Florida Hospital Heartland Medical Center (FHHMC) is located in Highlands County, Florida. It is the flagship hospital of Florida Hospital Heartland Division (FHHD), which in turn is part of the larger Florida Hospital system, which is part of the still larger Adventist Health System, a part of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. FHHMC serves Highlands County (along with Florida Hospital Lake Placid), southern Polk County, Florida, and along with Florida Hospital Wauchula, it serves Hardee County, Florida. FHHMC was founded in 1948 as Walker Memorial Sanitarium and Hospital. Its name was later shortened to Walker Memorial Hospital. Walker was located in a building on the northeast shore of Lake Lillian (Florida), then a few miles north of Avon Park, Florida. This building was built in the 1920s as a hotel. In the 1930s it closed and was to be converted into a health resort; this never occurred, as the scheme fell apart. In World War II the US government bought the property and turned it into an academy to train men to become pilots for the US Army Air Corps, which became the US Army Air Forces. The academy closed at the end of the War. After the War, many Highlands County residents desired to have a hospital in the County. The County itself lacked money to convert the old hotel into a hospital, so in 1946 various community leaders and representatives of the Adventist Church agreed the old hotel should be converted into a hospital. A subsidiary group of the Adventist Church purchased the old hotel building and other buildings on the site from the Federal government in June 1947 at a 100% discount with the provision that $150,000 be raised by October 1947 to be used toward converting the building for hospital use. The Adventist Church spent $400,000 to aid in developing the hospital. The Ridge Area Hospital Association, led by Charles Walker, worked in the community to obtain donations for the hospital project.