Centura Health warmly welcomes Dr. Eric Shadle to the position of group vice president for mission integration. This is an expanded role for Shadle, who has served as director of CREATION Health for Centura’s five Denver-based hospitals in Adventist Health System’s Rocky Mountain Region since 2015.
Shadle is uniquely qualified as a hospital mission integration leader. He studied theology at Andrews University and medicine at Loma Linda University and has worked as both a pastor and a physician. He is highly motivated when it comes to juxtaposing these two paths of service and is well-versed in concepts pertaining to whole-person health.
“I’ll be shepherding four key areas in my new role,” says Shadle. “Culture, spiritual care, community health and ethics.”
Culture speaks to the benefits that an Adventist perspective on health brings to the workplace. CREATION Health serves as a foundation for that overarching health message. Additionally, it incorporates inclusion, warmth and love that come from understanding who we are as beings created by a loving God.
“It’s how we extend the healing ministry of Christ—no matter what your religious worldview or faith background may be,” Shadle says.
Spiritual care encompasses the traditional chaplaincy role in a hospital setting, serving the needs of patients and families in crisis while also expanding to care for the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of employees and caregivers.
“We’ve come to the conclusion that meeting the spiritual needs of our employees is probably our highest responsibility,” Shadle observes. “If our employees are spiritually nurtured and well cared for, they can better care for the spiritual needs of our patients.”
The Mission Development team focuses internal efforts on providing employees with resiliency training and helping them to find love, joy and spiritual peace in the midst of daily challenges.
Community health is a significant component of the AHS approach to healthcare. When hospitals and communities are integrally involved, both are healthier on every level.
“When I was a pastor, I would often say, ‘A church that isn’t involved in outreach will stagnate,’” recalls Shadle. “The same is true for a hospital.”
He observes that communities especially benefit when local organizations work together in coordinated health initiatives. Shadle’s team actively seeks to identify ways God is already at work in positive, community-based programs and then to join forces for the strength and health of their shared neighborhoods.
Ethics is the term for principles that guide Centura Health in putting belief into action.
“It’s more than just how we make decisions in challenging situations,” says Shadle. “We have ongoing opportunities to talk about how Adventist beliefs impact our policies as an organization.”
Decisions made by hospital leaders are shaped by their perspectives concerning the sanctity of humans as children of God. They regard individual patients and community members as having supreme value as created beings. These principles guide their actions and analysis when faced with challenging life-and-death circumstances.
Perhaps most revealing is Shadle’s personal motto: “To listen, learn and love—each and every day.” He seeks not only to live out this personal philosophy but also to model it for those he leads and interacts with on a day-to-day basis.