SF General Hospital gets new name with Mark Zuckerberg donation

SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - A multimillion dollar gift by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is set to transform San Francisco General Hospital in more ways than one.

On behalf of San Francisco General Hospital, the City's Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted to formally accept a $75 million gift from Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan.

It's believed to be the largest single private gift by individuals to a U.S. public hospital.

"It's really a game-changer for us," said SFGH CEO Sue Currin. "We're now able to fully equip the hospital with the latest state-of-the-art equipment and give the patients what they really deserve."

The grant will help complete the new acute care and trauma center, scheduled to open in December. And soon, babies born at SFGH will have the Facebook founder's name on their birth certificates.

In recognition of their gift, the complex will be renamed the Priscilla and Mark Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center. The Zuckerberg name will remain on the hospital for 50 years and should start showing up on signage and paperwork later on this year.

"It's not bad. I guess he has the money to do it," said Niguse Asmlash, who was visiting his father at the hospital Tuesday. "If I had $75 million, I'd put my name up here too."

But patient Dave Moss didn't like the name change. "[Zuckerberg] can be philanthropic all he wants to be but he doesn't need to have it named after him," said Moss. "And I just think that this is a public hospital and it should just stick with being named San Francisco General."

San Francisco General Hospital Foundation CEO Amanda Heier said donor recognition is critical to fundraising campaigns. "The Zuckerbergs' name is added to the existing San Francisco General Hospital's name which is globally renowned," said Heier. "And so it is a change but not a drastic one."