History of Feather River Hospital

Feather River Hospital, original black and white photoIn 1946, Dr. Merritt C. Horning, a founder of Feather River Hospital, envisioned a “ health center” in the region where his family had lived for three generations. He graduated from medical school in 1942 from the College of Medical Evangelists (now Loma Linda University). Dr Horning shared his vision with three of his physician colleagues: Dr. Dean Hoiland, Dr. C.C. Landis and Dr. Glenn Blackwelder. These visionaries worked together with community leaders to purchase land and solicit donations to build the Feather River Sanitarium, a 15-bed facility which opened in 1950 to treat the ridge community.

In 1960, hospital founders and trustees entrusted the hospital to the Northern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. In 1968, the construction of a new 150-bed Feather River Hospital was completed, just up the hill from the original sanitarium. In 1973, the hospital joined Adventist Health, becoming Adventist Health Feather River Hospital.

Dr. Horning served as the hospital’s first chief of staff and medical director from 1950 to 1963. His many years of general medicine practice and surgery convinced him that disease prevention was an overwhelming need in the modern world and that proper nutrition and lifestyle modification were the keys to good health.