It is almost exactly 3 years ago that the new UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica, officially opened its doors, with 125 adult and pediatric patients carefully transported into new hospital buildings on the Santa Monica campus, as well as into the existing Merle Norman Pavilion.

“Every patient who comes to us deserves the best, and every one of them, when they leave us, should be an ambassador to tell others about the great care and service they received at UCLA,” said Dr. David Feinberg, president of UCLA Health. “This wonderful new facility not only accommodates scientific and technical excellence, but also creates an environment that is healing.”  

“Today’s move marks the final stage in the transformation of this hospital from a private community hospital to an academic-community hospital that delivers world-class UCLA care to every patient,” added Dr. James Atkinson, who oversaw the rebuilding project and serves as medical director at the Santa Monica campus.

The new unit is a long way removed from Santa Monica’s first hospital, which was founded in 1926 by 2 local physicians – Drs. William S. Mortensen and August B. Hromadka. In 1995, the hospital became part of UCLA Health.

Today, the newly rebuilt Santa Monica campus of UCLA Health encompasses the operations of UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica; Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital; the UCLA Rape Treatment Center; and a unit of Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA.

The campus provides the full continuum of services, from neonatal intensive care to geriatric medicine, in a welcoming and technologically advanced facility.

As one might expect, a 21st Century city demands the most modern medical facilities for its population and the Santa Monica campus is considered a cornerstone of UCLA Health, featuring 266 inpatient beds and providing a holistic, caring, patient-focused environment.

Among those catered for are Pediatric patients, courtesy of 26-bed Pediatrics Unit, Santa Monica’s only inpatient unit for children; there is also a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, the only one in Santa Monica and 16-bassinet Neonatal Intensive Care Unit providing high-tech, high-touch care for premature newborns and other high-risk infants.

Meanwhile, the Nethercutt Emergency Center serves almost 40,000 patients annually, using fastER, a fast-track service for minor injuries and illnesses that treats patients within 75 minutes. Onsite there is a 64-slice CT Scanner that rapidly generates high-quality images and minimizes patient transport to diagnose strokes and chest pains. The site is the only designated ‘Emergency Department Approved for Pediatrics” in Santa Monica.

Additionally, the facility contains a laboratory located below the emergency center, encompassing an area of nearly 9,000 square feet of space with the latest chemistry, hematology and blood-bank analyzers. The lab features a tube carrier system to quickly transmit blood samples and other specimens.

Mothers deliver more than 1,400 babies a year at The BirthPlace, Santa Monica, one of Southern California’s most comprehensive and modern maternity centers. The BirthPlace features comfortable, home-like labor-and-delivery and postpartum rooms, exceptional nursing care, the latest in technology and a wide range of maternity classes to help moms-to-be and families make a smooth transition to parenthood.

UCLA Medical Center also includes the UCLA Rape Treatment Center (RTC), a national model for the treatment of sexually abused adults and children. Experts offer comprehensive, free treatment for sexual assault victims and their families, including 24-hour emergency medical care, forensic examinations, crisis intervention, long-term professional counseling, advocacy and accompaniment services. The RTC is the only facility in Los Angeles, and one of the few in the country, where sexual assault victims can receive all of the services they need in one place, 24 hours a day.

Other facilities include the UCLA Medical Building, which includes 8 operating rooms, 2 radiation oncology suites, a pharmacy and clinical offices for several Department of Medicine practices, including allergy, inflammatory bowel diseases, digestive diseases, pulmonary medicine, sleep medicine and nephrology. The 50,000-square-foot building is the health system’s first to be designated as LEED Gold for sustainability.

A 26-bed Oncology Units provides cancer care, while the UCLA Radiology performs state-of-the-art imaging services in several locations throughout the Santa Monica campus. The Barbara Kort Women’s Imaging Center provides mammography and other imaging services in a spa-like setting designed for women.

Medical care has advanced considerably in the past 90 years – and the residents of Santa Monica can be sure that they are receiving the best and most modern treatment available, fit for the 21st Century.