Made up of over 7,000 islands, the Philippines is a Southeast Asian country with scenic views, strong family values, and vibrant culture. It’s one of 14 footprint locations in the AdventHealth Global Missions program, an initiative that establishes long-term relationships with medical institutions around the world and provides opportunities for AdventHealth team members to extend Christ’s healing ministry abroad.
Evelyn (Evie) Lowe, executive sponsor of the Philippines footprint and a chief nursing officer in the Central Florida Division – South Region, traces her own roots to the Philippines, where her mother was born and raised. In 1956, Lowe’s mother graduated from the nursing program at Manila Sanitarium and Hospital (now Adventist Medical Center Manila). Her mother would later immigrate to the U.S. and join UChicago Medicine AdventHealth Hinsdale in the Great Lakes Region as a registered nurse, then later as a certified registered nurse anesthetist. This marked the beginning of an over 40-year career in the United States.
“My mother inspired me to consider a career in nursing, as well as my two sons, who are both nurses,” said Lowe. “I want to honor her legacy, including her journey as a first-generation U.S. immigrant in our family.”
The Philippines' footprint was officially established in 2015, when AdventHealth signed an agreement with Adventist Medical Center – Manila and its school, Manila Adventist College, and has expanded to four additional hospitals in the Philippines.
The partnership has contributed to the health and well-being of local residents through the donation of hospital beds, surgical and medical equipment, and critical supplies; two annual medical mission trips to provide primary care and free surgeries for those in need; the establishment of a simulation lab in 2022 to support the college’s nursing education programs; and sharing of best-practice guidelines.
“Working with other faith-based organizations to extend AdventHealth’s mission is a privilege and also a calling that brings honor and glory to God,” said Monty Jacobs, director of AdventHealth Global Missions. “We are stronger as an organization when we live out our mission with others.”
Back in the U.S., the Filipino community constitutes a significant part of AdventHealth’s workforce, including nursing. The partnership enables hundreds of talented nurses from the Philippines to join the AdventHealth team, onboarding through the organization’s Transcultural Assimilation Program, which supports their professional and personal transition to the U.S. Prior to their arrival, these future AdventHealth nurses participate in graduation pinning ceremonies in the Philippines; Lowe spoke at last month’s ceremony.
Anna Colon, senior manager of international recruitment at AdventHealth, started her career at AdventHealth as a nurse and said she’s felt supported throughout her 35-year career journey.
“It’s an honor to support our international team members to begin and grow long-term nursing careers,” said Colon. “When they feel cared for as a part of the AdventHealth family, they are able to extend that same standard of care to our patients and truly live a life of impact.”