Siblings Erin and Joel Gray are third-generation AdventHealth team members and consider AdventHealth to be the “family business.” Photo credit: David Pflederer
Their paternal grandparents worked at the suburban Chicago hospital, now known as AdventHealth Hinsdale, back when it was called the Hinsdale Sanitarium. Their father and mother later worked at the hospital, as did many of their aunts and uncles. Several of the siblings’ cousins now work in AdventHealth’s corporate finance department located in Altamonte Springs, Florida.
Both born at the Hinsdale hospital, Erin arrived about 26 months before Joel. They have fond childhood memories of going to work with their father and getting to know the hospital’s kind, compassionate staff. When the time came for the siblings to find jobs, they naturally gravitated toward the facility.
Erin was 18 when she was hired as a file clerk in the hospital’s human resources department in 2000, just eight days after Joel began working in the hospital’s kitchen. They have remained with AdventHealth in a series of different roles over the years. Joel has worked at the hospital for his entire career, now serving as a mechanic there, while Erin has moved around, working in human resources at all four AdventHealth hospitals in suburban Chicago.
“Dad worked second shifts in maintenance for many years, and we always joked that . . . the hospital was his first home because he worked long overtime hours and it seemed he was there all the time,” Joel said. “The longer I’ve worked here, the more I see how if you look forward to coming to work at a place your whole life and you get along with everyone you work with, they become an extension of your family.”
As sixth-generation Seventh-day Adventists, Erin and Joel relish the opportunities their jobs present to advance AdventHealth’s mission of extending the healing ministry of Christ by putting into action their faith-based beliefs, including the importance of giving back and always putting others ahead of themselves.
Joel’s duties often take him into patients’ rooms to perform maintenance tasks, where he tries to assess each patient’s state of mind to determine whether they seem lonely or want to talk. “Sometimes you feel like you’re in the right place at the right time to lend an ear to the patients,” he said.
He also is quick to help coworkers, even if it entails work outside his prescribed duties. “With our mission being extending the healing ministry of Christ, I think being Christlike means helping anybody regardless of their situation and whatever they’re going through,” he said. “If you feel a calling to help somebody else, you shouldn’t ignore the calling.”
In her role, Erin furthers the mission by greeting new employees and familiarizing them with AdventHealth’s mission, values and Adventist customs. She also ensures that they and other employees “have access to everything they need so they can help patients with what they need to get better,” she said.
Through the years, Erin’s faith has sustained her during times of change and uncertainty at work. “I always tell people I’m not going to worry about it, because I’m just going to leave it in God’s hands, and it’s going to work out for the best,” she said. This strong belief, she added, never has failed her. “It feels like we’re in the right place now,” Joel said. “We’re where we’re supposed to be.”
Julie Busch, AdventHealth associate vice president for Marketing and Communications