Regents approve plans for new UCSF Mission Bay Hospital complex

By Kate Vidinsky on September 18, 2008

UCSF New Hospital at Mission Bay

Today UCSF Medical Center is one step closer to breaking ground for a new hospital complex on the UCSF Mission Bay campus following the unanimous approval by the University of California Board of Regents on the project’s design, budget and environmental certification.

The new facility is designed as a 289-bed integrated hospital complex with three specialty hospitals – for children, women, and cancer patients – located on land adjacent to a 43-acre site that is dedicated to biomedical research. The UCSF Mission Bay campus is located south of downtown San Francisco near the Giants’ ballpark.

The hospital site, a 14.5 acre parcel of land, is strategically positioned to integrate patient care with the existing research campus, strengthening “bench to bedside” and “bedside to bench” collaboration among UCSF basic scientists, clinical researchers, and physicians.

“The combination of the best in clinical care with the best in health science research at this new facility will make it an epicenter of advancement in health care that will improve patients’ lives and the practice of medicine in the Bay Area, nationally and around the world,” said Mark Laret, chief executive officer of UCSF Medical Center.

An agenda item on the UCSF project was part of the Regents regular business meeting that took place this week, Sept. 16-18, on the UC Irvine campus. The committees on grounds and buildings and finance voted in favor of the project Sept. 17, followed by an approval vote by the full board today, Sept. 18.

Regental approval was the last major hurdle before structural plans are submitted to the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development in December of this year. Construction on the hospital complex, which has been in the planning stages since 2002, would begin in 2009 after it receives state approval, with the facility slated to open by early 2014.

The new complex will be the first hospital built from the ground up in San Francisco in 30 years. With a budget of $1.686 billion for the first phase, it is one of the largest building projects in the western United States.

The new Medical Center at Mission Bay will serve as a third major site for UCSF patient care. UCSF Medical Center at Parnassus Heights and UCSF Medical Center at Mount Zion will continue to operate, and there are plans to expand certain programs, such as adult transplant services, neurosurgery and outpatient services, using the space vacated by those who move to Mission Bay.

The new complex also will support UCSF’s ongoing commitment to advancing health science education in collaboration with research and patient care, according to UCSF Chancellor J. Michael Bishop, MD.

“UCSF has always been a leader in innovation and now we are taking a bold step to further advance that leadership. The new medical center is a key part of the foundation for continuing UCSF’s role as a leading center for translational research: we intend to greatly enhance our ability to apply what we discover. Our patients will benefit, and so too will our students, who will be the researchers and clinicians of the future,” he said.

The new complex addresses the need to increase UCSF inpatient and outpatient capacity and to comply with state-mandated earthquake safety standards for hospitals. Currently, UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Children’s Hospital treat about 3,400 inpatients and outpatients each day.

Financing is planned to be achieved through a combination of donor contributions, hospital reserves, debt financing and state support. San Francisco businesswoman and philanthropist Diane “Dede” B. Wilsey is serving as the voluntary chair of the campaign to raise $600 million in private donations. The campaign planning project team also includes business and civic leaders Barbara Bass Bakar, Ronald Conway, Carmen Policy and Richard M. Rosenberg.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to advance health care in San Francisco by creating one of the world’s leading medical centers,” Wilsey said. “This is a significant investment in our future.”

The community has been involved in the hospital planning process from the beginning, when members of the UCSF Community Advisory Group started developing, in concert with faculty and staff, a set of criteria to be used in evaluating site options.

A central feature of the new facilities will be the integration of green practices and sustainable design elements. Each of the hospitals will be certified by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), the leading industry standard for what constitutes a “green building,” explained Cindy Lima, executive director of administration at UCSF Medical Center, who oversees the project.

Key elements of the three specialty hospitals at Mission Bay will be:

* Children’s Hospital – The 183-bed facility, designed specifically for children and their families, will provide emergency and urgent care services. About 20 percent of hospitalized children at UCSF are treated for cancer and cancer-related issues, and they will benefit from the close proximity of cancer specialists.

* Women’s Hospital – The hospital will offer inpatient and outpatient services, specialty surgeries and a 36-bed birth center. Babies born at the facility will have the advantage of being right next door to the children’s hospital should they require follow-up care.

* Cancer Hospital – This 70-bed facility will build on UCSF’s reputation as one of the top 10 cancer programs in the country. Specialists will provide inpatient and outpatient care, and serve the unique needs of women and pediatric cancer patients at the adjoining hospitals.

The San Francisco health care architectural firm Anshen + Allen is designing the new complex in association with sustainability experts William McDonough + Partners.

For eight consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report has ranked UCSF Medical Center among the nation’s top 10 hospitals. In the 2008 survey UCSF was ranked 7th and was the top hospital in the Bay Area. UCSF Children’s hospital also is ranked among the best nationwide, and the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center is one of the largest centers designated by the National Cancer Institute. The UCSF National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health is one of the original six programs that earned this designation by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

For more information about the UCSF Mission Bay hospital project, visit