By Chris Rauber- San Francisco Business Times, April 8, 2014
It’s now more obvious than ever that it’s the end of an era for Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland, now to be known as UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland after philanthropists Marc Benioff and wife Lynne Benioff’s second $100 million gift to UCSF Medical Center.
Half of the new funds — on top of an earlier 2010 donation to help fund the new 183-bed UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco — will go to UCSF’s new Children’s Oakland campus, and the other half to the Mission Bay campus.
The latter is part of the university’s new $1.52 billion, 289-bed Mission Bay hospital complex, slated to open Feb. 1, which will include specialty pediatric, women’s and cancer elements.
The Children’s Oakland gift will help fund a new outpatient center in Oakland, adjacent to the existing pediatric hospital, which formally affiliated with UCSF Medical Center in January.
Collectively, the two pediatric facilities will be known as the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals.
UCSF and the University of California Regents had already agreed to take several steps to bolster Children’s Oakland’s finances, as reported in the Business Times late last month. That included a $55.5 million bond refinancing and plans to provide an additional $50 million loan for capital improvements in 2016.
The Board of Regents approved the bond refinance measure and gave a preliminary OK to the additional loan at their March 19 meeting at Mission Bay. But neither UCSF nor Children’s Oakland has explained publicly how the Oakland hospital will fund major capital projects designed to meet California’s seismic safety law for inpatient facilities and to expand and modernize its campus.
As of last October, when Kaiser Permanente agreed to kick in $25 million, Children’s Oakland and CEO Bert Lubin, M.D., were talking about a $500 million, multi-phase expansion and rebuild project, including a $190 million initial phase that includes the new outpatient center.
Marc Benioff is CEO and chairman of Salesforce.com; his wife is a member of the boards of both hospitals; Mark Laret is CEO of UCSF Medical Center and the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco.
Lubin couldn’t immediately be reached for comment on details of how the Oakland hospital plans to use the Benioff funding and otherwise pay for its big rebuild. He was busy telling the troops at Children’s Oakland about the big donation, according to a spokeswoman.