UCI Health launches clinical affiliation with Catalina Island Medical Center

January 18, 2023

Avalon and Orange, Calif. — UCI Health and Catalina Island Medical Center are pleased to announce a clinical affiliation between the University of California, Irvine’s leading academic health system and Catalina Island’s primary provider of emergency, primary and acute care services.

The affiliation will build on a successful collaboration launched in 2016, when UCI Health began providing emergency medicine specialists to expand care in the medical center’s emergency department.

“Working with UCI Health raises the level and quality of care available to our community,” said Jason Paret, CEO of Catalina Island Medical Center. “This new stage in our collaboration opens the door to expanding existing clinical services and increasing our community’s access to specialty care.”

As Avalon's only hospital, Catalina Island Medical Center (CIMC) serves the clinical needs of Santa Catalina Island’s 4,000 residents and the more than one million visitors who travel to there each year. The Catalina Island Medical Group serves the island's medical needs with full-time physicians and nurse practitioners, who are supported by ancillary hospital resources, including diagnostic imaging, therapy services, nutritional counseling and clinical laboratory services.

“We believe the successful relationship with CIMC in emergency medicine provides a solid foundation to explore the potential for UCI Health to support CIMC and the Catalina Island Medical Center Foundation in their mission to provide the highest quality healthcare for residents and visitors,” said Chad. T. Lefteris, CEO of UCI Health.

“This affiliation opens the door to possible expansion of primary and specialty care as CIMC grows.”

The CIMC emergency department evaluates and treats 2,600 cases a year, a 33% increase since the UCI Health collaboration began seven years ago. Patients have consistently ranked CIMC’s emergency services as among the best in the nation.

CIMC — and its predecessor, Avalon Municipal Hospital — has provided medical care at 100 Falls Canyon Road in Avalon since 1960. The original building had six beds and could serve  eight people at a time. Subsequent expansions added emergency and operating rooms, as well as laboratory, X-ray and observation spaces.

In 1982, a new wing was built, adding patient rooms, a space for physical therapy and administrative offices. In the mid 2000s, the hospital completely renovated the emergency and operating rooms, and added new clinic exam rooms and space for physicians. CIMC also purchased a new CT scanner and began offering telemedicine services to connect island patients with medical specialists on the mainland.

Future plans include the development of a new CIMC hospital that will meet the state of California’s mandate that all hospitals comply with existing seismic safety standards by 2030. View details at the CICM website ›

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 22 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 centerhigh-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 FacebookInstagramLinkedIn and Twitter.

About Catalina Island Medical Center
CIMC is the result of more than a century of evolving medical care on Santa Catalina Island. Although it is one of the smallest hospitals in the state, due to its unique island location, it historically has provided many of the health services typically found at larger facilities. It serves its patients through a truly integrated healthcare delivery system consisting of physician offices, an acute care hospital and skilled nursing services, along with extensive outpatient programs. Serving Catalina Island’s 4,500 residents and the more than one million visitors who travel to Catalina each year, CIMC is a federally recognized rural Critical Access Hospital. In its current location since 1960, CIMC maintains high-quality emergency services, in-patient care, and a primary care clinic.

CIMC’s Emergency Department recently was named a 2022 Press Ganey Guardian of Excellence Award® winner for excellence in patient care. Evaluating and treating nearly 2,500 cases a year, the emergency room is staffed 24/7, 365 days a year with UCI Health emergency medicine physicians, supported by the medical center’s laboratory and diagnostic imaging departments to meet the acute medical needs of Catalina Island’s residents and visitors. Patients consistently rank CIMC’s emergency services as one of the best in the nation in patient satisfaction surveys. Follow CIMC on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Media Contacts
Jason Paret
Catalina Island Medical Center

John Murray
UCI Health