News Briefs for September 16, 2021
News reports from Loma Linda University Medical Center, Zambia, Australia, the South Pacific Division and Southwestern Adventist University:
From a Loma Linda University Health Press Release:
Physicians at Loma Linda University Medical Center (LLUMC) have completed 200 left atrial appendage closure procedures, more than any other healthcare institution across the Inland Empire.
“It’s a sign that we are progressing in our mission to bring the most advanced and best care to our community,” says cardiac electrophysiologist Rahul Bhardwaj, MD, about the milestone.
The procedure involves placing a Watchman device in the left atrial appendage — a small sac in the top left chamber of the heart. People with atrial fibrillation (AFib) have an irregular heart rhythm and are prone to blood clots forming in their left atrial appendage. Blood clots in the heart increase the risk of stroke, so many people with AFib require blood thinners.
This minimally invasive procedure eliminates AFib patients’ need to take blood thinners while reducing their stroke risk. To achieve this, physicians insert the FDA-approved Watchman device through a catheter in the patient’s upper leg and guide it into the heart. Once placed in the left atrial appendage, the device expands to close off the appendage, reducing the risk of clots and stroke.
ADRA in Zambia has launched a strategy aimed at harnessing the influence of community leaders to encourage high hygiene standards and water quality in communities most at risk from COVID-19. In addition, ADRA is forming alliances with community influencers and faith-based agencies to tackle COVID-19 disinformation and prevention.
“ADRA will work with local Adventist youth and women ministries and health departments to train nearly 100 volunteers. These volunteers will then work with community partners, Zambia’s Ministry of Health, and community partners, to conduct inclusive ‘community-led risk reduction activities’ to counter myths about COVID-19 and vaccines,” said ADRA Zambia country director, Kennedy Habasimbi, according to an ADRA press release.
The Women’s Ministries team around Australia held its first online summit on August 27 to further explore themes of pornography and youth violence as part of this year’s global EndItNow campaign, run by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
Viewers logged in from all around Australia to listen to guest speaker, author, and coach Sarah McDougal talk about sobering statistics and figures on domestic violence and how the church can help support those in need. More than 400 comments were written during the program, with viewers asking a panel of Christian experts for advice, sharing their own stories, and requesting prayer.
The South Pacific Division (SPD) has appointed the first Ministry Innovation and Marketing leader for its new Ministry and Strategy Team on September 13.
With long experience in marketing and communications, Maddy Voinea has previously worked in agency settings, university, and television production and founded several businesses with a focus on regional place making and business development. He also served for two years as communications director at the North New South Wales Conference.
“I have a deep passion for seeing Jesus touch people’s lives as he has touched mine, and I’m looking forward to contributing to an amazing team of mission-focused individuals coming up with new ways of presenting the everlasting gospel to people in the South Pacific,” Mr Voinea said.
In his new role, Mr Voinea will be focused on carefully researching and understanding the rapidly changing social landscape that the Church needs to work in to fulfil its mission. “His role is pivotal as we are entering uncharted spiritual and demographic territory as a church in the South Pacific,” explained SPD director of Ministry and Strategy Dr Sven Östring.
U.S. News & World Report continues to rank Southwestern Adventist University (SWAU) as a top institution. Ranked once again as No. 2 for social mobility within the Regional Colleges West ranking, SWAU continues to stand out amongst top-performing colleges and universities in the United States.
U.S. News & World Report utilizes 17 factors to compile the rankings. Higher education institutions are organized into 10 distinct rankings based on academic mission. For the past three years, social mobility has been ranked as a distinct category. The indicator measures an institution’s performance in graduating economically disadvantaged students who received federal Pell Grants.
SWAU ranked No. 3 in the inaugural 2020 rankings, No. 2 for 2021, and once again ranks No. 2 for 2022. Financial support, academic development, and hands-on learning experiences contribute to this ranking.