History/Awards and Recognition

Be a part of our next medical breakthrough. And the next.
A proud history of shaping the future.

We’ve come a long way over the past six decades. Year after year, our people have consistently achieved medical breakthroughs, pioneered new treatments and drug discoveries, and earned the highest industry honors. And we’re just getting started. We invite you to learn about some of our proudest moments, and see if you might have a hand in shaping our future.

1949 – The rectilinear scintillation scanner is developed by Dr. Benedict Cassen of the UCLA Department of Radiology.

1956 – First open-heart surgery in Western United States performed.

1958 – UCLA researchers develop the first techniques for fetal monitoring.

1962 – Nerve transplantation techniques developed.

1964 – Test developed which has become the international standard for tissue typing.

1974 – Positron emission tomography (PET) technology, which visualizes metabolic changes in the brain and body, was developed.

1976 – First total shoulder replacement performed.

1987 – All five transplant programs: bone marrow, kidney, heart, liver and pancreas offered at one hospital for the first time in the Western United States.

1993 – First live donor liver transplantation successfully completed in Southern California.

1998 – UCLA Professor Louis J. Ignarro wins the Nobel Prize.

1999 – Michael Phelps, chair of Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology and inventor of PET scanning, is awarded the Enrico Fermi Award.

2001 – UCLA plastic surgeon Dr. Marc Hedrick and his research team make a breakthrough in the harvesting of stem cells.

2003 – A new vaccine based on UCLA research was shown to stop the progression of Type 1 diabetes, which affects one in 300 people.

2005 – UCLA Medical Center receives Magnet Designation from the American Nurse Credentialing Center.

2009 – UCLA Cardiologist Dr. Jesus Araujo honored for research on effect of air pollution on heart health.

2010 – Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center is awarded redesignation as a National Magnet Hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

2011 – UCLA Division of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery receives a “3 star” rating from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS).


It takes a special focus to be the Best in the West.
Stand out. Take a bow. Our awards and accolades.

Something special is happening here. Our excellence is being recognized – in California and throughout the world. We believe it’s no accident. Rather, when you bring together exceptional people, extensive resources, and an uncompromising vision of what healthcare can be, great things occur. And here, they happen quite often. Here is a look at just a few of our accomplishments:

Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center ranked among the top five hospitals in the U.S.
We were ranked among the top five American hospitals, according to U.S.News & World Report. We were also was rated the best hospital in the western United States for the 25th consecutive year and the No. 1 hospital in the Los Angeles metropolitan area.

UCLA’s heart transplant program ranked best in the U.S.
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has recognized our transplant program as the nation’s best, and our heart transplant program was the only one in the U.S. to be ranked at the silver level.

Magnet Status for Nursing Excellence
Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center was recognized with Magnet Status by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, based on indicators such as maintaining appropriate nurse staffing ratios, involving nurses in decision-making processes and supporting continuing education and competence for nurses.

Leapfrog Top Hospital
Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center was named a 2007 Leapfrog Top Hospital, based on hospital quality and safety. We were the only hospital in the Los Angeles area named to the list.

Our World-Class Santa Monica Campus
In 2012, we officially opened the doors of our newly expanded campus in Santa Monica. The campus features the UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica; a branch of Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA; the Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital; and the UCLA Rape Treatment Center.

For a full view of our awards and honors, visit https://www.uclahealth.org/Pages/about-us/awards-and-achievements.aspx

back to top

At UCLA Health, we achieve excellence in patient care consistently by following the steps outlined in CICARE.

CICARE is an acronym that describes specific behaviors that are guaranteed to result in excellent communication with patients, families and colleagues.

Every UCLA Health employee, physician and volunteer holds themselves and their colleagues accountable for practicing these six steps with everyone on every encounter.

Click on the above to learn more about CICARE.


Please confirm that you
agree with CICARE

Connect with the patient and their family members by addressing them as Mr./Ms., or by the name they prefer.

Introduce yourself and your role.

Communicate what you are going to do, how long it is going to take, and how it will impact the patient.

Ask permission before examining the patient and anticipate patient and/or family needs, questions or concerns.

Respond to patient and/or family questions and requests with immediacy.

Exit courteously and/or with an explanation of what will come next (or when you will be back to check on them).