Terry Shaw, president and CEO of AdventHealth, addresses attendees at the 32nd Conference on Mission hosted by AdventHealth in Orlando. Tim Brown, photographer at AdventHealth 

January 25, 2023

AdventHealth, Adventist Church Leaders Challenged to Deepen the Wholeness Agenda

“I commend you—you are already doing so much for the whole person. My question is, what haven’t you tried yet?”

This was the closing statement that Chris Oberg, CEO of Path of Life Ministries, gave to a room of AdventHealth board members and executive leaders, key representatives of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and local community leaders who attended AdventHealth’s 32nd annual Conference on Mission held in Orlando. Oberg challenged attendees to live up to the AdventHealth brand promise: “feel whole.” 

Over the course of the three-day conference, presenters responded to that challenge through a deep exploration of what wholeness is, how it's quantified and how to help communities feel whole. 

Hosted by AdventHealth, this annual event brings together key leaders from the Adventist Church and AdventHealth to discuss foundational issues, industry trends and the delivery of transformational whole-person care to millions of individuals. For the last five years, AdventHealth has been on a journey to understand and live its brand promise in a way no other organization has done. In this multi-year process, attendees have grappled with what wholeness looks like for the body, mind and spirit. Previous years of the event invited attendees to work through key issues such as mental health, spiritual care and health equity. 

The 2022 Conference on Mission, with the theme “Guided by Purpose,” gave attendees the opportunity to explore the results of the years-long research that AdventHealth has dedicated to defining wholeness.  

“When you put wholeness in your brand, you’re taking on a big responsibility,” said Terry Shaw, president and CEO of AdventHealth. “We started this journey by putting spiritual care in the outpatient setting and adding mental health services into primary care. Now we have a wholeness model to help us look at, from a business perspective, what it means to feel whole. And we have our diversity, equity and inclusion councils to better enable us to help people feel whole.” 

To close out the event on Sabbath morning, attendees heard an inspiring message from Sam Leonor, Jr., Mission and Spiritual Care executive at Adventist Health. Leonor spoke on the unchanging mission of Adventist health care and how it connects to wholeness. The message highlighted how the healing miracles performed by Jesus during His time on Earth did more than just heal a broken body, but rather His miracles healed the mind and spirit of the recipient, too.  

“We must choose to see the real need, what people actually seek: belonging, fulfillment and meaning,” said Leonor. “Once our eyes are open to that, it is impossible to ignore. This will make AdventHealth an organization more closely aligned with the mission and values of our founder: Jesus.” 


Elizabeth Camps is a senior Communications specialist at AdventHealth.