Sacred Work

When I think about what makes Adventist Health what it is today, I think of our people and our mission. When I think about what Adventist Health does, I think of Sacred Work.

As you will read in this annual Adventist Health special edition of the GLEANER, Sacred Work is demonstrating God's love at every possible level and recognizing ourselves, our work and our coworkers as sacred. As the concept makes its way throughout our system, I am excited to see transformational change taking place for our employees, physicians, patients and communities. We are serving with love.

I hope you enjoy reading our stories, and through them, recognize the sacred work that our employees do every day.

For example, in excerpts from our recently published devotional book, you'll learn of the great emotional connection our caregivers make with patients and families. From Dennis Reed's interactions with a mother about to lose her child to Glenna Collier's comforting song with a patient in chronic pain, these connections leave indelible impressions on all involved. They speak of a legacy of care that our doctors and nurses create on a daily basis.

Stories of Sacred Work abound throughout our company. In this special edition, you'll read about the compassionate volunteer activities employees at Adventist Medical Center do to improve their local community through health outreach. And you'll hear about a busy emergency room nurse whose short prayer performed a miracle for a suffering patient. These extraordinary acts are the epitome of Sacred Work.

Sacred Work also exists where you least expect. Consider the telephone script used by Erika Rootvik, Walla Walla General Hospital admitting clerk. Using simple words, Erika helped save a woman's life. While a script may not seem sacred outright, it and Erika's actions demonstrate God's love through our compassion for and communication with one another.

When I think of these stories, I am reminded of a quote by Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D., "The original meaning of medicine is not science, it is service. Science can never serve unless it is first translated into a work of the heart." That concept applies perfectly to Sacred Work and to the extraordinary people at Adventist Health.

I hope you enjoy this spotlight on Adventist Health. If you wish to know more about us and our Sacred Work, please visit


Featured in: October 2009