The University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center (AHC) is a collection of health colleges and institutions of the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio. It trains health care professionals and provides research and patient care. AHC has strong ties to UC Health, which includes the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and West Chester Hospital.
The academic health center concept originated with physician Daniel Drake, who founded the Medical College of Ohio, the precursor to the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, in 1819.
A municipally owned college for most of its history, the University of Cincinnati joined Ohio’s higher education system in July 1977. In 1982, its teaching hospital, known as the General Hospital and in its present location since 1915, was renamed the University of Cincinnati Hospital. It was later changed again to its current name, University Hospital. In 2003, the name was changed from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center to the University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center to better reflect its missions in education and research. In 2010, the Academic Health Center became an integral part of the newly formed UC Health organization.
AHC’s national reputation for biomedical research includes the development of the first live, attenuated polio vaccine by Albert Sabin, who worked on the project at both the University of Cincinnati and the affiliated Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Other achievements include definitive studies of the health effects of lead in children and development of the popular antihistamine Benadryl by George Rieveschl, who was working in the chemistry department at the time of his discovery.
In 1967, the College of Pharmacy became a unit of the University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center. In 2000 a fourth College, the College of Allied Health Sciences joined the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
On June 6, 2007, the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Pharmacy changed its name to the James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy. The college is only the second in UC’s history to be named.
The College of Medicine was established by Daniel Drake in 1819 as the Medical College of Ohio. It became a part of the University of Cincinnati in 1896 and is considered by some historians to be the oldest medical school west of the Allegheny Mountains. It is supposedly the second-oldest public college of medicine in the United States.
Other accomplishments include the development of the heart-lung machine, the Fogarty heart catheter, Benadryl, and the Clark oxygen electrode. The College also established the nation’s first residency program in emergency medicine. The College is noted for its neurosurgical research into degenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, at the time led by Raj Narajan.
Ranked in the top one-third of American medical schools, the College attracts students from across the United States. In 2008, it became the first medical college in the country to implement the multiple mini interview system pioneered in Canada to better predict candidates with exceptional interpersonal skills, professionalism and ethical judgment. Other medical schools have since adopted the process. In addition to the usual application pathways, the University of Cincinnati offers a dual-admissions program known as Connections to high school students applying for undergraduate studies at the University where students are guaranteed admission to the school if they acquire the required grade point average and MCAT scores. The college attracts many undergraduate students to its summer research fellowships.
Established in 1889, the University of Cincinnati College of Nursing was the first school to offer a baccalaureate degree in nursing in 1916. In 1942, the college became a charter member of the National League for Nursing. In 2002 the college was the first nursing school to offer cooperative education in addition to clinical time, and in 2010 it began a Doctorate of Nursing Practice. Successes include awarding over $1.0 million in scholarships and graduate assistantship stipends for the 2008 – 2009 academic year, ranking in the top 10 percent of American nursing programs, receiving over $2.6 million in extramural research awards during the 2009 fiscal year and developing partnerships with over 300 clinical sites.
In 1982, the college was one of eleven nursing schools that received the Robert Wood Johnson Teaching Nursing Home Project Grant. In 1987, IBM chose the college as one of fifteen to develop computer assisted interactive video for health sciences. A nursing doctoral program and nurse anesthetist master’s program were established in 1990. In 1992, the college established a joint master’s degree (MSN/MBA) with the Lindner College of Business.
The Cincinnati College of Pharmacy was chartered by the Ohio Legislature in 1850 and it was the first pharmacy school west of the Allegheny Mountains. It operated as a private college until July 1954 when it became an integral part of the University of Cincinnati.
The college is named based on Jim Winkle’s pledge of $10 million from his estate or trust. A Hamilton, Ohio, resident who graduated from the college in 1958.
The College occupies newly remodeled research space in the Medical Sciences Building and was renovated in 2017. That space includes new classrooms, teaching labs, student club meeting space, faculty and staff offices, conference rooms and an IT help desk.