News reports from Sonora, California; Saipan, Battle Creek, Michigan; Uganda and Walla Walla University

Sierra Care Center, Adventist Health Sonora’s long-term care center, was recently named as a Best Nursing Home by U.S. News and World Report. According to the Calaveras Enterprise, Units 6 and 7 of the Sierra Care Center won the distinction. Only 2,975 of 15,000 nursing homes reviewed nationwide made the list. “This designation is a validation of the work that we do,” said Adventist Health Sonora’s skilled nursing director, Rusty Ingraham. “These are the results of a combined effort. There are many ancillary departments whose dedicated work has contributed to these results. We all have to work together to make it happen.”

The Adventist Church on Saipan recently distributed $100,000 to assist victims of recent typhoon-related destruction to the region. According to Marianas Variety, $20,000 worth of vouchers were distributed on Tinian and $80,000 on Saipan. Households received vouchers worth between $100 and $500 depending on the extent of damage each sustained. The vouchers can be redeemed at a local hardware store for essential items. They cannot be exchanged for cash and expire in three months.

The Battle Creek, Michigan-based Historic Adventist Village is hosting Christmas themed tours of the grounds tomorrow, December 1. According to WBCK radio, the tour will feature 19th-century Christmas stories. Those attending will be given lights to carry on the tour that starts at the 1863 Parkville Church at 6:00pm sharp. The Adventist Heritage organization is partnering with the Battle Creek Police Department for the Toys for Tots program. Guests are asked to bring a donation or an unwrapped gift for a child. Hot chocolate and cookies will be served after the program.

Ugandan Adventists have joined an inter-faith effort in the country to promote forms of birth control instead of abortion. The issue was addressed at the November 7 annual review meeting of the Inter-religious Council Uganda. According to the country’s New Vision news site, Pastor Samuel, director of the denomination’s Health/HIV/AIDS department, said that the church encourages the use of contraceptives and members are encouraged by US-based denominational leaders to have four children or less. “God the Father of the world produced only two people and they were Adam and Jesus. Those who say produce more are ignorant,” Kizito said.

The Walla Walla University Counseling and Testing Center has begun two new self-care small groups this year, one for women and one for men. Michelle Naden, director of the WWU Counseling and Testing Center, and Troy Davis, WWU counselor, are in charge of the groups that were, in part, formed due to the large numbers of students that came to the school’s Counseling Center for help last year.

“One of the primary goals,” said Naden in a news story posted on the WWU website, “is to cultivate connection.” The organizers said that anxiety and depression are a lot more pervasive than people think and that group work was a good way to learn how to respond.

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