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Our History

UC San Diego Health has been caring for the community for more than 50 years. We invite you to tour memory lane through this photo-illustrated timeline:

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Governor Edmund (“Pat”) Brown says that the next University of California medical school will be built in San Diego next to the new county hospital.

1961
Groundbreaking for the new medical school 
School of Science and Engineering groundbreaking, 1961. (L to R) Chancellor Herbert York; Scripps Institution of Oceanography Director Roger Revelle; Governor Pat Brown. Credit: UC San Diego Library.
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The Regents of the University of California approve a medical school at UC San Diego.

San Diego County offers more than 40 acres for the proposed medical school if the university will operate County Hospital.

1962
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Construction of the new, 600-bed County Hospital is completed in July at a cost of $11.5 million for building and equipment.

President John F. Kennedy authorizes construction of a VA hospital in San Diego, which must be built next to an academic medical facility.

1963
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Dr. Joseph Stokes III becomes first dean of the new medical school and is instrumental in its initial planning.

1964
Scripps Hospital and surrounding lands 1964-67 
Looking northeast from Gilman Dr. toward Camp Matthews and Scripps Hospital,1964-67. Credit: UC San Diego Library
Frank Gibson and John Galbraith signing agreement to creat UC San Diego Hospital 
Frank Gibson (left), chairman of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, and Chancellor John Galbraith, sign the operations agreement that will lead to the final transfer of County Hospital to UC San Diego in 1966. Credit: UC San Diego Library.

Young women candy stripers 
Candy stripers at County Hospital, circa 1965. Credit: UC San Diego Library

Land near the Salk Institute 
La Jolla Farms with the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences in the background, 1965. The university will purchase 130 acres of this area by the decade’s end. Credit: UC San Diego Library
men holding transfer ceremony plaque 
San Diego County Hospital to University Hospital transfer ceremony, July 6, 1966. (L to R) John S. Galbraith, chancellor; Robert Biron, vice chancellor for business affairs; Dr. Joseph Stokes, III, dean of the School of Medicine; unidentified. Credit: UC San Diego Library.

 
UCSD School of Medicine Groundbreaking photo 
Groundbreaking for the School of Medicine, 1966. (L to R) Joseph Stokes, III, dean of the School of Medicine; Chancellor John S. Galbraith; Governor Pat Brown; unidentified. Credit: UC San Diego Library
Single-story buildings from 1967 at UCSD 
Director of Hospitals and Clinics office on Matthews Campus, 1967. Credit: UC San Diego Library
The old university hospital of San Diego County
University Hospital of San Diego County, 1968. Credit: UC San Diego Library

UC San Diego Medical Center circa 1968
UC San Diego Medical Center, 1968. Credit: UC San Diego Library
Medical school classroom in 1969 
School of Medicine lecture room, 1969. Credit: UC San Diego Library

construction of VA hospital 1968 

View of VA hospital construction and various Camp Matthews buildings looking east, 1969. Credit: UC San Diego Library

 

Basic Sciences Building (BSB) on the medical school campus 
Basic Sciences Building, 1969. Credit: UC San Diego Library
pediatric ward in the 1960s 
University Hospital’s pediatric ward, circa late-1960s to early 1970s. Credit: UC San Diego Library.

x-ray machine from 1971 
Patient at University Hospital, circa 1971. Credit: UC San Diego Library
first class of medical students at UC San Diego 

School of Medicine commencement, first graduating class, 1972. Credit: UC San Diego Library.


