Spotlight on Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center

In this month’s newsletter, we highlight information about the UCLA Westwood Replacement Hospital, scheduled to open its doors in January 2007.  This one-of-a-kind facility will replace the existing UCLA Medical Center and will be located across the street from the current building.  The planners of the largest and most ambitious project ever undertaken by the University of California designed the new complex to be the most technologically advanced and patient-friendly medical center in the world.  Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center - model southeast

While the typical office building requires 1,500 tons of steel, the new Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center is composed of 23,000 tons of steel and 70,000 cubic yards of concrete; the new hospital’s four towers are covered in travertine marble imported from Tivoli, Italy.  The new Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center is designed to meet the newest, most stringent seismic building codes. The steel columns are two-feet square and weigh over 900 pounds for each foot of steel.  The beams are more than three-feet deep.  All this translates into a stronger building. This structure will be one of the first in California to meet stringent new 2008 California seismic safety requirements. 

The hospital will set the standard of excellence in 21st-century healthcare. UCLA Medical Center has provided compassionate care to hundreds of thousands of people over the past 50 years.  Our physicians and professors have also helped train nearly 15,000 healthcare professionals to use the very latest approaches and techniques, and served to advance the science of medicine through outstanding research. 

The replacement hospital is designed to allow flexibility for ongoing modification so that we can develop and quickly embrace new technologies and new approaches to diagnosis and treatment as they develop.  (read more)

Problems viewing the file? (download adobe reader)

The Legacy of a President

The new medical center will be named for late President Ronald Reagan in recognition of a $150-million gift pledged in his honor by a group of prominent Southern California civic and cultural leaders.

 “This magnificent new medical facility will be a lasting tribute to my husband's life and career," said Mrs. Reagan. "We are deeply grateful to those whose generosity is making it possible."  (read more)  

Great Vision Becomes RealityUCLA Medical Center Replacement Hospital

Didi Pei, son of architect I.M. Pei, served as chief design architect on the UCLA Replacement Hospital project.  Didi Pei, I.M. Pei and the Pei Partnership created  a design that allows flexibility for ongoing modification so that new technologies and treatment approaches can be quickly embraced.  This 21st century structure integrates gracefully curving forms, profuse natural light and a people-friendly, human-scaled interior landscape to promote healing and rest. 

UCLA Medical Center was recently an exhibitor at Didi Pei at the 2005 China International Hospital Exhibition speaking about the new Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center “The China International Hospital Exhibition” at the China International Exhibition Center.  Visitors learned how UCLA will incorporate the most modern medical technology with personalized services when the new Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center opens.  Didi Pei attended the exhibition and spoke personally with many who visited the UCLA booth. He demonstrated to visitors how the design not only meets the project’s technical and scientific goals, but also creates a hospital environment that is cheerful and healing, despite size – an environment made for people, not just machines. 


How Do You Move a Hospital - Patients and All?

As anyone who has ever moved residences knows, planning a few weeks ahead cuts costs and chaos.  Imagine coordinating a hospital’s move – complete with equipment, staff and patients – the type of move that takes years of planning. (read more)

Getting in on the Ground Floor

The new hospital will have east, west and south entrances to accommodate visitors arriving by car or by foot, and a special entrance for the Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA.   Regardless of where you might enter the new hospital, the east, west and south lobbies are interconnected by a wide corridor that makes movement easy from one side of the building to the other.

The ground floor will house the Emergency Department, Non-Invasive Imaging and Observation Unit, as well as the Gift Shop, Pastoral Care, Patient Care Services and Patient Relations.

An additional feature on this floor is a comfortable indoor/outdoor waiting area for friends and family members of patients undergoing  a procedure.  (read more about the ground floor)

UCLA's Plan for New Operating Rooms Embraces the 21st Century

The design of the new surgical suites in the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center will not only reflect the way surgery is done in the present, but also how it is envisioned for the future.   An entire floor of the new hospital will be dedicated to interventional procedures with 23 operating rooms, six cardiac catheterization laboratories, eight procedure suites for interventional radiology and 70 pre- and post-recovery spaces. 

Each room will be a fully integrated suite that will allow an orthopedic surgeon to perform arthroscopy on one day and a general surgeon to perform a robotically assisted gastrointestinal procedure the next day; any interventional or invasive procedure can be performed in any room.  With sophisticated levels of recording and control systems, surgeons can control the ceiling-mounted surgical equipment with just a voice command or touch pad.

In light of technical advances in areas such as endoscopy that have applications across a number of different specialties, integrating the space for use by all the procedural disciplines allows physicians and surgeons to work more closely together.  Many of the unique design features reflect the collaborative vision of UCLA’s medical professionals for the future of surgery and medicine. 

In the entire United States, only about 400 similarly designed integrated operating suites exist.  The Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center will be the only medical facility in the world wherein each and every operating suite is technologically advanced to this state-of-the-art level.  (read more)


A Special Place for Children

When the existing Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA moves across the street to the new hospital, it will be housed on a floor especially designed for children, ranging in age from newborns to adolescents and young adults.  This floor will also house women’s services related to obstetrics.   

