The new Prebys Cardiovascular Institute features six operating rooms for Scripps Health's 166 heart specialists. PHOTO FROM KPBS
Scripps Health, recognized as a leader in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease, held an open house March 1 at its newly opened Prebys Cardiovascular Institute on the campus of Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla. The $456 million facility, which formally opened Feb. 26, brings together researchers, physicians, staff and technologies in the largest heart program in the region.
“We designed this institute,” said Scripps president and CEO Chris van Gorder at the Feb. 26 ceremonies, “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.”
Scripps Hospital La Jolla is located at 9888 Genesee Avenue.
Public tours were held Sunday at the open house. Scripps Health held a gala Saturday night to celebrate the center's opening.of the facility that will provide heart care for patients of Scripps Health and Kaiser Permanente.
The open house was the only time the public will be allowed to tour the institute, according to Scripps.
“As one of San Diego County’s largest employers and a top innovative health system 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.”
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 Scripps donor whose $45 million gift helped create an institution designed to foster medical breakthroughs for decades to come.
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. The emergency unit is scheduled to open in June of 2016.
“In business, and in philanthropy, I want to be involved in projects that make me want to jump up and down with enthusiasm,” said local philanthropist Prebys, whose $45 million donation to the institute was the largest he has ever made and the largest 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.”
Each year, more than 76,000 patients receive 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.
“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.
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 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.