News reports from St. Helena, California: Hanford, California; Union College, Loma Linda University; Andrews University and Oakwood University

According to the North Bay Business Journal, Adventist Health St. Helena has announced it will close its birthing unit.The St. Helena, California-based hospital cited low birth numbers in the area as the reason for the upcoming closure. The number of births currently at the hospital is reportedly too low to sustain a dedicated program.

On the other hand, Hanford, California’s The Sentinel announced that Adventist Health Hanford had earned the very prestigious international Baby-Friendly Designation by Baby-Friendly USA.The certification rewards hospitals that demonstrates the highest level of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies. There are 596 hospitals with this designation in the United States.

Former Union College religion professor Beatrice “Bea” Neall passed away at age 90 on Sunday, December 8, in Ooltewah, Tennessee. Her teaching career at the institution spanned from 1977 to 1994 and she even continued working for free when, at one point, she was laid off due to a financial crisis at the school. According to a Union College Facebook post, Neall told the president at the time, “Somebody has to teach those students Greek,” before assuring him, “I’ll be there on Monday.” She taught a full class load for free until the school regained its financial footing.

From a Loma Linda University Health news story: Pediatric patients at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital had the opportunity to partake in the common holiday tradition of decorating gingerbread houses on Thursday, December 6, courtesy of several local businesses and the Big Hearts for Little Hearts Loma Linda Guild.

Members of the Loma Linda Fire Department stopped by the event to join in the festivity and help the kids with their decorating.

Costco, Alta Vista of Redlands and Walmart Neighborhood Markets all helped to donate supplies for the patient event.

Patients who were unable to leave their rooms also had the chance to decorate gingerbread houses with guild members and child life specialists delivering the kits directly to them.

Andrews University students took part in a December 4, Student Action Day organized by Michigan Independent Colleges & Universities (MICU.) The event in the state capitol raised awareness about a line item veto of the Michigan Tuition Grant (MTG), which would immediately remove state aid offered to needy students. The students called for a reversal of the veto. Almost 100 Andrews University students receive more than $200,000 in aid to offset their university costs.

A $255 million funding bill has passed in the Senate for historically black colleges and universities to continue growing STEM education. Oakwood University, a historically black Adventist University, will benefit from this finding. Oakwood University joined a social media Protecting Our Future campaign to promote the passage of the bill.

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