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March/April 2015

What About Vaccines?

April carries an awareness about infant and adult immunizations. (see health calendar on p.2). For many years people have raised concerns and fears of taking vaccines for many reasons. Some were persuaded to believe that vaccines cause autism or sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Others believe in conspiracy theories that suggest vaccines are used by the higher powers to harm people. Still others feel that there is no need to introduce this ‘poisonous’ substance to the body, when their own immune system is good enough to fight illness. As a result of these and other beliefs, some Seventh-day Adventists (SDA) refuse to be vaccinated or to immunize their children. In a particular State, a County with high percentage of SDAs and an SDA school carries a very low child vaccination rate. Many cite ‘religious doctrines’ to get a waver from schools, hospitals, or other places where vaccines are required. But are these notions accurate? 

There is no conclusive evidence that any of these are true. In fact, on the scientific side the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have examined supposed vaccines-autism links carefully and concluded after years of research that there is no link between vaccines and autism. This includes vaccine ingredients, like thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative used to prevent contamination of multi-dose vials of vaccines. After 10 well conducted studies they concluded that there is no link between thimerosal-containing vaccines or the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine in children and autism (detailed information is found at http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/concerns/autism/). 

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the US Public Health Service have published their own joint statement, which highlights this. The same is true for SIDS.  After years of study they concluded that vaccines are not a risk factor for SIDS (http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/Concerns/sids.html). While it is true that some vaccines may have adverse affects, these are usually rare and minor. In addition, some adverse effects are coincidental and not caused by the vaccine. A comprehensive report by the Institutes of Medicine (IOM) in 2011 stated that despite these adverse effects the evidence convincingly supports vaccinations. 

The benefits of immunizations have been observed throughout the years. Children and adults had reduction in infections and entire States and Countries have wiped out diseases like polio and many others. Herd immunity points to the fact that when you get vaccinated you are also providing immunity to your home, community and country. Vaccines save lives! Not only yours, but other lives too. 

But what about religious reasons? There is no doctrine in the SDA church that would prohibit vaccines. Ellen White herself took her children to be immunized. Adventists who used ‘doctrine’ as a waver for vaccines might no longer be able to do that. The SDA church has put out guidelines for vaccinations and an official statement is on the works. The guidelines read: 

The Seventh-day Adventist Church places strong emphasis on health and wellbeing. The Adventist health emphasis is based on biblical revelation, the inspired writing of E.G. White (co-founder of the Church), and on peer-reviewed scientific literature. As such, we encourage responsible immunization/vaccination, and have no religious or faith-based reason not to encourage our adherents to responsibly participate in protective and preventive immunization programs. We value the health and safety of the population, which includes the maintenance of “herd immunity.” We are not the conscience of the individual church member, and recognize individual choices. These are exercised by the individual. The choice not to be immunized is not and should not be seen as a doctrine of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. (see page 2 for website link). 

Let us follow recommended vaccinations. The benefit is not only ours, but it impacts the wellbeing of our community.

Katia Reinert, PhD, CRNP, FNP-BC, PHCNS-BC
Director, Adventist Health Ministries – NAD


Join other SDA members in the "Pray One Million" effort throughout the NAD Territory.  The goal is not the one million hours. It is to remind us that we are part of a Movement-wide commitment to pray consistently and passionately for those God lays on our hearts. (http://vimeo.com/110379697). To learn more go to: http://prayonemillion.org.  Participate of the 100 days of prayer specifically for Holy Spirit to be poured out at the GC Session in San Antonio. 

Reach NAD prayer calendar: 

Southern and Southwestern Union

  • 1-7 (Ohio Conference)
  • 8-14 (Pennsylvania Conference)
  • 15-21 (Potomac Conference)
  • 22-28 (Illinois Conference)
  • 29-April 4 (Indiana Conference)
  • 1-11 (Lake Region Conference)
  • 12-18 (Michigan Conference)
  • 19-25 (Wisconsin Conference)
  • 26-May 2 (Central States Conference​)

Health and Wellness: Secrets that will Change your Life 

Edited by Mark Finley and Peter Landless, and written by dozens of experts, this book is the Health Mission Book for 2015 and provides a wholistic perspective in evidence-based principles for a healthy and abundant life. For more info go to: www.NADHealthMinistries.org/HealthBook 

