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Leadership Gift From Sulpizio Family For New State-Of-The-Art Cardiovascular Center At UCSD


September 22, 2005  |  

The University of California, San Diego today announced a leadership gift of $10 million from Richard and Maria (Gaby) Sulpizio, to support the construction of a new state-of-the-art facility that will centralize UCSD’s cutting-edge patient care and clinical research activities in heart and vascular disease and stroke management.

Rich Sulpizio is chairman of the UCSD Cardiovascular Center Board of Directors. This long-term gift contributes to a multi-year fund-raising initiative for the UCSD Cardiovascular Center. To date, $30 million has been raised which has allowed the campus to begin formal planning for the construction of the new facility which will be located near the John M. and Sally B. Thornton Hospital on the university’s east campus in La Jolla.

“We are excited about UCSD’s efforts in the area of cardiovascular research and are pleased to help support such outstanding physicians and researchers, many of whom are among the best in the nation,” said Rich Sulpizio.

“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,” said Gaby Sulpizio. “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.”

In recognition of their leadership, UCSD will name the Cardiovascular Center and the new facility the Sulpizio Family Cardiovascular Center.

“We are extremely grateful to the Sulpizio family for this gift, and for their active leadership with the Cardiovascular Center Board of Directors,” said Chancellor Marye Anne Fox. “This project promises the community advanced cardiac care with a full range of treatment options and expanded access to clinical trials.”

“Heart disease and stroke are leading killers in the United States,” said Edward W. Holmes, UCSD’s vice chancellor for Health Sciences. “The Sulpizio Family Cardiovascular Center will meet our community’s growing demand for state-of-the-art cardiovascular care. And, consolidation of our outstanding cardiovascular programs in one center of excellence will accelerate and improve our efforts to diagnose, treat, and even prevent the devastating affects of heart disease and stroke through innovative clinical research.”

Anthony DeMaria, M.D., an internationally respected cardiologist and researcher who specializes in cardiac diagnostics and ultrasound, is Director of the center.

“The dedication of Rich and Gaby Sulpizio has moved us forward in realizing our vision to be a leader in translational research, evaluating new drugs and technologies and bringing the best into the clinical setting for the benefit of patients,” said DeMaria.

Rich Sulpizio has served in a variety of executive positions at QUALCOMM Incorporated since 1991. He was president and chief operating officer when he retired in 2001. He continues to serve on the QUALCOMM Board and has helped grow the China and Europe operations since his retirement. Recently, he returned as president of QUALCOMM’s new subsidiary, MediaFLOW, USA. Gaby Sulpizio has been active in many educational organizations including the PTA at the local, district and state levels. While their three daughters were young, she volunteered in youth sports organizations and the Girl Scouts. The couple currently resides in La Jolla and Santa Ynez, Calif.

In previous years, the couple made a gift to the Boys and Girls Club in Poway. The 20,000 square-foot Club was named after the family in recognition of this gift. They have also been longtime supporters of California State University, San Marcos, with a gift to its the new library. They also have supported the San Pasqual Academy’s Health and Wellness facility.

Construction of the new facility will coincide with expansion of the UCSD Thornton Hospital, with a project cost of $90 million, funded through private support, cash reserves and debt financing. Plans for the Sulpizio Family Cardiovascular Center include 16-20 examination rooms, as well as diagnostic and treatment areas and office space. The Thornton Hospital expansion plans include addition of ICU beds, expansion of emergency and operating rooms, cardiac catheterization labs and other procedure rooms. RTKL Associates of Los Angeles has been chosen to design the facility. Completed plans will be presented to the UC Board of Regents for final approval, with the new facilities projected to open in 2009.

The Sulpizios will be honored at the Cardiovascular Center’s eighth annual “Heart of San Diego” Gala on Saturday, February 26 at 6:30 p.m. This black-tie event, held at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina, has raised $1.8 million over the past seven years. For more information and reservations for this event, please call (619) 543-3499.

A portion of the Sulpizio’s gift contributes to the $1 billion fund-raising goal of The Campaign for UCSD: Imagine What’s Next. Campaign priorities include supporting students and faculty through scholarships, fellowships and endowed chairs; creating and expanding academic programs; funding research endeavors and health sciences advancements; and providing innovation funds and unrestricted support. To date, UCSD has raised $704.1 million; the Division of Health Sciences has raised $290.1 million to date during the campaign. The campaign is scheduled to conclude in June 2007.

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News Media Contacts:

Karen Gajewski, 858-822-3353,

Jeffree Itrich, 619-543-6163,

UCSD Health Sciences Communications HealthBeat: /news/


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