UC San Diego Health announced Monday an $11.8 million gift from local philanthropists Gary and Mary West to create a senior emergency care unit at the Jacobs Medical Center, which is under construction in La Jolla.
The unit will enhance care for older adults and be located within the future emergency department, which will be named for the Wests when the Jacobs Medical Center opens in the fall, according to UCSD Health.
UCSD will also form a multi-year medical research initiative in partnership with the West Health Institute.
“This significant combined philanthropic and research support will help UC San Diego Health fulfill its vision to offer a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach to caring for truly vulnerable members of our community,” said UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep Khosla.
“The Wests’ support will spur novel clinical care, research and teaching at UC San Diego, the region’s only academic health institution,” he said.
The donation was split into two parts — $6.3 million from the Gary and Mary West Foundation to create the emergency care unit, and $5.5 million in planned research funding from the West Health Institute.
“Mary and I are committed to helping seniors age successfully with dignity, quality of life and independence,” said Gary West. “We believe health care specifically tailored for seniors, especially geriatric emergency care, is critical to achieving these goals.”
The Wests also support a senior wellness center in downtown San Diego that serves low-income older people.
According to last year’s San Diego County Senior Health Report, the number of residents 65 years and older is projected to double by 2030, and those 85 years and older are projected to increase by about 41 percent. Last year, patients 65 and older represented 24 percent of total emergency department visits at UC San Diego Health.
—City News Service
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