GAMC Reflects on Past and Prepares for Future

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Photo provided by GAMC GAMC 110 years ago, then known as the Glendale Sanitarium, converted from a 75 room Victorian-style hotel.

Photo provided by GAMC
GAMC 110 years ago, then known as the Glendale Sanitarium, converted from a 75 room Victorian-style hotel.

As the hospital prepares for its 110th birthday, administrators reflect on the innovative ideas of its founder.


One-hundred-and-ten years ago penicillin had yet to be discovered. Wearing gloves and masks was just beginning to be discussed as a requirement for doctors and nurses. Treating the entire person was not something most hospitals advocated; treating the illness was first and foremost – a practice that continued until recent times. Today treating the whole person for everything from cancer to heart disease is believed by many to be the new path in medical practice. Funny thing is – 110 years ago those at Glendale Adventist Medical Center not only knew that, they practiced it.

“Ellen [White] was thought of as radical,” said Warren Tetz, COO of Glendale Adventist Medical Center.

James and Ellen White were early pioneers of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. They founded many sanitariums throughout the U.S. including the Glendale Sanitarium, now known as Glendale Adventist Medical Center.

Tetz said that Ellen was an innovator who felt the psychology of the patient played a role in the illnesses they were fighting. Because of her ideas she battled not only those outside the Sanitarium but inside as well.

The Sanitarium opened in 1905. It had 75 rooms and was converted from a late 1880s Victorian-style hotel. The property was purchased from Leslie Brand. About 15 years after being purchased, the Glendale Sanitarium expanded its service and had the most advanced medical equipment of the day. A new hospital location was selected overlooking Wilson Avenue, where the hospital is located today.

In the 1920s the facility was called Glendale Sanitarium and Hospital; in the 1970s the hospital changed its name to Glendale Adventist Medical Center. It performed its first open heart surgery in the 1970s.

The medical center continues it path of innovation, always combining new medical procedures and advanced equipment with Ellen’s vision of treating the “whole patient,” Tetz said.

In July, the Glendale Adventist Medical Center hosted a seminar on Spiritual Transformation Impact and Outcomes. On one of the days of the conference, Dr. Steven Cole, PhD, spoke about the newest studies of gene expression. He said one of the most interesting things was the infrastructure of studying genes, having a computer chip placed into a person’s body to study specific groups of gene expressions.

He focused on the studies that were looking at how gene expression can change with stress or happiness, and how those changes can lead to illness or possibly a longer life.

These types of seminars are an outreach not only to the medical profession but also to caregivers like family members and clergy.

Moving into the next 110 years, Glendale Adventist Medical Center will continue to look toward the future while not forgetting those lessons learned from the past.

Everyone is welcome to celebrate the center’s 110th birthday at an event this Sunday, Aug. 23 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Glendale Galleria, JC Penney Courtyard, 1169 Glendale Galleria in Glendale. Cupcakes will be given out at 1:15 p.m., 2:20 p.m. and 3:45 p.m.

On Saturday, Aug. 29 there will be a Sabbath service for the community at Vallejo Drive Church, 300 Vallejo Drive, Glendale from 10:45 a.m. to noon.

Vintage Sanitarium

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