 

UC San Diego scientist in lab 

Dr. Peter Wagner, Division of Physiology, 1972. Credit: UC San Diego Library


 

Dr. Edwin Seegmiller in lab 
Dr. Jarvis Edwin "Jay" Seegmiller, Division of Arthritis, 1972. Credit: UC San Diego Library
Famous woman scientist Dr. Helen Ranney 
Dr. Helen Ranney,  a pioneer in understanding the genetic basis of sickle cell blood disorders, 1973. Credit: UC San Diego Library

 
Groundbreaking for first student health center 
Student Health Center groundbreaking, 1973. Credit: UC San Diego Library
School of Medicine students 
UC San Diego Medical Students,1970-80. Credit: UC San Diego Library
Doctors at UC San Diego in 1976 
Dr. Daniel Steinberg with Dr. Scott Grundy, 1976. Credit: UC San Diego

 
Groundbreaking for medical teaching facility 
Medical Teaching Facility Groundbreaking Ceremony, June 1, 1976. Credit: UC San Diego Library
University Hospital, the old county hospital, in 1977 

“University Hospital” circa 1977. Credit: UC San Diego Library

 

hellicopter stop atom University Hospital 
The University Hospital helistop, 1977. Credit: UC San Diego Library
Nobel Prize winner Renato Dulbecco 
Cancer researcher and Nobel Prize winner Dr. Renato Dulbecco, 1978. Credit: UC San Diego Library
1979 med school classroom 

School of Medicine classroom, 1979-81. Credit: UC San Diego Library

 

Helicopter that transports patients to hospital 

Life Flight helicopter, 1979. Credit: UC San Diego Library

 

Libray on medical school campus in 1981 
Students at the Biomedical Library, 1979-81. Credit: UC San Diego Library
Teacher with students 

Dr. Arthur Otani, Department of Dermatology, with students, 1979-81. Credit UC San Diego Library

 

School of medicine in 1980 
School of Medicine, 1980. Credit: UC San Diego Library

 
Female medical student in 1980

Medical student, circa 1980. Credit: UC San Diego Library.

 

John West, a pulmonologist, in his lab 

Dr. John West, Pulmonary Laboratory, Division of Physiology, 1979-81. Credit: UC San Diego Library

 

Roger Revelle eating ice cream with colleague 

Dr. Clifford Grobstein (left) with Roger Revelle, 1979-81. Grobstein was named dean of the new School of Medicine in 1967. Credit: UC San Diego Library

 

paramedics in training 
Respiratory therapy training of paramedics, 1981. Credit: UC San Diego Library
Ambulance 

UC San Diego Medical Center Emergency Room ambulance service, 1981-83. Credit: UC San Diego Library

 

Burn treatment center staff 
Burn Treatment Center staff, 1981-83. Credit: UC San Diego Library
UC San Diego Medical Center staff 
UC San Diego Medical Center staff, 1981-83. Credit: UC San Diego Library.

 

students in 1983 
Occupational health therapy students and staff, 1981-83. Credit: UC San Diego Library

 

Med Center Staff 
UC San Diego Medical Center staff, 1981-83. Credit: UC San Diego Library
Helicopter ambulance 
Arrival of the Life Flight helicopter ambulance, 1984. Credit: UC San Diego Library
Female researchers in 1985 
Medical researchers, circa 1985. Credit: UC San Diego Library

 

Burn unit demonstration at UC San Diego Health 
Burn unit demonstration, circa 1985. Credit: UC San Diego Library
doctor performs an ultrasound, 1986 
Dr. George Leopold performs an obstetric ultrasound, circa 1986. Leopold ordered the first Picker machine on the West Coast in the early days of “static sonography.” Credit: UC San Diego Library and www.ob-ultrasound.net/leopold.htm

 

Steven Garfin, spine surgeon, with nurse 
Nurse practitioner Sonya Harlow (left) and orthopedic surgeon Dr. Steven Garfin, circa 1987. Credit: UC San Diego Library.

 

Stuart Jamieson, renowned heart and lung surgeon, 1989 
Dr. Stuart Jamieson (center) and team, 1989, the year he was recruited from Minnesota to UC San Diego. Credit: UC San Diego

 
Student with mentor 

Student with Dr. Paul Friedman, previous dean for academic affairs, emeritus professor and radiologist, 1989. Credit: UC San Diego
Groundbreaking for new La Jolla hospital, to be named Thornton Hospital 
Ground-breaking ceremony for Thornton Hospital, 1990. Credit: UC San Diego Library
Surgeon with heart-lung transplant recipient 
Dr. Stuart Jamieson with the region’s first heart-lung transplant recipient, a nurse named Catherine Renee Williams, 1991. Credit: UC San Diego Health

