Scripps Memorial Hospital in Encinitas. Courtesy of Scripps

Rancho Santa Fe couple Warner and Debbie Lusardi have donated $25 million to Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas to help fund a new acute-care hospital tower and pulmonary institute, the hospital announced Thursday.

The donation is the largest in the hospital’s history, according to Scripps. Work on the building, dubbed Lusardi Tower, is expected to break ground in 2022.

The three-story, 224,000-square-foot facility is slated to be open for patient care in 2025 and will feature 64 in-patient beds and the Lusardi Pulmonary Institute, which will offer “the full spectrum of patient care for respiratory conditions,” according to Scripps.

The tower will be located between the existing main hospital building and the Leichtag Foundation Critical Care Pavilion.

“We are immensely grateful to Warner and Debbie Lusardi, whose historic gift will have a truly transformative impact on the region’s health care for generations to come,” said Chris Van Gorder, president and CEO of Scripps Health. “This investment will provide North County residents with expanded access to the high-quality, compassionate health care they have come to expect from Scripps Encinitas.”

Scott Eisman, M.D., physician chief operating executive at Scripps Encinitas, said “An investment of this magnitude will allow us to take a significant step forward for our patients, their families and the entire caregiving team, making Scripps Encinitas a top destination for health care. We’ve seen demand for health care services increase steadily over the past decade at Scripps Encinitas, and with continuing population growth expected, it’s critical that we take steps now to prepare for the future.”

The Lusardis previously contributed to the hospital by providing a $1.1 million donation to launch Scripps Encinitas’ current fundraising campaign and an additional $65,000 to help the hospital upgrade its operating rooms and obtain diagnostic technology to detect respiratory issues and bladder cancer.

“The Lusardi family has deep roots in San Diego County, and this generous gift is a testament to their legacy of leadership and altruism, which will continue to have a significant impact on our community for generations to come,” said John Engle, corporate senior vice president and chief development officer with Scripps Health. “We couldn’t be more proud for this vital addition to Scripps Encinitas to bear the Lusardi name.”

–City News Service

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