Kenji Yamagata, M.D., FACP
Honorary President, Kobe Adventist Hospital
Kobe Adventist Hospital is a part of global Adventist Health Group, which has 537 hospitals and clinics worldwide. Through the global network, we practice medicine to promote health of mankind from global perspective, with developing advanced medical technology, assisting developing countries in development of technologies, providing emergency aids to areas that sufferred natural disaster and war, promoting international movement for smoking cessation, and promoting healthy lifestyle. You may find an Adventist hospital in major cities in most of the Asian countries: For example, Seoul, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Manila, and in Bangkok, to name a few.
Adventist Health has begun 140 years ago in Battlecreek (Michigan, USA), and has always had an unique goal: To Make Man Whole. We would like to extend the healing of not just physical being, but of a personal being as a whole, and thus Kobe Adventist Hospital’s mission statement is To Make Man Whole by the Love of Christ and Medical Care.
In 1973, Kita-ku was organized in Kobe city, in which Kobe Adventist Hospital opened the same year in Arinodai (Kita-ku, Kobe), where there was little medical care facilities then. Dr. Johnson, our first president, had come from United States with noble Christian faith as a missionary. He had studied earnestly, passed the Japanese national examination for medicine, and worked at Tokyo Adventist Hospital where he later became president of. Dr. Johnson then came to Kobe, and joined Kobe Adventist Clinic (opened by Dr. Krick) in the middle of Kobe city (present-day Chuo-Ku). While working full time in the clinic, he made every effort to open Kobe Adventist Hospital. Once the hospital opened, he lived inside the hospital with his wife, and served 24-hours a day. His dedication and personal sacrifice had become the essential foundation for the present-day Kobe Adventist Hospital.
30 years later, the hospital serves our community with various clinics, including Sundays, and emergency visits at night and on holidays. With 116 beds, we are a relatively small hospital, but has prepared to serve as acute care facility in this area. In 1992, our Hospice Care Unit was established as the first in Hyogo Prefecture, and many terminally-ill patients had chosen to come to our hospice care unit, both within and outside of Hyogo Prefecture. We also have welcomed many nurses for training from all over Japan.
One of our unique characteristics is that many of our staff physicians have been trained in United States. There are nine physicians (as of April 1, 2003) who have been trained in United States, four of those had graduated medical school in US, and six have been board certified physicians in US. With this unique background, we have introduced latest European/American thoughts and practice guidelines from early on. Many of our staff are fluent in English, and quite a few of English-speaking population in Kansai area have come in for medical needs. Currently, we serve as an major part of hospitals that provide emergency care to foreigners in Kobe.
Today, preventive medicine is emphasized everywhere. For more than 20 years, Kobe Adventist Hospital has been emphasizing importance of active health promotion through San-iku Center (Health Promotion Facility designated by Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare), Health and Exercise Programs, a vegetarian restaurant on campus – Shalom. Dr Kellogg, who was a leader in Adventist medicine, not only invented cornflakes, which changed breakfast worldwide, but peanutbutter, granola and others. Many recent data from various nations have proven that Adventist lifestyle, characterized by smoking cessation, vegetarian diet, and exercise, is very effective in preventing many chronic illnesses related to lifestyle. We believe prevention is the ultimate medicine, and would like to make every effort to apread healthy lifestyle.
In Kobe Adventist Hospital, we look not only at standard of care in Japan, but also at global standard of care. We strive to improve care by learning the very latest medicine worldwide, including medicine in United States, and would like to be an integral part of our local community. We appreciate your input and hope to work together to improve your health.