University of Virginia Health System

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Coordinates: 38°1′56.3″N 78°29′55″W / 38.032306°N 78.49861°W / 38.032306; -78.49861

University of Virginia Health System
Aerial view of UVA Health System campus in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Location Charlottesville, Virginia, United States
Hospital type Teaching
Affiliated university University of Virginia
Emergency department Level I trauma center
Helipad ground and rooftop
Beds 645
Founded 1901
Lists Hospitals in Virginia

The University of Virginia Health System is an academic health care center associated with the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. The health system includes a medical center (with main hospital, children's hospital, and clinic network), school of medicine, school of nursing, and health sciences library. The health system provides inpatient and outpatient care and patient education and conducts medical research and education.

Based in Charlottesville, the Health System also operates satellite locations throughout Virginia, in Albemarle, Amherst, Augusta, Campbell, Fluvanna, Louisa, Nelson, and Orange counties.

The first medical degrees granted by UVA were awarded in 1828. The University of Virginia Hospital, designed by architect Paul J. Pelz, opened in 1901.[1]

The UVA Health System's patient care,[2] research and medical education[3] are frequently ranked highly by U.S. News & World Report and by other rankings.[4]


The UVA Health System’s history can be traced to the founding of the University of Virginia in 1819. At the first meeting of the university’s Board of Visitors in 1819, a School of Medicine was authorized. The University of Virginia School of Medicine – the 10th medical school in the U.S. – officially opened in March 1825 with a single professor, Dr. Robley Dunglison, recruited by Thomas Jefferson to UVA from London.[5]

More than 75 years later, UVA opened its first hospital in March 1901 with 25 beds and three operating rooms. A few months after its opening, the hospital established a training program for nurses. That training program would grow into the UVA School of Nursing, which was formally established in 1956.

Just as medical education has been a part of UVA since its founding, so too has medical literature – the 8,000 books purchased by Jefferson to create the University Library included 710 books on the medical sciences. UVA’s medical literature moved to the UVA Medical School building in 1929. Its current home was dedicated in April 1976. The UVA Health Services Foundation was founded in 1979 to handle billing as well as provide benefits and administrative support to UVA physicians. The UVA Health Services Foundation was renamed University Physicians Group in 2011.

In 2012, Virginia Commonwealth University's School of Pharmacy opened a satellite location at the University of Virginia Medical Center.[6]

In August 2013, with a change in the leadership structure, Dr. Richard Patrick Shannon joined the University of Virginia as the Executive Vice President for Health Affairs.[7] He oversees the entire Health System at UVA and reports directly UVA President Teresa Sullivan.


The University of Virginia Health System consists of five components:

  • The University of Virginia Medical Center provides primary, specialty and emergency care throughout Central Virginia through a network of clinics as well as a main hospital that has 600 inpatient beds, not including a 45-bed neonatal intensive care unit and 20-bed nursery. The Children's Hospital is served by the Newborn Emergency Transport System (NETS), which transports critically ill newborns and pediatrics from all over the surrounding area and states back to UVA. The hospital is a Level I trauma center and is accessible by ambulance as well as Pegasus, UVA Health System’s air and ground transport service for critically ill and injured patients. As an academic medical center, patients at UVA are treated by physicians who are also faculty members at the UVA School of Medicine. In the 2015 fiscal year, the UVA Medical Center treated 27,920 inpatients and had a total of 875,414 outpatient visits, and 60,646 patients seen in the ER.[8]
  • The University of Virginia School of Medicine has more than 1,000 faculty members who perform three main tasks: provide care to patients at the UVA Medical Center, educate medical students and residents and perform scientific medical research that may lead to improved care for patients at UVA and elsewhere. Leading research areas include cancer, cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative diseases and vaccine development.[9] The Dean of the School of Medicine as of October 16, 2016 is David S. Wilkes, MD.
  • The University of Virginia School of Nursing has 94 faculty members who educate student nurses and perform research that will improve patient care at UVA and elsewhere. Leading research areas include rural healthcare, the history of nursing, complementary and alternative therapies, geriatrics and oncology.
  • The Claude Moore Health Sciences Library provides access to printed and online medical information, medical news and the history of healthcare to faculty, students and staff as well as the public.
  • The University Physicians Group is the physician group practice that processes billing for UVA physician services.


The Medical Center consists of several buildings. The largest of these building include the main hospital, the West Complex, and the Battle Building.

