Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, which will feature the most advanced medical technology in the world and 520 large, private rooms for patients, was officially dedicated today at a ceremony attended by former first lady Nancy Reagan, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Gov. Gray Davis, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, UCLA Acting Chancellor Norman Abrams, architect and UCLA Medal recipient C.C. Pei, and other dignitaries. The center is the biggest construction project in the history of the University of California.
"Inside this new facility, researchers will strive tirelessly to find cures and better treatments for the world's most devastating diseases," Abrams said. "Health care professionals will go the extra mile to relieve human suffering. Lives will be saved and quality of life improved. All of this is possible because of the partnership between UCLA and the community. Generous hearts have come forward to augment government funding, enabling us to create a hospital that will apply a new understanding of what constitutes superior health care."
After the 1994 Northridge earthquake damaged the existing UCLA medical center, UCLA's leadership embarked on a mission to bring the finest in hospital design and technology to Los Angeles. World-renowned architects I.M. Pei and C.C. Pei were brought in to design a beautiful, cutting-edge facility that incorporated the best ideas in medical science and patient care. Shortly afterward, an extraordinary alliance between UCLA, both state and federal governments, private donors, and an array of civic and cultural leaders was formed to create a world-class facility to serve the evolving health care needs of the community for years to come.
"The Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center represents the future of medical advancement and progress," Villaraigosa said. "It reinforces UCLA's status as a premier institution of health and research. This visionary and innovative institution will serve as a center of healing for our children, and their children."
The new center, which will house the UCLA Medical Center, Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA, and the Stewart and Lynda Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA, is a technological and architectural masterpiece designed to meet the evolving needs of a 21st-century patient care and research center. It was built with more than 3 million pounds of travertine marble imported from Tivoli, Italy, and will feature the latest technology, including wireless access to reports, lab results, clinical imaging and patient vital signs; audiovisual communications; diagnostics; robotics; imaging systems; and advanced audio and high-resolution video conferencing capabilities.
The new building also features 520 large, private patient rooms, sun-filled views, daybeds to accommodate family members, wireless Internet access, room service with customized meals, outdoor play areas for pediatric patients, gardens and more. In addition, the entire facility is surrounded by green spaces, natural light, high-quality woods, carpeting, fountains and open terraces to inspire and welcome patients, guests and staff.
"Today marks the completion of the major construction of the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center," said Dr. Gerald S. Levey, vice chancellor of medical sciences and dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. "Together, we've constructed a new foundation to build upon UCLA's traditions of medical education, groundbreaking research and unparalleled patient care. We now have one of the most advanced medical centers in the world."
Highly advanced technology not yet invented when planning first began is now woven into the fabric of the medical center, helping to provide a more people-friendly environment and giving clinicians new ways to monitor patients, fight disease, track information and survey patient progress.
"I am delighted to be here today and to know that this building will bring healing, new cures and hope to the people of the world for many years to come," said Mrs. Ronald Reagan. "My family is honored to be a part of this project."
The Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center represents an entirely new level of hospital construction. Designed by the Peis — along with a team headed by Perkins & Will, Pei Partnership Architects and RBB Architects — the building is intended to foster a healing and supportive patient environment. Thousands of new, state-of-the-art technologies were made to blend seamlessly with clinician expertise, structures were built to create the sense of several smaller hospitals rather than one large one and services were clustered to maximize efficiency.
"The new Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center embraces the idea that good architecture is an integral part of the healing process," said C.C. Pei. "We worked hard to create a design that not only meets the project's technical and scientific goals but also creates an environment that is cheerful, inspirational and intimate, despite its large size. We've aimed to design an environment for people, not just machines."
While the celebration of the completion of major construction began today, the new building will not open until the entire staff has been fully trained and every piece of equipment is fully operational. Over the next nine to 12 months, UCLA's expert transition team will fit up the internal systems, install and test clinical and Internet equipment, and train more than 10,000 UCLA employees to ensure the most seamless hospital move possible.
About the UCLA Health
For more than half a century, UCLA has been recognized as a leader in patient care, medical research and teaching, and its medical center has been ranked the No. 1 hospital in the western U.S. for the past 17 years by U.S. News & World Report. The legacy that began in 1955 when UCLA Medical Center first opened its doors in Westwood has grown to include four hospitals and a network of community offices, known collectively as the greater UCLA Health System.
Offering patients of all ages a wide range of services and comprehensive care, from routine to highly specialized medical and surgical treatment and programs in geriatric, adult, adolescent and child psychiatry, the UCLA Health includes the UCLA Medical Center (soon to be recognized as the Ronald Regan UCLA Medical Center), Santa Monica–UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital, the Stewart and Lynda Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital, and Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA.