Adventist Health Glendale ‘Lights Up A Life’

Adena Sarkian, Adventist Health Glendale spiritual care specialist (on right) pulls the lever, symbolically turning on the Christmas tree lights, at the hospital’s “Light Up A Life” 10th annual ceremony. She is joined by, from left, Adventist Health dignitaries Mark Witas, Elizabeth LaBorde and Suzanne Alario. Photo by Ruth SOWBY

By Ruth SOWBY 


To acknowledge and thank its donors and supporters, the Foundation of Adventist Glendale presented its annual tree lighting and tribute ceremony on Thursday, Dec. 7. Also honored were community members who died during the past year. An audience of some 100 supporters gathered in the hospital’s West Tower Lobby for the ceremony.      

Mission & Spiritual Care Director Mark Witas offered the invocation and related his family’s experiences in dealing with the death of their son’s babysitter Meghan Doggett, who eventually lived with the family and became a surrogate daughter to Mark and wife Wendy.   

Foundation President Elizabeth LaBorde paid tribute to the hospital’s longtime donor and advocate Margaret Kaufman, who died on Sept. 11. For 30 years, Kaufman supported the Foundation (20 of those years as a board member). Kaufman was most recently lead donor for the Carvajal Comprehensive Breast Center that opened in May.

Also speaking were Suzanne Alario, Operations (Home Care) Administrative director and Adena Sarkian, Spiritual Care specialist, who described the hospital’s Beyond Loss Bereavement Services and its network of support groups, grief counseling, and healing activities.  

“Grief comes in waves; it is not linear,” said Sarkian.  

At the end of the program, Sarkian turned on the Christmas tree lights, hence the evening’s theme “Light Up a Life.”