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Adventist Health Executives Lead with Heart for Mission
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For the first time since the start of the pandemic, Adventist Health executives gathered in person at headquarters in Roseville, Calif., on May 25 and 26. They came together for an Executive Mission Formation (EMF) convocation followed by Operations Council the next day. In a deeply challenging time for healthcare operations, Adventist Health’s executive cabinet established a plan to continue holding EMF in conjunction with Operations Council each quarter.

Executive Mission Formation is a program designed and led by Alex Bryan – chief mission officer for Adventist Health – as training to ground every executive in the application and ownership of the organization’s mission. The purpose of the convocation on May 25 was to immerse in conversation about the organizational mission of living God’s love by inspiring health, wholeness, and hope, and focus on mission as the foundation of decision-making. Throughout the program, leaders explored five clinical outcomes of Jesus’ work — people are healed, bodies are valued, souls are loved, community is restored, and hope is promised — and practical applications of these themes in the contemporary healthcare context.

During the event, Joyce Newmyer, chief people officer and president of Adventist Health’s Oregon State Network, summarized the vital importance of mission: “What if we all began every day as brokers of hope? What if everyone in our workplace understood that? This would be game-changing. We’ve only just touched the surface of how this approach can change healthcare.”

At Operations Council the next day, Todd Hofheins, chief operations officer for Adventist Health, opened the day by stating, “EMF yesterday has prepared us for today. We have several essential systemwide and market strategies to process. This will only be possible if we keep the honesty, authenticity, and courage from yesterday in our operations.”

“Mission is not an excuse to just have good intentions and not be brilliant,” said Alex Bryan, chief mission officer for Adventist Health. “The bedrock of our ministry here if we are to honor Jesus has to be competency, doing great work.”

Speakers at the EMF convocation included Lisa Clark Diller, professor of history at Southern Adventist University; Tim Gillespie, lead pastor for the Crosswalk Church; Timothy Golden, professor of philosophy at Walla Walla University; and Karl Haffner, vice president for student experience at Loma Linda University.