Jacobs Medical Center

Jacobs Medical Center is a teaching hospital on the University of California, San Diego campus in the La Jolla neighborhood of San Diego. Along with the UC San Diego Medical Center, Hillcrest, it serves as a flagship hospital of UC San Diego Health and the primary teaching hospital for the UC San Diego School of Medicine. The facility, which offers specialized care not previously available in San Diego County, opened in 2016.

Jacobs Medical Center
UC San Diego Health
LocationLa Jolla, San Diego, California, United States
Coordinates32.877703°N 117.226499°W / 32.877703; -117.226499
Care systemPrivate
Affiliated universityUniversity of California, San Diego
ListsHospitals in California

Jacobs Medical Center comprises three specialty pavilions.[1] The A. Vassiliadis Family Pavilion for Advanced Surgery occupies floors two and three.[2] Floors four through six are reserved for the Pauline and Stanley Foster Pavilion for Cancer Care, and the eighth through tenth floors are occupied by the Rady Pavilion for Women and Infants.[3][4] Jacobs Medical Center and the existing Thornton Pavilion share a first, second and third floor and are connected to Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center, the Perlman Medical Offices, and the Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute building via footbridges.

Planning and construction

In 2005, the University of California, San Diego announced plans to shift all its operations at its aging Hillcrest hospital to a new facility in La Jolla, adjacent to Thornton Hospital on the eastern half of its main campus. This announcement was met with heavy pushback from lawmakers, rival medical providers, and patient advocates who argued that the move would leave South Bay communities underserved and other local hospitals overwhelmed. On May 18, 2007, the UC Regents approved a plan to build an additional 125 to 150-bed inpatient tower in La Jolla.[5] The approval was paired with a UC San Diego commitment to continue providing care in Hillcrest beyond the year 2030.[6][7]

The university broke ground on the new inpatient tower on April 9, 2012. At the time, the hospital was expected to cost $664 million and had been named the Jacobs Medical Center in honor of Irwin and Joan Jacobs donating $75 million toward its construction (they would go on to donate another $25 million).[8][9] Over the next few years, construction costs continued to grow as health system officials decided to add a specialized surgical suite, operating rooms, an anatomic pathology lab, a cardiac rehabilitation program, a discharge pharmacy, and nursing administrative space. Additionally, it was determined that multiple floors which were originally planned as empty space would open with the rest of the hospital.[10] The finished 509,500 sq ft, 245-bed tower cost more than $940 million and opened in November 2016. CannonDesign was the architect, Kitchell Contractors, Inc. was the general contractor.[11]


Thornton Pavilion

Thornton Pavilion atrium

Thornton Hospital opened in 1993 as a standalone general medical-surgical hospital with 119 beds and a full range of specialties. The construction of Jacobs Medical Center was originally intended as a simple expansion of the hospital, but evolved into the ten-story quaternary care facility that exists today. In 2016, the hospital was consolidated into the Jacobs Medical Center complex as its own pavilion. It shares a first, second and third floor with the new inpatient tower and a first and second floor with the Perlman Medical Offices outpatient clinic, and continues to offer services such as surgery and radiology.

Thornton Pavilion entrance to Jacobs Medical Center

Vassiliadis Pavilion

Entrance to the Vassiliadis Pavilion

The A. Vassiliadis Pavilion for Advanced Surgery has 14 operating rooms of 650 sq ft each. It occupies the second and third floors of the medical center and is named for Carol Vassiliadis' $8.5 million gift on behalf of her deceased husband Alkiviadis.[12] The pavilion is staffed by 200 surgeons and provides technology to perform surgeries not possible elsewhere in the county. These include minimally invasive surgeries to treat cancer and obesity; microsurgeries to restore voice, hearing, and facial function; MRI-guided gene therapy for brain cancer; heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy for abdominal cancer; spine and joint reconstruction; and robotic surgery for several cancers.[13] The technologies at work include the region's only four intraoperative MRI machines, which allow real-time imaging of tumors and gene therapies during surgery to ensure complete treatment, as well as the nation's only Restriction Spectrum Imaging technology, which color code brain fibers to better plan for complex surgeries in advance.[14] The area also includes three Intensive Care Units with 36 private rooms.[15]

Foster Pavilion

The Pauline and Stanley Foster Pavilion for Cancer Care is a 108-bed facility affiliated with Moores Cancer Center and dedicated to the treatment of advanced cancers. It is the only dedicated inpatient cancer hospital in San Diego.[13] The pavilion occupies the fourth, fifth, and sixth floors of Jacobs Medical Center and is named for a $7.5 million gift from Pauline Foster.[16] Patients will have access to over 100 cancer subspecialists working at Moores Cancer Center. The sixth floor of the hospital, jointly operated with Sharp HealthCare, is the only open floor in California with full-unit air filtration, allowing blood and marrow transplant patients and those undergoing chemotherapy to socialize and roam throughout the floor. Procedures such as laser ablation of brain tumors are handled downstairs in the Vassiliadis Pavilion.[17]

