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

US News Best Hospitals 2020-2021 national badgeUC Davis Medical Center ranked as one of the nation’s best hospitals for 2020-21 in 9 adult medical specialties, according to the annual U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals survey published in July 2020. 

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; ENT; geriatrics; nephrology; neurology & neurosurgery; orthopedics; pulmonology & lung surgery; and urology. The medical center was also recommended as a best hospital for psychiatry.

In regional rankings, UC Davis Medical Center was recognized 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 abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, COPD, colon cancer surgery, heart failure, lung cancer surgery, gastroenterology & GI surgery, and transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR).

UC Davis Medical Center also met expected standards of care for aortic valve surgery, heart bypass surgery, hip replacement and knee replacement.

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 four pediatric specialties in the publication's 2020-21 ratings. The children's hospital ranked in neonatology and nephrology. The hospital also ranked in orthopedics and urology in collaboration with Shriners Hospitals for Children – 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.

Among America's best medical and nursing schools

U.S. News Best Grad Schools - NursingU.S. News Best Grad Schools - Medical, Surgery

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

U.S. News & World Report ranks the UC Davis School of Medicine among the top 10 in the country for primary care. In its annual list of America’s best medical schools for 2021, the magazine ranked the school 7th for primary care training. The School of Medicine also ranked 40th for research, and in the medical programs and specialties category for family medicine (9th) and surgery (24th). The annual listing appears on the publication's website and is published in its guidebook, Best Graduate Schools.

U.S. News also ranked the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis among the nation's best for master's degree nursing programs in its 2021 best graduate schools listings. The publication lists the School of Nursing’s master’s-degree programs as 40th, up six spots from last year's rankings.

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.

Only about 8 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.

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 only 49 U.S. cancer centers 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.

Autism center of excellence

MIND Institute exteriorUC Davis MIND Institute studies regularly appear in an annual list of the nation's top autism research achievements as compiled by Autism Speaks, the world’s largest autism advocacy and research organization.

The internationally known neurodevelopmental institute has also 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.

Certified Comprehensive Stroke Center

The Joint Commission National Quality Approval logoUC Davis Medical Center has been certified as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, the highest recognition possible from The Joint Commission. The certification recognizes that UC Davis has a complete range of expertise and resources necessary for improving survival and outcomes for stroke patients. 

Rated among the Best Maternity Care Hospitals

UC Davis Medical Center has been rated among the Best Maternity Care Hospitals in 2020 according to Newsweek. The ratings, published by the global digital news organization in July are part of the organizations “Best Health Care” series on top-rated health care enterprises that excel in both patient safety and quality.

2020 Smart Catch Leader


Good food is good medicine! 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.

Honored for environmental excellence by Practice Greenhealth

UC Davis Health has been honored by Practice Greenhealth for its progress on environmental performance and sustainability. The nonprofit organization cited UC Davis Health’s innovation, initiative, and leadership.

The specific accolades include: The Emerald Award; The Greening the OR Recognition Award; Circle of Excellence on Food; and the Circle of Excellence in Green Building.

Leader in Healthcare Equality

LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader logo

For the tenth 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 2020.

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

In 2019 an impressive number of UC Davis Health physicians — 219 in all — were listed among the Sacramento region’s best doctors in the Top Doctors issue of Sacramento Magazine. The physicians are from 60 specialty areas, including 16 pediatric subspecialties. The list demonstrates UC Davis Health’s across-the-board expertise in patient care delivery.

The magazine’s annual is compiled by a third-party firm, based on peer-review surveys. Thousands of doctors from various health systems and medical groups are asked to nominate colleagues they deem best in their given specialties, according to Professional Research Services, which compiles the list for the magazine.

Listed among 100 Great Hospitals in America

UC Davis Medical Center again ranks among the “100 Great Hospitals in America 2020,” a distinction by Becker's Hospital Review that recognizes excellence, leadership and innovation in the hospital and health care sector.