Health Ministries Resources
  • Health Mission Book 2015  The Seventh-day Adventist church globally is focusing on Health in 2015. As part of this initiative, a sharing Health Book has been prepared to be given away to neighbors, friends as well as during any health outreach in 2015. Health and Wellness: Secrets that will change your Life, is now available at the ABC near you or online.  To download free videos and get more information go to  www.NADHealthMinistries.org/HealthBook.
  • Facts with Hope videos The NAD Health Ministries has launched 1min videos with evidence-based counsel on healthy choices for a full abundant life. These wholistic Facts with Hope videos are available on Youtube.com , Facebook , and twitter. You can also see the latest ones at the website www.FactsWithHope.com or purchase the DVD with all the 12 videos at the online store. The website is designed to connect with the public and with young people in particular and it links to the www.ChooseFullLife.org  site listed above where other health programs and spiritually related meetings are listed across the NAD.
  • April 24-30 is World Immunization Week Many people are misinformed about the risks of vaccines. Find information and resources that are evidence-based at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/events/niiw/index.html . The new US Surgeon General shares a video with Elmo where they discuss immunizations and its benefits. Share that with others. The link is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=viS1ps0r4K0&feature=youtu.be.
  • SDA Guidelines on Immunizations The SDA Church has published guidelines for vaccinations encouraging members to be vaccinated and immunized following Centers for Disease Control recommendations. These can be accessed at www.NADHealthMinistries.org or http://www.adventist.org/information/official-statements/guidelines/article/go/0/immunization .
  • Faith Community (Parish) Nursing Training NAD Health Ministries and Southern Adventist University (SAU) are co-co-sponsoring this training which will take plan on June 7-11, 2015 in the campus of the SAU. To learn more and register go to www.AdventistFCN.org.
  • InStep4life 5K Fun Run – San Antonio GC Session Spread the word about the upcoming 5K during the GC Session in San Antonio. Registrations are now open for those who want to join others from around the world in a fun run/walk on July 5th, starting early at 6am. A health expo is planned to follow the event. Registration is limited to 2500 people, so register today at www.AdventistsInStepforLife.org
  • Health Calendar Emphasis - MARCH/APRIL
    • Canada: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/calend/index-eng.php
    • USA: http://www.healthfinder.gov/nho/nho.asp#m8
    • March 2015
      • National Nutrition Month (Canada)
      • Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month (US)
      • 2-8 National Sleep Awareness Week (US)
      • 9-15 Brain Awareness week (Canada)
      • 16-22 Brain Awareness week (US)
      • 22 World Water Day

    • April 2015
      • Alcohol Awareness Month (US)
      • National Child Abuse Prevention Month (US)
      • Dental Health Month (Canada)
      • 7 – World Health Day
      • 26-May 2 - National Immunization Awareness Week (Canada)
      • 24-30 – World Immunization Week (US)

    • Looking Forward (May 2015)
      • Hepatitis Awareness Month (Canada)
      • Cystic Fibrosis Month (Canada)
      • Mental Health Month (US)
      • 3-9   Children’s Mental Health Awareness week (US)
      • 4-10 Mental Health Week (Canada)
      • 31 World No Tobacco Day

NAD Health Ministries and Mid-America Union
2015 Health Mission Book and Health Focus in Palau

Hundreds of people accepted the invitation to share the Health Mission book Health and Wellness: Secrets that will Change your Life through the year of 2015. Many took advantage of the discounted pre-order price of 65 cents a book, and nearly 500,000 were printed by Pacific Press and purchased in Canada, the US, Micronesia Islands and Bermuda. In Palau, part of Guam-Micronesia Mission, the books were introduced and shared with community friends during a 3-day health outreach where Dr Katia Reinert, NAD Health Ministries Director, presented topics on physical,

mental/emotional and spiritual wellness for the community. A new vegetarian restaurant lead by dedicated lay members was started in Palau with the goal of continuing to share a message of hope and wholeness, and plans are being made by church leaders at the Guam-Micronesia Mission to start a health clinic as well. Health Impact Day is on April 18 when millions of books will be shared around the world.


Adventist Recovery Ministries (ARMin) Training
On February 6-8, 2015 pastors, health professionals, church leaders and lay members came together in Atlanta, GA, to be equipped on assisting people with addictions find recovery.  The ARMin training is the official NAD curriculum that equips those interested in starting a 12-step Christ-centered Recovery group in their congregation and community. Over 60 people attending the training and left enthusiastic and motivated to love and walk beside people struggling with unhealthy behaviors and addictions. Southern Union Health Ministries director, Lynell LaMountain expressed his appreciation for the team of presenters as they “demonstrated an expert knowledge and their spirit was so very warm and gracious.” He added, “my plan is to see this ministry expanded throughout the Southern Union.”

