Healing Heritage

St. Helena Hospital Our commitment to quality health care stems from our heritage, which dates back to 1866 when the first Seventh-day Adventist health care facility opened in Battle Creek, Michigan. There, dedicated pioneers promoted the "radical" concepts of proper nutrition, exercise and sanitation. Early on, the facility was devoted to prevention as well as healing. They called it a sanitarium, a place where patients-and their families-could learn to be well.

More than a century later, the health care system sponsored by the Seventh-day Adventist Church circles the globe with more than 160 hospitals and nearly 500 clinics, nursing homes and dispensaries worldwide. And the same vision to treat the whole person-mind, body and spirit-continues to provide the foundation for our progressive approach to health care.

Originally, Adventist hospitals were governed by regional church leadership. But as health care grew more complex, it became apparent that specialized expertise was needed. In 1972, the church authorized centralized control and operations of its health care institutions at the Union (multi-state) level.

A year later, regional divisions were formed based on the church's infrastructure. They were known in the North Pacific Union as Northwest Medical Foundation and in the Pacific Union as Adventist Health Services. In 1980, the two entities joined to form Adventist Health System/West, now known simply as Adventist Health.