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Adventist Health International and the Global Health Institute work in close collaboration on many projects. Here is a story of the success that one of LLU's GHI hospital has recently experienced after completing a 12 month research study with the World Health Organization. Congratulations, Penang Adventist Hospital. 


Adventist Hospital and GHI site in Malaysia receives 'Gold' from World Health Organization


Courtney Beckwith Haas
February 4, 2015 

Adventist Health International and the Global Health Institute work in close collaboration on many projects. Here is a story of the success that one of LLU's GHI hospital has recently experienced after completing a 12 month research study with the World Health Organization. Congratulations, Penang Adventist Hospital. 

Penang Adventist Hospital (PAH), in Malaysia, was recently awarded “Gold” status by the World Health Organization (WHO) in their effort to make PAH a health-promoting hospital (HPH)

The hospital is a Loma Linda University Global Health Institute (GHI) site and has several LLU graduates working there.

In January 2013, PAH became a member of the HPH network, but this recognition was not awarded until 12 months later after they had completed a clinical trial in collaboration with the WHO’s plan to emphasize lifestyle modification and disease prevention in hospitals throughout the world.

The research consisted of implementing clinical health promotion services in one department of choice within the hospital. The department chosen for the program at PAH was the Adventist Lifestyle Center.

The HPH network was initiated by WHO in the late 1990s, with the primary objective of making hospitals into leaders of health promotion. 

The rationale behind this is that, to better treat and manage chronic disease, hospitals need to incorporate elements of health promotion in the treatment. 

There are currently 900 hospitals in the HPH network, but PAH is one of the 47 clinical departments in the world to participate in this global research project.

PAH incorporated this strategy into their Adventist Lifestyle Center, specifically the staff clinic. Their goal was to prevent chronic disease and reduce disease complications by encouraging staff to incorporate lifestyle changes into their existing medical care plan.

The research project began Oct. 1, 2013 and ended Sept. 30, 2014. Within this time span they created systematic health promotion programs and activities for the employees at the hospital, as well as conducting specific programs for certain high risk groups such as obese and overweight individuals.

To gauge this project and its effectiveness throughout the year, PAH held pre- and post-health assessments for every health campaign conducted.

Within these assessments they measured awareness, perception, participation, weight loss and prevalence of disease among staff, and in each area saw improvements.

Upon completion of the clinical research project, PAH underwent a two-day audit with a team of HPH-WHO personnel and was found to be in 100 percent compliance with all 152 health promotion indicators.

Yen Ang, consultant and lifestyle intervention director of the Adventist Lifestyle Center, comments on the achievement, saying, “Yes, it is 100 percent compliance; no cooking of data whatsoever. We got gold!”

This achievement makes PAH the first and only hospital in Malaysia to collaborate with the WHO on a project and achieve compliance with the dictated standards.

In addition, it also places Malaysia as one of the 10 countries in the world to collaborate with the WHO in its global research project in the area of Clinical Health Promotion.

“It’s exciting to be given the opportunity to help position our Adventist hospital in Malaysia as a pioneer in the area of clinical health promotion,” Ang says.

She goes on to add that this success is, in part, due to the training that she and others at Penang Adventist Hospital learned from the experiences and training they received at Loma Linda University.

“I’m an LLU graduate, so you may say I’m biased,” Ang said. “But I truly believe LLU produces great workers who believe in wholistic care.”

This achievement showcases the wholistic work that is being done in Malaysia through this hospital and its staff.

“Rome was not built in one day, but it must start somewhere, and I pray with God’s help, Penang Adventist Hospital will and must take the lead,” Ang says.

She continues, “ We are exuberant, and feel a tremendous sense of pride in what we do and have achieved. But we are most thankful to the top management and leadership of PAH who gave us permission to do what we needed to do.”


Yen Ang, 2009 LLU graduate, sits in the center of the high risk group from Penang Adventist Hospital. Combined, this group lost a total of 176 pounds in just 10 weeks.  


A cooking demonstration is given to employees to help showcase the importance of healthy eating.  


 Penang Adventist Hospital employees enjoy participating in the various programs offered. Here they are taking a spin class. 


 Vertical marathon- Staff member participates in one of the many employee fitness programs created.