Tuesday, March 1, 2016

AHS Conference on Mission

Last week I spent several days in Orlando participating in both the February AHS  Board of Trustees meeting, and following that, the annual AHS Conference on Mission, which is 2 1/2 days of inspiration and sharing on an aspect of the primary reason AHS exists: mission! Here are a few photos from the event:

First picture, below left, is the audiences response at the Conference to the question asked on the screen. The audience responses are generated with a hand controlled device called an "option finder" which allows for anonymous responses to the various questions which explored issues in the area of patient care particularly during terminal illness.  The picture below right is of AHS investment in advertising and publicity at the Daytona Motor Speedway.  The picture is small, but there is an enormous and beautiful AHS/ Creation Health entryway display at the Speedway which hosts events for fully half the year. NASCAR is the only official major sporting event in the U.S. which unashamedly supports and believes in the power and value of faith in God and so the AHS "fit" with Creation Health and Daytona was great! BTW: I notice that on mobile devices the pictures don't always line up the way described, so, right may be "left" and left "right."  You'll figure it out.

Below left is Dr. Jeffrey Kuhlman, SAU alum, who served as personal physician to President Obama, and now works within the AHS system. Below right are the three things that he was told when he arrived at Loma Linda in 1983 for Med School, and that he's tried to never forget.

The topic of the Conference was Palliative Care, a growing speciality that ministers to those terminally ill, with compassion, hope, and attention to quality of life. The Sabbath service on the topic was powerful and personal, delivered by Dr. Benjamin Reaves, Special Assistant on Mission to Dr. Don Jernigan, President of AHS.  Dr. Reaves, a former pastor, teacher, and past president of Oakwood University, lost his wife of over 50 years to Alzheimers and his sharing on Sabbath was personal and insightful.  Drawing from the 1st chapter of 2nd Corinthians, Elder Reaves shared the promise of God's desire to comfort us in our afflictions, and that in turn, such comfort equips us to be what we could not be without suffering affliction, and that is a comfort to others.

At the end of the sermon Elder Reaves told a moving story of how his wife, in visiting with the Neurologist, could not answer simple questions such as "what is today?" or, "what month is it?" or, "who is the president?." Yet, when asked what music she enjoyed playing on the piano she replied "hymns," and then the Dr. inquired, "What is your favorite hymn?" to which she replied immediately, with clarity of voice and mind, without hesitation, "What a friend, we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!" There was not a dry eye in the congregation.