It was an extraordinary moment in the history of UCLA and the City of Los Angeles when dignitaries, donors and community leaders gathered in June to dedicate Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. - By Tiffani Q. Mendinueto
UNDER A GLEAMING WHITE TENT, honored guests, including donors, dignitaries and community leaders, gathered on a sunny June 4, 2007, morning to mark what Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger called “a proud moment for California and an exciting chapter in UCLA Medical Center’s fi ve decades of excellence.”
Dr. Gerald S. Levey, dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and vice chancellor of UCLA Medical Sciences, launched the celebration of the end of major construction of Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center by thanking the many individuals who played a role in the project. First Lady Nancy Reagan, the widow of the new medical center’s namesake, President Ronald Reagan, was on hand to acknowledge Dr. Levey’s remarks.
Other speakers included the governor, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, former Gov. Gray Davis, Rabbi David Wolpe of Sinai Temple of Los Angeles, and architect C.C. Pei, who, with his father, I.M. Pei, led the design of the new hospital. “May this be a place to cure where possible, and to care always,” read Norman Abrams, UCLA’s acting chancellor, from a special proclamation he presented to the assembled dignitaries for their contributions toward the project.
As a Bruin and now mayor of Los Angeles, Villaraigosa spoke of his pride in UCLA’s accomplishment, and he acknowledged the dedication “in memory of a man who, in my time in public life, probably best represents the hope and optimism that is the American spirit, Ronald Reagan.”
After the opening remarks, guests entered the new 1-million-square-foot medical center, which also is home to Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA and the Stewart and Lynda Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA, for refreshments and tours of a patient fl oor, the emergency room and operating rooms, as well as spaces in the expansive first-fl oor lobby. Guests exclaimed “amazing” and “incredible” as they walked through the light-filled spaces. Special guests at the dedication – as well as at subsequent celebratory events during the week – included volunteer animal handlers with their trained dogs, demonstrating how therapy animals can assist in the healing process.
Equipped with the latest in cutting-edge technology, the 10-story Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center was designed to create the sense of several smaller hospitals rather than one monolithic facility. Designed with the “principal objective to create an environment of healing,” as proclaimed by principal architect I.M. Pei, the warmth of the entire facility is conveyed through its lush gardens, open terraces and wide windows that surround the lobby and upper floors – allowing natural light to flow throughout. Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center is scheduled to open to patients in 2008.
First Lady Nancy Reagan listens with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to opening remarks; Dean Gerald S. Levey offers his greetings; L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa speaks of his pride as a Bruin; architect C.C. Pei talks of the buildings.
|"May this be a place to cure where possible, and to care always," says Acting Chancellor Norman Abrams.||Chair of Surgery Dr. Ronald W. Busuttil enjoys the event with alumn and donor Ralph Shapiro.|