Our History Defines Our Future
For more than a century, Florida Hospital’s roots have extended deep into Central Florida’s colorful history. It all began in 1908, when a small group of Seventh Day Adventists in Orlando had the vision to bring health and healing to this once rural community.
Inspired by a calling, these altruistic pioneers rallied community members and churchgoers to raise funds in the hopes of establishing a proper health care facility for Central Florida’s growing populace. Through faith and determination, the Adventist leaders quickly grew their treasury from just $4.83 to $9,000. It was enough to purchase Florida Hospital’s first health care facility—a two-story farmhouse that at one time served as a tuberculosis treatment center on the shores of Lake Estelle.
Over the next four decades, the comfortable, porch-wrapped home transformed dramatically with the addition of new patient wings, surgical suites, delivery rooms and a doctors’ lounge. From the time of purchase through to 1950, the facility’s patient capacity had grown from just 20 to 160.
As our early facility grew both in structure and stature, improvements like air conditioning in the late fifties allowed us to operate year round through the sweltering Central Florida summers. The introduction of “Clean Air Suites” in the early seventies —the first of any hospital in the nation—revolutionized joint replacement surgeries by significantly decreasing instances of infection. Our kidney transplant services were established during the same time; and today, we have one of the most highly sought transplant centers in the nation.
In the decades that followed, we continually advanced the level of care available to our patients. We were one of the first hospitals in the US to install a CT scanner, the first in Central Florida to offer MRI, PET/CT and 4-D ultrasound technology and first in the state to provide life-saving digital mammography. As our technological accomplishments grew, so did our talent pool of clinical experts—many of whom are leaders in their field and lead training for the next generation of doctors. In fact, Florida Hospital’s Nicholson Center has trained tens of thousands of surgeons in the very techniques we practice within our own operating suites.
Because of our high standards and clinical accolades, The Walt Disney Company chose Florida Hospital to create a one-of-a-kind, full-service health care facility in their planned community of Celebration. Disney also lent its expertise and Imagineers in helping us create one of the world’s most unique children’s hospitals. These campuses, along with 20 other distinct hospitals now form one of the largest health care networks in the US.
As we look to the future of health care, we’ve begun to rethink and reshape our role as a hospital. Beyond offering some of the world’s best treatments for injury and illness, we’ve initiated the Healthy 100 wellness program that educates people on how to avoid the need for medical care completely. And with the development of Health Village—our 172-acre mixed-use urban community— we will provide an immersive environment rich in resources that encourage whole-person health. Through various partnerships, this development will set a new standard in living; we can extend our healing mission beyond our hospital doors, and create a greater impact in the collective health of the community that surrounds us.
Throughout our history, our pioneering spirit has never waned—nor has our mission of extending the healing ministry of Christ. What began as a journey toward spiritual and physical health for a grateful few, is today a promise of healing – mind, body and spirit – to millions of people here in Central Florida and worldwide. People, just like you.