On August 19, 1954, Rady Children’s officially opened to receive its first 12 patients. Caring for a dozen patients may not seem that momentous, but in a town badly affected by the polio epidemic, Rady Children’s was considered a godsend.
Plans for our Hospital began in 1951 when the Board of the San Diego Society for Crippled Children initiated construction plans for a new children’s hospital. In 1953, Rady Children’s Hospital Auxiliary was formed, and later that year, groundbreaking took place.
Here are some milestones we’ve experienced throughout the years:
1961: The Hospital expands to 90 beds.
1963: The Child Development Clinic opens.
1965: The Speech and Hearing Clinic opens.
1972: Rady Children’s purchase St. Mary’s Convalescent Hospital, now called the Helen Bernardy Center for Medically Fragile Children.
1973: Children’s Hospital Emergency Transport (CHET) begins.
1975: The Hospital expands to 103 beds.
1983: Rady Children’s opens a surgical wing, the Jean Hahn Surgical Pavilion.
1984: Rady Children’s is designated San Diego County’s only pediatric Trauma Center.
1985: A center for child protection opens, now called the Chadwick Center for Children and Families.
1995: The Jane and Norman Neely Rehabilitation Institute, the outcomes center (now called the Blair L. Sadler Center for Quality Outcomes) and the Center for Healthier Communities for Children all open.
2001: UCSD, Rady Children’s and Children’s Specialists of San Diego formalize their partnership to unify pediatric patient care, research, education and community service programs. Read more.
2004: The Hospital expands to 248 beds.
2006: Because of the extraordinary generosity of the Rady Family, the Hospital is officially named Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego.
2009: Rady Children’s, now a 261-bed facility, is honored by U.S. News & World Report with six specialties ranked in the top 30.
2010: The new Acute Care Pavilion opens, making Rady Children’s the largest pediatric hospital in California (for number of patients seen).
2011: Rady Children’s, now a 442-bed facility, is ranked among the nation’s best by U.S. News & World Report in all 10 specialties surveyed. The “Castle of Care” in Oceanside and Medical West, now known as the Medical Behavioral Unit, both open.
2012: Once again, Rady Children’s is ranked in all 10 pediatric specialties surveyed by U.S. News & World Report. 360 Sports Medicine and the Rady Children’s NICU at Rancho Springs open, and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Services (CAPS) moves to Rady Children’s.
2013: For the third consecutive year, Rady Children’s is ranked in all 10 pediatric specialties surveyed by U.S. News & World Report. The Acute Cardiac Unit opens. Surgeons perform a groundbreaking procedure for scoliosis, for which Rady Children’s garners national media coverage.
2014: The Hospital expands to 520 beds. Kathleen Sellick, only the third CEO in the history of Rady Children’s, retires. For the fourth consecutive year, Rady Children’s is ranked in all 10 specialties surveyed by U.S. News & World Report. And for the first time, every ranked specialty was listed among the top 30 programs in the nation. Rady Children’s establishes the Rady Pediatric Genomic and Systems Medicine Institute at Rady Children’s. Dr. Donald Kearns is named president of Rady Children’s.
2015: Dr. Donald Kearns is named president and CEO of Rady Children’s. The Hospital performs its first heart transplant. For the fifth consecutive year, Rady Children’s is ranked in all 10 specialties surveyed by U.S. News & World Report. Our Orthopedics program achieved particular distinction, ranking as the #2 program in the nation. Stephen F. Kingsmore, M.D., D.Sc., named to lead the Rady Pediatric Genomic and Systems Medicine Institute at Rady Children’s as its president and CEO.
2016: The Rady Pediatric Genomics and Systems Medicine Institute at Rady Children’s is renamed the Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine.
2017: Rady Children’s achieves Magnet® designation, a recognition given by the American Nurses’ Credentialing Center (ANCC) to hospitals that satisfy a set of criteria that measures the strength and quality of their patient care. The standards are high — less than 7 percent of hospitals in the U.S. achieve this status. U.S News & World Report ranks Rady Children’s among the nation’s top five children’s hospitals in Orthopedics and Neonatology, and all 10 pediatric specialties surveyed achieve rankings. Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine expands rapid whole genome sequencing to Children’s Minnesota, CHOC Children’s.
2018: Donald Kearns, M.D., M.M.M., president and CEO of Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego, announced plans to retire from his role. The Rady Children’s Board of Trustees asked Dr. Kearns to stay on after the transition to serve in an advisory leadership capacity. He will focus his attention on specific areas of leadership, including genomics and philanthropy. Learn more.