At Loma Linda, International Health Conference “Reclaims the Vision”
First-time meeting of global Adventist medical personnel (Posted December 12, 2012)

BY DUSTIN JONES, associate director of public relations, Loma Linda University Health System

More than 300 health professionals and administrators from around the globe headed to Loma Linda for the first Global Health Care Conference, which was held October 18-21, 2012. The conference, “Adventist Mission Hospitals: Reclaiming the Vision,” was hosted by Loma Linda University in collaboration with Adventist Health International.

GLOBAL GROUP: More than 300 health-care professionals and administrators attended the first Global Health Care Conference, 
which was hosted by Loma Linda University in collaboration with Adventist Health International, October 18-21, 2012. [PHOTOS: LLU]
“I found the presentation on spiritual care very powerful,” says Mercy Banda, a nurse at Lusaka Eye Hospital in Zambia. “I expect this conference will have an impact on how I treat my patients.”

One of the more than 300 attendees to the conference, Banda and three of her Zambian coworkers had never been out of their own country before. For them, this conference was more than just an opportunity to travel, however. It offered them a chance to meet other professionals who face the same difficulties they do.

“I am meeting people from different countries who are helping me see how they have solved their own problems,” adds George Mamba Chama, acting principal tutor at Mwami nursing school in Zambia. “I am learning how we can work together to share resources.”

HEALING PRESENCE: Lowell C. Cooper, a general vice president of the General Conference, shares the message of “A Healing Presence—In Jesus’ Name” during the service at the LLU church.
In the opening plenary session, Richard Hart, president of Loma Linda University (LLU) and Adventist Health International, walked participants through the history of health care in the Adventist Church and underscored its importance to the mission of the church.

“The conference was one of the best I have participated in,” says Peter Opreh, CEO at Adventist Hospital, Ile-Ife, in Nigeria. “The sessions went beyond just professional best practices and highlighted a paradigm shift toward public health in various communities. I understand that we need to step up our outreach in our communities.”

Presentation topics for the conference ranged from board governance to financial management to strategic planning. The presentations were streamed live over the Internet to more than 30 different countries and around the United States.

The LLU Global Health Institute (GHI) provided overall conference leadership, with support from a conference planning committee with cross-campus representation. In addition, GHI coordinated all travel logistics for more than 100 international attendees, including arranging flights, transportation, and accommodations.

On Sabbath, Lowell C. Cooper, a general vice president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, shared the message “A Healing Presence—In Jesus’ Name.” Cooper is chair of the LLU Board of Trustees and also chair of the Adventist Health International Board.

“Being at this conference was what I imagine heaven will be like—seeing friends from all over the world,” says Siow Leong Fam, a general surgeon at Adventist Hospital, Ile-Ife. “I met with missionaries from all parts of the world and saw old friends from India, Zambia, and Malawi. This has emphasized to me that we are one family.” n

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