Published On: Sat, Feb 7th, 2015

Zuckerbergs Make Historic $75 Million Grant to San Francisco General Hospital

Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan’s donation will help equip and furnish the hospital’s new building as well as enable the hospital to provide patients with ongoing support

Last fall, Zuckerberg, who has an estimated worth of $33.3 billion, gave $25 million to the Centers for Disease Foundation to help fight Ebola.

 

Mark Zuckerberg.  The Facebook CEO and his wife,   Dr. Priscilla Chan

San Francisco’s only trauma center will be the beneficiary of what is believed to be the largest single gift from individuals to a public hospital in the United States, thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Mark Zuckerberg.

The Facebook CEO and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan, are to donate $75 million to San Francisco General Hospital to help fund advanced medical technology, equipment and furnishings for a new building that is scheduled to open at the end of the year.

The donation to the hospital’s fundraising arm was expected to be announced Friday. It is the largest single gift to the hospital since the foundation’s creation in 1994, and hospital officials believe it is the largest single private gift from individuals to a public hospital in the nation.

The hospital’s current structure, built in the early 1970s, is aging and does not meet current seismic standards. The new hospital is being built on the existing 23-acre site and is primarily financed with a voter-approved bond measure that only covers the cost of construction.

“This precedent-setting grant is a key piece necessary to the completion and opening of the new building in December, ” said Amanda Heier, the foundation’s chief executive officer. The grant is large enough to fund some of the hospital’s future needs as well, she said.

“It’s incredibly gracious they have recognized the importance of this hospital to the entire city, ” said San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee. “They have made sure, in the future, there will be enough money to maintain and modernize it. They want a public hospital as important as this to be at world-class standards every year.”

Sue Currin, San Francisco General’s chief executive officer, said the gift has special meaning given that Chan, a pediatric resident at the University of California in San Francisco, has trained alongside doctors at the public safety-net hospital. Chan “knows the patient population and the mission of San Francisco General, ” she said.

Located in the Mission District, near a home the Zuckerbergs started renovating in 2013, San Francisco General is the city’s only trauma center and serves as a health care safety net for the city’s most vulnerable patients. It serves about 100, 000 patients a year.

The new nine-story, 283-bed hospital will include an emergency room that is double the size of the existing one, two additional trauma rooms and three more operating rooms. In addition to helping to outfit the new center, the Zuckerberg-Chan donation is expected to be used to help pay for converting the existing hospital into an ambulatory care center.

Last fall, Zuckerberg, who has an estimated worth of $33.3 billion, gave $25 million to the Centers for Disease Foundation to help fight Ebola.

Chan said in a statement that “Day in and day out, I witness the compassion and dedication of my colleagues as they work tirelessly to deliver the best available care to all of our patients, ” Chan said. “Mark and I are proud to support such an important public hospital.”

“Priscilla and I believe that everyone deserves access to high quality health care. The General serves anyone who lives, works in or visits San Francisco. We can think of no better place to focus our philanthropy in San Francisco than The General, ” said Zuckerberg.

In recognition of their gift, the hospital will be renamed the Priscilla and Mark Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center.

“San Francisco’s residents and visitors will benefit from this grant for generations because thousands of first responders and health care providers will have the 21st Century hospital they need to save lives around the clock”, Mayor Lee said.

 

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