UC San Diego News Center

Photo: jmc

Building the Future of Health Care

More than 1,000 Donors Give $131 Million in Support of Jacobs Medical Center

Committed to fostering the future of health care in San Diego, more than 1,000 donors have contributed $131 million to UC San Diego’s Jacobs Medical Center. Included in the total are gifts that matched a donation of $25 million, meeting the Challenge goal of the initiative.

Today, the campus announced that the Challenge donation, originally anonymous, was made by Joan and Irwin Jacobs. They provided a $75 million lead gift for the new facility in 2010; with the Challenge gift, that brings their contributions to the Jacobs Medical Center to a total of $100 million. Continued private support will help fund the completion of the new medical center, which is the largest hospital project currently underway in Southern California.

Under construction and projected to open in 2016, Jacobs Medical Center is a $839 million, 10-story facility on the university’s La Jolla campus, which will include three new clinical care units in one location: The A. Vassiliadis Family Hospital for Advanced Surgery, The Pauline and Stanley Foster Hospital for Cancer Care and the Hospital for Women and Infants.

“We are deeply grateful to Joan and Irwin Jacobs for their generosity, including the recent $25 million match challenge,” said UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “We also thank Carol Vassiliadis and Pauline Foster, who made leadership gifts, as well as all of the other donors who participated in meeting this challenge. These visionaries support UC San Diego’s commitment and vision to create a healthier world through new science, new medicine and new cures.”

What’s Inside: Jacobs Medical Center

Joan & Irwin Jacobs

Joan & Irwin Jacobs

“Jacobs Medical Center is part of a multi-billion dollar university investment in the future of health care for the region,” said Dr. David A. Brenner, vice chancellor for Health Sciences and dean of the UC San Diego School of Medicine. “I want to thank all of the donors who have helped make this extraordinary medical center a reality.”

“When we came here in 1966, the medical school was just starting,” said Irwin Jacobs, co-founder, former chairman and CEO of Qualcomm Incorporated and UC San Diego founding faculty member, who served as a professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering from 1966 to 1972. “There was no hospital, just a school. So it’s very exciting to make Jacobs Medical Center possible. More and more, we’re learning how to bring results from basic research in biology and engineering to medicine, and to the clinic. I think this medical center is going to show how effective that can be. The innovations will spread out from San Diego, and go all around the world.”

The 509,500-square-foot facility will house 245 patient beds and be connected on multiple floors with the existing John M. and Sally B. Thornton Hospital on UC San Diego’s La Jolla campus, in the heart of the area’s nexus of biomedical research centers. Jacobs Medical Center has been designed with the patient in mind. From spacious private rooms to soothing color schemes and artwork, to next-generation medical equipment, the vision and needs of patients, doctors and nurses, all aspects of the Jacobs Medical Center have been fully integrated. Each floor will combine all the necessary healing elements while achieving optimal safety and efficient delivery of care.

“Soon we will have the largest, most technologically advanced hospital in the region, dedicated to offering specialized care for every kind of patient, in every phase of life,” said Paul Viviano, CEO of UC San Diego Health System.

Floors 2-3: Lifesaving Surgery

Carol Vassiliadis

Carol Vassiliadis

People give to UC San Diego for many different reasons, but for local philanthropist Carol Vassiliadis, her reason is simple. “It’s the people,” she said. “The people at UC San Diego truly believe in what they are doing. And if, with the Jacobs Medical Center, we are helping people survive, we are doing something very important.” That is why Vassiliadis designated gifts totaling $8.5 million to Jacobs Medical Center. In honor of her support, the facility will be home to the A. Vassiliadis Family Hospital for Advanced Surgery. A portion of Vassiliadis’ support was with matching funds from the Challenge for Jacobs Medical Center grant, for a total of $12 million in gifts.

The A. Vassiliadis Family Hospital for Advanced Surgery will offer patients access to more than 200 surgeons who specialize in complex procedures for all medical conditions. Examples of surgeries to be offered include MRI-guided gene therapy for brain cancer, heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy for abdominal cancers, and complex spine and joint reconstruction. A robust robotics program will continue to treat thyroid, esophageal, prostate, colon, kidney and bladder cancers. Delicate microsurgery to restore voice and hearing and reanimation of the paralyzed face and extremities will also be performed. Minimally invasive surgical options will be available to treat cancer, obesity and a range of other conditions.

