Awards & Recognition

ANCC Magnet

ANCC Magnet Designation

In summer 2018, UF Health Shands hospitals and programs achieved a fourth-consecutive Magnet designation by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) — the profession’s top recognition for quality patient outcomes and nursing excellence. Only 8 percent of hospitals and health systems nationwide have received Magnet designation, and only 41 out of 500 hospitals have four consecutive awards. UF Health Jacksonville received this honor in 2011 and subsequently in 2016. Each designation lasts four years.

Since 2003, the following UF Health hospitals and programs have earned Magnet designation from the ANCC: UF Health Shands, including UF Health Shands Hospital, UF Health Shands Cancer Hospital, UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital, UF Health Shands HomeCare, UF Health Shands Rehab Hospital, UF Health Psychiatric Hospital; UF Health Florida Surgical Center; UF Health Children’s Surgical Center; UF Health Endoscopy Center; UF Health Dialysis Center; UF Health Heart & Vascular Hospital; and UF Health Neuromedicine Hospital.

Best Employers Honors

In 2015 and 2016, UF and UF Health were included in Forbes’ listing of “America’s Best Employers.” Out of thousands of employers in the country, 500 employers in 25 industries were selected. In 2016, UF Health was ranked No. 16 among all health care providers on the list.

In 2018, UF Health Shands was named among the 100 great places to work in health care by Becker’s Healthcare.

Cancer Center of Excellence

In January 2018, Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Department of Health once again recognized the University of Florida Health Cancer Center, with locations in Gainesville and Orlando, as a state-designated Cancer Center of Excellence. The designation by the Florida Legislature recognizes hospitals and treatment centers that demonstrate excellence in patient-centered coordinated care for people undergoing cancer treatment and chemotherapy.

The Department of Health based the designation on a “systems approach” to improving the quality of cancer care, focused on three areas: the health care organization, the health care team members and patients and family members.

UF Health TraumaOne receives top national recognition

UF Health TraumaOne, the only adult and pediatric Level I trauma center in Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia, received official verification from the American College of Surgeons in 2018, a distinction given only to trauma centers that meet the most stringent criteria. UF Health Jacksonville, which opened its trauma center in 1983, is just the eighth verified trauma center in Florida and joins approximately 500 verified trauma centers nationwide. The closest verified Level I trauma centers in Florida are in Tampa and South Florida.

UF Health pediatric and adult ECMO program earns prestigious international award

In 2018, the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization gave UF Health its Gold Level ELSO Award for Excellence in Life Support for its exceptional care in using extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, or ECMO, in both the pediatric and adult programs.

UF Health joins Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation Care Center Network

UF Health was designated as a member of the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation’s Care Center Network in 2018, making it one of just 60 medical centers nationwide with the highest level of expertise and resources for the treatment of interstitial lung disease. The UF Health interstitial lung disease program serves a large geographic area in central and northern Florida, southern Georgia and southern Alabama. The closest member of the network is in Charleston, S.C., about 316 miles away.

Greening the OR Recognition Award

In recognition of standard-setting innovation and environmental stewardship, UF Health Shands Hospital earned a 2018 Greening the OR Recognition Award from Practice Greenhealth, an organization dedicated to environmental sustainability in health care. The award recognizes the facility demonstrating the most success in reducing the environmental impact of its surgical suites.


In March 2015, UF Health Shands Hospital was awarded the Baby-Friendly designation by Baby-Friendly USA, a global initiative of the World Health Organization and UNICEF that recognizes birthing facilities that implement specific breastfeeding procedures.

AACCN Beacon Awards for Excellence

UF Health Shands currently has five nursing care units with active Beacon Awards for Excellence issued by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses: the Cardiac ICU (gold), the Pediatric ICU (gold), the Surgical/Trauma ICU (gold), the Trauma/Lung Transplant Unit (gold) and the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (silver).

A Beacon Award — recognized at a gold, silver or bronze level — is a three-year designation that recognizes nursing teams that meet national criteria consistent with Magnet recognition by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and the National Quality Healthcare Award. The award identifies individual nursing units that promote healthy work environments conducive to collaboration, and collect and use evidence-based research to improve patient outcomes, patient and staff satisfaction and credibility. Beacon Award criteria include leadership structures and systems; appropriate staffing and staff engagement; effective communication, knowledge management, learning and development; and evidence-based practices and processes.

