Loma Linda University Health Expands With $10 Million Tribal Casino Gift


(system) #1

SAN BERNARDINO - General Conference President Ted N. C. Wilson and Vice President Lowell Cooper, two top leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, joined city leaders and health care administrators in a ground-breaking ceremony Wednesday for the San Manuel Gateway College, a new learning facility set to open in Spring of 2016. According to Loma Linda University Health President Richard Hart, a $10 million donation from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians will allow LLUH to open the new facility in downtown San Bernardino, an area of Southern California's Inland Empire particularly hard hit by the Great Recession in the United States.

Dr. Hart said, “Studies of the infrastructure of San Bernardino have found that there are two large unmet needs in this community. The first is a lack of skilled workers. The second is a lack of quality health care. Our new project will shore up both of those sectors of the economy by providing career education and health care for area residents as well as creating employment opportunities."

During the groundbreaking ceremony in front of a large group of civic and health care leaders, Elder Ted Wilson offered a dedicatory prayer, and stated that health and education bring hope. Both have been hallmarks of the Seventh-day Adventist Church's worldwide mission.

Ken Ramirez, the tribal secretary for the San Manuel Band, presented a check for $10 million dollars to Dr. Hart on behalf of the San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians.

“This unprecedented and visionary gift will bring world-class education and health care opportunities to the Inland Empire while promoting significant financial, social, and employment opportunities for the people of our community,” Hart announced. “We are extremely grateful to the leaders and people of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians for their extraordinary generosity.”

Tribal Chairwoman Lynn Valbuena explained the significance of the gift:

“In the early days, San Manuel had limited access to healthcare on the reservation, but the people of San Bernardino and doctors and nurses from Loma Linda helped us during times of need,” Valbuena said. “Today we are drawn together in common purpose to bring greater access to medical care and education to our region. We want to make sure the dream of a brighter tomorrow becomes a reality for the students of San Bernardino and the Inland Empire. San Manuel Gateway College will support the vitality of this community for decades to come.”

The money comes from San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino, a massive gaming complex on an Indian reservation in Highland, California, approximately ten miles from Loma Linda University. The San Manuel Casino generates revenue used to maintain the sovereign tribe's governmental operations, provide for the tribe's general welfare and healthcare needs, supply infrastructure, and to support continued economic development. Additionally, the San Manuel Band donates gaming money to various philanthropic causes throughout the Inland Empire.

In an official statement on the denomination's website, the Seventh-day Adventist Church discourages gambling. The statement calls the concept of winning at the expense of others "a modern curse." The statement goes on to say, "Gambling violates Christian principles of stewardship. God identifies work as the appropriate method for gaining material benefit; not the playing of a game of chance while dreaming to gain at the expense of others. Gambling has a massive impact on society. Financial costs result from crime committed to pay for the gambling habit, increased policing, and legal expenses, as well as associated crimes involving drugs and prostitution. Gambling does not generate income; rather it takes from those who often can ill afford to lose and gives to a few winners, the greatest winner of course being the gambling operator. The idea that gambling operations can have a positive economic benefit is an illusion. In addition, gambling violates the Christian sense of responsibility for family, neighbors, the needy, and the Church."

A group of community, tribal, denominational and institutional leaders broke ground on the new facility.

From left to right: Ted N.C. Wilson, PhD, president, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists; Nancy Young, president/CEO, SAC Health System; Pat Morris, MD, former mayor, City of San Bernardino; Dale Marsden, Superintendent, San Bernardino City School District; Tommy Ramos, education committee, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians; Ken Ramirez, Tribal secretary, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians; Richard H. Hart, MD, DrPH, president Loma Linda University Health; Pete Aguilar, United States Congressman-Elect, California 31st District; R. Carey Davis, mayor, City of San Bernardino; Lowell Cooper, Mdiv, MPH, vice president, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and chair, Board of Trustees, Loma Linda University Adventist Health Sciences Center.

Along with the groundbreaking ceremony, Loma Linda University Health launched a new website devoted to the new San Bernardino facility. According to the website, San Manuel Gateway College will offer a number of health career certificate programs such as nursing, medical, and dental assisting, phlebotomy and medical insurance coding. These six- to 12-month certificate programs will provide job entry skills, employment and college credit for students who elect to further their education.

The college will share the 150,000-square-foot complex with a multi-specialty medical clinic, operated by Social Action Community Health System (SACHS), and with a vegetarian restaurant designed to showcase the longevity-enhancing benefits of a plant-based diet, according to the website. It is expected to create about 400 new jobs. The SACHS clinic stands to dramatically increase its annual capacity for patient care from some 30,000 patients annually to over 200,000, according to SACHS clinic Director and CEO Nancy Young. SACHS was founded by health care students at Loma Linda University and grew to be an integral part of the university and medical center's outreach to those in need in the San Bernardino area community.

The Loma Linda University Health – San Bernardino facility is designed to be LEED-certified in accordance with industry standards for ecologically-sound buildings. The complex will house 112 exam rooms, 24 dental operatories, six group rooms, three simulator labs, classrooms and teaching labs, according to the project website.

Images courtesy Loma Linda University Health.

Jared Wright is managing editor of SpectrumMagazine.org.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/6480

(Pagophilus) #2

Should they be taking money from gambling? How about from prostitution?


