Building the Future of Health Care
The Jacobs Medical Center building, slated for completion in 2016.

Building the Future of Health Care

A Challenging Proposition

Donors enthusiastically rose to the challenge when a supporter, in 2013, offered to match new donations and pledges to UC San Diego’s Jacobs Medical Center, dollar-for-dollar, up to $25 million. By fall 2014, more than a thousand givers had contributed $131 million to the center, which is the largest hospital project currently underway in southern California. The total includes gifts that matched the initiative’s $25 million challenge goal.

The challenge donation, originally anonymous, was made by Joan and Irwin Jacobs, who also provided a $75 million lead gift for the new facility in 2010. Leadership gifts for the medical center included $8.5 million from Carol Vassiliadis and $7.5 million from Pauline Foster.

UC San Diego Medical Center, Hillcrest, Trauma Center
Dr. Raul Coimbra (left) directs the region's first Level-1 Trauma Center at UC San Diego Health System

The $839 million construction project, at the nexus of the area’s biomedical research centers, is part of a multi-billion-dollar university investment in future health care for the region.

Projected to open in 2016, the facility will house 245 patient beds and include three new clinical care units for advanced surgery, cancer care, and women and infants care. The 509,500-square-foot addition will connect on multiple floors with the existing Thornton Hospital on UC San Diego’s La Jolla campus.

The A. Vassiliadis Family Pavilion for Advanced Surgery will have more than two hundred surgeons who specialize in complex procedures, including MRI-guided gene therapy for brain cancer, and complex spine and joint reconstruction. The hospital will house the region’s only intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines, enabling surgeons to image tumors in real time during surgery without ever having to leave the operating room.

With 108 dedicated beds, the Pauline and Stanley Foster Pavilion for Cancer Care will double UC San Diego Health System’s capacity to treat patients and, as an inpatient component, will complement UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in San Diego.

The Rady Pavilion for Women and Infants will care for every kind of birth. From the mother whose baby is delivered by a certified midwife, to a mother who requires a planned Caesarean hysterectomy, all births will be treated with a high level of care according to the mother’s birth wishes. The Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) will care for the most premature and critically ill newborns. An MRI in the NICU will be custom-designed to examine the newborn brain and serve as the region’s only “Neuro-NICU.”