The hospital will also house the region’s only intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines. With this technology, surgeons will be able to image tumors in real-time during surgery to be certain that malignancies, such as glioblastoma in the brain, have been removed—without ever having to leave the operating room. MRI guidance can also be used for more accurate biopsies, for laser therapy to destroy tumors and to deliver gene therapy as a potential treatment for brain tumors. Additionally, the hospital will be the only hospital in the United States using a proprietary MRI technique called Restriction Spectrum Imaging (RSI) to create color coded maps of the brain, fiber by fiber, for accurate surgery planning. The facility will also have 14 new 650-square-foot operating rooms. These rooms are larger than a standard OR and the ideal size to accommodate rapid changes in technology.

Floors 4-6: Cancer Care

Pauline Foster

Pauline Foster

For Pauline Foster, community philanthropist and longtime supporter of UC San Diego, giving $7.5 million in support of the new cancer care hospital at Jacobs Medical Center is a gift from the heart—both her husband and brother died of cancer. The facility is named The Pauline and Stanley Foster Hospital for Cancer Care, in consideration of her charitable contribution. The donation was combined with a one-to-one match from the Challenge for Jacobs Medical Center grant, totaling $15 million. “I support the university because of the huge impact it has had on the growth of San Diego,” Foster said. “I’m so grateful I can do it, and to know that the future will be better because of this.”

The Pauline and Stanley Foster Hospital for Cancer Care will be home to medical staff specially trained in caring for the complex needs of patients with cancer. It will be the only in-patient facility of its kind in San Diego County, which has the fifth largest U.S. population, and where cancer is the No. 1 cause of death. With 108 dedicated beds, the hospital will double UC San Diego Health System’s capacity to treat patients with every form of malignancy. The facility will be the critical inpatient venue for the delivery of scientific discoveries and compassionate care to cancer patients and their families, and provide the community with a broad array of leading-edge treatments and dedicated world-class specialists for cancer in one place.

The hospital will be the needed inpatient component to complement UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in San Diego, and the capstone of the university’s cancer campus. Most cancer patients are hospitalized at some point during their cancer journey. By virtue of their close proximity, the Hospital for Cancer Care and Moores Cancer Center can seamlessly align patient care by providing a familiar and healing environment, expert physicians and staff, and personalized cancer care with a continuum of services tailored to the needs of patients and their families, including treatment, clinical trials, nutrition, family support and other outpatient programs at Moores Cancer Center.

Floors 8-10: Mothers and Babies

The Hospital for Women and Infants inside Jacobs Medical Center 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 cesarean hysterectomy, all births will be treated with a high level of care according to the mother’s birth wishes.

A staff of highly trained gynecologists, obstetricians, anesthesiologists, neonatologists, midwives, pediatricians and nurses will provide multidisciplinary care—from prenatal care through labor and birth, and from fetal interventional surgery to newborn intensive care. The Hospital for Women and Infants will include eight private labor and delivery rooms, three rooms for C-section deliveries and three rooms within a midwifery-staffed birth center. The Birth Center will emphasize a natural birth experience with minimal medical intervention—with assurances that the most advanced technology is moments away, if needed.

Recovery will occur in one of 32 postpartum rooms, each with a fold-out bed for a family member. The Level III NICU will care for the most premature and critically ill newborns. In keeping with best practices, the 52 NICU rooms will be private to prevent the spread of infection and to provide privacy. The NICU’s design also provides space for family members to sleep alongside their newborn. An en suite MRI in the NICU will be custom-designed to examine the newborn brain and will serve as the region’s only “Neuro-NICU.”

Private Support is Still Needed

There are numerous naming opportunities in the Jacobs Medical Center, ranging from nurses stations and a family lounge to the main courtyard and more. Please visit for more information about the Jacob Medical Center and supporting the future of health care in San Diego.