UCSF announced this week that it would rename a facility after longtime supporter Helen Diller, who died in 2015 (Photo/file)
UCSF announced this week that it would rename a facility after longtime supporter Helen Diller, who died in 2015 (Photo/file)

UCSF to rename medical center for Helen Diller after donations top $1 billion

The UCSF Medical Center at Parnassus Heights will be renamed in honor of the late San Francisco philanthropist Helen Diller, the university announced today, after a second $500 million donation brought her foundation’s commitment to more than $1 billion. The new funds will support construction of a new hospital, expected to open by 2030.

The latest donation from the Helen Diller Foundation comes 13 months after a similar $500 million gift to the university. Most of that money was used to bolster its endowment, with about $100 million used to launch a fund to further research and other projects.

Announcement of the new gift also comes six days after the death of Diller’s husband, Sanford Diller, a billionaire real estate investor who founded Prometheus Real Estate Group. Helen Diller died in January 2015.

“This incredible commitment sets the stage for a 21st century hospital that will play a critical role in patient care for San Franciscans and our community, as well as patients from around the nation and the globe,” UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood said.

The UCSF Medical Center at Parnassus (Photo/Courtesy UCSF-Noah Berger)
The UCSF Medical Center at Parnassus (Photo/Courtesy UCSF-Noah Berger)

The latest gift brings to more than $1.15 billion the total contributed to UCSF by foundations established by the Diller family. In recognition of that support, the hospital and outpatient complex is being renamed the UCSF Helen Diller Medical Center at Parnassus Heights.

“Helen Diller appreciated UCSF’s excellence as one of the world’s leading health sciences universities,” said Phyllis Cook, the foundation’s executive officer. “She would be so proud of this commitment to clinical services in the Bay Area made in her memory.”

The Diller family for decades has supported Jewish causes, education, science and the arts in the Bay Area, including Judaic studies programs at UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz and the youth leadership program Diller Teen Fellows.

The Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards have granted thousands of dollars to innovative Jewish teens across the country, while the Diller Family Awards for Excellence in Jewish Education annually recognize standout Bay Area Jewish educators.

Rob Gloster

Rob Gloster is J.'s senior writer. He can be reached at rob@jweekly.com.