History, Awards, and Recognition
At UCLA Health, you can be part of a tradition of medical breakthroughs that points toward an even more exciting future. Here, you’ll help us continue building on our reputation of innovation and discovery.
We’ve come a long way over the past six decades. Year after year, UCLA Health team members have consistently achieved medical breakthroughs, pioneered new treatments and drug discoveries, and earned the highest industry honors.
Something special is happening here. Our excellence is being recognized throughout the world. It’s no accident. When you bring together exceptional people, extensive resources, and an uncompromising vision of what healthcare can be, great things can happen. And here, they happen quite often.
Here is a look at just a few of our industry-leading accomplishments:
- 1949 The rectilinear scintillation scanner is developed by Dr. Benedict Cassen of the UCLA Department of Radiology.
- 1956First open-heart surgery in Western United States performed.
- 1958UCLA researchers develop the first techniques for fetal monitoring.
- 1962Nerve transplantation techniques are developed here.
- 1964Test that has become the international standard for tissue typing is developed.
- 1974Positron emission tomography (PET) technology, which visualizes metabolic changes in the brain and body, is developed.
- 1976First total shoulder replacement performed.
- 1987All five transplant programs: bone marrow, kidney, heart, liver, and pancreas offered at one hospital for the first time in the Western United States.
- 1993First live donor liver transplantation successfully completed in Southern California.
- 1998UCLA Professor Louis J. Ignarro wins the Nobel Prize.
- 1999Dr. Michael Phelps, chair of the Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology and inventor of PET scanning, is awarded the Enrico Fermi Award.
- 2001UCLA plastic surgeon Dr. Marc Hedrick and his research team make a breakthrough in the harvesting of stem cells.
- 2003A new vaccine based on UCLA research is shown to stop the progression of Type 1 diabetes, which affects one in 300 people.
- 2005UCLA Medical Center receives Magnet Designation from the American Nurse Credentialing Center.
- 2009UCLA Cardiologist Dr. Jesus Araujo honored for research on effect of air pollution on heart health.
- 2010Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center is awarded redesignation as a National Magnet Hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).
- 2011UCLA Division of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery receives a “3 star” rating from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS).
- 2012Opened our newly expanded campus in Santa Monica, which features UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica; UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital, the Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital; and the UCLA Rape Treatment Center.
- 2016UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica, achieves Magnet status as part of the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Magnet Recognition Program.
- 2017UCLA Health receives both HIMSS Stage 7 Inpatient and Ambulatory designations.
Visit our Awards and Achievements page to view a full list of our awards and honors.