Tomorrow at Adventist Health

December 21, 2020 | Health | Alex Bryan

12:32 a.m. The glass doors to the emergency department swing open. On the stretcher: John, 19-year-old son, his condition critical, his motorcycle destroyed*.Terrified parents wait in the lobby. Skilled physicians and seasoned nurses execute their training and repeat the parents' prayer, “God save this boy you’ve given to us.”

4:05 a.m. The lobby is packed: coronavirus, influenza, chest pains, bumps, bruises, hangovers, chest pains, a sharp ache in the side, difficulty breathing, a severe beating at the hands of an angry husband, a sore throat, a broken leg, the only warm place on a very cold night.

6:13 a.m. Maggie Johnson is nearly 45 minutes late for her pre-op appointment. But surgery cannot wait. Stage 4 cannot wait. Nurses and doctors practice patience. The OR is jammed all day. But Maggie is not a case — she’s a child. God’s child.

7:55 a.m. Chaplain David Marks gathers his team of clergy and volunteers. A word of prayer for renewed compassion and courage. A sanctuary of suffering awaits a pastoral presence. Four floors of dedicated clinicians await a pastoral embrace. 

8:00 a.m. The system finance team gathers to review balance sheets, revenue trends, expense trajectories and volume projections. Dominating the agenda: driving efficiency while improving quality. 

9:10 a.m. Mark and Marilyn say goodbye to their daddy.

9:15 a.m. Brandon and Kelsey say hello to their son.

11:00 a.m. The public affairs advocacy team lobbies a state legislature to ensure inclusion of the disadvantaged in health care. Jesus healed everybody, and we will too.

1:00 p.m. Senior executives meet to pray and ask, “What are 2022, 2025 and 2030 going to be like, and how can we be ready?”

2:00 p.m. The supply chain team meets to ensure a steady stock of personal protective equipment.

2:06 p.m. The nutritional services team meets to ensure a faithful shipment of bread.

2:14 p.m. The clinical team meets to ensure an ample supply of blood.

2:20 p.m. Community well-being executives meet with a local public school: more vegetables, fewer fries? Less screen time, more exercise? Can we help sponsor an afterschool program?

3:55 p.m. Gina Renee Simpson is born. 6 pounds, 7 ounces. Healthy baby. Healthy mama. Dad and grandparents are bursting with joy. This is the best day of their lives, and one they will never forget.

3:56 p.m. Cameron John Wallace is born. Complications. The medical team does all it can. “We’re so sorry.” A young couple grieves. This is the worst day of their lives, and one they will never forget.

4:55 p.m. Janelle Betz’s lab results are in. Negative: What a relief.

4:56 p.m. Janelle Jones’ lab results are in. Positive: The cancer journey begins.

6:48 p.m. Pediatrician Samuel Harris goes home late. 37 sick kids in one day.

7:02 p.m. Therapist Nicole Watson turns the lights out. Another day listening to so much loneliness.

7:30 p.m. Physical therapist Richard Hays teaches his community about exercise.

8:06 p.m. Hospital president John Bell packs his suitcase for a medical mission trip.

9:47 p.m. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

10:03 p.m. “Praise God from whom all blessings flow.”

11:59 p.m. Change of status from critical to serious. And the prayers continue: “God save this boy, our boy.”

This timeline shares a glimpse of the many faces of ministry that happens each and every day at Adventist Health.

*Names and other details changed throughout the protect confidentiality.