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Adventist Medical Center Surgical Staff Delivers Compassion on the Streets of Portland


Rather than spending time, energy and money looking for gifts for each other this Christmas season, Operating Room staff at Adventist Medical Center choose to prepare “bags of hope” to share with those less fortunate on the streets of Portland. The surgical team took their compassion to street corners and distributed holiday treats, and words of encouragement to those less fortunate.

Nurses Julie Cowin and Carmen Gruia organized a baking party and created hundreds of delicious homemade gourmet treats. Items were carefully wrapped in decorative bags. The bags also contained information about resources for free or affordable food, clothing, and medical care. The hospital provided Tri Met all zone bus passes for each bag. The staff were invited to share the gifts with those they encountered this week in their community who needed a spark of compassion.

This year instead of getting a gift, these nurses decided to be the gift. “The holidays are a very stressful time for those in need,” said Gruia. “We were just looking for a simple way to bring a glimmer of hope through friendship, food and warmth.”

About Adventist Medical Center (AMC)

Adventist Medical Center (AMC), located in southeast Portland, is a nonprofit, 302-bed acute care facility, offering a full range of inpatient, outpatient and emergency services throughout the Portland/Vancouver metropolitan area.  It is home to Adventist Health-Portland, which includes more than 30 primary care and specialty clinics in the metro area.  
Adventist Health-Portland is part of Adventist Health, a faith-based, not-for-profit integrated health care delivery system serving communities in California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington. 
Our workforce of 28,700 includes more than 21,000 employees; 4,500 medical staff physicians; and 3,000 volunteers. Founded on Seventh-day Adventist health values, Adventist Health provides compassionate care in 19 hospitals, more than 150 clinics (hospital-based, rural health and physician clinics), 14 home care agencies, six hospice agencies and four joint-venture retirement centers. We invite you to visit our website at for more information.