(Rohan Charlton) #3

Hmmmmm.

Non denominational literature:NO. Non denominational money: (from gambling no less)YES.

Not saying they shouldn’t accept the donation, just… mixed messages much?


(le vieux) #4

I was wondering the same thing. On the other hand, are we to refuse gifts from unbelievers, no matter the source? Or only if it’s money from criminal activity?


(Robert Sonter) #5

Very interesting news story. Clearly money talks. The church will accept funding for a hospital extension from the proceeds of gambling, but wont ordain women! I’m not saying the church should have declined this generous donation. What I’m saying is that on moral issues, the church clearly can be bought. It will make a stand, so long as it doesn’t cost something…


(Robert Sonter) #6

It would make financial sense for the church to not only take money from gambling and prostitution, but also to start charging for the forgiveness of sins. Then the church would get to profit both when a sinner succumbed to temptation, as well as when they repented! :smile:


(George Tichy) #7

Why don’t you ask your beloved Prez and then tell us what he said? If he approved it, it must be blessed money!


(George Tichy) #8

There you go again…


(Steve Mga) #9

Is it “The Church” that is being “bought”, or is it just a group of health professionals being enlisted to provide needed Help in a needy community?
I see this as a continued philosophy of Loma Linda Medical Complex. A part of their Mission and Missionary philosophy. No different that the Run Run medical complex in China. Or their mission activities in Mexico or other places in the world. This is just a result of a Mission activity that was Temporary for this needy group of people, and now they want something permanent to be established by Loma Linda.
This is NOT condoning Bingo. This is NOT condoning any type of Gambling. It is helping people on a permanent basis. Why isnt it OK for that group of people to have a part in making it happen?

Questioning this with Suspicion, is another example of how much Separatist Philosophy is engrained in our behavior as Seventh day Adventists. If it isnt OUR idea, and fully financed by US, then we cant join with other groups to make something wonderful happen.
AND, YES, there is a great need for medical care for Prostitutes. AND, YES, we need to be helping them, ALSO. The same for Drug Users. AND, for the At Risk Community for HIV.

Let me ask this Question? WHY is it that no other SDA Medical Facility is doing what Loma Linda has done through the years? WHY do our other SDA Medical Facilities not branch out to other segments of community? Or, if they are, WHY so quiet about it?
I still believe that every Local Adventist Church should have some type of “Out Patient Activity” that it can provide for the Community where it is located. If nothing more than an AA or NA or AlaNon group meeting there.


(le vieux) #10

Thank-you, President Reagan. :wink:


(George Tichy) #11

The lack of social sensitivity that some people demonstrate is rooted in the idea that we, as part of the “remnant church,” have also the obligation to judge others buy whatever is our personal standard.

It’s sad to see that some people can’t just live in the reality of their environment, they have to live in a delusional state of religious superiority that make them “feel good.” They are always looking down at others!


(Thomas J Zwemer) #12

there probably isn’t any “clean” money except the coins Peter found in the fish.s mouth., Tom Z


(Winona Winkler Wendth) #13

When was the last time any of these people read “Major Barbara”? Encouraging organizations who promote less than lovely habits to help others is not a bad idea. But where we draw some kind of line is one of those questions that is endlessly debated (as it should be). We would learn quite a bit about our “fundamental” beliefs by asking that question. I have less an issue with this than I did with LLU’s dental school’s experimenting with beagle puppies. After reading Shaw, we should get to Plato on the Greater Good. He confounded the question three hundred years (four?) before Jesus, who really didn’t weigh in with specifics, either. That’s what makes being a Christian so hard. Or easy. Or dynamic. And this is why a solid humanities curriculum is necessary for Denominal leadership, no matter how they serve.


(P Kevin Wells) #14

As is often said on game shows: Take the money! My only question is did Elder Wilson know ahead of time about this donation? If yes, I’m remarkably impressed with his wisdom in doing so. If no, I’m just shaking my head.

Gambling is one of those areas I have yet to read a compelling biblical argument against. However, I don’t personally gamble. That’s what the Adventist retirement system does for me.

Just a couple of thoughts from the sage:

Proverbs 16:33 (NKJV)
33 The lot is cast into the lap, But its every decision is from the LORD.

Proverbs 18:18 (NKJV)
18 Casting lots causes contentions to cease, And keeps the mighty apart.


(Elmer Cupino) #15

Congratulations LLU! The price of being kind - Priceless.


(Mercy triumphs over judgment. James 2:13) #16

I hear/read many Adventists acknowledge that there isn’t a biblical prohibition against all alcohol consumption & defend our Teetotalism on the basis of the great harm alcohol contributes to individuals, families, & society. Isn’t gambling—legal or illegal—a comparably destructive force?


(Elaine Nelson) #17

The church has a history of gambling on “good investments” and lost lots of money.


(Richard Ludders) #18

But I’ve heard that they have made a bundle on “bad investments”.


(Elaine Nelson) #19

You win some, you lose some. No, I do not believe that church leaders have a history of good investments especially when, like the banks, they did not suffer but the members, as the major source of monies for those investments. It’s always a good gamble when you invest other people’s money and winnings you get; losses are the people’s money…


(Richard Ludders) #20

you have that right. Let me invest some money for you!