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History and Building Facts

Doctor with Patient

Building facts

  • 128,000 square feet
  • 4 stories (2 with full interstitial floors)
  • Construction: May 2008 to December 2010
  • Open to public in 2011
  • 54 beds
  • Outpatient clinics
  • 4 smart ORs
  • 4 cath labs
  • Emergency Department with:
    • 14 small treatment rooms
    • 4 large treatment rooms (with double capacity in event of a disaster)
    • Expanded imaging area

In February 2005, UC San Diego received a $10 million gift from Richard and Maria (Gaby) Sulpizio to help construct a state-of-the-art cardiovascular patient care and clinical research facility. In recognition, our facility is called the Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center.

When it opened in 2011, the center unified ambulatory, clinical, and inpatient heart and stroke care in one convenient location. It has also won recognition for its world-class design, including being named one of the nation's Most Beautiful Hospitals in 2012, and Modern Healthcare's highest design honor.

Maria (Gaby) and Richard Sulpizio
Maria (Gaby) and Richard Sulpizio
Richard Sulpizio, chairman of the Center’s Board of Directors and president and CEO of Qualcomm Enterprise Services, has personal experience with cardiovascular disease. Both his father and brother died of heart conditions. But that’s not the only reason behind the couple’s generous gift. Sulpizio says he was inspired by the vision of Dr. Anthony DeMaria, UC San Diego professor of medicine and the director of the Cardiovascular Center.

“At our first meeting, he made a compelling case for the work he and his staff are doing, and the fact that they needed a world-class facility,” Sulpizio recalled recently. “He explained it’s not just about technology, it’s about the people who use the technology. He talked about sharing everything under one roof, being able to attract topnotch doctors.

“My wife and I decided that if we could help to give a world-class facility to continue both the training and the clinical work with patients that is done at UC San Diego Medical Center, it would be an honor.”

As part of an academic medical system, the new facility will unite leaders in cardiovascular medicine, cardiothoracic surgery, pulmonary vascular medicine, vascular surgery, stroke, heart imaging and research. Through this collaborative approach, research discoveries can move quickly to the bedside, so patients benefit sooner from new methods of prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

“We’re lucky to have UCSD here in the community; having an academic medical center is pretty impressive,” Sulpizio said. “And it’s not only the academic medicine aspect and the care they deliver, it’s the three D’s: The Medical Center discovers, delivers, and disseminates. If you go to a regular hospital, they don’t offer all those aspects.

“At UCSD, we know we are dealing with people that other facilities don’t have. We’re pleased to help support such outstanding physicians and researchers, many of whom are among the best in the nation.”

Most Beautiful Campus

Gaby Sulpizio, whose mother has heart disease, is an enthusiastic supporter of the project as well. “Our family knows, personally, how devastating cardiovascular diseases can be, which is why we have been so active with UCSD’s Cardiovascular Center for a number of years,” Gaby said. “Also, UCSD’s program focuses on cardiovascular issues for women, the number-one cause of death among females.

“We are confident that the health and future of many generations to come will benefit from the health care work at UCSD."