Florida Governor's Sterling Award

In 2008, UF Health Shands Hospital was recognized with the Florida Governor's Sterling Award — the state's top honor for performance excellence. UF Health was the largest organization to receive this prestigious award since its introduction in 1993. Few health care systems have been recognized this way for quality, outcomes and organizational excellence.

UF Health Shands Hospital showed strong results across all facilities for 80 percent of reported data, consistently performing in the top 25 percent in key health care industry measures, with some approaching the top 10 percent, or benchmark levels.

Issued by the Florida Sterling Council, the Governor's Sterling Award is based on the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award criteria for performance excellence, issued by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, U.S. Department of Commerce.

UF Health Shands Hospital also was listed as high performing in 7 specialties by USNWR.
University of Florida Health Shands Hospital has been recognized among the nation’s best hospitals in nine adult medical specialties. Overall, UF Health Shands Hospital was recognized as the top hospital in Florida. In addition to being ranked among the nation’s top 50 hospitals in nine specialties, UF Health Shands Hospital also was listed as “high performing” in seven specialties, including abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, colon cancer surgery, hip replacement, knee replacement, lung cancer surgery, heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD.

World-Class Care

  • The UF Health Science Center is a world leader in interdisciplinary research, and consistently generates more than 50 percent of UF's total research awards.
  • University of Florida Health Shands Hospital ranks among the nation’s best in nine specialties in the 2020-21 U.S. News & World Report “Best Hospitals” survey. No other Florida hospital has more than nine adult specialties ranked in the nation’s top 50, up from seven ranked specialties a year ago. And for the sixth year in a row, UF Health Shands is ranked in more adult and pediatric specialties combined than any other hospital in the state – a total of 12, factoring in the pediatric rankings released in June. UF Health Shands is ranked the No. 1 hospital in Florida, with its highest national rankings coming in geriatrics; nephrology; ear, nose and throat; pulmonology and lung surgery; and urology.
  • The University of Florida Health Shands Children’s Hospital is ranked among the nation’s best pediatric hospitals in three medical specialties for 2020-21 — pediatric cardiology, pulmonology and diabetes/endocrinology, according to the 2020-21 Best Children’s Hospitals rankings released by U.S. News & World Report. UF Health’s pediatric cardiology and heart surgery program now stands at No. 12 in the nation. Diabetes and endocrinology earned a No. 22 ranking, and pulmonology was ranked No. 27.
  • UF Health Jacksonville ranked among the nation’s best in oral and maxillofacial surgery according to the 2020-21 U.S. News & World Report America’s Best Hospitals rankings. UF Health Jacksonville was also singled out as high-performing in the specialties of gastroenterology/gastroenterology surgery and urology, and in the patient care procedures/conditions of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, and heart failure.
  • The UF Health Shands Comprehensive Stroke Center is certified by The Joint Commission and the American Stroke Association/American Heart Association. Comprehensive stroke center certification recognizes hospitals that have state-of-the-art infrastructure, experienced staff and extensive training to receive and treat people with simple and complex strokes. The UF Health Shands Comprehensive Stroke Center has been certified by The Joint Commission as a testament to meeting comprehensive stroke center standards and requirements, including advanced imaging capabilities, 24/7 availability of specialized treatments and staff with unique education and competency standards. The UF Health Shands Comprehensive Stroke Center is now part of an elite group of providers focused on quality stroke care. Comprehensive stroke centers are recognized as industry leaders and are responsible for setting the national agenda in expert stroke care.
  • UF Health Jacksonville is designated as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by the Agency for Health Care Administration; and is certified as a Comprehensive Stroke Center with the Gold Seal of Approval™ by The Joint Commission. The hospital is also a recipient of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold (UF Health Jacksonville Gold Plus) Performance Achievement Award.

Community Support

  • UF Health had 40 teams registered for the March of Dimes March for Babies in 2018 and raised $64,638. UF Health was the #2 team in Alachua County.
  • In 2018, UF Health staff pledged $247,000 to the United Way Campaign. UF Health also earned a Top 10 Campaign Award from the United Way in 2013 and 2014, and the Most Creative Campaign Award in 2013.
  • 2018 was the 8th year in a row that UF Health was the number one top fund raising company for the American Heart Association’s Alachua County Heart Walk, raising $51,160 with 910 registered walkers.
  • UF Health had two of the top 20 fundraising teams for the 2015 American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk.