Our History

From our humble beginning as Duval Hospital and Asylum to making history with new health care breakthroughs as UF Health Jacksonville, our unrelenting goal to provide high-quality patient care has not changed. Our roots in the city go back to 1870. In this timeline, follow along on our 150-year journey and learn more about our growth.

Navigate the timeline below using the arrows in the blue bar. Click on a year to navigate directly to that information.

1870

1883

1886

1888

1901

1910

1915

1925

1926

1931

1948

1960

1962

1966

1967

1969

1971

1972

1975

1978

1980

1983

1985

1988

1989

1990

1991

1996

1998

1999

2002

2003

2006

2010

2011

2013

2014

2015

2017

2018

2019

2020


1870

Our Story Begins

On June 4, 1870, land was purchased in the Oakland community to build Duval Hospital and Asylum, making it Florida’s first non-military hospital. It originally consisted of three small buildings before a more spacious one-story building was constructed in 1877. This new facility housed a kitchen, a chicken house and a small back building for the asylum where tuberculosis patients were isolated.

1883

Duval Hospital and Asylum circa 1883

An isolation pavilion was constructed at Duval Hospital and Asylum in response to the 1883 smallpox epidemic.

1886

Boylan Industrial Training School for Girls opened at Davis and Duval streets. Established by the Woman’s Home Missionary Union Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church, the school educated young black women on becoming missionaries and tending to the ill. Later, in 1932, it would become the Boylan-Haven School for Girls.

1888

A nurse administers medicine to a patient circa 1888 during the Yellow Fever Epidemic.

Duval Hospital and Asylum received major modern renovations, including indoor toilets, a sewer system, gas and electric lights.

1901

Nurses at Brewster Hospital and School of Nurse Training

Land for the George A. Brewster Hospital and School of Nurse Training was acquired at 915 W. Monroe St. in Jacksonville’s LaVilla neighborhood. Brewster was the only institution treating and training African Americans at that time.

Nurses on Front Porch of Brewster Hospital

Recognizing a need for medical services for the African American community, the Brewster School of Nurse Training opened a small, one-room treatment unit in a cottage on Lee Street. Equipment consisted solely of a cot, a table and a few chairs. After the Great Fire of 1901, the Brewster School of Nurse Training became the relief center for African American fire victims.

1910

Brewster Hospital relocated to 149 Lee St. in LaVilla.

1915

Brewster Hospital relocated again to 1001 W. Union St., putting the hospital closer to the growing African American population.

1925

The first residency program in Florida was established at Duval Hospital for surgical residents.

1926

Duval Hospital, 1927. Photo courtesy of Jacksonville Historical Society.

Duval Hospital and Asylum moved to a 230-bed facility in Jacksonville’s Springfield area and was named Duval County Hospital. The hospital was designed by architect, Henry Klutho, who also helped design the local neighborhood when it was rebuilt after the Great Fire of Jacksonville.

1931

As a leader in treatment and training, Brewster Hospital built a new facility at 1640 Jefferson St. in Springfield, just a few blocks from Duval County Hospital. The new 95-bed facility was dedicated on March 29, 1931, and named Brewster-Methodist Hospital. It was Florida’s largest hospital for African Americans at the time.

1948

Duval County Hospital was renamed Duval Medical Center on June 23, 1948.

The first cancer treatment program was established for patients at Duval Medical Center. Its successor, UF Health Jacksonville, is still a leader in treatment for cancer today.

1960

Duval Medical Center becomes one of the first hospitals in Florida to offer radiation oncology for cancer patients.

The first open heart surgery in Jacksonville was performed at Duval County Medical Center.

1962

In 1962, Orthopaedic Surgery was added to the growing list of residency programs in Jacksonville.

1966

Brewster-Methodist Hospital closed, following the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964. The new law allowed African American patients to go to any hospital they chose, causing Brewster-Methodist to lose business.

1967

Brewster-Methodist facility re-opened in October 1967 as Methodist Hospital, featuring 134 all-private rooms.

1969

Jacksonville Health Education Program, based at Duval Medical Center, became an extension service of the UF College of Medicine.

In 1969, Duval Medical Center added hemodialysis treatment for end-stage reneal disease – the first of its kind in Jacksonville.

1971

A newsletter announces the renaming to University Hospital.

Duval Medical Center was renamed University Hospital after a new affiliation with the University of Florida. A 485-bed facility, located on 8th Street across from Methodist Hospital, was dedicated on August 14, 1971.

1972

University Hospital opened the city's first Neonatology Program, giving premature babies and their families the latest in care. The same year, the hospital began offering gynecologic oncology diagnosis and treatment for patients.

1975

Methodist Hospital opened its first medical tower, Plaza I, on June 1, 1975.

1978

Building on a tradition of excellence in neonatal care, University Hospital opened the area's only Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the highest designation for neonatal care at that time.

University Hospital installed the first electron microscope in Jacksonville, providing even better diagnosic tools for hospital physicians and diagnosticians.

