Facebook founder’s $75M hospital gift, renaming advances toward approval 

click to enlarge Mark Zuckerberg and his wife donated $75 million over 50 years to San Francisco General Hospital Foundation. - BEN MARGOT/2014 AP FILE PHOTO
  • Ben Margot/2014 AP File Photo
  • Mark Zuckerberg and his wife donated $75 million over 50 years to San Francisco General Hospital Foundation.
Despite receiving a $75 million gift from the founder of Facebook and his wife, San Francisco General Hospital is still seeking to raise $8 million to cover the remaining costs of furniture and equipment in time for December’s opening of its new facility. While voters approved an $887 million bond to build a new acute-care and trauma building, the costs for equipment, furniture and fixtures legally have to come from other revenue sources. To that end, a fundraising campaign has been established by the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation to cover the $170 million costs. Medical equipment alone totals $109 million.

The campaign got a big boost earlier this month when Mark Zuckerberg and wife Dr. Priscilla Chan announced a $75 million donation to the hospital. A portion of the gift, $32.4 million, will go toward furnishings of the new building. An additional $25 million was raised in private donations, leaving a shortfall of $8.1 million. The City previously allocated $105 million for the furnishings from tax revenues.

“This is an incredible gift,” Supervisor Katy Tang said during Wednesday’s Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee hearing. The committee approved the 50-year gift agreement, which includes renaming the hospital the Priscilla and Mark Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center. The full board will vote on the renaming next week.

The new name must also be highly visible wherever the hospital’s name is displayed, including existing or new buildings. The names will also be added to the main lobby to read: Priscilla and Mark Zuckerberg Family Atrium.

“I really hope it inspires other people to really step up,” Tang said. “It’s amazing that despite this incredibly generous amount that the Zuckerbergs are donating that we are still short $8 million.”

A portion of the Zuckerbergs’ gift, $28 million, will go into the Patient Care and Quality Improvement Fund, which will pay for other capital projects throughout the campus, and the remaining $8 million will go into a community outreach campaign to attract new patients to the San Francisco Health Network, which also includes Laguna Honda Hospital. The board will be asked to approve these funds at a later date.

“Philanthropy is going to play a critical role in the longevity of public hospitals both locally and nationally in the coming years,” said Amanda Heier, the foundation’s executive director. “These next many months leading up to the opening of the hospital will be an opportunity to continue to raise additional funds.”

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