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Coordinates: 41°39′29″N 91°32′53″W / 41.658°N 91.548°W / 41.658; -91.548

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
Location 200 Hawkins Drive, Iowa City, Iowa, United States
Care system Medicare/Medicaid/Private[1]
Hospital type Teaching
Affiliated university University of Iowa
Emergency department I[2]
Beds 680[3][4]
Founded 1898[5]
Website home page
Lists Hospitals in the United States

The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC) is a 762-bed public teaching hospital and level 1 trauma center affiliated with the University of Iowa. UIHC is part of University of Iowa Health Care, a partnership that includes the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and the University of Iowa Physicians group practice.

It is located in Iowa City, Iowa at Melrose Avenue and Hawkins Drive near Kinnick Stadium. At times during televised Hawkeye football games, the hospital can be seen in the background. The hospital is one of three hospitals in Iowa City, the others being Mercy Hospital - Iowa City and the Iowa City VA Medical Center. UIHC employs over 7100 people. The hospital is overseen by the Iowa Board of Regents. It is Iowa's only comprehensive, tertiary-level center and also its premier medical facility. In addition to taking care of local patients, people throughout the state and region are often referred to the University's hospitals for treatment of serious or complex illnesses or injuries.



The University of Iowa began medical services in 1873 when its medical department entered into an agreement with the Sisters of Mercy to operate a small hospital in the community. Davenport, Iowa physician Washington Freeman Peck and other physicians raised $5,000 to renovate a vacant school building known as Mechanics Academy into a 20-bed hospital. This hospital had two open wards for both men and women, four private rooms, and a surgical amphitheater. Dr. Peck convinced the Mother Superior of the Davenport-based Sisters of Mercy to send nuns to Iowa City to help care for patients. This arrangement lasted until 1885, when the Sisters moved to a nearby vacant mission and opened Mercy Hospital one year later.

It soon became apparent that a new hospital was needed as the University was outgrowing its original facility. In 1896 the state of Iowa approved the needed appropriations. A 65-bed hospital was built in 1898 where the school's Seashore Hall is now located. This facility was state of the art at the time of its construction, with both electrical lighting and steam heating. The hospital featured a 200-seat amphitheater for instructional purposes.

Following passage of indigent care laws in 1928, patient admissions increased greatly. The current hospital was built in 1928 as a 735-bed hospital. At the time of its construction, the hospital building was one of the largest in the country.

National Distinctions

Ever since U.S.News & World Report began publishing its “Best Hospitals in America” reports in 1990, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics has appeared on that list every year. In 2009, UI Hospitals and Clinics had three specialties ranked within the top 10 nationally: Otolaryngology (third); Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences (sixth); and Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation (eighth). Other ranked specialties at UI Hospitals and Clinics include: neurology/neurosurgery (22); cancer (27); kidney (34); and gynecology (36).

More than 270 UI Physicians have been named “Best Doctors in America” by their peers. ([1])

Wellmark Center of Excellence in Bariatric Surgery

NCI Comprehensive cancer center (one of less than 60 nationally).[6]

Magnet Award for Nursing Excellence (first in Iowa)

Development site of buffered aspirin, later marketed by Bristol-Meyers as Bufferin.

First hospital in the U.S. to implant a multichannel cochlear implant that helps deaf patients hear sounds that can be interpreted as speech.

First hospital in the world to implant a multichannel cochlear implant in a congenitally deaf child.

First research center to discover the gene for open-angle glaucoma.

First hospital in the world to use robotic surgery for removal of an adrenal carcinoma (an aggressive deadly tumor) and an adrenal mass from a pediatric patient.

World's smallest patient (Nissen fundoplication in a 5.7 pound infant) to undergo gastric reflux surgery using the da Vinci robotic surgical system.

First hospital in the U.S. to perform digital breast tomosynthesis imaging, which allows physicians to "page through" the interior of the breast without the superimposition of the other tissues.


Several advances were pioneered at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. One such advance was the development of modern-day blood banking in 1939. Dr. Elmer L. DeGowin and his team were able to refrigerate, ship and use banked blood. The world’s first horizontal gastroplasty surgery for morbid obesity was performed at the hospital in 1971. In 1982, UIHC otolaryngologists were the first in the country to place a multichannel cochlear implant in a person. More recently, in 2005, the Center of Excellence in Image-Guided Radiation Therapy, the world’s most advanced radiation oncology treatment center, opened.


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