UC Irvine Medical Center

UC Irvine Medical Center
University of California, Irvine Medical Center
UC Irvine Health Sciences
UCI Medical Center logo.jpg
Location Orange, California, United States
Care system Private
Hospital type Teaching
Affiliated university University of California, Irvine
Emergency department Level I trauma center
Beds 407 (projected as of February 2009)
Founded 1965
Website http://www.ucihealth.com/
Lists Hospitals in California

The University of California, Irvine Medical Center (or UCI Medical Center) is a major research hospital located in the City of Orange. It is Orange County's central public hospital and the teaching center for the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine.


Organizational history

Plans had been in place since the founding of the school for a medical division. Space was set aside on campus for what was envisioned to become the heart of busy medical, veterinary, and dental facilities, with a major hospital as the centerpiece.[1] This would model the emerging and eventually preeminently successful hospital campuses at the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of California, San Diego. The medical school wasn't originally planned to begin until the university had time to establish itself and stabilize sources of funding. Political wrangling between the American Medical Association and Californian osteopaths brought the medical school to UCI early.[2]

The California School of Medicine was the oldest continuously operating medical college in the Southwest United States. Starting in 1896, as the Pacific College of Osteopathy, it changed name to the College of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons. Pressure by the AMA brought an end to its tenure in the osteopathic discipline, and the newly renamed California School of Medicine merged with the UC system in 1965, after efforts to keep it in LA or move to Long Beach broke down. Problems for UCI however were just beginning.[3]

Dean of Medicine Stanley van den Noort was adamant about gaining a teaching hospital on campus. This placed him and a portion of the faculty on a collision course with many powerful political figures on the local and state level especially Governor Jerry Brown. Brown managed to block the release of funds earmarked for the hospital's construction and then divert them toward the founding of UCSF's dental school. He then vetoed a compromise van den Noort worked up for UCI to take care of Orange County Medical Center's patients in exchange for a 200 bed hospital. Under pressure from Brown the UC purchased the OCMC in 1976 from the county who no longer wished to maintain the aging and problematic facilities. The controversial acquisition effectively halted the push for an oncampus hospital angering many faculty.[4]

Van den Noort continued to lobby in vain for an oncampus facility pointing out the benefits a main campus hospital could have on the development and flow of research ideas on campus as well as the financial drain OCMC would have on the school.[5] Many hospital staff were also wary of joining the school. An abortive attempt to establish a hospital through private venture ended with the death of the entire planning committee in a plane crash. UCI's supporters were again dealt a blow when opposing political pressure successfully lobbied the state to build the Irvine Medical Center against the school's wishes, ending UCI's chances due to its proximity. In 1983 Chancellor Aldrich chose to drop his support ending ambitions for the time being.[6] The university has since greatly expanded the facility and services of the medical center.

Since then, the medical center has grown in size and reputation.[citation needed] It is building a new hospital, to be completed in early 2009, and is home to the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, the county’s only National Cancer Institute-designated center for cancer treatment and research. Other onsite buildings include the Neuropsychiatric Center, the UCI Health Sciences Laboratories building and clinical outpatient pavilions on the medical center site, as well as community family health centers in Irvine, Santa Ana, Westminster and Anaheim.

Just prior to UCI's acquisition in 1976, the medical center had about 2,100 employees. Today, UC Irvine Medical Center has more than 3,500 employees—among them, 243 who were working at the medical center when it changed hands.

UC Irvine Medical Center was named by U.S. News and World Report as one of the nation’s top 50 hospitals for gynecology, cancer, digestive disorders and urology. It has the county’s only Level I trauma center and its sole multiple-organ transplant center, and is the only hospital in the area offering a number of specialized surgeries, including brain surgery for epilepsy. The medical center has been home to a number of firsts—including the first heart transplant in Orange County, the first implant on the West Coast of an insulin pump in a patient with diabetes, and a number of research breakthroughs involving therapy for cancer and other diseases.


University of California, Irvine Medical Center is the only university hospital in Orange County with more than 400 specialty and primary care physicians. The medical center offers a full scope of acute- and general-care services including, cardiac surgery, cancer, pediatrics, neurosurgery and trauma. It is the only hospital in Orange County recognized in U.S. News & World Report’s annual listing of "America's Best Hospitals" and first to receive Magnet Designation for nursing excellence. The medical center has also been named one of the nation’s top hospitals for quality and safety by the Leapfrog Group.[citation needed]

Located in the City of Orange, 13 miles from the UCI campus, UC Irvine Medical Center has 449 licensed beds and is the principal clinical facility for the teaching and research programs of the UC Irvine School of Medicine. At present, the medical center is building a new university hospital that will include modern facilities for conducting the latest medical research and training for future and practicing physicians. Planned for completion in early 2009, the seven-story hospital will have 191 rooms (with 221 beds), 13 operating rooms, and interventional procedure rooms. Private patient rooms will emphasize individualized patient care and allow family members to stay overnight. The new rooms will be in addition to the existing 102 beds in the medical center’s tower and the 84-bed Neuropsychiatric Center.

