Adventist Health Recognizes Heroes of the Heart

October 15, 2013

The Adventist Health Foundation will be honoring three community heroes on October 29 at the Heroes of the Heart Gala. “The honorees have had a significant impact in our community through the generosity of their time, talents and philanthropy,” states Lynn Snodgrass, Governing Board member of Adventist Health. “These individuals are heroes because they have tangibly improved community standards and demonstrated innovation and creativity through community service resulting in measurable results.” The honorees are:

Barry and Suzanne Birch, Founders, Birch Community Services

Birch Community Services began with a couple’s desire to help less fortunate families through a major personal or financial crisis. Barry and Suzanne’s dream was to help people in need help themselves. They believe that people experiencing difficult times, are able to have healthier outcomes when they focus on others more than their own circumstances. Since 1992, the organization has served more than 600 families a week in the metro area. Their community service model has been so successful, that it is now duplicated throughout the nation. Families benefiting from Birch are required to serve as program volunteers to and participate in providing others food, clothing, financial mentoring, cooking classes, and moral support during a difficult time. Thanks to Barry and Suzanne Birch, lives are being dramatically transformed.

Dr. Andrea Cook, President, Warner Pacific College

Dr. Andrea Cook is making a big difference in the lives of marginalized students by providing scalable access to higher education, and by giving selfless hours of individual mentoring, inspiration and encouragement. She is passionate about educational equality and believes that through Warner’s programs, students that would have stayed in poverty now have an opportunity for personal and financial success. With love, respect, and accountability, she has created the college’s partnership with Act Six Leadership & Scholarship Initiative to provide full need scholarships for underrepresented students. Dr. Cook has the ability to see community needs and develop resources within the college to empower young people to change the world for the greater good.

Ardina Wang, Volunteer, Living Hope Street International

Since 1997, every Sunday at 7:30 a.m., Ardina Wang travels to O’Bryant Park in downtown Portland to feed the homeless. Together with people from Living Hope International, they set up portable stoves and tables and prepare full, hot meals for the hungry. As many as 600 people come every Sunday to be fed. Retired in 2004 after 35 years of service at Adventist Medical Center. Mrs. Wang is a tireless advocate for her Sunnyside Seventh-day Adventist Church members to contribute food and clothes for distribution to the homeless when the weather gets cold.

These individuals will be honored at the Adventist Health Heroes of the Heart Gala benefitting Adventist Medical Center’s new and innovative Heart to Home Transitional Care program. The project is designed to support patients through their recovery by providing meaningful, personal support upon returning home from their hospital stay. For information about table reservations and individual tickets contact the Adventist Health Foundation at (503) 251-6197 or

About Adventist Health Foundation – Portland

Adventist Health Foundation is dedicated to raising and administering funds for philanthropic, charitable and educational purposes, including health-related community and regional needs. The Foundation’s mission is to serve the whole person by making a positive impact on the lives and health of patients and individuals in the communities served by Adventist Health in the Portland metropolitan area.

About Adventist Health

Adventist Health is a high performing network of health and wellness services which includes Adventist Health Medical Group is affiliated with Adventist Medical Center (AMC), located in southeast Portland, is a nonprofit, 302-bed acute care facility, offering a full range of inpatient, outpatient and emergency services throughout the Portland/Vancouver metropolitan area. It also operates 36 primary and specialty clinics, employees more than 2,000 staff, and has been named among the top 5% of hospitals in the nation for quality care.

Adventist Health-Portland is part of Adventist Health, a faith-based, not-for-profit integrated health care delivery system serving communities in California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington. Our workforce of 28,700 includes more than 21,000 employees; 4,500 medical staff physicians; and 3,000 volunteers. Founded on Seventh-day Adventist health values, Adventist Health provides compassionate care in 19 hospitals, more than 150 clinics (hospital-based, rural health and physician clinics), 14 home care agencies, six hospice agencies and four joint-venture retirement centers. We invite you to visit our website at for more information.


Media Contacts

  • Public Relations:, 503-261-4498
10123 SE Market St, Portland, OR 97216(503) 257-2500