Scripps Opens Most Advanced Heart Care Institute on the West Coast

$456 million Prebys Cardiovascular Institute offers world-class heart care by top physicians

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$456 million Prebys Cardiovascular Institute offers world-class heart care by top physicians

Scripps Health has opened the Prebys Cardiovascular Institute, a $456 million center that combines world-class researchers, top physicians and leading-edge technology to deliver the most advanced heart care available on the West Coast.

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Press Release

Prebys Cardiovascular Institute Grand Opening

Scripps Health today celebrated the grand opening of the most advanced center dedicated to heart care anywhere on the West Coast. The $456 million Prebys Cardiovascular Institute on the campus of Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla is a hub for innovation bringing together leading researchers, physicians, staff and technologies in the largest heart program in the region.


“Today, we celebrate the opening of one of the country’s top cardiovascular institutes right here in San Diego, which offers the most advanced heart care available not just for patients in our community but for heart patients everywhere,” said Scripps President and CEO Chris Van Gorder. “We designed this institute to be centered around our patients and their needs, creating an innovative environment for collaboration among some of the nation’s most brilliant physicians, for ground-breaking research by world-class scientists, and for the diagnosis and treatment of the most challenging heart conditions.”


The grand opening event included medical staff, volunteers, patients, donors and community leaders. It will be followed by a community open house on Sunday, March 1, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.


“As one of San Diego County’s largest employers and top innovative health systems in the country, Scripps has long provided opportunities to countless San Diegans,” said San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer. “With the Prebys Cardiovascular Institute, Scripps has taken it a step further by building the most sophisticated heart hospital on the West Coast — right here in San Diego.”

Named for historic philanthropic gift

The 383,000-square-foot tower of glass, brick and steel rising seven stories above Genesee Avenue is named for Conrad Prebys, a real estate developer, philanthropist and generous Scripps donor whose $45 million gift helped create an institution that will save lives and foster medical breakthroughs for decades to come.


“In business, and in philanthropy, I want to be involved in projects that make me want to jump up and down with enthusiasm,” said Conrad Prebys, whose donation was the largest he has ever made and the largest one ever received by Scripps. “I’m overwhelmingly enthusiastic about this building because it symbolizes the caliber of expertise, technological advancement and care that patients receive throughout the Scripps system.”

Best provider of cardiovascular care gets better

The Prebys Cardiovascular Institute combines highly respected cardiovascular programs from throughout the Scripps system and Kaiser Permanente. Each year, more than 76,000 patients receive their cardiovascular care from Scripps, making it San Diego County’s — and California’s — largest heart care provider. For more than 30 years, Kaiser Permanente cardiologists have partnered with Scripps cardiovascular surgeons to care for Kaiser Permanente heart patients. This collaboration has contributed to the program’s high-quality care, superior patient outcomes and national recognition.


“Building on a long history of working together, Kaiser Permanente and Scripps cardiac specialists will continue to offer the best heart care available to patients throughout the region through the Prebys Cardiovascular Institute,” said Kaiser Permanente Senior Vice President and Executive Director Jane Finley.

Largest heart program in Southern California

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, claiming about 600,000 lives each year and accounting for one in every four deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In San Diego County, nearly 4,000 people die of heart disease each year, according to the county Health and Human Services Agency.


With 166 cardiovascular specialists, Scripps performs more heart procedures than any other heart care program in California.


In 2013, Scripps physicians performed:


  • 10,326 catheterization procedures
  • 3,682 electrophysiology procedures
  • 1,112 cardiovascular/thoracic surgeries
  • 95 heart robotic surgeries

Scripps is the only heart care provider in the region consistently recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best in the country. In 2014, US News ranked Scripps 18 in the nation, the highest rated program in San Diego County.

Redefining heart care in San Diego

The Prebys Cardiovascular Institute builds on a legacy of breakthroughs by Scripps in pioneering surgical procedures, landmark studies, genomic medicine and wireless technology to provide the most advanced treatment options available to patients with cardiovascular diseases.


The new tower features 108 inpatient beds in private rooms, 59 intensive care beds, six state-of-the-art operating rooms, and three advanced technology cardiac catheterization labs with space to add three more. Work also has begun on a state-of-the-art emergency department on the ground floor of the hospital, which is scheduled to open in June 2016.


“Advanced technology and tools allow us to vastly improve patient care, from diagnosis to treatment, resulting in safer procedures, shorter stays, faster recovery and better outcomes,” said Paul M. Teirstein, MD, medical director of the Prebys Cardiovascular Institute. “By keeping the patient at the center of our model of care, we deliver the highest quality care, one patient at a time.”


The design of the building was driven by evidence-based principles and shaped by more than 200 individuals — including doctors, nurses, leadership, architects and support staff — who provided guidance on the best practices for cardiac patients. Some of the hospital’s notable features include:


  • Decentralized nurse stations to closely monitor patients and communicate with family members.
  • A three-tiered wireless infrastructure dedicated to enterprise, medical and consumer use that maintains maximum security and capabilities for clinicians.
  • Four state-of-the-art operating rooms.
  • Two hybrid operating rooms that can be used for catheterization procedures or surgeries.
  • 17 negative pressure isolation rooms.
  • Patient rooms and hallways bathed in natural light from floor-to-ceiling windows.
  • A subdued color palette proven to increase patients’ sense of well-being and to boost the healing process.
  • Private rooms equipped with LCD screen televisions that can display clinical images, such as CT scans, and pullout couches so family members can stay comfortably overnight.

Future campus improvements and expansion

The institute is the cornerstone of a 25-year master plan unveiled in November 2010 that is transforming the Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla campus.


“The opening of the Prebys Cardiovascular Institute is a major step in the reshaping of the Scripps La Jolla campus,” said Gary Fybel, chief executive of Scripps La Jolla. “Through this and other campus improvements, Scripps La Jolla will continue to deliver the best medical care to patients for generations to come.”


The master plan also calls for the replacement of the existing hospital to comply with California earthquake safety mandates. Other additions include the Scripps Clinic John R. Anderson V Medical Pavilion, a $130 million multispecialty medical building being constructed adjacent to the institute and scheduled for completion in March 2016.


A new central energy plant located 1,600 feet from the institute was completed in November. The three-level, concrete structure provides the Prebys Cardiovascular Institute with air conditioning, heating, medical gas, steam, fuel storage, waste storage and emergency generators.


Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc., served as the construction management firm on behalf of Scripps. McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. was the design-assist general contractor, and HOK Architects was the project architect.

Community opening event March 1

Scripps invites the community to the grand opening of the Prebys Cardiovascular Institute on Sunday, March 1, during an open house featuring an outdoor health and activities fair, and public tours of the tower’s patient rooms, operating rooms and other spaces. The free event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the institute, which is located at 9888 Genesee Ave, La Jolla, 92037.


The fair will include healthy cooking demonstrations, free health screenings, a Kids’ Zone featuring a Lego station, musical performances by Hulabaloo, and exhibits by the American Heart Association, WomenHeart, various public safety agencies and other community partners.


More information on the institute is available at Scripps.org/Prebys.


Learn more about Scripps Health, an integrated health care system in San Diego, California.