UC Davis Health is proud to have earned accolades and recognition by virtue of its medical excellence and significant health care contributions.

One of America’s best hospitals, and No. 1 in Sacramento

U.S. News Best Hospitals 2021-22 national badgeUC Davis Medical Center ranked as one of the nation’s best hospitals for 2022-23 in nine adult medical specialties, according to the annual U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals survey published in July 2022. 

The annual ranking analyzes nearly 5,000 hospitals and recognizes those that excel in treating patients with the most serious and challenging injuries and illnesses. UC Davis ranked among the nation’s top 50 in cancer care; cardiology & heart surgery; diabetes & endocrinology; ENT; geriatrics; gynecology; neurology & neurosurgery; orthopedics; and pulmonology & lung surgery.

In regional rankings, UC Davis Medical Center was recognized once again as No. 1 in the Sacramento area and among the top 10 in California.

High performing in many common procedures and conditions

US News Best Hospitals regional badgeU.S. News & World Report also rated UC Davis Medical Center high performing in several common types of procedures and conditions, including back surgery (spinal fusion), COPD, colon cancer surgery, diabetes, heart attack, heart failure, kidney failure, lung cancer surgery, ovarian cancer surgery, pneumonia, prostate cancer surgery, stroke, and transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR).

Among the nation’s best children’s hospitals

U.S. News Best Children's Hospitals badgeU.S. News & World Report ranked UC Davis Children’s Hospital among the nation’s best children’s hospitals in five pediatric specialties in the publication’s 2022-23 ratings. The children’s hospital ranked in diabetes & endocrinology, neonatology, nephrology, and pulmonology & lung surgery. The hospital also ranked in orthopedics in collaboration with Shriners Children’s Northern California, its longstanding partner in caring for children with burns, spinal cord injuries, urological issues and orthopaedic disorders.

Hospitals’ scores relied on clinical data as well as an annual survey of pediatric specialists. The U.S. News Best Children’s Hospital rankings help parents determine where to get the best medical care for their children.

Nation’s highest recognition for nursing excellence

Magnet Recognition Program®UC Davis Medical Center was granted Magnet® recognition by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) again in late 2018. The designation is the nation’s highest form of recognition for nursing excellence and a benchmark for the quality of care patients receive.

Less than 10 percent of U.S. hospitals carry Magnet designation, which is valid for four years. UC Davis is the only medical center in Sacramento to earn the highly regarded recognition, developed to recognize health care organizations for quality patient care, nursing excellence and innovations in professional nursing practices.

Among America’s best medical and nursing schools

U.S. News Best Grad Schools - Nursing U.S. News Best Grad Schools - Medical

U.S. News Best Grad Schools - Medical, Primary Care

UC Davis School of Medicine and the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis rank among the best graduate schools in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report.

In its annual list of America’s best medical schools for 2023-2024, the magazine named the medical school No. 3 for its diversity, No. 5 in family medicine, and No. 6 in primary care. The medical school also landed No. 15 in psychiatry, No. 22 in public health (tie), and No. 50 for research (tie). 

In its list of the nation's best nursing schools for 2023-24, the publication ranked the School of Nursing’s  master’s-degree programs in nursing as 23rd for the third year, tied with three other schools. The rankings include the Master’s Entry Program in Nursing and the master’s degree family nurse practitioner (F.N.P.) program. 

In addition, for the first time the Master of Health Services — Physician Assistant Studies Degree Program (P.A.) moved up to 40th in the nation, tied with five other programs. The program came in at No. 74 the last time P.A. programs were ranked in 2019. 

National Cancer Institute ‘comprehensive’ designation

Comprehensive Cancer Center logoUC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center is one of only two such centers in Northern California that has earned National Cancer Institute (NCI) “comprehensive” designation. UC Davis is one of approximately 52 U.S. cancer centers at any one time to have earned the status, which signifies that it meets stringent criteria in the areas of laboratory, clinical and population-based research, professional and public education, and in dissemination of advances to the communities it serves.

The designation is the world’s most prestigious honor in oncology, reserved for less than 1 percent of cancer centers nationwide.

Ranked among the World’s Best Hospitals

UC Davis Medical Center rated among the World’s Best Hospitals in 2022 according to Newsweek. UC Davis ranked 150th, and was the only hospital in the Sacramento region to earn this recognition. UC Davis Medical Center ranked 33rd in the United States.

