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History & Achievements of U of U Health

A Legacy of Excellence Since 1905

From implanting the first artificial heart to nurturing a Nobel Laureate in genetics to using genomic technology to rapidly diagnose critically ill infants, University of Utah Health has its own legacy that will inspire future leaders in health care. Having doubled in size over the last ten years, our rate of growth is a standalone demonstration of the value and quality of our patient care, education, and research. 




  • Dedication of the Huntsman Mental Health Institute.
  • First COVID-19 vaccine administered in Utah.
  • Medical students and providers join White Coats for Black Lives protest.
  • University Hospital launches NeoSeq rapid genome testing to diagnose critically ill newborns with genetic diseases.
  • Researchers from U of U Health and across campus launched more than 400 research projects to understand the new coronavirus and its impacts.
  • In collaboration with the Vice President for Research, the U of U Health 3i Initiative invested $1.3 million in seed funding to jump-start COVID-19 research.
  • The Craig H. Neilsen Rehabilitation Hospital opens on University of Utah Health campus, providing unparalleled physical rehabilitation services for patients.


  • In partnership with Intermountain Healthcare and Intermountain Precision Genomics, U of U Health launches Primary Children’s Center for Personalized Medicine to improve health care for children throughout the Mountain West.
  • The Sugar House Health Center opens in a new building in Sugar House offering an expanded 170,000 square feet in a five-floor space for primary and specialty care.


  • Mobile health unit, The Wellness Bus, established to provide care for the underserved.
  • Partnered with the Larry H. and Gail Miller Family Foundation on the Driving Out Diabetes Initiative.
  • A multidisciplinary team is formed to provider health care for transgender health patients.
  • Launch of Center for Genomic Medicine to harness the power of genomics to prevent and cure diseases.
  • Immunology, Inflammation, and Infectious Disease (3i) Initiative is established to leverage the U’s strengths in these areas to change the way we think about disease.



  • First in-human clinical trial of percutaneous osseointegrated prosthesis (POP) device.


  • Established the Diabetes and Metabolism Research Center to catalyze innovative research on diabetes and metabolic health throughout the Mountain West.
  • U of U Health becomes the official medical provider for the Miller Sports Properties, including the Utah Jazz, the Salt Lake Bees, and other sports groups.
First patient in Utah receives COVID-19 vaccine



  • The South Jordan Health Center, the U of U Health's newest multi-specialty center, opened in January. It features primary care, specialty care, and a 24-hour emergency room.
  • U of U Health published provider star rankings on our website—the first in our nation to do so—ushering in an era of increased transparency and patient-care focus.


  • University of Utah Hospital opened the country’s only Faint and Fall Clinic. Doctors in cardiology, neurology, and geriatrics work together to find answers to fainting and falling problems in patients, which account for a large number of emergency room visits and high health care costs.
  • University of Utah Health heart surgeons have transplanted nearly 250 artificial hearts (ventricular assist devices) since 1996, with 155 of these in the last three years.
  • The U’s AirMed flight program, the state’s only air emergency service offering obstetrics care, celebrated its first in-flight birth.
  • The hospital at Huntsman Cancer Institute opened an expanded wing featuring four new operating suites, 50 additional inpatient beds, and an MRI on rails that allows for real-time imaging of brain cancer patients during surgery.
  • The University Neuropsychiatric Institute (UNI) expanded to include more than 80 new inpatient beds, filling a critical need in the community for more mental health services.
  • World’s first comprehensive map of the retina’s neuron completed at the John A. Moran Eye Center.



  • The Clinical Neurosciences Center receives designation as a Neuroscience Center of Excellence (COE).


  • University of Utah Health Care opens the first integrated electrophysiology (EP) MRI laboratory in North America.
  • The Health and Wellness Center opens.
  • University of Utah Hospital opens $200 million Patient Care Pavilion.


  • The Clinical Neurosciences Center opens.
  • Groundbreaking for the expansion of the Huntsman Cancer Hospital.
  • University awarded a $22.5 million Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) from the NIH to speed the time it takes for research to be put into clinical use.



  • University of Utah Health Care celebrates the completion of Eccles Critical Care Pavilion expansion.
  • University of Utah Health Care debuts fastest scanner in the region, a new CT scanner that captures three-dimensional imaging of the heart in a single beat.
  • Mario R. Capecchi, a University of Utah gene-targeting pioneer, wins the 2007 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine.
  • University of Utah Health Care Stroke Center received Gold Performance Achievement Award by the American Heart Association for Sustained Performance Achievement (two years or more of high performance)
  • AirMed voted International Program of the Year by The Association of Air Medical Services, which represents nearly 500 medical transport programs worldwide.


