Mosquitoes were far more prevalent than Central Florida residents in 1908, and the leaders of the Adventist church had much more faith than funds when they considered establishing one of their healthcare facilities in the region. According to their plans, a sanitarium like the one in Battle Creek would provide care for year-round citizens while seeking to attract out-of-area visitors and serving those who traveled between the Northeastern states and South Florida.

The land now occupied by Florida Hospital’s main campus held a farmhouse that an Orlando surgeon had converted into a treatment facility for patients with tuberculosis. It was for sale, but the Adventist group had only $4.83 in the bank. Relying on commitment and prayer–one member sold his house to make the purchase possible–they offered $9,000 for the property.

The Florida Sanitarium and Benevolent Association opened in October 1908 with four patients, a few employees and one doctor. Today, the institution that started in a 20-bed farmhouse has grown to include more than 1,800 beds, with facilities in 7 locations, 2,000 physicians, and 15,000 employees.

Technologies, services and amenities have changed dramatically through the years. But the emotional, spiritual and physical needs of our patients are not much different than they were a hundred years ago, and our mission to healing the whole person remains unchanged.