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Media Contact: Tom Grant
tgrant@adventisthealthcare.com
301-315-3356

Published on August 29, 2007

Adventist HealthCare Director Leads National Launch of Program to Help Veterans Come Home

An executive with Adventist HealthCare in Rockville, who served as a U.S. Army captain in the Vietnam War, recently helped coordinate the successful launch of Heroes at Home, a project that assists low-income veterans and their families with home repairs and modifications.

The initiative is part of the national nonprofit organization Rebuilding Together, whose Montgomery County office brought together companies around the county for this pilot project.

Mike Rand, regional director of Property Development and Facilities Management for Adventist HealthCare, said that his own experience inspired his involvement with the project, which provided a safe and accessible home for Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran Army Specialist Ryan C. Major, 22, of Silver Spring, Md.

“Heroes at Home is just one opportunity to show our gratitude to those who serve in the military and to the heroes who make it home,” said Rand, a member of Disabled America Veterans (DAV).  “The project to help Specialist Major was near and dear to my heart.  I hope that the work accomplished by the community coming together will help ease what he has been through and what he is going through as we welcome him home.”

Spc. Major suffered severe wounds in November 2006, when an improvised explosive device detonated near him while he was on foot patrol searching for suspected bomb makers with his unit in Ramadi.  His injuries resulted in the amputation of both legs, damage to both arms and a traumatic brain injury.

“All of the labor and the vast majority of the materials were donated to the project.  Mike was instrumental in getting this support,” said Susan Hawfield, executive director of Rebuilding Together Montgomery County, MD, which took on the project.  “With his help and guidance, the Heroes at Home project brought together many in the community.”

Hawfield estimates that the value of work accomplished on Spc. Major’s home was $139,000, with an initial cash outlay of $25,000.  The improvements included installing an elevator and building a new wheelchair accessible bedroom and bathroom.  The three-month project culminated with a July 18 news conference attended by local dignitaries and volunteers to welcome Spc. Major home and view the project’s success.  Isiah Leggett, County Executive, and David Merrick, Chair of the Rebuilding Together Montgomery County Advisory Council, presented certificates of appreciation to Rand and to Adventist HealthCare for their contributions to the project.

Hawfield said that Rand was one of the first people she thought of when Rebuilding Together’s national office asked the Montgomery County office to take on the Heroes at Home project.

“I don't think I uttered two sentences before Mike said, ‘Susan, I'll do anything I can to help.  Count me in,’” Hawfield said.  “One of the best parts of my job is all of the people that I get to know.  Mike has one of the biggest hearts I know.”

Rand had led an Adventist HealthCare team’s efforts to repair homes for in-need recipients of Rebuilding Together Montgomery County for the past three years and also recently joined the branch’s Corporate Advisory Council.

“Mike offers hope and healing to the greater community through his involvement with Rebuilding Together,” said William G. “Bill” Robertson, President and CEO of Adventist HealthCare.  “He embodies the true spirit of Adventist HealthCare’s mission by generously giving his time to provide a service that improves the quality of life for people in the communities we serve.”

For more information on Rebuilding Together, go to http://www.rebuildingtogethermc.org/.

Adventist HealthCare, an integrated health care delivery organization based in Rockville, Maryland, is one of the largest employers in the state of Maryland.  The mission of Adventist HealthCare is to demonstrate God’s care by improving the health of people and communities through a ministry of physical, mental and spiritual healing. Adventist HealthCare includes Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, Washington Adventist Hospital, Potomac Ridge Behavioral Health, Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital of Maryland, Adventist Senior Living Services, Hackettstown Regional Medical Center, Adventist Home Health Services, the Reginald S. Lourie Center for Children and Infants and LifeWork Strategies.

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