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UCSD paves the way for 15-year $ 3 billion reconstruction of Hillcrest campus

UC San Diego reaffirmed its commitment to serving patients in the city’s central and southern areas on Friday, paving the way for what officials say is a $ 3 billion investment to rebuild its existing medical campus at Hillcrest. .

It is estimated that it will take 15 years to complete the transformation, which begins with the construction of a 250,000 square foot ambulatory care building and 1,800 space parking lot on a plot just east of the medical center. UC San Diego.

A second phase requires significant amounts of new housing on the western and northeast edges of the 60-acre complex. A new hospital that will replace the existing medical center will follow, possibly leading to the removal of existing medical buildings.

The Price Philanthropies Foundation helped launch the public fundraising campaign for this expensive venture, contributing $ 10 million.

Robert Price, the chairman of the charity, noted that the property was the epicenter of San Diego health care when he grew up in nearby Mission Hills in the 1950s and housed a county-run hospital until UCSD bought it in 1968 to serve as the main cog in its new medical school.

“Over the years medicine has moved north and resources have moved north,” said Price, referring to the large investments in new facilities that UCSD and Scripps Health have made in La Jolla.

Very active in some of the city’s most economically disadvantaged areas, particularly City Heights just to the south, Price said it was important that those in need of care did not have to travel so far.

“To have that kind of commitment from UCSD… getting back into this area is really a big deal,” Price said.

Many dignitaries who attended Friday’s inauguration, which turned the earth under clear skies and with COVID-19 masks in place, credited State Senate Speaker Pro Tempore Toni Atkins with helping obtain government funding to make the project feasible.

Although there have been rumors over the past decade that UCSD intends to pull out of Hillcrest and consolidate its services at Jacobs Medical Center in La Jolla, Atkins said on Friday he did not There was simply no way for the state to erode its presence in the center of the city where many of the poor need care.

“This location is necessary for our vulnerable San Diego population,” Atkins said. “This infrastructure is critical.

The project has heights of support in the form of a Bill Walton, who was on hand Friday afternoon to cheer. The retired NBA and UCLA basketball star, sports presenter and San Diego legend have undergone spine surgery at UCSD and is not shy about sharing the fact that his care saved his life.

“This is where the action is, right here in the center of town, and I will do anything and everything to help them build that,” Walton said.

On his to-do list, he added, a new orthopedic center in Hillcrest is named after its spine surgeon, Dr Steven Garfin, chair of the University Health System’s orthopedics department.

The first phase of the project is expected to be completed in 2025 and will house a wide range of services, including oncology, neurosurgery, urology, otolaryngology and orthopedics. Outpatient surgery capabilities will include a new space for gastroenterology procedures as well as space for drug infusion and radiation oncology.

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John Smith

The author John Smith