The Need

Strong Academic Medicine

What distinguishes UCSF at Parnassus Heights is the connection between a leading academic medical center with world-renowned research that provides a fertile training ground for clinicians and scientists. Our academic-backed care in neurosurgery, neurology, cardiac surgery, vascular surgery, diabetes, cancer and nephrology is considered among the best in the country.

For 21 years, UCSF Medical Center has been ranked among the top 10 hospitals nationwide — and the best in Northern California — by U.S. News & World Report. Most recently, UCSF ranked seventh on the national Best Hospitals Honor Roll and among the nation’s leading medical centers in all 15 specialty care areas assessed.

State-of-the-Art Facilities for State-of-the-Art Care

The science of health care has advanced dramatically over the decades, and today’s cutting-edge research and care delivery require specialized facilities. The researchers, care providers, faculty and learners at UCSF Parnassus Heights have made numerous innovative contributions to medicine over the years, but the limitations of our current infrastructure threaten to limit progress.

Many of the campus’ buildings have outlived their usefulness. UCSF Moffitt Hospital was constructed in 1955 and needs to be decommissioned for inpatient care or seismically retrofitted by 2030 to meet California’s seismic standards. In its place, a new state-of-the-art hospital at UCSF Helen Diller Medical Center at Parnassus Heights will open in 2030 with physical spaces optimized to deliver 21st-century health care for future patients.

Keeping Pace with the Needs of Patients

In 1976, the University of California Board of Regents implemented a square footage limit for future development on the Parnassus Heights campus. Since that time, the increasing need for hospital capacity to meet the complex care needs of San Francisco and the Bay Area, together with research space co-located with UCSF’s adult care hospital, have exceeded the limitations that were set almost half a century ago.

Nearly 3,000 patients this year will be turned away from the hospital at Parnassus Heights because our current facility is often at capacity — a challenge that will likely increase with the Bay Area’s projected growing and aging population. On a daily basis, space issues require more than five patients, on average, to spend the night in the Emergency Department while they wait for a hospital bed. And about four times a week, the hospital goes on “high capacity alert” because there are too many patients in the Emergency Department, not enough critical care beds, or not enough acute care beds.

A doctor consults with a patient in a hospital room

Nina Shah, MD, hematologist, meets with patient Wallace George at the Hematology and Blood Marrow and Transplant Clinic at UCSF’s Parnassus Heights campus. 

In order to fulfill our public mission as the only health-focused academic medical center and campus within the University of California system, we will ask the UC Regents for permission to build beyond the square footage limitation set in 1976 while staying within our current physical footprint.


A Hospital for the Future

The new hospital will be architecturally outstanding, energy-efficient, seismically sound and environmentally sustainable. The facility will offer:

Integrated Technology

Advanced integrated technologies that create opportunities for personalized services—wayfinding, entertainment, information—and allow patients to take control of their own health and wellness. 

Natural Beauty

Panoramic views, sunlight, and natural surroundings, and a supportive workplace with optimal resources for clinicians and staff in surroundings that promote their physical and emotional health.

Holistic Care

A holistic healing experience that begins before check-in and extends throughout the stay, discharge sequence, and continued recovery. It will be a place that transforms patients, their families, and support systems into active participants in their healing process.

Privacy and Community

Rooms designed for privacy and infection control, and calming communal spaces that foster stronger, supportive relationships between providers, patients and families.

Increased Capacity to Meet Demand

The new hospital will help us serve the needs of patients – from the Bay Area and beyond.

a pair of rulers

955,000 Square Feet

A medical cross symbol with a heart rhythm inside of it

144 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Beds

A hospital bed with a medical cross above it

240 Acute Care Beds

Building with a medical cross symbol on it

59 Emergency Department Bays

Chairs in a waiting room with signage above it

12 Clinical Decision Unit Bays

An ambulance with its siren on

4-6 Ambulance Bays

Operation table with operating lights overhead

40 Total Operating Rooms

Diagnostic tools with a magnifying glass and a checkmark

15 Interventional Radiology Labs



Whenever San Francisco Needs Us

The new hospital at UCSF Helen Diller Medical Center at Parnassus Heights will enable us to serve the growing health care needs of San Francisco and beyond for decades to come. Here are some of its many features:

Bench to Bedside

The new hospital creates a physical space to realize “bench to bedside”— the process of translating laboratory discovery into patient care, a concept that distinguishes UCSF by having clinical and research care side-by-side at the same campus location.

Collaborative Research

Link clinical researchers and scientists who are pioneering important fields, such as immunotherapy and stem cells, to accelerate discoveries into treatments for conditions ranging from diabetes to neurological diseases to organ failure.

Emergency and Specialty Care

Maintain and expand patient access to specialty and emergency care on the city's west side.

Demand for UCSF Care

Accommodate increasing demand for UCSF’s complex health services due to a growing and aging population, new treatment opportunities and a focus on higher acuity cases.

Top-Tier Education

Create a training ground to teach the next generation of clinicians and scientists in a patient-centered environment that promotes compassion and respect, incorporating the latest technologies and methods, while upholding the highest standards of patient safety. 

Competitive Excellence

Entice the best clinicians and scientists, as well as staff, students and trainees.

Seismic Safety

Comply with state seismic regulations for acute care hospitals with the new hospital expected to open its doors to patients by 2030.

Welcoming Environment

Create an environment that welcomes community members and serves as a place where neighbors will come to enjoy programs and services, such as concerts, fitness facilities, eateries and “science on display.”

Projected Timeline

A 10-Year Project

The new hospital is a long-term project that is expected to be completed by 2030. 


Visioning of the new hospital with community input.


Master planning and programming with community input.


Design phase of new hospital with community input.


Demolition of the Langley Porter Psychiatric Hospital and Clinics.


Construction of the new hospital.


Testing, pre-occupancy, and final planning of the new hospital.


Grand opening of the new hospital at UCSF Helen Diller Medical Center at Parnassus Heights.


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