Last week, in the column on combatting loneliness, I closed by saying that at Adventist HealthCare, the health of our team members is as important to us as the health of those who come to us for care.

It is my conviction that to truly fulfill our mission and be a place of health and healing we must recognize that our own physical and mental health is part of why we are here and why we are engaged in this important work. I am persuaded that our capacity to help others heal and live healthy lives begins with the purposeful awareness of our own individual needs and lives.

The spirit of compassion, respect, and kindness we have for one another is what we bring to our interactions with our patients and their families. We have chosen to be an organization where we bear one another’s burdens—and that is precisely the best kind of environment for health and healing to take place.

In Romans 12:10, the Apostle Paul writes, “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” I love the idea that in our relationships with each other we feel empowered to use words like “honor” and “devoted” and “love.”

And I hope that far from creating an extra burden for each of us to carry alone, this perspective allows us to understand and embrace the significance of “self-care,” where self is not just our individual mental and physical health, but our overall healthiness as a team—a family that shares the same vision and mission.

Healthy relationships make a difference for us in so many ways. They increase motivation and personal engagement, and they contribute to satisfaction and happiness. They positively impact our physical health. They form the basis for confronting challenges and overcoming obstacles.  They make us a better place because they make us better people.

I’m proud of our team and proud to be a part of it. Our mission calls us to bring our best to our jobs—and also empowers and inspires us to do so. May we be mindful each day of how our care for one another impacts the care we bring to those we serve.