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 Shands 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 2016, UF Health Shands was named among the 150 great places to work in health care by Becker’s Healthcare.

Cancer Center of Excellence

In March 2015, Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Department of Health 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.


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.

The hospital is the only academic health facility in the state of Florida, the seventh hospital in the state of Florida and the only one in North Central Florida to successfully implement all the required standards for this designation, which will allow the staff to educate and encourage skills that result in successful breastfeeding.

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.

USNWR recognized UF Health as one of the best hospitals in Florida.UF Health Shands Hospital also was listed as high performing in 10 specialties by USNWR.
University of Florida Health Shands Hospital has been recognized among the nation’s best hospitals in six adult medical specialties. Overall, UF Health Shands Hospital was recognized as one of the best hospitals in Florida. In addition to being ranked among the nation’s top 50 hospitals in six specialties, UF Health Shands Hospital also was listed as “high performing” in four specialties, including cancer, cardiology and heart surgery, orthopaedics and urology.

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 six specialties in the 2018-19 U.S. News & World Report “Best Hospitals” survey released today, ranking highest in Florida in pulmonology and in neurology and neurosurgery. UF Health Shands ranked No. 2 overall among Florida hospitals. No other Florida hospital has more than six specialties ranked in the nation’s top 50. And for the fourth year in a row, UF Health Shands ranked in more adult and pediatric specialties than any other hospital in the state — a total of 12, factoring in pediatric rankings released in June.
  • The University of Florida Health Shands Children’s Hospital once again ranked among the nation’s best pediatric hospitals in six medical specialties for 2018-19, moving even higher in pediatric cardiology and heart surgery and in pulmonology, according to the Best Children’s Hospitals rankings released today by U.S. News & World Report. The hospital ranked among the nation’s elite in the same six specialties as it did a year ago. But UF Health’s pediatric cardiology and heart surgery program moved up two places from last year to 19th nationwide, the highest-ranked specialty at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital. That also is a historically high ranking for the program. Additional rankings included pulmonology, which moved up 11 spots from last year to 22nd, also a historically high ranking. The other ranked specialties were diabetes and endocrinology (27nd), neonatology (39th), cancer (49th) and neurology and neurosurgery (50th).
  • UF Health Jacksonville was recognized in the 2016-17 U.S. News & World Report America’s Best Hospitals report as a high-performing hospital in the specialties of nephrology and urology and high-performing marks for the care of patients with heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
  • UF Health Shands Hospital is designated as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by the Agency for Health Care Administration and is certified as a Primary Stroke Center with the Gold Seal of Approval™ by The Joint Commission. The hospital is 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. UF Health Shands Hospital received the Target: Stroke Honor Roll — an elevated distinction for quality outcomes — and has received a 5-star rating for stroke care from Healthgrades.
  • 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.
  • The Florida Nurses Association awarded the nursing program at UF Health Shands Hospital — including UF Health Shands Psychiatric Hospital and UF Health Shands Rehab Hospital — with the 2011 Frances Smith Award for Promotion of Clinical Excellence in the Workplace for supporting clinical excellence and fostering an environment that encourages participation in conferences, recognition events, education and mentor programs.
  • LifeQuest Organ Recovery Services, operated at UF Health Shands Hospital, received the Silver Medal of Honor for Organ Donation from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Health Resources and Services Administration in 2010 and 2012.

Community Support

  • UF Health had 41 teams registered for the March of Dimes March for Babies in 2015 and raised $60,225. UF Health received the Gold Boot, recognizing the area’s number two fundraising team overall.
  • In 2015, UF Health staff pledged $248,184.88 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.
  • UF Health raised more than $44,000 and had 1,090 walkers registered for the American Heart Association’s 2015 Alachua County Heart Walk.
  • UF Health had two of the top 20 fundraising teams for the 2015 American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk.

UF Health has received awards and honors from many organizations, including the following:

  • Alachua County Medical Society - We Care Program
  • American Cancer Society
  • American Heart Association
  • Angel Flight Southeast
  • Chamber of Commerce
  • Dance Alive
  • Gainesville Community Orchestra
  • Gainesville Harmony Show Chorus
  • Gainesville Sports Commission
  • Girl Scouts Gateway Council
  • Greater Gainesville Black Nurses Association, Inc.
  • Haven Hospice
  • Hippodrome State Theatre
  • Junior Achievement
  • King Celebration (Honoring Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.)
  • PKD Foundation
  • Proton Beam Golf Tournament
  • March of Dimes
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission