Hospital and community leaders, caregivers and partners of Adventist HealthCare gathered on Dec. 2 for a blessing ceremony just ahead of the pouring of the foundation for the new Adventist HealthCare Washington Adventist Hospital in the White Oak area of Maryland, set to open in 2019.

The ceremony, opened by Erik Wangsness, president of Adventist HealthCare Washington Adventist Hospital, celebrated not only the physical foundation pouring, but also recognized Adventist HealthCare’s foundation built upon the longstanding legacy of Adventists bringing holistic, whole-person healing to their communities.

“We gather to reflect and ask continued blessing for the construction of the new hospital — an expansion of our more than 100-year health ministry to the community,” said Terry Forde, president and CEO, Adventist HealthCare. “We are blessed to carry forth our founder’s vision — with both a new hospital on this land and continued health and wellness offerings in Takoma Park.”

The foundation pouring marks the beginning of the construction of the hospital building after months of site preparation including leveling the site and building a massive retaining wall. To date the construction has brought in over 90,000 cubic yards of dirt to level the site. Recently the retaining wall spanning 1,100 feet was built on the rear side of the site to accommodate the foundation.

“As the foundation for this building is laid, we want to dedicate this moment to you and ask that you bless this foundation so that this building can be a place where your presence is felt and your care is experienced,” said Ann Roda, vice president of Mission Integration and Spiritual Care, Adventist HealthCare, who led guests in a prayer.

Geoff Morgan, vice president of Expanded Access at Washington Adventist Hospital, presented four items to be embedded into a concrete wall of the hospital to signify Adventist HealthCare’s legacy, including:

• Reproduction pages from the original 1907 patient ledger showing the first patients admitted to the Washington Sanitarium, now Washington Adventist Hospital,
• The book The Ministry of Healing by one of Adventist HealthCare’s founders Ellen White,
• A copy of a letter Ellen White wrote regarding the purchase of the Takoma Park property and location for the Washington Sanitarium.