With all the money being made in Silicon Valley these days it is nice to see, again, somebody give back to the community in a major way.
Marc Benioff is the founder and CEO of Salesforce.com, and on Tuesday it was announced that he and his wife Lynne are giving another US$100 million to provide health care for children in San Francisco and in Oakland, California.
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The couple already made a gift earlier, in 2010, also of US$100 million, to create the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Benioff Children’s Hospital in Mission Bay, which is scheduled to open February 2015.
This second donation will now be divided between the UCSF hospital itself, and the Children’s Hospital in Oakland, which has long partnered with UCSF to conduct research and offer comprehensive medical care to children. Half the new funding will be used to help build a new outpatient center at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital.
On making the announcement Marc Benioff said, “We want to make the investment necessary to really take UCSF to that level where we say we have the best children’s hospital in the world, ” adding, “Not only are we including San Francisco in that vision, we’re including Oakland.”
His wife Lynne said, “We both saw an opportunity to really impact the lives of children and their families.” She sits on the Board of Directors of both hospitals, “Our biggest dream? One day they would be empty.”
Children’s Hospital Oakland is renamed UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital will now be known as UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco. Together, the hospitals will be named UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals.
Both institutions, as well as UCSF Medical Center, care for all children who seek help, regardless of their family’s ability to pay, and provide millions of dollars of uncompensated care and community services for low-income, homeless and underinsured patients. From free children’s health screenings to staffing clinics, the hospitals help meet the needs of Northern California’s most vulnerable population.
Mark Laret, CEO of UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco said, “We are building a world-class pediatric facility that puts the needs of our patients and their families at the forefront, ” adding, “This donation ensures we can continue to advance the most innovative clinical care within the new hospital, as well as outside its walls by partnering with colleagues at our research campus and with Children’s Oakland physicians and staff.”
Bert Lubin, who is CEO of UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, and himself a pediatrician, said “This extraordinary gift will have a significant impact on the care we provide children as it will be used to strengthen facilities at Children’s Oakland as well as our education, research, and community benefit missions.”
Marc and Lynne Benioff, and the Salesforce Foundation, have long been very active philanthropists in the Bay Area. Their favourite causes include groups that help look after children, health care generally and alleviating poverty. The Salesforce Foundation alone has donated over US$70 million in both cash and in-kind donations since 2002, along with a massive number – 650, 000 – of volunteer hours by Salesforce employees.