Fondly referred to as The San, Sydney Adventist Hospital has been pioneering whole-person health for more than 120 years.
Where we began
The San opened its doors in 1903 as ‘Sydney Sanitarium’ - a small, 70-bed hospital in Sydney’s leafy Wahroonga offering general medical and surgical services. Our focus was on recuperation and wellness, emphasising a healthy lifestyle. Patients were encouraged to follow a strict regimen of fresh air, exercise, and a nutritious vegetarian diet. By the 1920s, we were also known for our maternity services.
The story behind our site
Arguably the most influential of the Seventh Day Adventists, Ellen White, the co-founder of the Church, was instrumental in establishing the Sanitarium at Wahroonga. Born in 1827 in Maine, USA, Ellen experienced a series of religious visions and became a prolific writer and speaker on religious and health-related topics. Ellen and her husband James travelled to Australia in 1891 and they played a significant role in developing the Church and its institutions, including the Sydney Sanitarium. Ellen White provided guidance and advice to church members leading the project, and championed a particular location in Wahroonga she believed would offer a garden-country environment conducive to recovery. This site, situated on elevated bushland, is where the San was subsequently established, and where it remains today.
The San Today
Over time, our offering evolved to encompass more facets of healthcare, and our progressive spirit has seen us achieve many milestones. For example, in the 1970s, we led the way with ground-breaking heart services, and in the 1990s we became the first private 24/7 emergency care department in New South Wales.