Registered nurses at Adventist Health Lodi Memorial voted to join the California Nurses Association, the largest union of nurses in the United States. "They will be able to begin collective bargaining for the first time after their vote is certified by the National Labor Relations Board," reports Cathie Anderson for The Sacramento Bee.
“The registered nurses’ vote to join CNA is a great win for our hospital and our community,” said Yvonne Knaggs, a registered nurse at Lodi Memorial. “We are patients’ strongest advocates. Nurses from all departments need to be able to speak up because protecting our patients must come first. Building RN power through a strong union is the answer we’ve been looking for.”
Adventist Health leaders issued a statement Friday morning, saying that its “priority is to ensure a positive and engaging experience at work.” Company officials also said they believed the most effective way to address challenges in health is through a direct working relationship with nurses.
—From The Sacramento Bee, "340-plus RNs at Adventist Lodi Memorial Vote to Join California Nurses Association Union."
Oakwood Adventist Academy Earns Spot in Northeast Regional Alabama State Championship Games Again
This February, Oakwood Adventist Academy basketball and head coach Melvin Allen won the Alabama Northeast Regional, earning a spot in the state championship games in Birmingham, Alabama. Last year, "they were forced to forfeit a Northeast Regional semifinal game scheduled for when the Seventh-day Adventist school observes Sabbath," writes Steve Irvine for 1819 News. The Alabama High School Athletic Association refused to change the time of the game.
"This has been some journey, and these young men have worked hard since last year," Allen said. "They've used last year's situation as a motivation to get back here. We're just glad to be back here – playing, I should say – and have an opportunity to bring a state championship back to our little small school."
. . .
"Wow, we are just so thankful for all of you who supported us throughout last year. The media, the coaches, the fans, the state association, we want to thank all of you for making this day possible, not just our athletes but all student-athletes of faith."
The academy would go on to narrowly miss winning the state championship, losing to Covenant Christian in a 50-46 game.
Memphis Adventist Church Sponsors Blood Drives to Aid Fight against Sickle Cell Disease
Cory Jackson Sr., senior pastor for the New Covenant Seventh-Day Adventist Church, has "partnered his church with the American Red Cross to host blood drives that help treat sickle cell disease, as reported by John Rose on redcross.org.
"New Covenant’s first blood drive took place in early 2022. . . . Now, New Covenant’s blood drives are a regular feature of the church’s community service.
"Many people, especially in the the Black community, often don’t realize the importance of giving blood," said Jackson. "And because sickle cell really attacks Black Americans, we have taken it as a challenge—so to speak—to make sure that we do our part on this small end of Tennessee."
. . .
"Despite making up 13.6% of the U.S. population, African Americans equate to less than 3% of blood donors nationwide. According to Jackson, this disparity could be fueled in part by a general lack of conversations surrounding blood donation in African American communities.
"If you ride around, you really don’t see Black churches doing blood drives. It has been more of a Caucasian [thing], and we want to change that narrative."
. . .
Having seen the impact New Covenant is making, Rev. Jackson has no plans to slow down. The church has additional blood drives planned throughout 2023, aiming to have them take place every 56 days, which is also how often most individuals can safely donate blood.
“For me, this is part of the dream,” said Rev. Jackson. “It is part of Black history. It’s part of why we’re here. This is a mandate from God. This is how we help save lives.”
Saint Lucia Adventist Students March Against Gun Violence
Adventist students marched publicly against gun violence this month. "Every first Wednesday in March annually, the Mission of Seventh-day Adventists in Saint Lucia observe a school day of prayer in addition to a precession against an escalating crime wave on the island," reports Loop St. Lucia News.
This year Seventh-day Adventist students "from four schools marched through Castries on Wednesday with placards in hand. . . . [They] denounced crime by encouraging the public to love each other, put away guns, keep the Ten Commandments, and join together in the fight against violence."
“We are here to point the nation back to God,” said Pricilla Stephen, Education Director of the Saint Lucia Mission of Seventh-Day Adventists.
“We realize the family altar is lacking, so we are here to tell Saint Lucia that crime is not the answer, but rather we need to turn to God. When faced with difficulties, we need to remain calm and walk away. Unfortunately, there are times we have to walk away,” Miss Stephen said.
. . .
Stephen adds, "Gun violence is not the answer, but instead, just surrender our hearts to God and spend more time with the family, and as a result, we will see a difference."
—From Loop St. Lucia News, "Scores of SDA students march against violence in Castries."
Pam Dietrich taught English at Loma Linda Academy for 26 years and served there eight more years as the 7-12 librarian. She lives in Yucaipa, California.
Title image credit: California Nurses Association/National Nurses United.
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