News Briefs for November 18, 2021

News reports from Adventist Health, Kazakhstan, Rwanda, Southwestern Adventist University, more.

Coat of Honor

The Adventist School of Medicine of East-Central Africa (ASOME), held a white coat ceremony for its inaugural cohort of medical students (class of 2027) on Nov. 12, 2021, according to an article in The New Times.

The White Coat Ceremony is a rite of passage for medical students, and was created by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation in 1993. During the ceremony, a white coat is placed on each student’s shoulders and often the Hippocratic Oath is recited, signifying their entrance into the medical profession, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Started in 2019, with a base in Kigali, Rwanda, ASOME serves 11 countries, including Rwanda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda, Somalia, Eritrea, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Djibouti.

Head Transplant

Kerry Heinrich is stepping down as chief executive officer for Loma Linda University Health hospitals. He has accepted the position of chief executive officer of Adventist Health based in Roseville, California, United States. Heinrich has worked at Loma Linda University Health for nearly 40 years in different roles, including legal counsel in 1984 and as as CEO, starting in 2014.

He will replace Scott Reiner, who announced his resignation in July 2021 to establish a family foundation focused on global health and well-being.
Adventist Health noted that the leadership transition is expected to be completed by the new year.

Multimillion Award Stems from Excellent Proposal

Southwestern Adventist University (SWAU) was recently awarded a $4 million Hispanic-Serving Institution Title III F STEM Grant from the U.S. Department of Education for their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) Excellence project proposal. This comes just a year after receiving a $2.5 million Title V grant awarded in October 2020.

A unique element of the STEM project proposal included mental health support for students. To address mental health needs on the SWAU campus, part of the grant money will go toward establishing a full-time counselor position, as well as purchasing software to allow students to seamlessly check-in and schedule appointments. The university also intends to provide training for all faculty and staff to allow them to better identify and serve students’ psychological needs.

Another designated portion of the grant award will be used to remodel and enhance biology labs at the university.

The university has plans to hire two additional biology faculty and is working on updating its curriculum, which will include a math course specifically created to intersect with the biology program. Through this grant, SWAU has also developed a transfer student program to provide peer mentors called “course navigators” to help advise new students on which courses to take, aid in tutoring upper-division courses, and simply provide any needed support.

They Came Back

In the Taldykorgan church located in the South Kazakhstan Mission, a blessed work was done under the “Come Back Home” program. The church prayed hard and showed special attention and care to the former members of the church, who at one time left it for various reasons. Four people have been baptized during the Come Back Home program over the past two years.

Refuge for Refugees

Is your church engaging with Muslim Afghans as they resettle in your community? The Global Center for Adventist-Muslim Relations is happy to present five webinars to prepare and assist pastors reaching this group. Check out: “Refugee: Who? What? Safe?” “The Church as a Healing Community,” “Islam 101: Faith, Culture, and Engagement,” “Logistics: What Is the Next Step? What Are We Expected to Do?” and “God’s Perspective on Refugees (E. G. White).”

(Photo: The Adventist School of Medicine of East-Central Africa (ASOME), held its first white coat ceremony for its inaugural cohort of medical students (class of 2027) on Nov. 12, 2021. Photo via New Times.)


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