Loma Linda University
oma Linda University Health exists “to make man whole,” in the words of its motto. For 110 years the schools, faculty, students, and hospitals of this General Conference institution have carried out the spirit of this phrase.
The launch of Vision 2020 during the past quinquennium constitutes the largest philanthropic campaign ever attempted by an entity of the Adventist Church.
Vision 2020’s philanthropic goal of US$360 million will be combined with other moneys for a total of approximately US$1.2 billion. These funds will go toward a new adult hospital and a new Children’s Hospital tower, replacing much of the acute-care areas to meet new 2020 California seismic standards.
In addition, Vision 2020 will raise funds for a research building housing the new Wholeness Institute, bringing together diverse health experts to find new treatments, cures, and prevention. Other funds will go toward scholarships and enhancements to teaching.
The lead pledge of US$100 million for the Children’s Hospital addition was given by Carol and Dennis Troesh at the unveiling of Vision 2020 in 2014. Their donation was the largest ever made to any health-care entity in the region. The campaign now has gifts and pledges for more than half its target goal of US$360 million.
A second major outreach to Loma Linda University Health’s service area is the creation of a campus in nearby San Bernardino. Loma Linda University Health–San Bernardino will include moving an existing multispecialty health clinic, Social Action Community Health System (SACHS), from another location in San Bernardino. SACHS began as a student-led outreach in the 1960s and has become an integral part of health care for the needy in the San Bernardino area, now designated as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC).
Another part of the new San Bernardino campus will be known as the San Manuel Gateway College, funded in part by a gift of US$10 million from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. This program, in partnership with the San Bernardino City Unified School District, will provide a variety of three- to 12-month certificate training programs to prepare high school graduates for a number of rewarding career options in health care, such as phlebotomy and medical assisting. Another element will be a restaurant designed to showcase the longevity-enhancing benefits of a plant-based diet.
Global service has been a hallmark of the Loma Linda experience since its founding in 1905. Thousands of alumni have embarked on medical missionary careers around the world, and additional thousands have made short-term mission trips during their studies at Loma Linda. From 2010 to 2014 more than 2,700 faculty, students, and staff embarked on mission trips to serve those in need. Together with Adventist Health International, Loma Linda is now working directly with more than 30 Adventist mission hospitals worldwide.
Volunteers mobilized quickly following the devastating earthquake that rocked the Caribbean nation of Haiti on January 12, 2010. The 70-bed Adventist Hospital of Haiti, in Port-au-Prince, remained structurally sound despite surrounding damage and served as a base of operations for Loma Linda University Health volunteers to offer care.
Scott Nelson, M.D., an LLU-trained orthopedic surgeon based in the Dominican Republic, arrived in Port-au-Prince a few hours after the temblor with a team to provide surgical services.
“Our initial response focused on three areas: fund-raising, deployment of human resources, and acquisition of special equipment and supplies,” said Jerry Daly, assistant vice president for global outreach.
Many dozens of physicians, nurses, and other health-care professionals from Loma Linda flew, usually at their own expense, to Port-au-Prince to aid in the relief effort. Their care has been crucial to the nation’s recovery efforts. Loma Linda is now heavily involved in a major upgrade of the Adventist Hospital of Haiti.
Life on the Line
Another milestone for Loma Linda University Health’s outreach to the world took place during 2014 when the organization’s first major television series, Life on the Line, was accepted by the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) for national distribution. The series features courageous individuals and is hosted by journalist Lisa Ling. Among the stories are infant heart transplants performed by Leonard Bailey, M.D.; an 8-year-old Haitian boy trapped under earthquake rubble for three days who was restored to health by Loma Linda volunteers; and physicians from two sides of the globe working together to save Egyptian babies with congenital heart disease.
The series is now in its second year, expanding to more than 77 percent of all public broadcasting markets, bringing a message of wholeness to millions of potential viewers.
Making a Difference
The Seattle-based PayScale issued a survey of 1.4 million university alumni around the United States in 2014. Normally measuring salary levels, the pollsters included a new question in their most recent edition: “Do you feel your job makes the world a better place?”
An astounding 91 percent—the highest percentage of any university or college’s alumni—of Loma Linda University graduates answered “yes.” The number-one-ranked Loma Linda University far outpaced other major universities, many of whose alumni answered positively in the 50-70 percent range.
This short summary presents a few of the life-changing events taking place at Loma Linda University Health and around the world through its influence. This outstanding General Conference institution remains dedicated to its mission of “continuing the teaching and healing ministry of Christ” until the Savior’s soon return.