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UCSF Medical Center receives $125 million gift to build new hospital

UCSF Medical Center has received a $125 million gift for its campaign to build a children's, women's specialty and cancer hospital complex at the UCSF Mission Bay campus, near downtown San Francisco. This is the largest support to date for the $600 million hospital fundraising campaign and among the largest gifts in UCSF's history.

The gift, which requires a 100 percent match to encourage support from other philanthropists, was made by Charles F. Feeney, founding chairman of The Atlantic Philanthropies. It is the largest single grant ever made by Feeney or the foundation he created.

This brings to $270 million The Atlantic Philanthropies' total commitment to UCSF's Mission Bay campus, making the foundation the greatest cumulative supporter of UCSF since the university was founded in 1864.

"The Atlantic Philanthropies' enormous generosity to UCSF underscores the personal commitment of its founder, Chuck Feeney, to giving while living and to choosing recipients who will make a difference in the world. We are honored to partner with The Atlantic Philanthropies in this effort" said UCSF Chancellor J. Michael Bishop, MD. "The new medical center at Mission Bay is critical to the future of UCSF as a world-class health sciences institution, as well as to the health care professionals and scientists we train and the patients we serve."

Uniting World-Class Research and Clinical Care

This is the lead gift to date for the planned $1.68 billion medical center and brings the total raised for the campaign to just over $205 million.

Upon completion in 2014, the 289-bed project will include a children's hospital with urgent/emergency care and pediatric ambulatory care facilities, a women's hospital for cancer care and specialty surgery, a center for mothers and newborns, and a hospital for adult cancer patients.

The integrated specialty hospitals will be strategically located on a 14.5-acre parcel adjacent to UCSF's 43-acre biomedical research campus. That placement is designed to foster new advances in medicine by encouraging collaboration among basic scientists, clinical researchers and physicians.

"This children's, women's and cancer hospital will enable UCSF to carry through on the promise of uniting advanced biomedical research with world-class clinical care, so our research findings can be rapidly translated into medical advances that directly benefit patients," said Mark Laret, chief executive officer of the UCSF Medical Center. "It is also crucial to our effort to meet the growing patient demand for pediatric and adult health care along the entire Pacific Rim."

Expanding UCSF Programs, Boosting Jobs

Laret said the new hospitals also benefit programs throughout UCSF by allowing expansion across the enterprise at all sites. That, in turn, will benefit all four of the UCSF schools dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy for which it serves as a training ground.

The project also will benefit the Bay Area by boosting local jobs. This is the largest building project currently approved by the University of California Board of Regents and among the largest hospital projects on the West Coast.

Site work on the project is scheduled to begin in spring 2010. This year, as part of the advance work, the project is expected to generate more than 300 jobs. That number is expected to rise each year to more than 1,000 jobs during the peak construction in 2013. It also will create several hundred new healthcare positions when the medical center opens. UCSF already is the second-largest employer in the City and County of San Francisco.

The world-class hospital complex will provide comprehensive diagnostic, interventional and support services, and will offer advanced robotic and imaging technology in surgery, all in a soothing environment centered on the compassionate care of patients and their families.

The facility is sustainably designed and is targeting gold certification through the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). Among other elements, its energy and water conservation measures, green roofs, and selection of non-toxic materials will be among the most extensive of any urban U.S. hospital, according to Cindy Lima, the project's executive director.

Bold Vision, Sustainable Plan

The effort is a bold move, but it is also critically important, Laret said. The combination of state requirements for seismic upgrades, vast technological changes over the past few decades and rapidly escalating demand in patient care are forcing top medical centers like UCSF to rethink their goals. The current economic climate has only exacerbated that, he said, making gifts such as this one even more critical.

"In the current environment, we cannot afford to think small," Laret said. "The investments we make must support bold visions that are attainable, sustainable and accountable. That's what UCSF is doing and that's what makes this project different."

UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Children's Hospital are already recognized throughout the world as leaders in health care, providing innovative treatments, advanced technology and collaboration among clinicians and scientists.

The new complex will significantly augment UCSF's clinical enterprise, which includes medical centers at Parnassus Heights and the Mount Zion campus. UCSF also provides the medical care at both the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center and San Francisco General Hospital. As a university focused solely on health sciences education, UCSF's clinical care is an integral part of the university's overall scientific mission and is closely linked with the laboratory research for which UCSF is world-renowned.

Building on Excellence

UCSF has one of the nation's highest-ranked children's hospitals, one of the original National Centers of Excellence in Women's Health and one of the largest national Comprehensive Cancer Centers. Laret said the co-location of three specialties in one complex, integrated with a major biomedical research campus, will ensure continued excellence in these fields of care.

This is the third major UCSF project The Atlantic Philanthropies has supported at Mission Bay through grants from its founding chairman. Previous gifts include $20 million to fund construction of a cancer research building and a series of gifts totaling $125 million to support an innovative, integrated research and clinical building for cardiovascular care.

Each of these was the largest gift for the specific project when it was given and was pivotal in encouraging other philanthropic support. Both projects are currently under construction. The foundation also has contributed $150,000 to UCSF-Cuba Research Program in Health Diplomacy.

Previously, the largest gift in the Mission Bay hospitals' campaign had been an anonymous donation of $25 million. As a university, UCSF's largest previous philanthropic commitments, other than land or those mentioned above from Atlantic, were a $150 million anonymous gift to fund research and programs in the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and a $50 million commitment from Genentech, Inc.


Contact: Kristen Bole
University of California - San Francisco

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