Hermila Ayon Soto never lost faith that somehow, some way, her family would resolve its many health problems. Her son’s nose bleeds. Her husband’s kidney ailments. Her teenage daughter’s complexion challenges. And her own decade-long struggle with her weight.

But she had no idea that there would be one solution to all these problems, or that the transformation would come, not from a doctor’s office, but from their church.

It all started in March 2012, when Mark Stoddart, Shawnee Mission Medical Center’s (SMMC) administrative director of Spiritual Wellness, saw an opportunity to help a large audience near SMMC learn how to live longer, healthier lives. As Stoddart puts it, “The CREATION Health wellness-based lifestyle is so important that we wanted to share it with the world.”

Together with Estrella Dominguez, who serves as a fulltime chaplain for SMMC, Stoddart invited 24 Spanish-speaking Seventh-day Adventist Church leaders in the Kansas City area to a weekend seminar. There, they learned about the principles of CREATION Health, a powerful, lifestyle transformation program designed to help people live life to the fullest.

One of those church leaders, Jose Peña, of the New Haven Spanish Seventh-day Adventist Church in Lenexa, realized that the program might be perfect for a family he knew. So he presented it to the Ruiz family as a way to help them address their health challenges. They were immediately interested and arranged to start learning all about CREATION Health.

During a series of classes and over the phone, they learned that this life-transforming approach to total person wellness is based on the eight CREATION Health principles: Choice, Rest, Environment, Activity, Trust, Interpersonal Relationships, Outlook and Nutrition.

While the CREATION Health lifestyle is helping people all over the country live longer and healthier lives, Hermila had no idea it would make such a swift and dramatic difference in her family’s life.

Her son, Jesus Ruiz, Jr., had experienced nosebleeds almost daily for nine years. Doctors said it was congenital and that nothing could be done about it. He couldn’t participate in sports and missed a lot of school. Yet, once he adopted the CREATION Health program, the nose bleeds stopped.

Jose de Jesus Ruiz, Hermila’s husband, had kidney problems for more than three months. But once the family eliminated soft drinks and changed from a diet of chain restaurants and pizza to eating healthy, balanced meals, Jose’s kidney problems disappeared.

After her daughter, Neftali Ruiz, also adopted the CREATION Health program, her complexion problems cleared up within a few weeks, and she was a more relaxed and confident teenager.

Hermila herself had been on the weight roller coaster for years, quickly losing and then gaining back unwanted weight.

Hermila has now lost 83 pounds, and kept it off, thanks to much better eating habits and walking five miles every day.

After the dramatic results that each family member experienced from the program, the Ruiz family has chosen to adopt CREATION Health for good.

“The program gives people the power to make better choices,” states Stoddart.

This article was written by Mallory Saylor, a marketing and communications specialist at Shawnee Mission Medical Center.


To learn more about CREATION Health and its year-round schedule of classes and seminars, visit ShawneeMission.org/CreationHealth.