AHI–Zambia hosts leadership seminar
Leslie Pollard, DMin, MBA
Using the ministry of Paul as an example of leadership from a biblical perspective, Leslie Pollard, DMin, MBA, vice president for diversity, Loma Linda University Adventist Health Sciences Center, was the keynote speaker at an Adventist Health International leadership seminar in Zambia.
The seminar “Leadership, Culture, and Mission: Serving Persons With Excellence,” was hosted by Adventist Health International–Zambia on July 29, 2006, in Lusaka, Zambia.
“It was a pleasure to spend time with such a great group of Adventist Health International leaders,” says Dr. Pollard. “The management team from Lusaka welcomed the leadership training with an openness that was refreshing.”
The seminar was well represented by 35 health care administrators, doctors, Students for International Mission Service– Zambia leaders, and Zambia Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists officers along with many of the Adventist conference presidents and pastors.
During the seminar, Dr. Pollard identified characteristics and common qualities of a leader.
He spoke about the dynamics of merging the two economies of scale: health care and mission. During this session, the participants investigated what the setbacks were and how to best navigate into a more meaningful relationship. Dr. Pollard served as the facilitator, while the participants broke off into integrated groups of both health care professionals and Church leadership.
“Our sessions covered relevant principles of effective leadership, as well as linking leadership, mission, and organizational culture to health care mission,” states Dr. Pollard.
According to Dr. Pollard, the basic question that was answered during the seminar was “How do we know that health care is in fact health care ministry?”
“We culminated and brought closure to the sessions by having the participants answer three questions regarding their next steps,” he adds. “We will return
Leslie Pollard, DMin, MBA, vice president of diversity, Loma Linda University Adventist Health Sciences Center, discusses leadership from a biblical perspective with health care and church leaders in Lusaka, Zambia.
next year for follow-up visits to assess progress.”
The three questions that Dr. Pollard asked the participants were: What are some of the challenges between the health care sector and “conference” (representing the Church at large)? What are some solutions to the challenges that your group presented? What does customer care mean for health care ministry?
According to Edward Martin, country director, AHI–Zambia, the seminar went very well, and the health care administrators, Church officials, and other leaders found the information to be beneficial and timely.
“What has been recommended is a follow-up meeting between health care personnel and Church leadership to begin strategizing on ways which both parties can cooperate more effectively,” says Mr. Martin.
Currently, the working relationship between the Church and the health care sector is good, he says, but it could be more functional with a team approach.
“One of our objectives as Adventist Health International–Zambia is finding a way to begin integrating health care and mission so that they operate as a whole,” says Mr. Martin.
“If accomplished, this would provide a win/win situation for both the health care sector and the Church at large,” he continues.
Currently, Adventist Health International–Zambia is seeking to build stronger intentional connections with the Church at all levels.
“We believe that this will help us tap into a network of people that would serve as voices of public relations for our health care institutions while also meeting the Zambia Union Conference’s objective of 1,000,000 Adventists by 2010,” says Mr. Martin.
According to Mr. Martin, the challenge that has been most evident while working in Zambia isn’t what most might expect—the lack of financial support.
“Though lack of financial support is a strong factor, the greatest setback is the unrealized expectations of our co-workers, donors, Church leaders, and customers, and finding methods and ways in which their interests are mutually catered for,” says Mr. Martin.
Next year, Adventist Health International–Zambia hopes to present another health care conference at Mulungushi International Conference Center, Lusaka, Zambia, and invite the country’s health care professionals and leaders.
By Dustin R. Jones, ma