Mark Zuckerberg is set to give the largest single private gift from individuals to a public hospital in the United States, with a $75 million donation to San Francisco General Hospital. The gift from Zuckerberg and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan, is partly tied to and inspired by the time Chan worked at the hospital while completing her pediatric residency.
The money will go to the hospital’s trauma center, which is the only one of its kind in the Bay Area. It serves under-insured and uninsured patients about 70 percent of the time, according to CNN. It will be renamed the Priscilla and Mark Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center. In 2008, long before the gift from the Zuckerberg family, voters approved an $887.4 million bond for a new trauma center.
That investment by the San Francisco community, plus the donation from Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, will be enough to make a series of major improvements to the hospital. Chan said in a statement that she and Mark made the choice to give the money because of her personal experiences at “The General,” as it’s called.
“Through my training at The General, I know firsthand the vital health care and trauma services this hospital provides to anyone who lives, works or travels through San Francisco,” she said in a release announcing the donation. “Day in and day out, I witness the compassion and dedication of my colleagues, as they work tirelessly to deliver the best available care to all of our patients. Mark and I are proud to support such an important public hospital.”
Zuckerberg added to the statement that he and his wife want to “invest in efforts that can make a difference in people’s lives” in the Bay Area and that they are proud to be part of such a worthwhile endeavor that will affect the lives of so many people.
Zuckerberg also posted on Facebook that the financial contribution will be enough for The General to complete its project to double the size of its new emergency room and provide four times more beds. Improvements will include new state of the art equipment, according to Mark.
The current rebuilding efforts of The General include making a nine-story, 453,000-square-foot main hospital and new trauma center that will be finished later this year before opening in December.
According to Forbes, Mark Zuckerberg is worth $34 billion at just the age of 30, and the $75 million donation will barely make a dent in his fortune.
[Photo via Wikimedia Commons]