Celebrating 150 years of Healing

That first Adventist health care facility at Battle Creek
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Imagine recovering from an illness while lying in a dark, stuffy room, with no sunlight or fresh air. What if you had lung disease and the most widely accepted treatment involved inhaling smoke? These seem like outrageous medical practices today, yet these were common treatments 150 years ago. Back then, health tonics were often made from substances that are now considered harmful or illegal, and treatments for conditions involved painful procedures that would be deemed inhumane today.

In 1866, when a small group of Christians opened the Health Reform Institute in Battle Creek, Michigan, they began pioneering health practices that altered society's basic understanding of medicine and healthy living.

In sharp contrast to the seemingly barbaric medical practices of the day, they studied the biblical principles of creation and developed a different care model by teaching the benefits of daily physical exercise, rest, good hygiene, eating a healthy diet and getting fresh air. This approach helped communities avoid illness and live healthier lives.

These health care pioneers were members of the newly formed Seventh-day Adventist Church, and they dedicated themselves to continuing Christs ministry of healing the sick, in a compassionate way, while pursuing innovative ways to make health care safer and more effective. Their approach to caring for the whole person addressing the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of a patient and not just treating illness, was revolutionary at the time.

That first Adventist health care facility at Battle Creek attracted thousands of patients over the years including notable historic figures Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Dale Carnegie and Amelia Earhart. Under the guidance of medical director Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, patients received innovative medical care, while also learning about healthy living through cooking, exercise classes and lectures on health and temperance. Kellogg was an advocate of a vegetarian lifestyle and would later become well-known, along with his brother W. K. Kellogg, for their invention of Kelloggs Corn Flakes, a healthier choice for breakfast.

Florida Hospital is proud to be a member of the Adventist Health System. Our legacy of health and healing while continuing to explore new, innovative and inspired ways to care for our patients continues today 150 years later as we celebrate this important chapter in our history. As we continue to expand our expertise, we remain true to our legacy, helping patients achieve health and wellness in every aspect of their lives.

Kelloggs Corn Flakes is a registered trademark of the Kellogg Company.

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