Sr. Pastor at Collegedale and presently faculty on the staff of the School of Religion at Southern, will be speaking.

Happy Sabbath!

Below are a few pictures from in front of AHS corporate headquarters, where  visitors to the campus are greeted by an inspiring depiction of the "the healing at the Pool of Bethesda," complete with a fountain and life-size sculptures. An additional picture is take just as you enter into the lobby (where Jesus is greeting the healed lame man). AHS has a beautiful building that they've been in just over a year.  It's functional and inspiring!

Lame Man Waiting by the pool
Jesus welcoming the healed lame man
Standing at front entrance looking east toward the rest of AHS campus

Jesus approaches the lame man at the pool of Bethesda.

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