Gov. Brown attends groundbreaking for Children's Hospital project

OAKLAND, Calif. (BCN) -- Gov. Jerry Brown, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and other dignitaries presided Monday over a groundbreaking ceremony for an ambitious construction and modernization project at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland.

Bert Lubin, the hospital's chief executive, said the 10-year project at Children's Hospital, which is located at Martin Luther King Jr. Way and 52nd Street, will help the hospital meet the requirements of seismic regulations.

It will include a new six-story, 89,000-square-foot outpatient center that will adjoin the current outpatient center with clinics for cardiology, rehabilitation, neurology and other subspecialties.

Lubin said the project also includes a rebuilding of the main hospital to increase the number of patient beds to 210, create individual patient rooms and add new surgical, diagnostic and treatment rooms as well as support services and clinics.

Lubin said the improvements are important because, "The health of our children is the health of our future as a society."

Noting the hospital's recent connection with UC San Francisco, rown said Children's Hospital is playing "a tremendous role in connecting San Francisco and Oakland" and the project "is the confluence of so many different minds and investment streams."

Brown said the state and local communities face many challenges ut "in the midst of that, a lot of positive things such as this project are occurring to make the lives of children much better."

Schaaf said the groundbreaking is "a great day in Oakland" because Children's Hospital is an important part of the community and has been around for more than 100 years and provides "care not just for a child but for entire families."

Noting the hospital's policy of providing treatment to all children, Schaaf said, "Every child deserves the best in health care despite their family's ability to pay."