Recently, I spent a few quiet minutes at the entrance of one of our facilities and got to thinking about connections. I was watching family groups with patients who were being picked up, going home after care, as well as those who were being brought into the hospital for treatment. What I saw was that in these moments families don’t just drop off and pick up like taxis. They use these moments to express their emotional and personal ties—to reaffirm relationships.

I saw a lot of wonderful human connections, marked by reassurance and care. I was inspired by the families I saw, as well as by our own staff who quite often are a part of these comings and goings. There are lots of hugs and kisses, pats on the back, smiles. Sometimes there are tears and sadness, but often there is joy and happiness. Don’t be surprised if you see someone putting on a brave face—either for a patient or for themselves. There is a prevailing sense of support and encouragement.

Watching these scenes convinces me again that when we are entrusted with the care of our patients, we become a part of a much larger circle of care that includes their families as well as all of their health and treatment caregivers. We become part of their lives. And this is a sacred trust.

In these moments, our mission to demonstrate God’s love is expressed not only in how we provide clinical care for our patients but also as we recognize the special connections we can have with their families and loved ones. These connections are fueled by how we take care to communicate clearly, how we respect their participation in the care of their loved ones, and how they see us working as a team to provide the best care possible.

In these situations, I hope that our patients and their families can see that they are surrounded by a team of people who take our roles very seriously. That we share their joys, fears, and sorrows. That what matters to them during these important times also matter to us.

You can see these connections at work throughout Adventist HealthCare—and not just at the entrances to our facilities. I see them every single day. Connections that are so important to our staff, our nurses, our physicians and clinicians. Connections that help us live out our values and fulfill our mission to our patients, their families, and our communities.