PUC Students Challenged to be Agents of Change

November 3, 2016

Jarrod B. McNaughton, president of Kettering Medical Center and executive vice president of Kettering Health Network, spoke for Pacific Union College’s annual Adventist Heritage Colloquy on October 27. This year the focus was on the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s ministries of healing and focus on holistic healthcare. McNaughton has over 20 years of healthcare experience and medical mission work.

PUC President Dr. Heather J. Knight began the morning's service with an opening prayer, asking God to grant the students with determination to be temples for Christ, “That we may learn and grow and that we are ourselves will be more fully your temples for Christ’s sake.” Following the prayer, the congregation sang “My Hope is Built on Nothing Less,” followed by a scriptural reading of Luke 6:17.

Professor Michelle Rai, chair of the department of communication, introduced McNaughton as “one of the most genuine people you will ever meet.” A PUC alumnus, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in public relations in 1998. He also met his wife, Heidi (Payne, ’93), while attending PUC. In his current position with Kettering Health Network, McNaughton is responsible for coordinating strategy for eight hospitals, nine emergency departments, and 120 outpatient facilities across southwest Ohio.

“What if you saw your role as a change agent, as those who are called to care?” McNaughton asked the congregation. He told students God has called each individual to be a change agent in the world, stressing that each calling has an extraordinary purpose. “Whether it’s business, whether it’s science, whether it’s something in healthcare, education, whatever it is, it is truly a sacred call,” he said, saying each individual major has an extraordinary purpose. “I absolutely unequivocally believe you have been chosen by God and charged by the Creator of the universe to make in the lives of people around you different.”

McNaughton shared a video featuring Dr. Paul Obeng-Okyere, a man who he believes to be a great example of a change agent for God. A medical resident at Kettering Medical Center, Dr. Obeng-Okyere is the type of person to never sing in public. One day a patient at Kettering Medical Center asked him to sing her a song before she went into surgery. McNaughton said, “Paul did not let fear grapple him a bit. He stepped up to the plate to give an amazing oratory,” giving her a blessing that day.

He closed his talk with a challenge for students to, “Be on the lookout, because God is putting people in front of us every single day, in front of you and me, every single moment, to make a difference in their lives.” An accomplished musician, McNaughton then ended Colloquy with a live rendition of “Thankful.”