In the spring of 2009, I was presented with a unique opportunity to share the impact the School of Medicine has had on thousands worldwide. Kandus Thorp, vice president of Hope Channel, approached me with an idea of creating a television that would feature the School of Medicine. I welcomed the unique offer to share our mission and vision with the church's far-reaching television audience. Over the course of the ensuing year, a 13-part high-definition media series entitled “Vital Signs” came to life.
The series is hosted by two LLUSM alumni and current faculty, Drs. Rhodes "Dusty" Rigsby '87 and Bonnie Chi-Lum '91. Interviews with faculty and students discuss what distinguishes LLUSM from other medical institutions. Specifically highlighted are the significance of whole person care, overseas missions, spiritual life, cutting edge technology, the strength of our diversity programs, and our approach to ethics in medicine.
The rich heritage of the school will be showcased in a special segment of each episode of Vital Signs. LLU historian Richard Schaffer will guide viewers through events such as threats of closure by the AMA in the early years and the nearly insurmountable task of raising funds when there were none. Throughout its hundred-year plus history, we find numerous miracles that evidence God's leading in the establishment and success of our fully accredited Seventh-day Adventist school of medicine.
A favorite part for me is the "Student Story" segment. The six students featured in the show seem to capture the essence of what it is to be a medical student. Laura Hanson ‘13 of Broomfield, Colorado; Sylvester Paulasir, ‘12, of Boltsville, Maryland; husband and wife Jaysson Brooks ‘11 and Brittany Law Brooks ‘11 of Temple Hills, Maryland and Upper Marlboro, Maryland, respectively; Lindsay Bautista ‘10 of Millville, California; and Mark Warren ‘10 of Buena Vista, Colorado, graciously allowed the cameras an "up close and personal" look into their lives as medical students.
Watching their journeys play out on the screen brings to mind many memories of my own experiences, surprisingly similar to theirs: the seemingly endless sea of knowledge to be mastered, the importance of support from family and friends, the camaraderie and lifelong bonds formed with classmates who share your experiences. As much as things have changed over the years, the reward of a medical education remains the same.
The Vital Signs series will premiere exclusively across the Hope Channel network this Saturday, January 8, 2011 at 7 p.m. PDT. I look forward to hearing your comments and feedback on the presentation of this story – a miraculous testimony of how a small, seemingly insignificant medical school has become the institution it is today.
[Roger Hadley Signature – see attached]
Roger Hadley, MD
Dean, School of Medicine
Loma Linda University