Regents OK Plan to Build Specialty Hospitals at Mission Bay

By Lisa Cisneros on March 21, 2005

Photo by Mark Defeo

The UC Board of Regents on Thursday (March 17) gave UCSF its approval of a plan to build integrated specialty hospitals and an ambulatory care/translational research building at Mission Bay. The approval clears the way for UCSF to expand upon its already considerable presence at the booming 43-acre Mission Bay biosciences campus, where faculty, staff and students are working in three research buildings surrounded by a campus green. A community center, housing complex and two parking garages -- expected to open this fall - will complete the first phase of development and signal UCSF's significant success in transforming a once bleak area of the city into a brand new neighborhood. One key question that remains is whether the next phase of construction of clinical facilities, outlined in the second amendment to the UCSF Long Range Development Plan (LRDP), (pdf file) will be built on the 43-acre campus or just south of it on 14.5 acres yet to be acquired by UCSF. The Regents also certified the environmental impact report for the projects and adopted the findings pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act. The entire Regents' action item is posted online (pdf). Completing a comprehensive four-year planning process, UCSF leaders recommended last September that the University build, in phases, state-of-the-art technologically advanced facilities at Mission Bay and Parnassus Heights, partly to comply with state-mandated seismic and life-safety standards for hospitals and to overcome functional obsolescence of its aging facilities. Chancellor Mike Bishop approved the plan last year for conveyance to the Regents this year. The Regents this week approved the campus' recommendations to: • Develop a first-phase integrated specialty hospital for children's, women's and cancer services with a total of about 210 beds at Mission Bay by 2012; • Maintain tertiary and quaternary care with up to 600 beds at Moffitt/Long Hospital at Parnassus Heights, for a total of up to 810 beds during the LRDP phase; • Provide ambulatory care facilities at both Parnassus Heights and Mission Bay; and • Populate both sites with scientists, staff and scholars engaged in basic and translational disease-oriented research programs. Ultimately, UCSF will operate Mission Bay and Parnassus Heights as major integrated campus sites with patient care, basic and translational research and education. The UCSF campus at Mount Zion will serve as an important ambulatory care hub. The Regents also amended the LRDP to acknowledge ongoing discussions with the San Francisco Department of Public Health regarding the potential to co-locate UCSF's inpatient facilities with those of San Francisco General Hospital at Mission Bay. In a separate action, the Regents also approved the budget to prepare preliminary plans for a neurosciences research building at Mission Bay. The planning phase is supported by $4 million in private donations. The total project cost is estimated to be $64 million, excluding equipment. Need for New Hospitals UCSF officials are eager to modernize medical center facilities, which not only face deadlines for new earthquake standards, but also need more space to meet growing demand for highly specialized care. The current 526-bed Moffitt/Long Hospital at Parnassus Heights is composed of two adjoining 15-story buildings which function as one structure. Moffitt, built in 1955, and Long, built in 1982, have layouts that are functionally obsolete, too inflexible to adapt to changing patient care needs and are costly to operate and maintain. In addition, the utility systems are outdated, making it difficult to accommodate new technology. All hospitals in California are subject to the Alfred E. Alquist Hospital Facilities Seismic Safety Act (Senate Bill 1953), which imposes deadlines to implement new state-mandated seismic safety and life-safety standards for inpatient facilities by 2008 and 2030. A five-year extension to the 2008 deadline, to 2013, is available if a hospital elects to replace, rather than retrofit, a facility. Under SB 1953, Mount Zion hospital would need to be replaced by 2013 and the Moffitt portion of Moffitt/Long Hospital would need to be replaced by 2030. The Long portion of Moffitt/Long is expected to meet the seismic requirements beyond 2030. Campus officials have determined that UCSF Medical Center needs about 650 beds to meet core hospital program needs and to generate sufficient revenue to make financing new construction feasible. UCSF's long-range scenario assumes that the campus will proceed with construction of specialty hospitals at Mission Bay with a total of 210 beds, either on the current campus site or on additional property yet to be acquired, known as the Mission Bay South site.
aerial photo of Mission Bay South
View larger aerial photo of Mission Bay South
In January, Regents approved the terms of a ground lease with Catellus Development Corporation for a portion of the Mission Bay South site, but UCSF officials still must negotiate with two other owners for the remainder of that 14.5-acre site. Under the long-range plan, UCSF would continue to operate Moffitt/Long Hospital at Parnassus Heights with up to 600 beds, until Moffitt's beds are replaced no later than 2030, and have the ability to add more beds at Mission Bay if needed. After Moffitt is decommissioned, UCSF would operate about 400 beds at Parnassus Heights in a new hospital pavilion and a renovated Long Hospital. Mount Zion buildings, built in 1948, must be taken out of service by Dec. 31, 2012 to meet the state seismic deadline. Currently, UCSF Medical Center maintains 61 beds for cancer surgery patients at Mount Zion. The long-term plan for Mount Zion calls for transforming the site into an ambulatory care hub for outpatient surgery and related clinical research and education uses. In amending the LRDP this week, the Regents also approved expanding the campus boundary at Mount Zion to include property at 1545 Divisadero Street, which was donated to the University in late 2001. UCSF had to amend its LRDP since, at the time the Regents approved it in January 1997, UCSF Medical Center was part of the joint public corporation formed with Stanford University. Since the demise of the merger and return of the medical center operations to the Regents in 2000, UCSF began comprehensive planning for patient care facilities, resulting in the second LRDP amendment. The Regents approved the first amendment to the UCSF LRDP to add housing at the Mission Bay campus in January 2002. The recommendations to build new facilities were developed through an extensive planning process involving faculty, staff, students and members of the community and overseen by the Chancellor's Advisory Committee on the LRDP Amendment. While the initial reason for convening the LRDP committee was to address UCSF hospital facilities in light of the state seismic law, the planning process encompassed broader deliberations on how UCSF could advance its clinical, research and educational missions across all campus sites. Mark Laret, chief executive officer of UCSF Medical Center, and David Kessler, dean of the UCSF School of Medicine and vice chancellor for medical affairs, co-led a subcommittee on the process and presided over several town hall meetings on the subject. Source: Lisa Cisneros

Related Links

UCSF Officials Define Vision for Future Growth UCSF Campus Planning website