The annual rankings, which consider a universe of more than 2,200 hospitals in 27 countries, consider factors such as: recommendations from peers through an international online survey; surveys measuring patient satisfaction with hospitals; and medical performance indicators such as patient safety, hygiene measures, and quality of treatment.

Autism center of excellence

MIND Institute exteriorThe internationally known UC Davis MIND Institute neurodevelopmental institute has achieved status as one of nine National Institutes of Health-supported Autism Centers of Excellence and as a federally designated Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities.

MIND Institute studies regularly appear in lists of the nation’s top autism research achievements as compiled by organizations such as Autism Speaks, the world’s largest autism advocacy and research organization.

Rated among the Best Maternity Care Hospitals

UC Davis Medical Center was named to Newsweek’s 2023 Best Maternity Hospitals, announced in spring by Newsweek and the global market research and consumer data firm Statista.

The distinction recognizes facilities that have provided exceptional care to mothers, newborns and their families. 2023 was the fourth year in a row that UC Davis Medical Center was included on the list.

Blue Distinction Center for Maternity Care

Blue Shield Maternity Care badgeUC Davis Medical Center has been designated as a Blue Distinction Center for Maternity Care. This designation demonstrates our expertise and commitment to quality care for vaginal and cesarean section deliveries; better overall patient satisfaction; and a lower percentage of early elective deliveries.

Center of Excellence – Obstetric anesthesia service

SOAP badgeUC Davis Medical Center’s obstetric anesthesia service is one of 17 globally to receive the prestigious Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology’s (SOAP) Center of Excellence designation. The SOAP Center of Excellence designation sets a benchmark for expected care that helps improve national standards by providing quality metrics for institutions that offer obstetric anesthesia care.

Leader in Healthcare Equality

HEI badgeFor the 11th consecutive year, the educational arm of America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people recognized UC Davis Medical Center as a LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader in 2022.

The award demonstrates commitment to equitable, inclusive care for LGBTQ patients and their families, who can face significant challenges in securing quality health care and respect.

Sacramento region top doctors

UC Davis Health physicians received more than 280 Top Docs honors in Sacramento Magazine’s annual list of our region’s best doctors, published in the magazine’s December 2022 issue. The list ranges across dozens of medical specialties, and demonstrates UC Davis Health’s across-the-board expertise in patient care delivery.

These physicians were selected by their peers in a survey conducted by Professional Research Services Company of Troy, Michigan. 

Best Hospitals for Billing Ethics

UC Davis Medical Center is recognized as one of Money-Leapfrog's 2022 Best Hospitals for Billing Ethics. To compile the list, Money magazine partnered with The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit watchdog organization that serves as a voice for health care consumers and purchasers. The scoring used data from Leapfrog's annual survey of more than 2,200 hospitals around the country; UC Davis Medical Center ranked in an elite group of 565.

Most Wired recognition for 11th year in a row

Most Wired Ambulatory 2022Most Wired Acute 2022

UC Davis Health received Digital Health Most Wired recognition from the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME). The Medical Center earned a certified level 10, the highest level, on both the acute and ambulatory care surveys. UC Davis Health is one of only 17 hospitals in the nation and the only health system in California to achieve level 10 status in both the acute and ambulatory care categories.

The Most Wired program conducts a survey annually to assess how effectively health care organizations throughout the nation utilize technology in their clinical and business programs to improve the health of their communities.

Patient-centered primary care

Most UC Davis Medical Group primary care clinics have been formally designated as Patient-Centered Medical Homes from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). This approach to primary care uses a physician-led team to deliver coordinated, high-quality care aided by technology to connect team members and patients.

Medical homes emphasize shared decisions to help patients to make informed choices and receive better results. They also stress strong communication and coordination of care among all of a patient’s health-care providers, and offer patients better access through expanded hours and online communication.

Recognized as a leader in environmental excellence by Practice Greenhealth

Top 25 Hospital logoUC Davis Health has been recognized as a national leader in environmental sustainability, and received the highest honor as a Top 25 hospital by Practice Greenhealth

Other achievements include the Greening the OR Recognition Award and five designations in the Circles of Excellence in food, sustainable procurement, water, transportation, and green building.

Re-verified level I Children’s Surgery Center

HEI logoUC Davis Children’s Hospital has been re-verified as a level I Children’s Surgery Center by the American College of Surgeons (ACS), the world’s largest scientific and educational association of surgeons. In 2016 UC Davis Children’s Hospital became the first hospital on the West Coast, and only the fourth in the nation, to earn this level I verification as a Level I Children’s Surgery Center.

