The Heart and Soul of Sacred Work

Since she was a child, Jessica Lee envisioned one day entering a profession that involved caring for small children. She especially sensed her special connection with babies. Infants, in turn, seemed drawn to her nurturing voice and attentive heart.

With these qualities, it’s no wonder Lee eventually pursued her sacred calling at Walla Walla University’s School of Nursing with a desire to influence care and make a difference in the lives of moms and babies.

Now Lee finds tremendous joy working as a registered nurse at Adventist Medical Center’s Family Birth Place in Portland, Ore., where she consistently demonstrates an innate ability to bring peace and calm to moms and babies.

“There’s something very special about helping new life enter the world,” says Lee. “Three generations of my family have been in health care. I knew it was where I could make the greatest difference for others.”

Because of her skill and compassionate care, Lee was recently nominated and selected by her peers for the hospital’s DAISY (Diseases Attacking the Immune System) Award, an honor commemorating extraordinary nurses. Lee was recognized for her incredible gift of bringing comfort and support to vulnerable, scared and panicked patients.

One such patient arrived in the Family Birth Place after a failed attempt at a home birth. Lee was assigned to her care. Hoping for a completely natural delivery, the birthing mother was experiencing fear about being in the hospital setting to give birth.

Lee quickly established a trusting relationship with this patient, calmly and firmly reassuring her through each contraction over the next several hours, determined to help this frightened mother safely bring her baby into the world.

“When this patient arrived I could tell things were getting out of control for her,” Lee says. “I told her we could put her back in control, but it was going to take her full trust in me and my full trust in her.” 

Thanks to Lee’s diligence and determination to provide top-notch care, this patient achieved the unmedicated delivery she so strongly desired. 

“All of us had tears in our eyes as this delivery came to an end,” recalls one of Lee’s team members. “It was an incredibly intense and emotional experience for all of us.”

This special delivery was just one of many Lee has helped give her patients as she brings Christ-centered care to Adventist Health every day.

Featured in: June 2017


Judy Leach

Adventist Health Pacific Northwest Region vice president of strategy activation and communication