Adventist Recovery Ministries (ARMin) Training

On February 27-March 1, nearly 50 people came together at the Glendale Adventist Medical Center, California. They from across the Pacific Union (PUC) to become equipped to facilitate in the ARMin Christ-centered approach to Recovery. Co-sponsored by NAD, NPUC and Adventist Health, the training successfully equipped men and women to start and lead ARMin support groups in churches and communities

around the region. Dr Lorayne Barton, PUC Health director and her team expressed their enthusiasm: “Many churches have been asking for this training and we want to see more churches in PUC offer this service and ministry for the community.” More ARMin trainings are scheduled throughout the NAD in 2015. (see calendar in page 2).

Quebec Conference Health Ministries Training

The Guam-Micronesia Mission is blessed to have a clinic to meet the health needs of the community. The Guam Clinic offers not only a superb care to patients, but is also engaged in health and lifestyle education focusing on prevention and reversal of chronic health problems. In February 2015 they offered the Newstart Program as well as a Stop Smoking program, and dozens of community members and patients attend to find healing and engage in a healthier lifestyle. “As part of this effort, nurses, physicians and other health professionals are trained to do health evangelism, meeting people’s needs in a wholistic way,” said Pr Louis Torres. Their goal is to continue to expand comprehensive health ministry as the health needs of the people are many. The clinic major need is of Godly mission driven health professionals who may accept the call to come as missionaries or volunteers, so they can expand their health ministry. If you are interested to learn more about opportunities at the Guam Clinic, email NADHM@nad.adventist.org.

Facts with Hope
FACT: Many people turn to artificial sweeteners as a way of trimming carbs and calories from their diets. But a recent article in the journal Nature indicates sugar substitutes may actually alter the function of bacteria in the human gut in a way that can increase risk for obesity, diabetes and other chronic disease.1
HOPE:  Cutting out sugar—artificial or otherwise—isn’t hard when you adopt a diet packed with whole grains, fruits and vegetables, plant-based protein and good fats. A preponderance of research shows this type of meal plan contributes to weight loss, can help cure type II diabetes and prevents heart disease, high blood pressure and other lifestyle-related illnesses. While there are no shortcuts to health, the good news is found in helping yourself to nature’s bounty.
FACT: Children who don’t get adequate vitamin D could be more likely to succumb to heart disease when they’re adults, according to a recent Finnish study. Researchers found that among 2,148 children, ages 3-18, those with the lowest levels of the vitamin showed a thickening of the arteries in adulthood—a sign of heightened risk for cardiovascular disease.2. 
HOPE: Because the body makes vitamin D when exposed to sunshine, kids shouldn’t skimp on time outdoors. It’s also important to regularly check their levels of vitamin D—ask your doctor to do the test during your child’s annual exam—and you may have to provide a supplement. As the adage goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
FACT: Sales of organic fruits and vegetables have skyrocketed to more than $11 billion annually, and more than 80 percent of families in the U.S. buy organic products at least once in a while, according to the Organic Trade Association. However, if you’re buying organic you’re spending more—and the majority of buyers say cost limits their organic purchases.3 
HOPE: A number of studies show little scientific evidence proving that organic fresh fruits and vegetables provide more nutrients than non-organic produce.4 And while pesticides can be blamed for a tiny sliver of cancers, a diet high in fatty, refined foods and low in fruits and vegetables is the far bigger culprit. So don’t let cost be a barrier—in the case of fresh produce, quantity is key.
FACT: How do you get your protein? It’s a question asked almost anyone who forgoes meat for a plant-based diet. Truth is, those eating western diets are consuming up to twice as much protein as they need.5 All that extra protein gets turned into sugar, then fat, which leads to decidedly unhealthy results.
HOPE: Protein is found in most plant-based foods, from tofu to spinach to whole grains, so vegetarians and vegans don’t need to stress about missing out. Plus, fruits and vegetables provide a whole slew of additional nutrients that are vital to good health. In the Garden of Eden, God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed … and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. … And, behold, it was very good.” (Gen. 1:29-31).

  1. Artificial sweeteners induce glucose intolerance by altering the gut microbiota, doi:10.1038/nature13793, Eran Elinav et al., published in Nature, 17 September 2014.
  2. Junoala, et al. (2015). Childhood 25-OH vitamin D levels and carotid intima-media thickness in adulthood: the cardiovascular risk in young finns study. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, epub. Feb. 10.
  3. Organic Trade Association. (2014). Market analysis. Retrieved from www.ota.com.
  4. Smith-Spangler, et al. (2012). Are organic foods safer or healthier than conventional alternatives?: a systematic review. Annals of Internal Medicine, 157(5): 348-66
  5. USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. (2010). Adults daily protein intake much more than recommended

Promises-Promises Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak. Matt. 26:41, NIV.

One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is in the area of health-either to lose weight, change our diet, or exercise more. Psychologically the new year seems an appropriate time to make a new start, and so we all vow to be better in some way.

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