A Seventh-day Adventist Organization

Adventist Church’s Health Ministries director challenges alumni’s ideas of service

Peter Landless, MD, director, department of Health Ministries at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, addressed alumni and faculty from Loma Linda University Health who have provided health care overseas.

The Seventh-day Adventist world church’s top health leader challenged a gathering of Loma Linda University Health (LLUH) faculty and alumni to think differently about how they view mission service and their own health.

Peter Landless, MD, Health Ministries director at the denomination’s world headquarters, said that while Loma Linda University alumni may think mission service happens in countries outside of the United States in the Church’s hundreds of hospitals, dispensaries and clinics, it occurs every day as patients visit their offices.

Landless, a cardiologist who made his remarks during a LLUH alumni mission breakfast on campus March 3, encouraged each participant to schedule time to promote wholeness in their own lives, apart from work and service.

“When Jesus healed people, he addressed their mind, body and spirit,” he told the audience. He added, "The Seventh-day Adventist health message has been given to us to fit us for service because our work is not yet done."

Landless traced the history of health care when people living with disease were viewed as having failed to follow natural health laws (works) to the belief that we are given health so that we can take care of ourselves to serve (grace).

As it has pursued these principles, Loma Linda University Health has become a leader in research and whole person care. The impact on health and longevity was shared globally in Nov. 2006, when the city of Loma Linda was declared a Blue Zone® in a National Geographic cover story written by Dan Buettner. Blue Zones are areas of the world where people live much longer than the surrounding population.

The event grew from a Mission Breakfast held each year, sponsored by the National Association of Seventh-day Adventist Dentists (NASDAD) and the School of Dentistry. Attendees were primarily faculty and alumni who have served as overseas missionaries.

Doyle Nick, DDS, associate professor, LLU School of Dentistry, hosted the event. Nick, who once worked as a dentist in Asia, is also associate director for dental affairs for the Adventist Church’s Health Ministries department.

Loma Linda University Health’s parent organization is the Adventist Church’s world headquarters.

The breakfast, held during LLUH Homecoming, was an opportunity for alumni and faculty from LLU’s eight schools who have provided health care overseas to gather and network.