  • The new $54 million John A. Moran Eye Center opens.
  • University of Utah Health Care opens the Centerville Health Center.
  • University of Utah Health Care launches the Pancreas Transplant Program.
  • The Sports Medicine & Research Testing Laboratory in Utah is accredited by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
  • AirMed voted the 2006 International Program of the Year.


  • University of Utah Hospital's Stroke Services named region's first primary stroke center.
  • University Hospitals & Clinics celebrates 40th anniversary.
  • $40 million Spencer F. and Cleone P. Eccles Health Sciences Education Building opens.
  • Opening of the 125,000-square-foot Emma Eccles Jones Medical Research Building.
  • University of Utah Health Care launches liver transplant program.
  • University of Utah School of Medicine celebrates "A Century of Brilliance," the 100th anniversary.
  • An Alzheimer's program for the 21st Century: the center for Alzheimer's care, imaging, and research opens.


Mario Capecchi, 2007 Nobel Prize Winner in Physiology & Medicine




  • University Hospitals & Clinics provides medical care for the Winter Olympics' athletes village, along with the opening and closing ceremonies.





  • University of Utah Hospital issues patient record No. 1,000,000.
  • University Hospitals & Clinics purchases five outpatient medical clinics, creating a 14-clinic network along the Wasatch Front and in Summit County.


  • Telepharmacy offers hospital pharmacy and drugs to health centers throughout the state.


  • Utah's first double-lung transplant performed at University Hospital.
  • Utah's first telemedicine connection links University Hospital and Wendover patients.


  • Red Butte Clinic and Park City Family Health Center open, expanding community clinics, which include Wendover, Holladay, and Wasatch Clinics.


  • World’s first identification of BRCA1 (breast cancer and ovarian cancer gene). More than 50 additional genes discovered since.


Skolnick and Albright, researchers who identified the breast and ovarian cancer gene BRCA1

Skolnick and Albright, researchers who identified the breast and ovarian cancer gene BRCA1


Barney Clark, first patient to receive an artificial heart


  • Travel Clinic opens at University Hospital.
  • Bone Marrow Transplant Program begins on remodeled fifth floor of University of Utah Hospital.


  • 16-year-old Tony Shepard receives the first heart transplant in the state of Utah.
  • University of Utah Hospital installs area's first magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner.


  • University begins in-vitro fertilization program.




  • Teen Mother and Child Program established.



  • Hansen conjoined twins undergo separation surgery.
  • Nation’s first wearable artificial kidney created by Willem Kolff, MD.





  • A four-bed Newborn Intensive Care Unit opens—the first in the Mountain West.
AirMed helicopter half



  • The University of Utah Medical Center opens its doors on July 10. The new 220-bed Medical Center costs $15.6 million.



  • Clinical Research Center (CRC) funded by NIH was established at the Salt Lake County Hospital. The CRC was moved to University of Utah Hospital when it opened in July 1965.


  • Reported 126 full-time and 325 clinical faculty members.


  • Division of Postgraduate Medical Education established.


  • The University Board of Regents unanimously approved construction of a $10 million medical center.


  • U.S. Public Health Services awarded the medical school $1.5 million for research.
  • Business Bureau reported for every dollar invested in the medical school by Utah, three dollars were generated for the economy. By 2005 for every dollar provided by the state, nine dollars were generated.
  • Utah’s first open heart surgery by Russell M. Nelson, MD.



  • Cancer research building opened on campus, the first building on the health sciences campus.


  • Utah began accepting medical students from other Mountain West states.


  • Medical school awarded $416,400 grant from the National Institutes of Health to study cancer.


  • Affiliation with the Veterans Administration Hospital for teaching medical students and residents.


  • First research grant of $100,000 provided by the U.S. Public Health Service to the medical school to study genetic diseases. This was the first grant awarded to any medical school through this organization and was renewed annually for 33 years, bringing nearly $10 million to Utah. Awarded to Maxwell Wintrobe, MD, PhD.


  • Residency training program in medicine started.
  • The four-year medical school was officially accredited on June 12.
  • The first class of the four-year school graduated Sept. 10. Four women were among the 35 graduates.


  • Clinical appointments of practicing physicians to serve as teachers.


  • First wave of new full-time faculty joined the medial school to create new academic departments and strengthen existing departments.


  • From 1906 until 1942, the two-year medical program graduated 548 students who transferred out of state to four-year medical schools to complete their requirements for a medical degree.
  • University of Utah Board of Regents approved a four-year medical school in May.
  • Agreement with Salt Lake County to use county hospital on 21st South and State Street for teaching in exchange for care of county patients at no cost to the county.
  • Medical students were accepted for their third year.




  • Premedical requirements increased to three years of college.


  • School of Pharmacy established.


  • Medical program established as a separate two-year Medical School that became a member of the American Association of Medical Schools (AAMC) and the American Medical Association (AMA) Council of Medical Education.


  • Two-year medical courses began in the Department of Biology with 14 students.