Rady Pavilion

The Rady Pavilion for Women and Infants includes eight labor rooms, 32 postpartum rooms, three operating suites for cesarean sections and a three-room midwife center. It occupies the eighth, ninth, and tenth floors of the hospital and is named for a $12 million gift from Evelyn and Ernest Rady, whose names are also on the UC San Diego School of Management and San Diego's Children's Hospital. The pavilion includes a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to monitor and care for severely premature or ill infants. Pregnant women and new mothers also have access to non-invasive fetal genetic testing, wireless fetal heart rate monitoring during labor, fertility preservation, and preeclampsia detection and treatment. The hospital has views of UC San Diego, the Torrey Pines Mesa, La Jolla and the Pacific Ocean.[13]

Amenities that Promote Healing

In addition to providing advanced specialty care, Jacobs Medical Center offers several hospital-wide amenities, designed to facilitate comfort and healing. It is home to a museum-quality 150-piece curated art collection, called the Jacobs Healing Arts Collection.[18] Curated by Joan Jacobs, the collection includes paintings, prints, and sculptures by renowned artists including Damien Hirst, Beatriz Milhazes, Julian Schnabel, Donald Sultan, Ryan McGinness, and Eva Struble.[19]

It also has multiple garden terraces and floor-to-ceiling windows in every patient room to create a more soothing and natural environment for healing. Hospital fare has also been upgraded. Patients order meals through a room service attendant who provides a personalized menu of local fare selected and crafted by executive chef Rodney Fry.[18] Meals can also be ordered at The Cove at Thornton Pavilion.[20] Additionally, each hospital room is equipped with an iPad and Apple TV for patients to control lighting, temperature, and entertainment.[21] Patients can download apps and stream their content to the Apple TV, and will also be able to contact their care team and view patient records through an Epic Systems application, administered through Jamf infrastructure. Patients create unique passcodes for their iPads, which are digitally and literally sterilized at the end of their stay.[22]


  1. "Jacobs Medical Center". UC San Diego Health Sciences. University of California, San Diego. Retrieved 23 October 2015.
  2. Meiling, Brittany (16 October 2014). "Vassiliadis Gives $8.5M for Jacobs Medical Center". San Diego Business Journal. Retrieved 23 October 2015.
  3. Sisson, Paul (15 June 2014). "UCSD plans county's first cancer hospital". San Diego Union-Tribune. Tribune Publishing. Retrieved 23 October 2015.
  4. Piercey, Judy (21 May 2015). "UC San Diego Health System Names Jacobs Medical Center Pavilion in Honor of Evelyn and Ernest Rady". thisweek@ucsandiego. University of California, San Diego. Retrieved 23 October 2015.
  5. Franz, Leslie (2007-05-18). "Regents Approve Plan for New UCSD Inpatient Bed Tower". University of California, San Diego Medical Center. Retrieved 2007-10-16.
  6. "Prudent (non)move". U-T San Diego. Tribune Publishing. Union-Tribune San Diego. 14 May 2007. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
  7. Cavanaugh, Maureen (17 May 2010). "UCSD Proposes Another La Jolla Hospital". KPBS Public Broadcasting. KPBS. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
  8. "UCSD goal: world-class health care". San Diego Union-Tribune. 9 April 2012. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  9. "At Jacobs Medical the bedside manner is increasingly digital". Digital Commerce 360. 16 December 2016. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  10. Sisson, Paul (21 January 2016). "UCSD hospital price tag now nearly $1B". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  11. "UC San Diego Jacobs Medical Center".
  12. Griffin, Jade (16 October 2014). "Changing Lives: Carol Vassiliadis Names Hospital with $8.5 Million to Jacobs Medical Center". thisweek@ucsandiego. University of California San Diego. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  13. Piercey, Judy (21 May 2015). "UC San Diego Health System Names Jacobs Medical Center Pavilion in Honor of Evelyn and Ernest Rady". thisweek@ucsandiego. University of California San Diego. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  14. "World-Class Medical Center Inaugurated in San Diego". HospiMedica. No. 2. Globetech Media. May 2017. p. 32. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  15. Griffin, Jade (23 December 2016). "Good Medicine". Triton. UCSD Alumni. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  16. Connor, Katherine (7 April 2015). "UCSD Moores Cancer Center expanding with 4 development projects". San Diego Daily Transcript.
  17. Ferenc, Jeff (5 December 2016). "Jacobs Medical Center offers advanced care in a setting designed for comfort". Health Facilities Management. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  18. Carr, Jackie (17 November 2016). "UC San Diego Health to Open Jacobs Medical Center November 20, 2016". UC San Diego News Center. University of California San Diego. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  19. "Healing Arts Collection at Jacobs Medical Center". UC San Diego Health. University of California San Diego. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  20. Johnson, Christina (3 December 2015). "Let's Go Local". thisweek@ucsandiego. University of California San Diego. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  21. Dietsche, Erin (7 December 2016). "UC San Diego Health lets patients control their rooms with iPads". Becker's Hospital Review. Becker's Healthcare. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  22. "At Jacobs Medical the bedside manner is increasingly digital". Digital Commerce 360. Vertical Web Media. 16 December 2016. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
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