1980

Methodist opened Plaza II on June 29, 1980. Plaza II had exceptional amenities for a health care facility, including physician offices, Florida’s first comprehensive hospice program, the Methodist Pathway Center for recovery from addiction, and offices and meeting rooms. The facility also included gift shops, restaurants, a bakery, pharmacy, bank, florist and cafeteria.

1983

In 1983, University Hospital established the state's first Level I trauma center, offering the highest level of care for major traumatic injuries. The same year, University Hospital opened the first hospital-affiliated primary care center in the city. (Source: Florida Times Union)

1985

University Hospital was designated an affiliate of the University of Florida, strengthening the educational relationship of the two entities and establishing the UF Health Science Center Jacksonville. They also launched the TraumaOne flight program that year.

1988

Methodist Medical Center Pavilion Main Entrance

Methodist Hospital was renamed Methodist Medical Center after the Dec. 1, 1988, opening of its new hospital on the former site of the old St. Luke’s Hospital.

University Hospital was designated the metropolitan campus for the Gainesville-based UF Health Science Center at the University of Florida. All physician faculty based in Jacksonville became UF faculty.

1989

University Hospital was renamed University Medical Center.

Physicians at University Medical Center performed the first kidney transplant in Northeast Florida.

1990

Faculty Clinic, present day

The University of Florida Health Science Center Faculty Clinic opened and includes physician offices, outpatient clinic and outpatient surgery rooms. A new parking garage between the main hospital and Faculty Clinic also opened to accommodate growth in patient volumes.

1991

 Learning Resource Center, present day

The Learning Resource Center (LRC) opened, connecting to the Faculty Clinic by an atrium. The LRC houses academic and administrative offices for the UF College of Medicine, as well as nursing and pharmacy programs. It also houses an auditorium, meeting rooms and the Borland Library.

1996

The UF Southside Specialty Care Center, the first community-based multispecialty practice under the University of Florida structure, opened in Jacksonville at 4555 Emerson Expressway. This location would become UF Health Emerson Medical Plaza.

1998

Physicians and professionals at University Medical Center performed the first heart transplant in Northeast Florida.

1999

Shands Jacksonville. Photo copyright Jacksonville Business Journal
An 1999 Open Lines newsletter talks about becoming Shands Jacksonville.

Shands Jacksonville was created when Shands HealthCare, University Medical Center and Methodist Medical Center joined forces to establish one health care institution in Northeast Florida.

2002

Shands Jacksonville and UF Health launched the local area's first Thoracic Oncology Program.

The Cardiovascular Center at Shands Jacksonville was ranked among the top 100 heart centers in the nation acccording to Solucient, a national quality benchmark organization.

2003

Shands Jacksonville celebrated the opening of the comprehensive Pediatric Sickle Cell Center - the first one in North and Central Florida. The center provided a wide variety of services to individuals and families living with sickle cell disease.

A UF physician at Shands Jacksonville became the first in the state to perform two corneal (front layer of the eye) transplants using artificial corneas flown in from Australia.

2006

The UF Health Proton Therapy Institute opened August 2006 as the first proton therapy treatment in the Southeast, offering state-of-the-art therapy for cancer treatment. Today, it is among the top 10 proton therapy treatment centers in the world.

Shands Jacksonville was the first hospital in Northeast Florida to be accredited by the Agency for Health Care Administration as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, sharing the distinction with only three other hospitals in the state.

2010

Shands Jacksonville opened a new Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit.

2011

Shands Jacksonville was granted Magnet recognition by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

2013

Shands Jacksonville was renamed UF Health Jacksonville.

2014

UF Health Jacksonville launched a telemedicine pilot program for ALS patients.

2015

The new UF Health North medical office building opened on Jacksonville’s Northside. The facility includes an emergency room, physician offices and diagnostics services.

2017

UF Health opened a 92-bed inpatient hospital on the UF Health North campus.

2018

John Catanzaro, M.D., UF Health Cardiac Electrophysiologist

A University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville physician performed the world’s first implant of a regenerative bio envelope that protects a cardiac defibrillator implanted under the skin.

The University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville opened a unique center for research on aging called the Jacksonville Aging Studies Center, or JAX-ASCENT. The same year, UF Health Jacksonville opened a new groundbreaking center dedicated to epilepsy wellness.

2019

UF Health Wildlight opened. The facility includes pediatrics, family medicine, dentistry, urgent care, obstetrics and gynecology, and other services.

2020

The present year has been challenging, but as UF Health Jacksonville continues to battle COVID-19, we are grateful to the entire team of UF Health physicians and staff for their professionalism and dedication to caring for our community.


Please note some of the images used in the timeline are a representation of the content and may not have been taken during the exact year listed on the timeline. Select milestones were highlighted on this timeline and may not reflect all of the milestones in the UF Health Jacksonville history.

Thank you to our experts

UF Health Jacksonville would like to thank the following experts for assisting our internal team with gathering and verifying historical information:

Adrienne Burke, AICP, Esq., former trustee for the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation and Florida Public Archaeology Network board member
Ennis Davis, AICP, trustee for the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation and American Planning Association Florida First Coast section chair
Emily Retherford Lisska, president of the Florida Historical Society
Mary Bennett Harvey, APR, public relations consultant