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Olympic Gymnastics Gold Medalist Shannon Miller Announced as Featured Speaker for Heroes of the Heart Gala

Philanthropy PORTLAND, Ore.—Adventist Health Foundation will host the Fifth Annual Heroes of the Heart Gala on Oct. 19 starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Portland Art Museum. The annual event supports projects of the Foundation to improve community health, as well as celebrates local “Heroes” who have made a significant difference in the Portland area. 

This year’s keynote speaker is former U.S. Gymnast Shannon Miller, one of the most decorated gymnasts in U.S. history. Miller was part of the famed “Magnificent Seven” women’s gymnastics team that won team gold at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. It marked the first time the U.S. women’s gymnastics team won team gold in the sport. 

Following her gymnastics career, Miller started a foundation focused on fighting childhood obesity, as well as a company focused on women’s health and fitness. She is also an ovarian cancer survivor. 

“We’re thrilled to announce Shannon will be this year’s keynote speaker for our annual gala,” said David Russell, president and CEO for Adventist Medical Center. “Her commitment to improving health and nutrition reflects Adventist Health’s focus on chronic disease prevention and a whole-person approach to health and wellness. As a former gymnast, healthcare advocate and a cancer survivor, she’s an inspiration to women and children throughout the country, making her a perfect fit for this year’s featured guest.” 

In addition to a keynote address from Miller, Adventist Health Foundation’s 2016 Heroes will be recognized during the event. Heroes are chosen for their generosity and commitment to improving their community. 

2016 Heroes are: 

Anna Seeley, a 12-year-old, is a leukemia survivor who spends her free time volunteering for local organizations working to find a cure for cancer. She also spends time with other children who are fighting cancer and raising money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Battle for the Bridge, athletic contests supporting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, help raise money to find a cure for cystic fibrosis. Ian Giammanco and Trent Tribou started Battle for the Bridge after Giammanco’s eight-year-old daughter was diagnosed with the genetic disorder, which affects the lungs and the digestive system.

Dr. Wesley Rippey, chief medical officer for Adventist Medical Center, followed in his father’s footsteps by dedicating his medical career to helping Oregonians. He is a fourth-generation surgeon for Adventist Medical Center and in 2015 he received the hospital’s Physician of the Year Mission Award for his outstanding leadership and commitment to patient care and wellness. 

“Every year we’re inspired by the determination and triumphs of our keynote speaker and local heroes whose accomplishments and good work positively impact the lives of everyday Oregonians,” said Bob Dureault, executive director for Adventist Health Foundation. “We’re grateful for the work they do to make our community and the world a better place for everyone.”

Heroes of the Heart will be held in the Kridel Grand Ballroom at the Portland Art Museum located at 1219 SW Park Ave., Portland. Parking is available on surrounding streets and a number of parking garages are conveniently located near the venue. 

In addition to a pre-dinner reception, guests will be treated to a private viewing of Portland Art Museum galleries and exhibits starting at 5:30 p.m.

Tickets for the event start at $125 per person or $1,250 for a table of 10. Sponsorship opportunities are still available, including options for premier seating and a private reception with Olympic Gold Medalist Shannon Miller. 

For more information about the Adventist Health Foundation, Heroes of the Heart Gala and to purchase tickets, visit or call (503)-251-6197.

About Adventist Health Foundation
Adventist Health's Foundation is dedicated to raising and administering funds for philanthropic, charitable and educational purposes, including health-related community and regional needs. Our mission is to serve the whole person by making a positive impact on the lives and health of our patients and the individuals in the communities that surround us.

About Adventist Health
Adventist Health is a faith-based, not-for-profit integrated health care delivery system serving communities in California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington. Our workforce of 28,600 includes more than 20,500 employees; 4,500 medical staff physicians; and 3,600 volunteers. Founded on Seventh-day Adventist health values, Adventist Health provides compassionate care in 19 hospitals, more than 220 clinics (hospital-based, rural health and physician clinics), 14 home care agencies, seven hospice agencies and four joint-venture retirement centers. Visit for more information.