San Francisco General Hospital Celebrates Topping Out

Community Marks Milestone of UCSF-Affiliated Public Hospital

The final steel beam of the new acute care facility at San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center (SFGH), featuring hundreds of signatures from staff and members of the community, was hoisted atop the steel frame on Tuesday during the Topping Out Ceremony.

SFGH Rebuild Facts

Size: A 453,000-square-foot building, with nine stories with two basement floors

Emergency Department: Beds will increase from 27 to 60

Operating Rooms: To increase from 10 to 14

Location: 1001 Potrero Avenue, entrance at 23rd Street

Earthquake Safety: Base-isolated hospital building will be able to glide 30 inches in any direction

Green: The goal is to reach gold-level of Leadership in Energy and Environment Design

Artwork: Public art work will be selected by the San Francisco Arts Commission in collaboration with hospital staff

Architect: Fong & Chan Architects of San Francisco

Construction: Webcor Builders with Construction Managment by Jacobs

Cost: $887.4 million to construct. Funds were approved when voters passed Proposition A in November 2008

This milestone brings the new, nine-story hospital one step closer to its completion in 2015. The new building will house more than 284 beds, 14 operating rooms as well as an emergency room nearly three times larger than the current one.

Considered one of the finest public hospitals in the U.S., SFGH offers humanistic, cost-effective and culturally competent care to an international community of patients regardless of their ability to pay. A partner with SFGH since 1873, UCSF's faculty from all four schools – dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy – provide patient care services, conduct research and teach at SFGH.

Over the next few years, as the new hospital is constructed, the entire health department will be building a seamless health care system to deliver excellent, coordinated, patient-centered care into the future. SFGH already leads the nation in care for HIV/AIDS, traumatic brain injury, language access, trauma and emergency medicine.

Mayor Edwin Lee joined members of the SFGH and UCSF communities, city officials, patients and neighbors for the special occasion. He talked about his pride in one of the City's largest public works projects, citing its valuable health care services and contributions to the local community, including creating jobs.

“The rebuild of General Hospital symbolizes our commitment to being a world-class, innovative and compassionate City, and we are delivering on that promise every day,” Mayor Lee said. “Today is a great day as we reach this significant construction milestone that will strengthen and secure our City’s health care system for our residents."

UCSF Associate Dean Sue Carlisle, MD, PhD, celebrates the topping out at SFGH.

Sue Carlisle, MD, PhD, associate dean of the UCSF School of Medicine at SFGH since March 2004, celebrates the topping out at SFGH, which has been UCSF's partner in public health since 1873.

Like UCSF Medical Center, which is building a new hospital complex at Mission Bay, SFGH is being rebuilt to comply with seismic safety standards required by Senate Bill 1953.

“The new hospital’s healing environment will welcome patients and visitors with an abundance of natural light, private rooms and many design features to make the hospital experience better for patients and staff,” said Sue Currin, RN, chief executive officer of SFGH. “It is being built to the highest level of seismic resistance known today, allowing us to remain open and operational in the event of a natural disaster.”

Currin, who became CEO at SFGH in March 2009, received her Master of Science degree from UCSF and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from San Francisco State University.

Other speakers at the event were Sue Carlisle, MD, PhD, associate dean of the UCSF School of Medicine at SFGH; Barbara Garcia, director of Department of Public Health; Judy Guggenhime, San Francisco General Hospital Foundation; Mohammed Nuru, director of Department of Public Works; and Jes Pedersen, executive vice president of Webcor Builders.

For information on the San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center rebuild, please visit the SFGH rebuild website.

Photo by Jason Bardi