News reports from Adventist Health Castle in Hawaii, ADRA Romania, San Fernando Valley Academy, Washington, D.C.’s WGTS-FM and Loma Linda University Health:

According to KHON2, Adventist Health Castle has been ranked the #1 hospital in the state of Hawaii and 25th in the United States by The Lown Institute Hospital Index.

“At a time when our Windward communities are relying on us like never before, our mission of Living God’s love by inspiring health, wholeness and hope has become even more relevant,” said Kathryn Raethel, President of Adventist Health Castle, as quoted by KHON2. “Being recognized as Hawaii’s #1 hospital is an honor and one that is evident by the excellent work we do every day.”

The Lown Institute recognizes excellence in patient care and advancing equity in local communities. The institute was founded by world-renowned cardiologist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Bernard Lown. It looks at metrics such as inclusivity, pay equity, avoiding overuse, and civic leadership in evaluating hospitals.

From APD – The Adventist Development & Relief Agency (ADRA) in Romania has been helping the disadvantaged with food, advice and support for the last 18 weeks in connection with the rapidly growing COVID-19 infection numbers in the country. It has reached almost 3,000 people, including 724 single elderly people with acute livelihood needs, 95 children from disadvantaged backgrounds and 1,945 adults who are struggling for decent living conditions. The ADRA team also helped 20 immigrants and four victims of domestic violence. ADRA Romania has tried to adapt the aid agency’s services to the diverse needs caused or aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic. These needs include the provision of hot meals, hygiene products and medication. ADRA staff and volunteers also provided help for 150 newborns, provided shelter for 17 people, and provided nine people with psychological counseling. Mihai Brașov, who coordinates the Hope for Immigrants initiative for ADRA Romania, said it was about empathizing with others and making contact with them. “There is so much spirit of sacrifice, solidarity and desire to volunteer,” he said of the volunteers at ADRA Romania.

From Pacific Union Conference Communications: The pandemic did not derail Week of Prayer in early May at San Fernando Valley Academy (SFVA) in Northridge, California. Using Zoom, students gathered for a time of spiritual enrichment that followed the theme of furthering God’s work using God-given gifts. The first stanza of the theme song, “A Gift to You,” spoke volumes to students and staff: “Everything I am, everything I’ll be, I give it to You, Lord, and do it thankfully.” Lois DeWitt, 5th- and 6th-grade teacher at SFVA, described how the group was blessed with a message, special music, and prayers from talented and eager preschool to eighth-grade students. Ancheska, from the 6th grade said of the Week of Prayer: “It was a great way to lift everyone’s spirits after what has been happening around us! We were able to be with God, and I feel closer to Him because of it.”

WGTS-FM, an Adventist-owned Christian radio station serving the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, has been named as one of the 76 Best Christian Workplaces for 2020. According to Religion News Service, it is the only religious radio station on the list of winners. Over 1,100 organizations were considered for the award from Best Christian Workplaces Institute, a consulting organization based in Mercer Island, Washington.

From Loma Linda University Health (edited for length) – In an effort to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people wear masks or cloth face coverings. Some people have opted for face shields instead of masks, or for face shields in addition to face masks.

Which facial protective item is better? Jennifer Veltman, MD, chief of infectious diseases at Loma Linda University Health, says the answer is not that simple.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says the most effective facial covering is the N95 respirator because it fits tightly on your face and is the best in filtering small airborne particles. In comparison, a surgical mask does not fit tightly to the face and can only filter out large airborne particles. Veltman says community members are wearing a variety of masks, thus making it tough to compare face masks to face shields.

“It’s too complicated to compare a face shield to a face mask because people are not all wearing the same masks,” Veltman says. “In the community, some people are wearing bandannas, homemade masks, or N-95 masks. There has not been a study comparing face shields to masks, and doing such a study would be challenging since mask materials vary greatly in the community.”

However, Veltman says research has found that face shields are beneficial if someone cannot wear a mask.

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