Harman Patil (Editor)

UC San Diego Health

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Care system

Emergency department
Level I trauma center

+1 619-543-6222


Hospital type

Number of beds

UC San Diego Health

San Diego, California, United States

200 W Arbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92103, USA

Affiliated university

UC San Diego Health is the academic health system of the University of California, San Diego in La Jolla, California. It is the only academic health system serving San Diego and one of only two Level I trauma centers in the region. In operation since 1966, it comprises the UC San Diego Medical Center, Hillcrest; Jacobs Medical Center; Thornton Hospital; Moores Cancer Center; Shiley Eye Center; and Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center, as well as several outpatient sites located throughout San Diego County. The health system works closely with the university's School of Medicine and Skaggs School of Pharmacy to provide training to medical and pharmacy students and advanced clinical care to patients.


It is the official health system of the San Diego Chargers, the San Diego Padres, Club Tijuana, the UC San Diego Tritons, and the San Diego State Aztecs.

UC San Diego Medical Center

The UC San Diego Medical Center, Hillcrest (32.75442°N 117.166009°W / 32.75442; -117.166009) is the first of two primary hospitals for the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.

The region's first academic medical center offers both primary care and specialized services, including surgery, diagnosis and management of genetic disease, neurology, orthopedics, oncology, and the Sleep Medicine Center.

The recently renovated 386-bed hospital at Hillcrest is also the primary site for such regional services as the Comprehensive Organ Transplant Program, Bone Marrow Transplantation, San Diego Regional Burn Center, Infant Special Care Center (NICU), UCSD's Birth Center, San Diego County's only academic Level One Trauma Center, and the National Institutes of Health-designated Clinical Research Center.

Jacobs Medical Center

Jacobs Medical Center (32.877659°N 117.226584°W / 32.877659; -117.226584) opened on November 20, 2016. It is the second component of UC San Diego Health's two-campus strategy and provides specialized quaternary care not available elsewhere in San Diego County. The 364-bed facility is divided into four separate hospitals: Thornton Pavilion, Vassiliadis Pavilion (floors 2-3), Foster Pavilion (floors 4-6), and Rady Pavilion (floors 8-10). The A. Vassiliadis Family Pavilion for Advanced Surgery includes intraoperative MRI machines and the only Restrictive Spectrum Imaging facility in the United States. The Pauline and Stanley Foster Pavilion for Cancer Care houses a blood and marrow transplant program jointly operated by UCSD and Sharp Healthcare, the floor for which is completely pressurized and filtered allowing patients to roam freely. The Rady Pavilion for Women and Infants includes a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, eight labor rooms, 32 private postpartum rooms, and a three-room midwifery birth center. Each of the hospital's private rooms is equipped with an Apple iPad for controlling lighting, checking medical records, and contacting care providers. The facility is named for Joan and Irwin Jacobs in recognition of a $75 million dollar gift they made to support its construction.

Thornton Pavilion

The John M. and Sally B. Thornton Pavilion and Perlman Medical Offices (32.879225°N 117.223717°W / 32.879225; -117.223717) opened in the summer of 1993 as the standalone Thornton Hospital. John Alksne, a neurosurgeon and the Dean of the School of Medicine, performed the first surgery at this hospital. It was a delicate brain operation. It is located on the UCSD campus in La Jolla, California. It is a 119-bed general medical-surgical facility that offers a full range of services, including surgery, cardiology, endocrinology, neurology, orthopedics, oncology, reproductive medicine, pulmonary medicine and physical therapy. In 2016, the hospital was consolidated into the Jacobs Medical Center hospital complex.

Moores Cancer Center

Established in 1979, the Rebecca and John Moores UCSD Cancer Center is one of 41 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the United States. It provides outpatient care for most specialized cancers.

Shiley Eye Institute

UC San Diego Shiley Eye Institute provides comprehensive eye care services, from basic eye exams to advanced diagnostic tests and sophisticated surgery. Eye care services offered at Shiley Eye Institute include cataract surgery, cornea transplants, glaucoma diagnosis and treatment, low vision services, neuro-ophthalmology, optometry and contact lens service, pediatric ophthalmology, plastic surgery, refractive surgery, retina care, and trauma repair. It also houses the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Retina Center and Hamilton Glaucoma Center.

The Abraham Ratner Children's Eye Center is immediately adjacent to the Shiley building.

Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center

The Sulpizio Family Cardiovascular Center provides ambulatory, clinical, and inpatient heart and stroke care in one central location. Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center is the region's first academic-based facility to combine all heart and vascular-related services, programs and technology under one roof. It is connected by footbridges to Jacobs Medical Center and the Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute, a 311,000 gross square feet, $269 million laboratory building. The emergency department for the La Jolla campus is housed in the Sulpizio building, with 22 outpatient beds and 54 acute care beds.


Several pioneering medical innovations have been made by UCSD researchers, such as the development of the chemotherapy drug Cetuximab, the use of gene therapy in the treatment of congenital defects, the discovery of insulin resistance as a cause of diabetes, the understanding of genetic blood disorders such as sickle cell disease, the link between vitamin D deficiency and certain cancers, the first human trials of robotically assisted laparoscopic surgery, the development of the first oral drug for treating interstitial cystitis called Elmiron, the demonstration of HIV latency, the link between the p53 gene and rheumatoid arthritis, the identification of the genetic basis for familial cold autoinflammatory syndrome, the discovery of an early warning sign for autism, the connection between inflammation and cancer, the use of green fluorescent protein as a surgical and research aid, the nation's first sleeve gastrectomy, and the discovery of a potential treatment for chronic lymphomatic leukemia called Cirmtuzumab.

The health system coordinates its activities closely with the UC San Diego School of Medicine as well as the university as a whole. In particular, clinical and translational research are important for both entities to advance the quality of patient care. UC San Diego Health conducts several hundred clinical studies per year at its hospitals and clinics. In 2016, the university opened the Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute building, which brings together professors in medicine, chemistry, neuroscience, molecular biology, mechanical engineering, political science, bioengineering, computer science, and pharmacy to solve new and complex medical questions. The ACTRI also enables collaboration with the Jacobs School of Engineering, the Salk Institute, the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, the J. Craig Venter Institute, and San Diego State University. Its building is connected by a footbridge to Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center and the Jacobs Medical Center complex. In addition to this, UCSD Health Sciences (the body which oversees both the hospital and school of medicine) runs the following research centers:

Regional affiliations

UC San Diego Health shares doctors and care providers with several other hospital systems in the region. In 2015, UCSD entered a long-term management agreement with El Centro Regional Medical Center in El Centro, the county seat of Imperial Valley. Under the terms of this agreement, ECRMC patients have access to specialized facilities operated by UCSD in the city. Doctors also have access to training and continuing medical education through the UCSD School of Medicine, and UC administrators will continually monitor the operational needs of the remote medical center.

UCSD participates in a similar program with the Tri-City Medical Center community hospital in Oceanside. The university has assigned two neurosurgeons to manage the new Tri-City neurosurgery department and provides a similar service for the cardiac surgery program. Some UCSD patients are also able to rehabilitate in Carlsbad instead of having to commute to San Diego. The partnership is expected to help Tri-City improve patient outcomes and reduce its readmission rate. The cardiothoracic surgery department at Temecula Valley Hospital in Temecula also collaborates clinically with UCSD surgeons.

Non-medical affiliations of the health system include the San Diego Padres, Club Tijuana, the UC San Diego Tritons, the San Diego State Aztecs, and the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. In 2015, UC San Diego Health spent $30 million for a 30-year naming rights deal to the Blue Line operated by San Diego Trolley, Inc. The deal changes the line's name to the UC San Diego Blue Line and grants UCSD the right to wrap three trolleys with advertising. It also changes three station names in the future: the planned Voigt Drive station near Jacobs Medical Center will be called UCSD East, the planned Pepper Canyon station will be called UCSD West, and the opening of the Mid-Coast Extension will change Old Town Transit Center to Old Town UC San Diego Health South (to denote its shuttle connection to the nearby Hillcrest hospital).


UCSD operates various outpatient clinics in San Diego and nearby communities. There are nine such locations in La Jolla, the largest of which is contained within the Perlman Medical Offices adjacent to Thornton Pavilion. Additionally, the university operates five clinics in Hillcrest, two in Encinitas, and one each in Downtown San Diego, Chula Vista, Kearny Mesa, Sorrento Valley, Scripps Ranch, Temecula, and Vista.

Planned expansions

Construction is currently underway on a $150 million Outpatient Center adjacent to Jacobs Medical Center and Thornton Hospital. Additionally, construction is expected to begin on a nearby Center for Novel Therapeutics in early 2017. The UC San Diego Blue Line will connect the two main hospitals beginning in 2021. The Hillcrest hospital will be completely renovated before 2030, when it will fail to meet seismic safety standards.


UC San Diego Health Wikipedia

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