Scripps Marks Construction Milestone for Prebys Cardiovascular Institute

The Prebys Cardiovascular Institute celebrated the completion of the exterior “skin” of the building, by unveiling the landmark sign on September 4, 2013.

From left, Scripps Health President and CEO Chris Van Gorder and philanthropist Conrad Prebys celebrate the opening of the Prebys Cardiovascular Institute at Scripps La Jolla.

Scripps Health celebrated the completion of the exterior “skin” of the Prebys Cardiovascular Institute and the unveiling of the building’s landmark sign Sept. 4.

“With the completion of the exterior of the Prebys Cardiovascular Institute, we are one step closer to completing a center for innovation that will bring together leading physicians and premier cardiovascular services in San Diego,” said Scripps President and CEO Chris Van Gorder. “The building is approximately 70 percent complete and we are right on schedule to open for patient care in the Spring of 2015.”

Construction update

The 383,000-square-foot building is located on the campus of Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla. Rising seven stories, the exterior of the Prebys Cardiovascular Institute is a combination of glass windows, bricks and steel — all designed to complement and blend with the architecture of the existing hospital. The new facility will feature108 inpatient beds in private rooms, 59 intensive care beds, six state-of-the-art operating rooms, and as many as six cardiac catheterization labs with the most advanced medical technology.

The Prebys Cardiovascular Institute is the cornerstone of a 25-year master plan that will transform the Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla campus. Scripps Health is replacing the existing hospital with new facilities to meet state earthquake safety mandates.

“The best way we can prepare for a disaster is to prevent it from ever happening,” said Van Gorder. “That is why the Prebys Cardiovascular Institute is being built using state-of-the-art SidePlate design to withstand up to an 8.0 magnitude earthquake.”

The SidePlate design was developed following the 1994 Northridge earthquake, where traditional moment frame connections did not perform well. Where prior moment connections allowed flexibility of the structure where the beam intersects the columns, the Sideplate connection is a very rigid connection, which helps to mitigate movement of the structure and the internal components, such as lights, ceilings, and ductwork. The SidePlate connections at Scripps are the largest installed to date in any building type.

Facilitating community support

The $456 million hospital tower is being financed through a combination of operating revenues, borrowing and community support. To date, approximately $120 million in philanthropic gifts have been raised toward the $180 million fundraising goal. The institute was made possible in part by a generous $45 million gift from noted San Diego developer and philanthropist Conrad Prebys for whom the facility is named after.

“Philanthropy has always played an important role in Scripps La Jolla’s growth. Our founder, Ellen Browning Scripps, set out almost 90 years ago to create a haven where the sick could receive exceptional care,” said John Engle, Scripps corporate senior vice president and chief development officer. “Today, it is individuals like Conrad Prebys who are helping to fulfill Miss Ellen’s legacy and keep her dream alive.”

Cardiovascular care at Scripps

Upon completion, the Prebys Cardiovascular Institute will integrate the highly respected Heart Care throughout the Scripps Health system and Kaiser Permanente. The Institute will build on a legacy of Scripps breakthroughs in pioneering surgical procedures, landmark studies, genomic medicine and wireless technology to provide the most advanced treatment options available to patients with cardiovascular diseases.

Every year, more than 55,000 patients receive their heart care from Scripps, making it the largest heart care provider in the region. And Scripps is the only cardiovascular program in the region ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of top 20 in the country.

Established on Prospect Street in downtown La Jolla in 1924 through the vision of Ellen Browning Scripps, Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla moved to its current location in 1964. Today, the hospital provides care to more than 140,000 patients annually, is equipped with 389 beds, and has more than 2,400 employees and approximately 900 affiliated physicians.

The Prebys Cardiovascular Institute and the overall Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla expansion are part of improvements being made throughout the Scripps Health system. Projects include a new emergency department and critical care building, medical office building and parking structure at Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas, and the new Conrad Prebys Emergency and Trauma Center, a new parking structure and central energy plant at Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego. Other facility improvements include seismic upgrades and investment in new information technology.

Learn more about Scripps Health, a nonprofit integrated health system in San Diego, Calif.

Media Contact

Lisa Ohmstede

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