University of California President Michael V. Drake toured UC San Diego's campus, health centers and new downtown location on October 28 and 29. In his first visit to UC San Diego since being named the system’s leader, President Drake engaged one-on-one with students, faculty, and campus and health staff to learn more about UC San Diego's excellence in education, research, patient care and service.
President Drake visited a full range of laboratories and multidisciplinary centers that highlight UC San Diego’s collaborations and strengths across disciplines – from the physical, marine and social sciences, to engineering, medicine, arts and humanities. He visited both Hillcrest and Jacobs Medical Centers to meet with doctors, nurses and staff and to see the region’s top hospitals in action.
Breaking ground later this month is Phase 1 of a multi-phased, longterm project to reimagine our Hillcrest Medical Center. Phase 1 includes the construction of a new parking structure and 250,000-square-foot outpatient pavilion with specialty clinical programs, such as oncology, cardiology, neurosurgery and orthopedics, as well as ambulatory surgery operating rooms, gastroenterology procedure rooms, advanced imaging, infusion and radiation oncology. Already a premier destination for patients in our region, the Hillcrest site will deeply expand its capabilities to care for the community, elevating the already exceptional care and medical education UC San Diego provides to the region.
UC San Diego Health was recently ranked #1 in San Diego County and #5 in California by U.S. News & World Report and was ranked 3rd nationally out of 101 members in the Comprehensive Academic Medical Centers cohort to be recognized for demonstrating excellence in delivering high-quality care based on the Vizient Quality and Accountability Ranking.
The two-day tour also included two of UC San Diego's ongoing construction projects. We stopped first at UC San Diego Park and Market in downtown San Diego. Drawing on the resources of our top-tiered global research university, the new downtown space will convene an array of talent and resources allowing individuals, organizations, students, staff, and faculty to build new productive relationships focused on outcomes that directly impact equity, diversity and inclusion in San Diego and beyond. The new facility will open in 2022.
Beginning November 21, Park and Market will be a short trolley ride away from our new Design and Innovation Building located in the heart of our main campus in La Jolla. This new facility will become a center for design and innovation activities, which are currently distributed across the campus. The Design and Innovation Building opens on November 18. The UC San Diego Blue Line opens November 21.
President Drake also toured UC San Diego's Scripps Institution of Oceanography, one of the most important centers for global earth science research and education in the world.
President Drake got to see the new Scripps Ocean Atmosphere Research Simulator (SOARS) in action. SOARS mimics the ocean with unprecedented accuracy, capturing the interactions of wind, waves, microbial marine life, and chemistry at the sea surface in a laboratory setting. With SOARS, scientists are exploring how the introduction of pollutants by human activities are changing the chemistry of the ocean and atmosphere which could impact one way nature regulates climate.
It was a pleasure to show President Drake how extraordinary UC San Diego truly is. Seeing it first-hand underscores the tremendous impact we have on our region, our state, our country and our planet.