Becker's selected hospitals are based on analysis of several ranking and award agencies, including U.S. News & World Report's 2019-20 rankings, CareChex, Healthgrades, CMS star ratings, Leapfrog grades and IBM Watson Health top hospitals. Becker's also sought nominations for this list. Listed hospitals also provide quality patient care, conduct clinical research and have been recognized within the industry and by accrediting organizations for their commitment to excellence.

Most Wired recognition for ninth year in a row

Most Wired 2020 logo

Most Wired Ambulatory 2020 logo

UC Davis Health has been recognized again as a level 9 out of 10 in the 2020 Digital Health “Most Wired” program from the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME). The honor is earned in both the Acute and Ambulatory categories, and recognizes excellence in using technology to improve the delivery of care.

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

Sixteen 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.

2019 Excellence in Healthcare Award

UC Davis Health has achieved top marks from the Integrated Healthcare Association (IHA) for providing high-quality and affordable patient-centered care. The Excellence in Healthcare Award recognizes physician organizations that achieve top marks on quality and patient experience measures while effectively managing costs. To earn this recognition, physician organizations must perform in the top 50 percent in all three major AMP measurement areas including: clinical quality, patient experience, and total cost of care.

UC Davis Health also received a special designation for having the highest relative quality improvement from 2018 to 2019 in the Sacramento region. We are one of eight organizations throughout California to receive a most-improved distinction.

A Women's Choice Award Best Children's Hospital

Women's Choice logoWomen's Choice EC logoUC Davis Children’s Hospital has been named a Best Children’s Hospital and a Best Children’s Hospital for Emergency Care by the Women’s Choice Award. The list of 67 award winners, including UC Davis Children’s Hospital, represents hospitals that meet the highest standards for child care.

The designation is based on a point system and self-reported data from almost 100 U.S. children’s hospitals, which are judged according to criteria such as availability of specific services and capabilities; number of beds per board-certified pediatric professional in certain specialties; and levels of professional, nursing and support staff.

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.

American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Recognition

2020 Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award badge

UC Davis Medical Center received a 2020 Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold-Plus Quality Achievement Award for using measures developed by the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association to improve care and quality of life for stroke patients.

UC Davis earned the award for consistently adhering to association-backed, evidence-based guidelines that improve care and quality of life for stroke patients. Strokes are one of the major leading causes of death in America and a leading cause of adult disability.

Advanced primary stroke center

UC Davis Medical Center has been certified as an advanced primary stroke center by The Joint Commission. The Joint Commission's Primary Stroke Center Certification program was developed in 2003 in collaboration with the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association and is based on Brain Attack Coalition recommendations.

Excellence in Life Support Award

UC Davis Children's Hospital received the Excellence in Life Support Award from the international Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO) for the hospital's Extracorporeal Life Support Program, which provides lifesaving support for failing organ systems in infants, children and, in some cases, adults. The award recognizes centers worldwide that demonstrate an exceptional commitment to evidence-based processes and quality measures, training, patient satisfaction and clinical care.

Clinical Center of Excellence in Pain Management

The American Pain Society selected the UC Davis Center for Pain Medicine as a 2015 Clinical Center of Excellence  the highest recognition that a pain center can receive nationally.  The award recognizes pain-care teams that provide exemplary care for those with chronic pain disorders and acute pain after surgery or trauma, as well for people in palliative care settings who face pain from cancer and other terminal conditions. UC Davis also earned the honor in 2010.

Excellence award for intensive-care unit

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.

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. 


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.

Breast Imaging Center of Excellence

The American College of Radiology highlighted the breadth and quality of the UC Davis Health’s breast imaging services by awarding designation as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence in 2008. The title was bestowed to recognize the center's accreditation in all areas of breast imaging, including mammography, ultrasound and stereotactic biopsy.

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.

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.

Excellence for sustainability and waste reduction

UC Davis Health received the national 2018 Partner for Change Award from Practice Greenhealth, the nation’s leading organization dedicated to environmental sustainability in health care. This Environmental Excellence Award highlights top standard sustainable practices and showcases UC Davis Health's ongoing commitment to improving progress in waste reduction, renewable energy adoption, food purchasing and mercury elimination.  

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.