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Adventists Explore Partnerships with Global Health Groups

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is seeking to engage in partnerships with Faith-Based Organizations, including the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s Health Ministries, as part of its effort to connect with FBOs that deliver as much as 40 percent of health care in many developing nations.

FORMING PARTNERSHIPS:Adventist Health Ministries director Dr. Allan Handysides believes partnering with international health organizations will help broaden Adventist students’ understanding of global health issues.Representatives from both organizations met at the Adventist Church’s world headquarters recently to explore ways of implementing the UN’s Millennium Development Goals through the church’s structure, including its health leaders and health care institutions.

“I was very impressed in learning how much health is an integral part of what the Adventist Church is all about, and I thought that was fascinating,” said James Hill, PAHO external relations officer.

PAHO is the World Health Organization’s regional office in North and South America and predates its parent organization.

Church leaders said partnering with such organizations and receiving international standards of care would give even more credibility to its work.

“We would like to see Adventist health professionals and churches that are interested in health to perhaps align some of their activities to ameliorating some of these problems like childhood and infant mortality in South and Inter-America,” said Dr. Allan Handysides, the church’s Health Ministries director.

He said a collaboration might offer Adventist students more internship and missionary opportunities: “We usually think of missionaries as going to our own institutions, but it would be possible that if we place some of our Adventist students with organizations like this, it would help them in their understanding of global health issues and create natural networking among the young people that would lead to lifelong partnerships,” Handysides said.