UCI breaks ground on new Irvine hospital, medical complex
November 16, 2021
The University of California, Irvine and UCI Health have broken ground on a new medical complex at the north end of the Irvine campus.
The $1.3 billion complex, approved by the UC Board of Regents in January, will include a 144-bed acute care hospital with an emergency room, an outpatient Center for Advanced Care for primary and specialty health services, a Center for Children’s Health and the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and Ambulatory Care building.
“Today we mark a milestone in the history of UCI, of the history of Irvine and of anywhere in our region where people need the world-class care that is provided only by an academic health center,” UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman told more than 100 people, including leaders from UCI, the community and donors, who were assembled for Monday evening’s groundbreaking ceremony.
“Of all the things we do at UCI, all the myriad ways our community is served, none are more important than the activities of our academic health center. People come to us when they are at their most vulnerable; they turn to us to make their lives better; and the outcomes of our efforts have the greatest effect on those lives.”
The complex will connect with the UCI Health primary care network throughout Orange County, creating the region’s only health system supported by one of the nation’s premier academic research institutions.
“UCI Health is building the next chapter of healthcare in Orange County,” said UCI Health CEO Chad T. Lefteris. "The new UCI Medical Center — Irvine will be a full-service academic medical complex, bringing a broad range of the most advanced healthcare services to coastal and southern Orange County, including access to the hundreds of clinical trials underway at UCI Health.”
Key clinical programs at the new complex will include oncology, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics and spine surgery, as well as advanced digestive health services. The new medical center also will be a hub for participation in Orange County’s largest clinical trials portfolio — including early-phase trials — in cancer, neurosciences, stem cell-derived treatments, internal medicine and more.
In addition to the 350,000-square-foot acute care hospital, the medical complex will feature:
- The 225,000-square-foot Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and Ambulatory Care building, which will offer state-of-the-art cancer care, rooted in the innovation and excellence of Orange County’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center. It will be the future home of Orange County’s only adult hematopoietic stem cell/bone marrow transplant program, which was launched last year at the existing UCI Medical Center in the City of Orange and has successfully treated more than 40 patients.
- The 168,000-square-foot UCI Health Center for Advanced Care, which will include adult primary and specialty care services, comprehensive laboratory and radiology facilities, imaging services and urgent care. Children and adults will benefit from one-stop outpatient medical care because so many of their needs will addressed at a single facility.
- The Center for Children’s Health, which will provide comprehensive pediatric outpatient services, including pediatric primary care, subspecialty clinics, rehabilitation and simulation services. In addition, the facility will advance UCI's longstanding commitment to the region’s autism community when the Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders relocates there.
The outpatient Center for Advanced Care and Center for Children’s Health will serve the first patients in early 2023, with the hospital and cancer center opening in 2025.
“We are creating this new commitment to wellness and superb healthcare for all persons in our community, which will also improve how care is delivered far beyond our borders,” said Steve A.N. Goldstein, MD, PhD, UCI vice chancellor for health affairs. “Soon we will open up this new medical complex in phases, and each step will be another sign of the longstanding UCI Health mission to improve the well-being of individuals and communities through this virtuous cycle — Discover, Teach, Heal — a process that promises continuous improvement in care and a healthier tomorrow for everyone.”
The project will create thousands of construction jobs and it also is expected to support thousands of new healthcare jobs.
"UCI Medical Center in Orange was established 45 years ago," Lefteris said. "Breaking ground on the campus medical complex marks another milestone in fulfilling the promise the University of California made then to the people of Orange County, which has grown to become one of the country’s most populous and diverse regions. The people of Orange County deserve access to world-class medicine that is driven by clinical innovation and scientific discovery, and UCI Health is here to deliver it.”
The new medical complex will complement the university’s flagship UCI Medical Center, which will remain in Orange.
UCI Health is the clinical enterprise of the University of California, Irvine, and the only academic health system in Orange County. Patients can access UCI Health at primary and specialty care offices across Orange County and at its main campus, UCI Medical Center in Orange, Calif. The 459-bed, acute care hospital, listed among America’s Best Hospitals by U.S. News & World Report for 21 consecutive years, provides tertiary and quaternary care, ambulatory and specialty medical clinics, behavioral health and rehabilitation services. UCI Medical Center is home to Orange County’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, high-risk perinatal/neonatal program and American College of Surgeons-verified Level I adult and Level II pediatric trauma center and regional burn center. UCI Health serves a region of nearly 4 million people in Orange County, western Riverside County and southeast Los Angeles County. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.
About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities and is ranked among the nation’s top 10 public universities by U.S. News & World Report. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 36,000 students and offers 224 degree programs. It is located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities, and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $7 billion annually to the local economy and $8 billion statewide. Learn more about at www.uci.edu ›