The guidelines ensure that children facing surgery receive care under a multidisciplinary program with quality improvement and safety processes, data collection and appropriate resources provided to them as patients at the hospital.

National certification for heart attack care

Beacon award badge

UC Davis Medical Center has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® and the American Heart Association’s Heart-Check mark for Primary Heart Attack Center (PHAC) Certification. PHAC certifications are awarded to hospitals and centers devoted to consistent, organized and quality care for ST-elevated myocardial infarction (STEMI) — commonly known as heart attack — cases.

The Joint Commission is an independent, nonprofit organization that accredits and certifies more than 22,000 health care organizations and programs in the U.S. It is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care.

National awards for stroke and heart failure care

Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award badgeGet With The Guidelines- Heart Failure Bronze Award badge

UC Davis Medical Center has been recognized by the American Heart Association with multiple Get With The Guidelines® awards for its commitment to following researched-based guidelines for treating stroke and heart failure:

  • Stroke Gold Plus: For reaching an aggressive goal of treating patients to core standard levels of care for at least two consecutive years.
  • Target Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus: For meeting quality measures to reduce time between hospital arrival and clot-busting treatment.
  • Advanced Therapy Award: Recognizing speed of delivery for clot-busting drugs to stroke patients upon hospital arrival: 90 minutes or less for ED arrivals, and 60 minutes or less for transfers.

Comprehensive stroke center

UC Davis Medical Center has been certified as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by The Joint Commission. “Comprehensive” is the organization’s highest level of stroke certification, for hospitals with specific abilities to receive and treat the most complex stroke cases. The certification means that UC Davis has the complete range of expertise and resources necessary for improving survival and outcomes for stroke patients. 

The Joint Commission is an independent, nonprofit organization that accredits and certifies more than 22,000 health care organizations and programs in the U.S. It is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care.

Platinum Level Excellence in Life Support Award

ELSO platinum badge

UC Davis Medical Center has received the Platinum Level ELSO Award for Excellence in Life Support from the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO) for its Extracorporeal Life Support Program, which provides lifesaving support for failing organ systems in infants, children and adults. The award recognizes centers that demonstrate an exceptional commitment to evidence-based processes and quality measures, staff training and continuing education, patient satisfaction, and ongoing clinical care. UC Davis is first hospital in California to receive the honor.

Excellence award for med-surg ICU

A major nursing organization, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN), conferred an award for excellence on UC Davis Medical Center’s Medical Surgical Intensive Care Unit (MSICU), a specialized environment for critically ill medical/surgical patients. The silver-level Beacon Award for Excellence recognizes unit caregivers who successfully improve patient outcomes and align practices with AACN standards for a healthy work environment.

Excellence award for NICU

Beacon award badge

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at UC Davis Children’s Hospital is now the 12th in the U.S. to receive a gold-level Beacon Award for Excellence from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN). It is the only hospital in Northern California to receive this honor. The Beacon Award for Excellence — a significant milestone on the path to exceptional patient care and healthy work environments — recognizes caregivers who successfully improve patient outcomes and align practices with AACN’s six Healthy Work Environment Standards. These standards are skilled communication, true collaboration, effective decision making, appropriate staffing, meaningful recognition and authentic leadership.

Leading-edge provider of care in vascular and vein medicine

Intersocietal Accreditation Commission | Vein CenterThe UC Davis Vascular Center’s vein program has been accredited by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC) for the evaluation and treatment of venous disorders. At the time of awarding UC Davis was only the second vein program in California to carry the rare accreditation, which signifies that UC Davis provides care for varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency in accordance with national standards and benchmarks.

Huntington’s Disease Center of Excellence

The Huntington’s Disease Society of America named UC Davis a Center of Excellence for Family Services and Research, recognizing its expertise in clinical care for Huntington’s disease patients. UC Davis has held the distinction since 2001.

The UC Davis Huntington’s Disease Center has also been acknowledged as a Level 1 Huntington’s Disease Center of Excellence by the Huntington’s Disease Society of America. The acknowledgement recognizes the center’s service to over 300 families coping with the disease and its plan to provide services to underserved families coping with Huntington’s who are affiliated with Kaiser Permanente in Northern California. 

