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 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.

USNWR recognized UF Health as one of the best hospitals in Florida.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 seven 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 seven specialties, UF Health Shands Hospital also was listed as “high performing” in seven specialties, including abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, colon cancer surgery, COPD, heart failure, lung cancer surgery, neurology & neurosurgery and orthopaedics.

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 nations best in seven specialties in the 2019-20 U.S. News & World Report “Best Hospitals” survey, No other Florida hospital has more than seven adult specialties ranked in the nation’s top 50, up from six ranked specialties a year ago. And for the fifth 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 maintained its No. 2 position overall among Florida hospitals at a time of volatility as other health systems’ rankings fluctuated in the state, with its highest national rankings coming in urology and nephrology.
  • The University of Florida Health Shands Children’s Hospital once again ranked among the nation’s best pediatric hospitals in five medical specialties for 2019-20, making significant gains in three areas — pediatric cancer, cardiology and heart surgery, and diabetes/endocrinology, according to the 2019-20 Best Children’s Hospitals rankings released by U.S. News & World Report. UF Health’s pediatric cardiology and heart surgery program achieved a historically high ranking, moving up eight places to 11th in the nation. Two other UF Health pediatric specialties also made significant jumps: Diabetes and endocrinology is now ranked No. 19 (up from 27th), and cancer rose to No. 25 (up 24 spots from a year ago). Two more pediatric specialties — neurology and neurosurgery (42nd, up from 50th) and pulmonology (22nd, same as last year) — are also ranked among the nation’s elite programs.
  • UF Health Jacksonville ranked among the nation’s best in ear, nose and throat and nephrology according to the 2019-20 U.S. News & World Report America’s Best Hospitals rankings. UF Health Jacksonville was also singled out as high-performing in neurology & neurosurgery and for the treatment of two conditions: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, and heart failure. UF Health Jacksonville was also recognized as a “Best Hospital” in North Florida and the 16th best hospital in Florida.
  • 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.