Hospital execs trade fountain pens for hammers at community project

Find out why the CEO of Adventist Medical Center – and his top managers – took a day “off work” to do manual labor …

Adventist Medical Center’s Pam Strachan, of the Pastoral Care Department, Deryl Jones, hospital president, and Ray Ammon, also from Pastoral Care, help “build community” by swinging hammers at Jubilee Commons, the Mt. Hood Habitat for Humanity development at 635 S.E. 197th Avenue on September 18.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Helping to create Jubilee Commons, Mt. Hood Habitat for Humanity’s biggest project to date, the leadership team from Adventist Medical Center (AMC) stepped away from their desks, put on jeans and work boots, and grabbed builders’ tools last week.

“At AMC, we talk about building a healthy community,” says marketing director Judy Leach. “This is a perfect opportunity to make a visible difference in our community and help fulfill our mission. Adventist Health will not only build a decent home for a family in need, but our group will also be creating a sustainable solution to poverty, and improving the lives of deserving families.”

As we watch volunteers climb ladders, walk scaffolding, and sheath a home, Leach tells us 20 executive staff members came out for the building project.

Jonathon Shorter, Director of AMC’s Hyperbaric and Wound Healing carries his share of the load at the Habitat for Humanity “build day”.

The development they’re helping to build, she says, is a 22 unit housing complex and community center that will house 44 adults and 56 children.

“Mt Hood Habitat for Humanity relies heavily on volunteer labor and community donations to build houses,” explains Leach. “Habitat provides a ‘hand up’ not a ‘hand out’.”

By this, she explains, Habitat families must contribute 500 hours of ‘sweat equity’ labor towards the building of their own home. Completed homes are sold at no profit to partner families, who pay an affordable, no-interest mortgage. Their mortgage payments are then used to build more Habitat homes.

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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