By Rebecca Parr- Contra Costa Times, April 9, 2014
San Francisco philanthropists Lynne and Marc Benioff also are giving $50 million to UCSF’s Benioff Children’s Hospital, the school announced Tuesday.
In honor of the gift, Children’s will now be called UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland. The two institutions formally allied earlier this year.
“We have been deeply inspired by the incredible kids, doctors, researchers, and administrators at both UCSF and Children’s Hospital Oakland,” said Lynne and Marc Benioff in a news release. “We feel extremely fortunate to have this opportunity to support the best children’s hospitals in the world.”
Marc Benioff, 49, is the billionaire founder and chairman of Salesforce.com, a cloud computing company. Lynne Benioff is a member of both the UCSF and Children’s Oakland boards of directors; she also chairs UCSF’s marketing committee.
The donation is the second $100 million the couple has given to the UCSF children’s hospital.
The Oakland hospital will use much of its $50 million to build an outpatient center, freeing up space to expand its intensive care and postoperative areas and make seismic upgrades, said pediatrician Dr. Bert Lubin, its CEO.
The center will focus on factors that contribute to health problems, particularly in low-income children.
The three major ailments pediatricians most often see afflicting children are asthma, diabetes and obesity, he said.
“A lot of those problems are related to poverty,” Lubin said.
“These are things the Benioffs are particularly interested in, in seeing if we can do better than we do now, and we will do better,” he said.
The money also will fund programs, particularly ones that have a community benefit, and research projects, he said.
The San Francisco hospital is being renamed UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco. Together, the hospitals will be UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals. The new logos feature an image familiar to Children’s Oakland patients and their families: five paper-doll children holding hands, which has identified the East Bay hospital for years.
“I think it’s a great representation that our affiliation is real and meaningful,” said Mark Laret, CEO of UCSF Medical Center and Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco.
UCSF San Francisco will use its share of the donation to recruit and retain star faculty members and physicians, Laret said.
Children’s Hospital Oakland is the only Level 1 pediatric trauma center in the Bay Area. UCSF will take advantage of that in its new Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco, part of a 289-bed hospital complex for children, women and cancer patients scheduled to open Feb. 1, 2015, at UCSF Mission Bay.