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The following is an updated report to the North American Division membership from Your Best Pathway to Health on the April mega health clinic in Los Angeles, California. The organization’s president, Lela R. Lewis, MD, MPH, shared the report, saying, “Words cannot express my sincere gratitude for your service at Pathway to Health LA.”
|On April 26, Pathway to Health LA volunteers wait for their registration packets the day before the clinic opens.
Photo by Rich Beckermeyer
At Pathway to Health LA, 8,538 patients were seen and received 18,957 services, including 1,583 surgical procedures, 320 gynecologic surgeries, 25 major surgeries at White Memorial Medical Center, and 13 major surgeries at Glendale Adventist Medical Center.
Thousands of patients received dental care, vision care, and a wide range of specialty care from cardiology to hydrotherapy. It was particularly exciting to witness the significant interest in our new legal and business counseling departments. The chaplaincy department was especially busy in Los Angeles, distributing more than 120,000 pieces of whole-person health literature. In the end, the total value of the free healthcare services was $38,487,680, considerably exceeding our goal of $20,000,000.
Pathway to Health LA was a giant, collaborative endeavor involving Adventist Laymen’s Services and Industries, Adventist Health (specifically Glendale Adventist Medical Center, White Memorial Medical Center and Simi Valley Medical Center), Loma Linda University, and the Seventh-day Adventist Church, including Southern California Conference, Southeastern California Conference, Pacific Union Conference, the North American Division, and the General Conference, along with many, many other entities.
The final result was that the greater Los Angeles community was dramatically impacted by Pathway to Health LA as was witnessed during the Sabbath afternoon “gratitude session.” A number of dignitaries from the Los Angeles city government and Beverly Hills were present and received two books by Ellen G. White, Christ’s Object Lessons and The Ministry of Healing. In turn, the Office of the Mayor and the Los Angeles City Council publicly thanked each volunteer, Your Best Pathway to Health, the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Adventist Health, Loma Linda University Health, and the many other sponsors for their participation. In addition, amazing relationships were developed with Los Angeles labor union leaders.
|Thousands of patients receive dental care at the Pathway to Health LA mega clinic.
Photo by Tanya Musgrave
As in previous events, the media presence and exposure was heavy at Pathway to Health LA, providing an estimated value of $1,694,868 in free media publicity. Some of the outlets that covered the event include CBS Evening News (national), LA Times, NPR Southern California, LA Networks including NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, KNX Radio, KCBS Radio, KYW Radio, KFI radio, Univision, Telemundo, LA Chinese Network, and multiple local LA newspapers. The massive media publicity for Pathway to Health LA, which is estimated to have a combined viewing audience of 7,792,263, was an opportunity to demonstrate nationally and worldwide that Seventh-day Adventist Christians believe it is an honor and privilege to demonstrate Christ’s love for humanity by being His hands and feet.
As in previous events, patients’ lives were transformed physically, mentally, and spiritually. In the radiology department alone, four patients were diagnosed and subsequently treated for previously unknown life-threatening conditions, including an acute deep venous thrombosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, stage 4 breast cancer, and testicular cancer in a 22-year-old. Because of the wonderful collaboration with our Adventist hospital partners including White Memorial Medical Center, Glendale Adventist Medical Center, and Loma Linda University Health, each of these patients are being treated in an expeditious fashion.
Thousands of patients are grateful to God for volunteers’ selfless acts of mercy, resulting in whole person healing — not only physically, but mentally and spiritually as well. One hysterectomy patient wrote:
Dear Pathway to health volunteers, Hello. God bless everyone, I'm one of the patients and I would like to thank each and everyone, especially Dr. Jeffrey Hardesty and the staff of White Memorial Hospital, all the doctors, nurses, volunteers of Pathway to Health, thank you so much for being such a huge help. Above all I want to thank God as I'm recovering from my hysterectomy, truly you all did an amazing job. May God continue to bless you all. A million thanks from the bottom of my heart.
There are many stories demonstrating similar results. Says Lewis, “I think of Carolina who heard about Pathway-LA while driving to work in San Bernardino. Carolina had suffered from congenital skin lesions her entire life. When she heard of Pathway-LA she decided to come and see if she could be treated.”
A surgical team approach addressed Carolina’s condition and she received laser and dermatologic surgery on the floor of the LA Convention Center. Afterward, Carolina, with tears overflowing, expressed how grateful she was to the doctors, Your Best Pathway to Health, and the Seventh-day Adventist Church for what they had done for her. She went on to state, “if this is what the Seventh-day Adventist Church believes then they are my new family.”
Pathway to Health LA has the largest and most robust follow-up system in place at more than 70 Health Information Centers (HIC) throughout the city of Los Angeles and Southern California. Here, the patients have been invited not only to pick up their results, but are already receiving continued follow up courses on how they can continue to live a whole and healthy life, thus improving physically, mentally, and spiritually.
|Volunteers assist a patient in pediatrics at the April 27-29 mega health clinic.
Photo by Tanya Musgrave
Because of volunteers’ sacrificial partnership and service along with God’s blessings, the mega clinic was truly a success for God. Thousands and thousands of people’s lives were improved, and untold millions were showed God’s love for them individually.
We look forward to what God has in store in Beckley, West Virginia, July 13-17, 2016, followed by plans to organize Pathway to Health mega clinics in other large cities.
“As we look to the future,” says Lewis, “I want to express what an honor it is to partner with you in this great work of demonstrating his transforming love to humanity using His own methods. In order to be even more effective we are working to expand many departments, in particular our radiology and surgery departments, so that more can be offered improved health. It is truly exciting to see God’s power at work, leading to great anticipation for His plans for the future.”
Again, thank you for your partnership and continued support of Your Best Pathway to Health as we together seek to bring whole-person healing to those in need.
—From Lela R. Lewis and Your Best Pathway to Health Team