Important Information to Know During Our Campus Transformation — Read More


InspirationFountainTimeline and Milestones

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.

1987: San Diego Regional Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) program opens.

1992: The Hospital unveils it’s new logo (pictured right), which features the iconic kite used in future Rady Children’s logos.

1993: A new pavilion, now called the Rose Pavilion, opens, increasing our size to 220 beds. It includes the Sam S. and Rose Stein Emergency Care Center.

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.

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 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.

Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine sequences more than 100 genomes.

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.

Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine sequences more than 1,000 genomes. (July 20, 2018)

Patricio “Patrick” A. Frias, M.D., named new president and CEO (August 21, 2018)

Rady Children’s Hospital launches Project Baby Bear, a Medi-Cal pilot funded by the State of California to provide genomic testing to acutely ill newborns in select cities across California. (September 26, 2018)

2019: Patrick Frias, M.D., starts as Rady Children’s Hospital’s new president and CEO. Ernest & Evelyn Rady commit $200 million in matching funds to reimagine the Hospital’s campus and infrastructure. Learn more.

2020: Rady Children’s Hospital, Naval Medical Center San Diego first to administer COVID-19 vaccine. Learn more.

2021: Rady Children’s leads the way in providing COVID-19 vaccines to the community and launches the COVID Collaborative for Children.

2022: Rady Children’s achieves its best-ever rankings in survey of nation’s top children’s hospitals. Learn more. Patrick Frias, president and chief executive officer of Rady Children’s, named a San Diego Business Journal 2022 CEO of the Year.