Level 4 epilepsy center

UC Davis Comprehensive Epilepsy Program is a member of the National Association of Epilepsy Centers and is a self-designated Level 4 Epilepsy Center. Level 4 epilepsy centers have the professional expertise and facilities to provide the highest level medical and surgical evaluation and treatment for patients with complex epilepsy.

Meets the highest quality standards for cancer care

UC Davis Oncology & Hematology and Comprehensive Cancer Center is recognized by the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI®) Certification Program, an affiliate of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). The certification is specific to oncology practice at the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center in meeting national guidelines for high quality oncology care. The QOPI® Certification Program certifies oncology practices that meet the highest quality standards for cancer care. UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center is among the first to become certified in Northern California. There are 286 QOPI certified practices in the US, and only 15 in California.

Age-Friendly Health Systems designations

UC Davis Health has joined the national Age-Friendly Health Systems initiative, and UC Davis Medical Center (inpatient), its emergency department, and its one-stop Healthy Aging Clinic for older adults have all earned national recogntion via the Age-Friendly Health Systems designation. The awards are part of UC Davis Health’s work to tailor care to older patients’ goals and preferences and ensure high quality. Age-Friendly Health Systems is an initiative of The John A. Hartford Foundation and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), in partnership with the American Hospital Association (AHA) and the Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA). The goal is to build a social movement so that all care involving older adults is age friendly.

UC Davis Health has also earned membership in the NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders) program of The Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing at New York University College of Nursing, with UC Davis Medical Center at the Senior Friendly level of designation. NICHE membership demonstrates organizational commitment, continued progress toward improving quality, and enhancing the patient and family experience. 

Both measures are part of UC Davis Health’s Healthy Aging Initiative goal to create the healthiest and highest-functioning older adult population in Northern California due to the care, research and innovation at UC Davis.

Recognized for leadership in emergency care for older adults

The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) awarded Geriatric Emergency Department AccreditationGold Level 1, the highest level — to the geriatric ED at UC Davis Medical Center in 2022. UC Davis Health was the only ED in Sacramento to earn the accreditation at the time of the award, and joined only 21 other EDs in the nation with gold status. 
In 2021, UC Davis Health was named an Age-Friendly Health Systems Committed to Care Excellence system for its age-friendly approach in the Emergency Department at UC Davis Medical Center. 
UC Davis Health's participation in both designations is part of its own Healthy Aging Initiative, designed to create an integrated approach to older adults across the lifespan and all care settings at UC Davis Health.

Comprehensive Education Institute for virtual care

The UC Davis Center for Virtual Care has been accredited as a Comprehensive Education Institute by the American College of Surgeons — an honor bestowed on only a handful of simulation centers worldwide.

The accreditation acknowledges the center for offering exceptional educational opportunities that allow health professionals to maintain their skills and explore new procedures and technologies. The center’s patient-simulation and advanced robotics technologies create a virtual hospital environment, giving health professionals the opportunity to practice new invasive procedures and emergency medicine interventions before they treat patients.

A Forbes best California employer

UC Davis Health ranked #12 on Forbes magazine's third annual list of the best employers in California released in August 2021. Forbes partnered with market research company Statista to compile the list, compiled by surveying 80,000 Americans working for businesses with at least 500 employees. Surveys were conducted on a rolling basis from October 2020 to June 2021 and were anonymous, allowing participants to freely share their opinions. The final list ranks the 1,330 employers that received the most recommendations. UC Davis overall ranked #3 on the list.

Listed Emerging Champion – Frontline Healthcare Worker Recognition

CareerSTAT Emerging Champion Award UC Davis Health has been recognized nationwide as an Emerging Champion of the Frontline Healthcare Worker Recognition program by CareerSTAT. The health system continues to support and invest in the education and workforce development of its frontline employees.

Recognized for Highest Level of Specialty Quality Care

The UC Davis Health Specialty Pharmacy has been accredited for the highest level of commitment to quality care, improved processes, industry best practices, and successful patient outcomes by URAC, a nonprofit organization and frontrunner in promoting health care quality.

The Specialty Pharmacy will continue to be accredited for the next four years.

2020 Smart Catch Leader


UC Davis Medical Center is Sacramento’s largest farm-to-fork food service, and has been honored again as the only hospital – and Sacramento venue – in the nation to be recognized as a 2020 Smart Catch Leader by the James Beard Foundation for culinary excellence and sustainable food practices.