The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and critical isolation beds, as well as medical/surgical pediatric nursing units, will all be located on the same floor as Mattel Children’s Hospital.  Each nursing unit will have its own minor procedure room so young patients can undergo certain treatments away from their sleeping area to avoid associating pain with their own room.  

Children will also be able to enjoy the outdoors without leaving their floor with access to an outdoor terrace.  (Read more about the special features of the new Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA)


Services Above and Beyond the Normal Hospital Experience

For the past 50 years, UCLA’s doctors, nurses, and staff have provided compassionate care and advanced medical knowledge so that the people of Los Angeles and beyond have access to the highest quality medical care.   

Naturally, UCLA’s long-standing hallmark of excellent medical care will continue when the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center opens its doors in 2007, enhanced by a wide scope of special services that go beyond customary hospital services.   

For instance, every patient will enjoy a cheerful private room equipped with a window seat that converts to a bed, allowing family members to room-in with patients. Each patient room enjoys an abundance of natural outdoor light through windows that overlook gardens, green spaces and gathering places that surround the new building.    ICU areas will also feature a comfortable sleeper chair. 

Valet parking services will be available to save time and ease arrivals and departures from the new hospital for both patients and visitors. 

The relaxing effects of massage therapy by a trained professional will be available for patients or family members who desire it.  (read more)

These represent just a few special amenities from a long list of choices tailored to individual needs and interests, all intended to promote wellness and enhance the hospital experience for our patients. 


Two-Time Cancer Survivor Leaves His Mark on the New Medical Center with Three Million Pounds of Travertine 

Twice, the doctors at UCLA Medical Center saved the life of Carlo Mariotti, a cancer patient who lived just outside of Rome in Italy.  Sadly, Mr. Mariotti lost his 14-year battle with a series of cancers in 2004.  This gentleman, grateful for the UCLA doctors’ compassionate care that helped to prolong his life, thanked them in a way few others could:  with more than three million pounds of putty-colored travertine. 

The beautiful, imported stone encases the outside walls of the new hospital.  Similar stone from Mr. Mariotti’s family quarry in Italy also covers buildings such as New York’s Lincoln Center, the Sear’s Tower in Chicago, and the Getty Museum in West Los Angeles.  (read more)   

Important Changes at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center

Santa Monica Hospital, founded in 1926, is a 337 bed, acute-care medical center dedicated to serving the healthcare needs of the Westside and coastal communities of Los Angeles.  In 1995, this well known medical facility joined the UCLA family and was renamed the Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center.   

As the new Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center undergoes construction, so too does this community-based hospital – a project that will add 315,000 square feet of new space. This unique, neighborhood friendly design will enhance the hospital’s role as the cornerstone of UCLA Healthcare’s Primary Care Network. 

Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center has also established a strategic alliance with Orthopaedic Hospital, which has located its inpatient services to Santa Monica while continuing to serve the outpatient needs of the downtown community.  (read more)


Many of our readers sent us their questions on a variety of topics.  Following are a few of the questions and their answers provided by UCLA Medical Center specialists.

Please send any questions you have concerning next month’s topic: Vascular Surgery and Heart Disease

Where is the new Medical Center located? 

The new hospital will be located across the street from the current facility on Westwood Plaza.  (read more)

What will happen to the Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA and the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Hospital?  Will they remain in the same location?

Both the children’s hospital and neuropsychiatric hospital will move to the new facility and combine operations within the new million-plus-square foot facility. 

Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA will be housed on the fifth floor, especially designed for children and their families and can be accessed through the hospital’s lobby via the west elevators. (read more)

UCLA’s Semel Institute (Neuropsychiatric Institute) will be housed on the fourth floor and will have 75 inpatient beds and an outpatient day hospital for 100 patients.  (read more)  


Puzzler Answer:

Which of the statements about the new Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center is a true statement?

Answer: d) All of the above.  

If you have not subscribed, please do so now. click here

 Check the Weather in Los Angeles Right Now.



The Legacy of a President
Great Vision Becomes Reality
How Do You Move a Hospital - Patients and All?

Getting in on the Ground Floor

UCLA's Plan for New Operating Rooms Embraces the 21st Century

A Special Place for Children

Service Above and Beyond the Normal Hospital Experience

Two-Time Cancer Survivor Leaves His Mark on the New Medical Center with Three Million Pounds of Travertine

Important Changes at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center



(c) 2006 UCLA Healthcare




120 intensive care beds designed to support 360-degree access to the patient with state-of-the-art medical equipment.

Operating rooms and adjacent interventional procedure rooms featuring modular floor plans, allowing them to expand and reconfigure as medical technology evolves.

Patient rooms with a window seat that converts to a bed, allowing family members to room-in with patients.  ICU areas will feature a comfortable sleeper chair.

Capabilities for physicians and nurses to perform many procedures in the individual rooms, instead of moving patients around the hospital.

Patient rooms with an abundance of natural outdoor light through windows that overlook gardens, green spaces and gathering places that surround the new building.

Cutting-edge medical equipment and communication technology integrated throughout the hospital.

A distinct entrance to Mattel Children's Hospital at UCLA serving pediatric patients and their families.


























UCLA Healthcare's International Relations Office provides patient-friendly services for international patients.  This includes representatives fluent in many languages and understands the special needs and cultural requirements of international patients. (read more)




spanish version