History of Florida Hospital Research Institute

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.

In the decades that followed, Florida Hospital continually advanced the level of care available to our patients. In 1982, as part of advancing our care, Florida Hospital established an Institutional Review Board (IRB) and began offering clinical trials in the areas of ophthalmology (intra-ocular lenses) and orthopedics. Our Cancer research center, established in 1989, began to offer clinical trials to our local community so traveling out-of-town for care would no longer be necessary. Cardiovascular research began in 1990 to provide cutting edge care options for Florida Hospital patients closer to home. 1994, we began bench-to-bedside research to understand the mechanism of clotting in cancer patients and other conditions. By 2000, Florida Hospital offered 130 clinical trials primarily from the Cancer, Cardiovascular, and Orthopedic departments. Ten years later, the research enterprise grew to 425 studies, supported by 11 research departments. 2012, in partnership with Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, we opened the doors to our Translational Research Institute for Metabolism and Diabetes, which is a world class research center. Today, over 550 studies are being conducted at Florida Hospital by 18 research departments.

At Florida Hospital, we have brought together talented physicians, brilliant researchers, and caring research professionals to help set new standards in medicine through research. Throughout our history, our pioneering spirit has never waned—nor has our mission of extending the healing ministry of Christ. We believe that research is essential to extending our healing mission beyond our hospital doors to create a greater impact in the collective health of the community that surrounds us both near and far.