School of Medicine Graduation 1991 
School of Medicine Commencement, 1991. Credit: UC San Diego Library
icon for timeline 
Drs. Gary Zadah (left) and Stuart Jamieson, 1994. Credit: UC San Diego Health
UC San Diego Free Clinic volunteers 
UC San Diego Free Clinic volunteers with founder Dr. Ellen Beck (left, standing), circa 1998. Credit UC San Diego Health.
UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest, 2004 
UC San Diego Medical Center, 2004. Credit: UC San Diego Library
Removing an appendix 
UC San Diego Health surgical team pioneers natural orifice surgery with removal of appendix through the vagina, 2008. Credit: UC San Diego Health

 
Roger Tsien, recipient of 2008 Nobel Prize 
Professor Roger Tsien, recipient of 2008 Nobel Prize in chemistry. Credit: UC San Diego
Brain surgeons perform complex new surgery 
UC San Diego Health physicians perform a complex surgery to treat brain lesions, called arteriovenous malformations, 2009. Credit: UC San Diego Health

 
Surgeons perform single-incision kidney surgery 
UC San Diego Health surgeons remove a cancerous kidney with a single incision hidden in the belly button, a pivotal advancement in cancer treatment, 2009. Credit: UC San Diego
Volunteer doctors in Haiti 
UC San Diego Health physicians travel to Haiti to help earthquake victims like this boy, excavated from the rubble of his home, 2010. Credit: UC San Diego Health.
Inside the Center for the Future of Surgery classroom 
Teaching facility within the Center for the Future of Surgery, 2011. Credit: UC San Diego Health

Hospital earns Magnet status for nursing excellence in 2011

Chief Nursing Officer Margarita Baggett (center) welcomes Magnet appraiser Patti Vanhook (right) to UC San Diego Medical Center, 2011. The designation of Magnet status is the highest credential for nursing excellence. Credit: UC San Diego Health.

 

Radiation oncologists treat a patient in Senegal

UC San Diego Health radiation oncologists treat a patient at Senegal's only radiation clinic, as part of a non-profit cancer care outreach program, established by Radiating Hope, 2012. Credit: UC San Diego Health.

 

Scientists create neuronal model for studying the brain 
Larry Goldstein, PhD, and colleagues create Alzheimer’s neurons from “pluripotent” stem cells for the first time, 2012. Credit: Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego
Patient receiving apheresis 
Teenager with dangerously high LDL levels recovers after a non-surgical treatment known as apheresis, 2013. Credit: UC San Diego Health.

 
Marking the 3,000th PTE procedure at UCSD 
UC San Diego Health surgeons perform their 3,000th pulmonary thromboendarterectomy (PTE), 2013. Credit: UC San Diego Health.

 
Construction of Jacobs Medical Center 
The last beam is placed atop Jacobs Medical Center, 2013. Credit: Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego
Level 1 Trauma Center at UC San Diego 

UC San Diego Health’s Level 1 Trauma Center is a model for trauma centers around the world, 2014. Credit: Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego

 

Safety protocols in event of an Ebola patient 
Practicing safety protocols for treating a potential Ebola patient, 2014. Credit: UC San Diego Health
Alice Yu, pediatric cancer researcher and doctor 

Dr. Alice Yu, MD, PhD, professor emeritus, is among a group of UC San Diego scientists instrumental in developing the pediatric cancer drug Unituxin, which received FDA approval in 2015. Credit: UC San Diego

 

Rainbow lighting of hospital for Pride 
Pride lighting of UC San Diego Medical Center. Credit: UC San Diego Health
Ribbon-cutting for new translational research center in La Jolla
Ribbon-cutting of the Altman Clinical and Translational Research building in La Jolla, 2016. Credit: UC San Diego

New hospital opens in La Jolla in 2016 
Jacobs Medical Center opens November 20, 2016.
Koman Family Outpatient Pavilion 
The Koman Family Outpatient Pavilion in La Jolla. Credit: UC San Diego Health