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Oakland, SF Children's Hospitals To Carry Benioff Name After $100M Donation

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) - A $100 million gift from founder Marc Benioff and his wife Lynne will bring new names and an infusion of new funds to the Bay Area's two children's hospitals, hospital officials announced Wednesday.

The gift to the University of California at San Francisco's Benioff Children's Hospital and its affiliate, Children's Hospital Oakland, will support existing programs in basic and clinical research at the two hospitals and help attract new expertise, UCSF officials said Tuesday.

It also brings a new name for Children's Hospital, which joined an alliance with UCSF in January.

The East Bay hospital will now be known as UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland, while the San Francisco hospital will be known as UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco. Together, the two will be referred to as UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals, officials said.

Both hospitals serve a high number of patients who lack insurance or are on Medi-Cal and the Oakland hospital's emergency department sees more than 45,000 visits each year, UCSF officials said.

"This extraordinary gift will have a significant impact on the care we provide children as it will be used to strengthen facilities at Children's Oakland as well as our education, research and community benefit missions," said Dr. Bert Lubin, CEO of UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland.

The gift is the second from the Benioffs to UCSF. Their first $100 million donation, made in 2010, is helping UCSF build a new San Francisco facility, which officials said is on schedule to open in February 2015.

The new 289-bed hospital complex for children, women and cancer patients will include 183 beds for children and a rooftop helipad to allow the transportation of critically ill newborns, children and pregnant women from local hospitals, a pediatric emergency room and private and semi-private rooms in the intensive care nursery, UCSF officials said.

"We have been deeply inspired by the incredible kids, doctors, researchers and administrators at both UCSF and Children's Hospital Oakland," Lynne and Marc Benioff said in a statement Tuesday. "We feel extremely fortunate to have this opportunity to support the best children's hospitals in the world."

The donation was hailed by officials including UC president Janet Napolitano and California Gov. Jerry Brown.

"The generosity and commitment of Marc and Lynne Benioff will strengthen Oakland's thriving medical research community and ensure doctors on both sides of the Bay have world-class facilities to care for children, regardless of income," Brown, a former mayor of Oakland, said in a statement.

The Benioffs have made a number of major donations over the years to Bay Area institutions, including a $2.7 million donation to San Francisco middle schools last year.

© Copyright 2014 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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