As the attention moves from the long permission process for the new hospital in White Oak to actual construction, I’ve been thinking a lot about our founders.
I’ve been thinking about that small group of individuals who traveled to Washington from Battle Creek, Michigan, in 1903 to find a suitable place for a new “Sanitarium.” They found us a home in Takoma Park that has been a place of healing, renewal, discovery, and compassionate care for more than 100 years.
And it will still be all of those things in the future, as the new hospital expands, rather than replaces, our current capacity to serve.
I think I know how those early pioneers felt when they saw the first construction of that new hospital. Could they have imagined that the dream they shared and brought to life so long ago could be renewed with such vigor more than a hundred years later?
I’ve also been thinking about Ellen White, the visionary co-founder of the Seventh-day Adventist church who was personally and deeply committed to the development of the hospital in Takoma Park. Part of the proceeds from one of her most influential books, The Ministry of Healing, helped finance the four-story building that could accommodate 40 patients. What inspiring message would she have for us today, as we continue to bring to life the mission of health and hope she so powerfully articulated?
And I’ve been thinking about two amazing physicians—Dr. Lauretta Kress and her husband Dr. Daniel Kress. Daniel Kress was our first medical director. Lauretta Kress was our first surgeon—and an iconic figure in the establishment of women’s health services in Montgomery County. The impact of their work still endures, and their faithfulness in the earliest days of our work has always inspired us to find new ways to be faithful to our mission and our calling.
In the weeks and months ahead, as the new hospital takes shape, our aspirations and hopes are shaped by the clarity and vision of our founders. We continue in their mission—and continue to seek ways to serve our community with equal spirit and commitment.