Adventist Health is leading a 21st-century well-being transformation movement based in its Seventh-day Adventist heritage. Teams touched more than 2.7 million lives in more than 80 communities on the West Coast and in Hawaii through faith-inspired healthcare services from 2016 to 2020. They also are transforming more communities and lives around the world through Blue Zones, a nationally recognized leader in well-being and longevity that was acquired in 2020.
One of Adventist Health’s most important steps in 2016 was updating its mission statement to better reflect its purpose: Living God’s love by inspiring health, wholeness and hope. This mission, rooted in Jesus’ ministry of healing and the distinctly Adventist mission of healthcare, broadens the organization’s focus from solely caring for the sick to helping communities and individuals live longer and better. This calling positions Adventist Health as an industry leader in well-being and has driven transformation throughout the organization and its communities, including the creation of the Office of Mission and the Well-Being Division, expansion of mission, and offering practical help through the COVID-19 pandemic and crucial assistance to communities in need around the world.
From the chief mission officer in the C-suite to chaplains in the hospitals, the Office of Mission team works to ensure that God’s love permeates every interaction throughout the organization. The Office of Mission helps to connect the organization’s daily interactions and long-term goals with the distinct Adventist historical mission of healthcare and with Jesus’ ministry. Mission leaders meet with executives monthly to reflect on mission and purpose and the “why” of what they do. The chief mission officer also leads Adventist Health’s ethics committee to ensure that policies and actions align with the highest standards of moral and ethical practice. The Well-Being Division team works through Blue Zones to empower individuals across the country to live longer and better. This work starts with its 35,000 associates, who have access to a wide variety of well-being resources—from a Blue Zones at Adventist Health well-being app to free online counseling and chaplaincy services. Organizations, including Adventist Health locations, also have access to Blue Zones Campus Certification, which helps build environments that foster well-being and longevity. The organization is also moving outside its hospitals to impact well-being at home, at work, and in communities through local Blue Zones Projects, such as one launched in the Napa Valley near St. Helena Hospital.
During the past five years, Adventist Health has expanded into four new California communities, providing the opportunity to reach more than half a million additional community members with God’s love. New hospitals include Delano, which serves rural farm communities in northern Kern and southern Tulare counties; Dameron, based in Stockton in San Joaquin County; Mendocino Coast, serving the coastal communities of Mendocino County; and Tulare, a hospital that Adventist Health reopened a year after it had been closed, restoring emergency, inpatient, and other important services.
Adventist Health associates were a force for good throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, risking their lives to care for others during some of their darkest days and finding new ways to deliver excellent care. The organization launched an innovative virtual hospital, Adventist Health Hospital @ Home, to care for hospital patients in the comfort of their own homes and expanded online doctors’ visits to help keep patients and staff safe. Through May 2021, teams had cared for nearly 15,000 COVID-19 patients. When vaccines arrived, teams worked long hours to administer more than a quarter million doses through May 2021 alone. They also reached out to provide care through food giveaways, grants, mobile clinics, and other support.
Adventist Health provided more than $2.5 billion in community assistance from 2016 through 2020 that included aid to the poor and elderly, community improvement, and free and discounted care. The organization also served communities throughout the world through medical missions to nations including Armenia, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Jamaica, Mexico, and Zambia.
More information about Adventist Health is available at AdventistHealth.org and through its stories at AdventistHealth.org/Story.
Scott Reiner is the president/CEO of Adventist Health.