The main hospital was completed in 1989 at a cost of more than $230 million. Originally designed to be 6 floors, it now stands at 8 floors tall.[10] The building was expanded in 2004, 2012, and as of 2016 is again undergoing an addition.[11] The West Complex was built as a series of separate buildings from 1901 to 1960, with major construction occurring in the 1930s and 1960s. These buildings have since been connected through a series of additions, although the names of the separate buildings are often used.[12] The Battle Building, named for Barry and Bill Battle, was dedicated in 2014 and houses pediatric patient care and outpatient surgery. At over 200,000 sq ft and 7 floots, there are 12 operating rooms in this building and a clinical trials wing.[13] The Battle Building has a LEED Gold rating. The Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center opened in 2011 across from the main hospital.

Medical and nursing students are educated in the Claude Moore Nursing Education Building, built in 2008, and the Claude Moore Medical Education Building, opened in 2010. Several research buildings are on the grounds of the Medical Center where basic, clinical, and translational research is done including Jordan Hall, MR-4, MR-5, MR-6, and the West Complex. Fontaine Research Park is located off-site.

UVAHS also has a number of facilities located outside of the main medical campus. Other major locations are the Jefferson Park Medical Office, Northridge Medical Park, Fontaine Research Park, UVA Family Medicine and Specialty Care of Crozet, Zion Crossroads Medical Park and the Transitional Care Hospital.[14]


U.S. News & World Report

Several UVA Medical Center departments are ranked among the top 50 in the country by U.S. News & World Report.[15] These are the departments that made the magazine’s 2015 rankings:

Department National Ranking
Cancer 31
Neurology and Neurosurgery 29
Urology 43
Nephrology 46
Peds: Cardiology & Heart Surgery 37
Neonatology 38
Peds: Nephrology 49

UVA’s School of Medicine and School of Nursing have also been highly ranked by U.S. News & World Report. In the 2007 rankings, the School of Medicine was ranked 23rd among medical schools for research[16] and 38th among medical schools for primary care.[17]

The School of Nursing’s master’s degree program was ranked 19th in 2007 by U.S. News & World Report, while the magazine ranked two of the school’s specialty programs in the top 10.[18] The School of Nursing’s Clinical Health Specialist program in psychiatric/mental health ranked 5th, while its Clinical Health Specialist program in adult/medical-surgical ranked 6th.

Becker's Hospital Review In 2016, Becker's Hospital Review ranked UVA 30 in the nation for Orthopedic Surgery.[19]

Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals

On March 30, 2009, the UVA medical center was named as one of the top 100 hospitals in America for 2008 by the Thomson Reuters.[20] The index is based upon clinical excellence, operating efficiency and financial health, and patient satisfaction using criteria such as risk-adjusted mortality index, risk-adjusted complications index and risk-adjusted patient safety index.[21]

America’s Top Doctors

184 doctors from UVA Health System were chosen for inclusion in 2016 for the sixth edition of Castle Connolly's America’s Top Doctors. Nineteen UVA Health System physicians were chosen for a companion listing, America’s Top Doctors For Cancer.[22]

Individual Awards

Dr. Thomas A.E. Platts-Mills, FRS is the head of the Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology . In 2010, Dr. Platts-Mills was elected as a Fellow of The Royal Society,[23] the first allergist to be named to this select group.[24]


  1. ^ "Milestones: School of Medicine University of Virginia". School of Medicine Official Website. Retrieved 2011-07-11. 
  2. ^ "America's Best Hospitals 2007". U.S. News and World Report. Archived from the original on 2007-10-12. Retrieved 2007-10-26. 
  3. ^ "America's Best Graduate Schools 2008: Top Medical Schools". U.S. News and World Report. Retrieved 2007-10-26. 
  4. ^ "ANCC Magnet Recognition Program". American Nurses Credentialing Center. Archived from the original on 2007-09-19. Retrieved 2007-10-26. 
  5. ^ "History-School of Medicine at the University of Virginia". School of Medicine Official Website. Retrieved 2011-07-11. 
  6. ^ "History". 
  7. ^ "Dr. Richard Shannon New Executive Vice President for Health Affairs". School of Medicine Official News. 2013-08-15. 
  8. ^ "Facts at a Glance". UVA Health System Official Website. Retrieved 2007-10-26. 
  9. ^ "America's Top Doctors Names 48 UVA Physicians as Best in their Fields". UVA Health System Official Website. Retrieved 2007-10-26. 
  10. ^
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  16. ^ "America's Best Graduate Schools 2008: Top Medical Schools-Research". U.S. News and World Report. Retrieved 2007-10-26. 
  17. ^ "America's Best Graduate Schools 2008: Top Medical Schools-Primary Care". U.S. News and World Report. Retrieved 2007-10-29. 
  18. ^ "In the Rankings". UVA School of Nursing Official Website. Retrieved 2007-10-29. 
  19. ^
  20. ^ "100 Top Hospitals". Archived from the original on March 28, 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-19. 
  21. ^ "100 Top Hospitals". Archived from the original on April 9, 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-19. 
  22. ^
  23. ^ : The Royal Society
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