Widgets Magazine

Tech firms pledge millions as hospital expansion pushes forward

The Stanford Hospital Corporate Partners Program announced yesterday that it would donate up to $150 million over 10 years to the hospital expansion project. A deal was also reached at the latest Palo Alto City Council meeting on Jan. 31 to accelerate negotiations over a development agreement.

The Partners Program includes Hewlett-Packard, Apple, eBay, Intel, Intuit and Oracle. Stanford Hospital president and CEO Amir Dan Rubin said that this recent development heralds a new collaboration between corporations and hospitals to provide patient-centered, high-tech care. Rubin also hopes to explore the possibility of similar relationships with other companies.

Funding from the six tech companies will supplement the $400 million that Stanford Hospitals & Clinics hopes to bring in through private donations to help fund the construction of a $2 billion hospital at the Stanford Medical Center. This new construction is part of a larger $3 billion expansion effort that includes upgrades at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, the Stanford University Medical Center and Stanford clinics.

The project is expected to increase bed capacity to 600 and include new and expanded intensive care and emergency services, adding 1.3 million square feet of new development to Palo Alto, exceeding the city’s zoning regulations.

Such a large expansion could overburden Palo Alto’s streets, making the project a contentious issue for the Palo Alto City Council. Nonetheless, the two parties are set to close a $126 million package after the Jan. 31 city council meeting, bringing the expansion one step closer to reality.

This package includes expanded shuttle services, improved pedestrian and bike paths and road upgrades. It would also pay for Caltrain passes for more than 9,000 hospital workers.

Though the two sides still disagree on several issues, including a stipulation that Stanford would provide the city with a “revenue guarantee” so that the hospitals would not burden the city’s general fund, Mayor Sid Espinosa said that he saw a deal being reached in the near future.

Should the project be approved soon, construction could start before the end of the year and is projected to be completed by 2018.

— An Le Nguyen and Ivy Nguyen