$125 million donation for new UCSF hospital

Resource type: News

The San Francisco Chronicle |

Original Source

by Victoria Colliver, Chronicle Staff Writer

UCSF Medical Center has received a $125 million donation, among the largest in its history, to help build a planned $1.68 billion hospital to provide services to women, children and cancer patients near its Mission Bay biomedical complex, the university said Friday.

The gift, made by billionaire philanthropist Charles Feeney, will go a long way toward helping UCSF raise the $600 million in donations it needs to build the hospital, bringing the total raised to $205 million. The balance of the construction funds is expected to be achieved through saved borrowing, retained UCSF earnings and children’s hospital bonds.

Feeney, founding chairman of the Atlantic Philanthropies, keeps a very low profile for someone who is considered one of the nation’s most generous philanthropists.

“Chuck Feeney is someone who has been involved in hospital projects internationally. When he got engaged in this project, he threw himself into understanding it and made it a major priority for the Atlantic Philanthropies,” said Mark Laret, chief executive officer of UCSF Medical Center.

Feeney, 77, made his fortune as co-founder of the airport retail chain Duty Free Shoppers Group. His foundation focuses on aging, disadvantaged children, population health, and reconciliation and human rights.

Feeney’s donation is contingent, however, on UCSF’s ability to raise a matching amount of funds over the next five years as a way to encourage support from other philanthropists. Feeney’s foundation previously donated $145 million to UCSF’s Mission Bay campus, making the Atlantic Philanthropies the largest cumulative supporter of UCSF in its 145-year history.

The new 289-bed hospital, which is expected to begin construction in spring 2010 with completion by 2014, will sit on a 14.5-acre parcel next to UCSF’s 43-acre Mission Bay research campus. Their proximity is designed to encourage collaboration between scientists, physicians and researchers.

The hospital complex will include a children’s hospital with urgent/emergency care and pediatric ambulatory services, a women’s hospital for cancer care and specialty surgery, a hospital for adult cancer patients, and a center for mothers and newborns.

The hospital complex is supposed to generate more than 300 jobs this year as advance work on the project begins, with that number rising to more than 1,000 jobs during the peak of construction in 2013. It also will create several hundred new health care positions when it opens.

This article appeared on page C – 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle

© 2009 Hearst Communications Inc.

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Chuck Feeney, hospitals, medicine, UCSF