$263 Million Lusardi Tower Breaks Ground at Scripps Encinitas

Fundraising continues for final phase of expansion of North County hospital campus

Dignitaries at groundbreaking event for new Luzardi Tower at Scripps Memorial Encinitas.

Participating in a groundbreaking event for the new Lusardi Tower now under construction at Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas were, from left, Debbi Lusardi; Scripps Health President and CEO Chris Van Gorder; Scripps Encinitas Physician Chief Operating Executive Scott Eisman, MD; Warner Lusardi; Scripps Board of Trustees Chairman Richard Bigelow; and Scripps Corporate Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer John Engle.

Fundraising continues for final phase of expansion of North County hospital campus

Work to expand the Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas campus took a major step forward this week when Scripps Health celebrated the start of construction of the $263 million acute care Lusardi Tower and Lusardi Pulmonary Institute.


Scripps philanthropic supporters, Scripps leaders and local public officials gathered at the campus Thursday morning for a ceremony commemorating the groundbreaking for the three-story, 224,000-square-foot facility that will offer a broad range of patient care services and facilities.


“This event marked a major milestone in the final phase of a master plan that is propelling Scripps Encinitas into the future of health care with innovative growth that will serve the North County community for years to come,” said Chris Van Gorder, president and CEO of Scripps Health.


The building, set to open before the end of 2025, will have 64 private inpatient rooms, including 36 private medical/surgical beds; 16 intensive care unit beds; multiple operating rooms; and the Lusardi Pulmonary Institute, which will build on the hospital’s existing state-of-the-art interventional pulmonary medicine program and provide a complete continuum of inpatient and outpatient care, including prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation. The expansion will bring the hospital’s total bed count above 230.


“We’ve seen demand for health care services steadily grow over the past decade at Scripps Encinitas, and we expect that trend to continue,” said Scott Eisman, MD, physician chief operating executive of the hospital. “The Lusardi Tower and other master plan projects ensure that the campus will continue to serve the needs of our patients for many years to come.”


The Lusardi Tower and Lusardi Pulmonary Institute are key components of the second and final phase of the ongoing master plan to greatly expand the hospital campus. An earlier phase two project — a three-story, 68,000-square-foot medical office pavilion located on the northernmost portion of the hospital campus — was completed in 2021. Phase one of the master plan was completed in 2016 and included the Leichtag Foundation Critical Care Pavilion, which encompasses an emergency department and a medical-surgical unit.


The newest building was supported by a $25 million gift in 2020 from philanthropists Warner and Debbie Lusardi of Rancho Santa Fe, the largest donation in the history of Scripps Encinitas. The Lusardis have a long history of supporting Scripps Encinitas and the entire Scripps Health system. They helped launch the ongoing fundraising campaign for Scripps Encinitas with a $1.1 million gift. Other donations from the couple supported upgrades to the hospital’s operating rooms and the acquisition of separate diagnostic technology to detect respiratory issues and bladder cancer. They also donated generously to support the Prebys Cardiovascular Institute and the Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute, both located in La Jolla.

Fundraising campaign continues

“We couldn’t be bringing the future of patient-centered health care to Encinitas without the long-term support of Warner and Debbie,” said John Engle, corporate senior vice president and chief development officer with Scripps Health. “Their incredible generosity has inspired others in the community to join their efforts to ensure that patients in San Diego County continue benefitting from the best medical care available.”


As a nonprofit health system, Scripps relies on the community’s philanthropic support to help expand and upgrade its facilities. Scripps’ goal is to raise $60 million in philanthropic gifts to support the phase two facilities at Scripps Encinitas, with the remaining funding coming from the organization’s income and debt financing. The fundraising campaign is ongoing, and more information is available by calling Scripps Health Foundation at 760-633-7722 or visiting www.scripps.org/HereforGoodCampaign.


Founded in 1964, Scripps Encinitas offers a broad spectrum of health care services, including heart care, orthopedics, cancer care and 24-hour emergency care, as well as routine and complex pulmonary, neurological and vascular procedures. It is also home to OB/GYN and maternal and infant health services, including a level 2 neonatal intensive care unit.

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

Media Contact

Keith Darce

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