Old photo of James and Ellen White

Where Our Legacy Begins

AdventHealth is the reflection of the health ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church that began more than 150 years ago. The unique Christ-centered approach of the early Adventists was grounded in caring for the body, mind and spirit. Today, our original mission of whole-person care remains foundational to how we Extend the Healing Ministry of Christ.

We invite you to learn more about our sponsoring organization, the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and the values that drive its global ministry. View resources to help share the story with others and build an understanding of the work and mission of the Adventist Church.

Photo of the original sanitorium in Battle Creek, Michigan opened by the Seventh-Day Adventist Church.

The Beginning of the Adventist Philosophy of Healing

In 1866, a small group of Seventh-day Adventist believers opened the Western Health Reform Institute in Battle Creek, Michigan — later known as the Battle Creek Sanitarium. They began pioneering health practices that altered society’s fundamental understanding of medicine and healthy living. They taught new principles like making healthy choices; getting enough rest; daily physical activity; spending time outdoors; trusting in God; maintaining positive relationships; having a positive outlook; and eating a nutritious, plant-based diet.

The Adventist health care pioneers believed God called them to follow the example of Jesus Christ. They dedicated themselves to continuing Christ’s ministry of healing the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of those in the community while pursuing innovative ways to make health care safer and more effective. Their approach to caring for the whole person, not just treating symptoms, was revolutionary.

Share Your Piece of Our Legacy

Do you have a special story about the AdventHealth legacy or a historical memorabilia item? Reach out to our Legacy Preservation Team at [email protected] and share your special piece of our living history.