There have been some questions as to why Adventist Health System will not use the name “AdventHealth” for all of the facilities within the Mid-America Union as part of the 2019 rebranding. Simply put, Adventist Health System is structured under two different operating models within the Union, which require different naming constructs.

In Kansas City, Shawnee Mission Health is wholly owned and managed by Adventist Health System. As part of the national rebranding initiative, Shawnee Mission Health will become AdventHealth Shawnee Mission as of January 2, 2019.  Likewise, the various outpatient centers, physician clinics and ambulatory sites will all be rebranded to proudly carry the AdventHealth name as well.

In Colorado, the five hospitals owned by Adventist Health System are managed under the brand of Centura Health, which is a partnership that includes more than Adventist Health System facilities. Because of the partnership, Avista Adventist Hospital, Castle Rock Adventist Hospital, Littleton Adventist Hospital, Parker Adventist Hospital and Porter Adventist Hospital will continue with their same names in the Colorado market.

Still providing spiritual care

At a recent Shawnee Mission Hospital board meeting, I heard testimonies from several of their employees who, while not members of any Adventist churches in Kansas City, were deeply committed Christians. They had just completed the training Advent Health provides for its 80,000 employees on the kind of care this medical ministry wants to offer. They were elated to be a part of an organization who wants to “extend the healing ministry of Christ” in such a compassionate way.

As current board chair for AHS, one new initiative I am excited about is that for the first time Advent Health is going to be providing spiritual care for outpatient clients. They have just started this initiative and already have had approximately 800 referrals for pastoral care.

In addition to the spiritual care, they have also adopted a service standard for “every person, every time.” The four imperatives they see each patient wanting and needing are:

  • Keep me safe,
  • Love me,
  • Make it easy,
  • Own it.

If this is accomplished, Christ-like medicine is being practiced.

From strangers to friends

A number of years ago, I was on a father-son trip. We were having a great time together until one afternoon I felt a pain I could not ignore. I drove to one of our Adventist hospitals and walked into the emergency room.

My son was quite young and very scared…I just wanted some relief.  As it turned out, I had a kidney stone. My son was with me in the examination room when the doc told me I might need to have surgery and stay over night.

To the caretakers, I was a stranger whom they had never met before. They saw my predicament, however, and hatched a plan. Before I knew it, a chaplain walked into my room. She was very gracious and told me she had been informed about my situation and wanted to help. She offered to take my son to her own home that night and she and her husband would care for him while I recovered from surgery.

I was amazed at the level of compassion they had for my son and me. I felt loved, I could see they owned my medical care and my personal predicament. They made things easy for me and I felt safe. What a witness! It was then I told the chaplain I was an Adventist, and as always happens, we found many connections of friends we both knew who are a part of our church.

As it turns out, I didn’t need surgery and a few hours later my son and I left the hospital and were able to continue our journey.

What a blessing it is to have Adventist Health System in our union! Stories like mine are repeated over and over each day. Hundreds of thousands are cared for each year in the hospitals and facilities AHS operates in our territory.

There are many godly men and women leading out in our hospitals and what a difference they make for Jesus! Not only should we be thankful for them, but we should pray for them as well.