UCSF Health is moving ahead with a project to build a new, $4.3 billion hospital that will be significantly bigger and designed with an eye on innovative care, officials say.

UCSF Health is planning to build a new $4.3 billion hospital. The 15-story facility is slated to open in 2030. (Image credit: UCSF Health (Rendering: © Herzog & de Meuron)

The new, 15-story Helen Diller Hospital is being planned to meet existing needs for more specialty care, and anticipated growth in demand in the future.

Suresh Gunasekaran, president and chief executive officer of UCSF Health, says the new hospital “is probably the single most impactful investment we’ve made in UCSF health history.”

“It’s founded on the idea that if you really want to deliver cutting-edge care to patients that you have to have the facilities, the equipment and the space to deliver it,” Gunasekaran said in a UCSF Health video.

The new hospital is actually just part of a broader effort to transform UCSF Health’s flagship Parnassus Heights campus.

UCSF Health says it’s moving forward with a 30-year plan to reshape the campus. In addition to the hospital, the project also calls for a large research building on the western edge of the campus.

UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood said the hospital and the new research building “will be really the iconic bookends to the new campus.”

Officials held a groundbreaking for the project April 27, featuring former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., San Francisco Mayor London Breed, and many more.

Hawgood said UCSF Health didn’t want to engage in building upgrades without a cohesive vision.

“We decided to step back and take a couple of years to look at a comprehensive master plan to give ourselves and our successors, a blueprint for what this campus needed to look like over a period of 30 years,” Hawgood said in a UCSF Health video.

The new research and academic building is slated to open in 2028. The new hospital is projected to open in 2030.

UCSF Health officials say the new hospital will offer care options for thousands of additional patients.

The hospital will have 682 beds, a 37% increase over current capacity. The new hospital will have 31 new emergency care beds, expanding capacity by 71%.

The new hospital will also have 21 new operating rooms, which the system says will offer more precise surgeries. The new suites will have access to MRIs and other imaging equipment.

Edward Chang, MD, chair of UCSF’s department of neurological surgery, said the new operating rooms “are going to be the future of our field.”

“We are planning for integrated operating rooms that are going to have access to MRI scanners, angiography imaging equipment that allows us to do the surgeries in a way that is safer, allows us to do it in a way that’s much more minimally invasive,” Chang said in a UCSF Health video. “I really think it’s part of the future of how we’re going to personalize surgery to individual people’s brains.”

The system says the new hospital will offer the latest in diagnostic and robotics for complex specialty care.

UCSF Health is also investing $20 million in public transportation improvements near the Parnassus Heights campus.

The system is also planning to create 1,000 union jobs, and is aiming to hire 30% of the construction workers from the local community.

UCSF Health has been making ambitious moves in recent months.

In February, UCSF Health announced an agreement to buy two hospitals from CommonSpirit Health in a $100 million deal. Under the deal, UCSF Health will acquire Saint Francis Memorial Hospital and St. Mary’s Medical Center from Dignity Health, which is part of CommonSpirit.

The organizations say they hope to finalize the deal by the spring of 2024. When the deal is done, the two hospitals will be known as UCSF Health Saint Francis Hospital and UCSF Health St. Mary’s Hospital.

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