The University Children’s Hospital at UC Irvine Medical Center is devoted to the care of children from before birth through adolescence. Perinatologists at UC Irvine Medical Center are available for the expert management of high-risk pregnancies and critically ill newborns are cared for in the county’s most sophisticated neonatal unit. The medical center houses a 24-hour emergency department and is designated as Orange County’s only Level I Trauma Center − the most comprehensive for the treatment of life-threatening injuries. UC Irvine Medical Center is also home to the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, the only facility in Orange County designated as a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute. It offers patients a full range of cancer therapies and research programs, including laser and radiation therapy, endoscopic ultrasound, and immunotherapy.

UC Irvine Douglas Hospital

On February 7, 2005, construction begun on a $375 million replacement central hospital adjacent to the existing UCI Medical Center facility.[7] In addition to expanding patient services (with 191 new rooms, 15 state-of-the-art operating rooms, and three procedure rooms), the new hospital will provide the UCI School of Medicine with a modern facility for conducting the latest medical research and training future and practicing physicians. It will also employ architecture that offers private patient rooms, natural light for daytime illumination, and carefully designed labs and offices. The new seven-story facility was designed by HOK architects, TMAD Engineers, Nabih Youssef & Associates Structural Engineers, and the project contractor is Hensel Phelps Construction Company.

In early 2009, UC Irvine opened the new UC Irvine Douglas Hospital, renamed after a $21 million posthumous gift from the estate of M.A. Douglas.[8]

UC Irvine Health Sciences

The UCI Medical Center is part of the UC Irvine Health Sciences system, which is composed of a number of patient care locations that mainly cater to lower-income areas of Orange County. In addition to the main hospital in Orange, other facilities include:

  • UCI Family Health Center in Anaheim, California
  • Gottschalk Medical Plaza in Irvine, California (which on the UCI campus and also serves as the health center for graduate students)
  • UCI Medical Pavilions in Orange
  • UCI Manchester Pavilions in Orange
  • UCI Family Health Center in Santa Ana, California
  • Surgery Laser Clinic in Irvine (sharing facilities with the Beckman Laser Institute at UCI)
  • UCI Westminster Medical Center in Westminster, California

Medical evaluations

In 2003, UCI hired Jagat Narula and Mani Vannan as the chief and division chief of cardiology. Neither was board certified in internal medicine nor cardiology, and neither had a California medical license.[9] In 2003, Dr. Glenn Provost presented a 13-signature petition alleging anesthesia safety problems. He stated that soon after complaining about a supervisor forcing him "to take patients to the operating room without consent, chart, or preoperative check-in by the operating room nurse ... in an attempt to cut costs," he was fired and allegedly blackballed. However, persons close to the case feel that there may be a vendetta against the current department chair by Dr. Provost[10]

In 2005, it came to light that 32 patients had died while waiting for liver transplants at UCI. The livers were available, but, for two years, UCI did not have a full time surgeon to implant them, in contravention of federal regulations. UCI's surgeon was actually on staff at UC San Diego, 70 miles away.[11] A patient at UCI, Elodie Irvine, filed a lawsuit which brought scrutiny upon the hospital. Ms. Irvine, who had liver and kidney disease, had 95 organs offered for transplant by the United Network for Organ Sharing during her stay at UCI. The hospital allegedly told the patient that they were waiting for organs, when in fact they rejected every organ offered to them. Only one UCI physician advised her to look elsewhere for a transplant.[12]


  1. ^ McCulloch. S:"Instant University",page 99. Academic Press,1993
  2. ^ McCulloch. S:"Instant University",page 96. Academic Press,1993
  3. ^ McCulloch. S:"Instant University",page 94. Academic Press,1993
  4. ^ McCulloch. S:"Instant University",page 200. Academic Press,1993
  5. ^ McCulloch. S:"Instant University",page 200. Academic Press,1993
  6. ^ McCulloch. S:"Instant University", page 241. Academic Press,1993
  7. ^ "New Hospital Project". UCI Medical Center. Archived from the original on 2006-09-01. http://web.archive.org/web/20060901161015/http://www.ucihealth.com/NewHospital/index.htm. Retrieved 2006-09-08. 
  8. ^ "$21 Million Gift Names UC Irvine Douglas Hospital". UCI Medical Center. http://www.healthcare.uci.edu/news_releases.asp?filename=09MayUCIrvineDouglas.html. Retrieved 2010-01-01. 
  9. ^ Heisel, William (2005-12-22). "UCI cardiology heads uncertified". The Orange County Register. http://www.ocregister.com/ocregister/healthscience/healthfitness/article_910103.php. Retrieved 2006-05-06. 
  10. ^ Fisher, Marla Jo (2006-02-03). "M.D. says UCI fired him for speaking up". The Orange County Register. http://www.ocregister.com/ocregister/healthscience/abox/article_981430.php. Retrieved 2006-05-06. 
  11. ^ Berthelsen, Christian (2006-04-09). "FBI Investigating UCI Liver Transplant Center". Los Angeles Times. http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/california/la-me-uci9apr09,1,210748.story?coll=la-headlines-pe-california. Retrieved 2006-05-06. [dead link]
  12. ^ "Hospital turned down organs despite need". MSNBC. 2005-11-10. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9995863/. Retrieved 2006-05-06. 

External links

Coordinates: 33°47′16″N 117°53′19″W / 33.78781°N 117.88857°W / 33.78781; -117.88857

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