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Sydney Adventist Hospital

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Sydney Adventist Hospital
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New South Wales

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As a not-for-profit organisation, caring for our patients needs is our first priority. This spirit of caring is reflected in our mission, “Christianity in Action – caring for the body, mind and spirit of our patients, colleagues, community and ourselves”, and we are committed to living this mission through everything we do. We aim to care for individuals in a holistic manner, promoting healthy living, providing healing treatments and touching people's lives through our compassionate and expert care. 

 The Hospital first started in 1903 as a ‘Sanitarium' to provide a place of healing where people learned to stay well, and since then we have been affectionately known as 'the San'. We are proud to be NSW's largest single campus private hospital, a multi-award winning facility offering access to world class doctors, nurses and other health professionals who are dedicated to our patients' welfare and are renowned for their expertise and special brand of care.

 With more than 2,200 staff and 700 accredited medical practitioners, the San offers comprehensive surgical, medical, and emergency services to over 50,000 inpatients and 160,000 outpatients each year, supported by state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment facilities and innovative services including Hospital in the Home and Cancer Support services. 

Our History

Sydney Adventist Hospital is the flagship of the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist health care system in the South Pacific. This system reaches into 58 countries and employs 65,000 people in 161 hospitals and 313 clinics.

Healthcare is a core mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church throughout the world and the establishment of the fledging healthcare initiatives that ultimately resulted in the building of the Hospital were encouraged by Adventist Church leader Ellen White.

Sydney Sanitarium opened in Wahroonga on 1 January, 1903 with a bed capacity of 70 and was known as a ‘home of health' and as a place where people learned to stay well. The original Hospital building was designed by Dr Merritt Kellogg, brother of Dr John Harvey Kellogg.

Demonstrating faith and providing expertise, compassion and healing, the Sanitarium became widely known as the ‘San', and today, many years after its 1973 official name change to Sydney Adventist Hospital, it is still fondly referred to as ‘the San' Hospital.

The Hospital was rebuilt in 1973 and became an acute care institution. Today, with 358 licensed overnight beds, it is the largest single campus private hospital in NSW and was the first private hospital in NSW to be accredited by the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards.

In 1986 the Hospital formalised their outreach work in third world countries amongst disadvantaged sick men, women and children by launching the HealthCare Outreach (HCO) Program with the Operation Open Heart inaugural trip to Tonga. Since then approximatley 100 HCO trips to 13 countries have been made with over 2,850 surgeries performed and lives saved. In 2007 the 21st anniversary of the first trip was celebrated. Surgeries have now been expanded to cover cleft palate defect repair, orthopaedic surgery, burns scar contracture repair, reconstructive surgery, and an Ophthalmic Program will commence in 2011.

In 2005 the innovative Hospital in the Home program commenced at the San.

In 2006 the San won the prestigious national Australian Private Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence (70 beds and over).  The San also become home to the Southern Hemisphere's first Dual Source Computerised Tomography Scanner in the same year.

A not-for-profit health care facility, 2,000 staff and 600 accredited medical officers provide services for more than 45,000 inpatients and over 155,000 outpatients annually at the San.

The San will continue to grow its services to provide world-class facilities, technology, and treatments in order to encourage best practice and attract expert, caring medical, nursing and allied health staff.

Caring for patients\' needs was the motivation for the Sanitarium opening over 100 years ago and remains the first priority of Sydney Adventist Hospital today and this is reflected in the mission statement:


“Christianity in Action – caring for the body, mind and spirit of our patients, colleagues, community and ourselves.” 

SAH Museum

The San's Museum is housed in “Bethel” which was built in 1915 as the Maternity Labour and Delivery cottage.  It is now the oldest building on the estate. It is located next to the Foundation Building and opposite the tennis courts. The Museum is named after Merritt Kellogg who drew up the plans, and was the building supervisor, of the 1903 San building.  Merritt was the older half-brother of the famed Dr John Harvey Kellogg.


The Museum has framed photos, surgical instruments, medical equipment, and 2 mannequins in nurses' uniforms from the past.  There are also clocks, carpentry tools, nursing certificates, Patients' Lounge fireplace, Dining Room cutlery and crockery. In storage are 6,000 photos and archival material from every San department including the School of Nursing.


Outside the Museum is the Nurses' Memorial Fountain.


Visit the Museum

There are no regular opening hours.  To arrange a visit to the Museum contact the Curator, Michael Rigby.

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