Ribbon-cutting ceremony marks completion of new Stanford Hospital

Dignitaries, faculty, staff and community members gathered Oct. 23 to commemorate a key milestone in Stanford Medicine’s history of medical care and innovation.

- By Grace Hammerstrom

The new Stanford Hospital was dedicated Oct. 23 at a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the building's atrium.
Steve Fisch

Stanford Health Care marked a key milestone Oct. 23 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony to dedicate the new Stanford Hospital, more than 10 years in the making.

The 824,000-square-foot medical facility, at 500 Pasteur Drive in Palo Alto, will open its doors to patients Nov. 17. 

“For so long, the Stanford Hospital has been a distant dream, something on the horizon,” said David Entwistle, president and CEO of Stanford Health Care, in his opening remarks. “The fact that we’re here today to celebrate the culmination of more than a decade of work is truly amazing. We’re here today because of the thousands of hours of effort from dedicated individuals. We should all take great pride in what we’ve been able to accomplish together.”

On hand for the celebration were university leaders, faculty, medical staff, patients, public officials and donors, who gathered in the atrium of the new the building. 

 Lloyd Minor, MD, dean of the Stanford School of Medicine, said the opening of the new hospital ushers in an era of even greater collaboration and discovery.

 “We want to drive biomedical research that changes health care here at Stanford and around the world,” Minor said. “Having a world-class hospital and world-leading clinicians to collaborate with vastly increases the power and speed with which we will be able to translate our discoveries to the benefit of all people.”

 Designed by the internationally recognized firm Rafael Viñoly Architects, in association with medical planners from Perkins Eastman, the new hospital was built to accommodate the most advanced medical technology, increase capacity for patients and meet California’s stringent seismic safety standards. 

David Entwistle, left, president and CEO of Stanford Health Care, with state Assemblyman Marc Berman, whose district includes the main campus of Stanford.
Steve Fisch

Plans for the hospital began in 2006 with the selection of the architect. From there, a collaborative and extensive community planning process began, which included 100 public meetings with the city of Palo Alto. Vice Mayor Adrian Fine spoke at the ceremony.

“With the opening of the new Stanford Hospital, Stanford Health Care will continue its role as an important resource for Palo Alto and the larger community,” said Fine, who was born at Stanford Hospital in 1986. “Having a world-class hospital right here in our neighborhood, in our backyard, delivering care informed by the latest research and discovery is an immense benefit to those who call the Bay Area home.”

‘Palo Alto’s community hospital’

 More than two-thirds of Stanford Hospital patients live in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, said Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne, PhD. “People come here from around the world for life-saving and life-changing care, but I find it particularly meaningful that we are serving our communities and neighbors as well,” he said. 

 “We truly are Palo Alto’s community hospital,” Entwistle said. “I’m deeply grateful to everyone who believed in the vision for this facility and worked so hard over the past decade to make it a reality. Today is a testament to their efforts.” Also in attendance were Amir Dan Rubin, Stanford Health Care’s previous president and CEO, and Mariann Byerwalter, who served as interim president and CEO. 

The seven-story hospital includes 368 private patient rooms, an entire floor dedicated to surgical and procedural care, and four acres of public gardens. An emergency department, more than double the size of the current one, will serve adults and trauma patients. Pediatric emergency services will continue to be provided at the existing emergency department. Stanford Hospital is the only Level 1 trauma center on the Peninsula.

 ‘Bold new chapter in medicine’  

Toward the end of the ceremony, John Levin, JD, chair of the Stanford Health Care board of directors, called leaders up to a stage.

“While we’re here to dedicate a building constructed of steel, concrete and glass, its heart, its essence, its purpose are its people,” Levin said. “The opening of this hospital represents a bold new chapter in medicine, a proud legacy of caring for our local community and for patients from around the country and across the globe.”

Lloyd Minor, dean of the School of Medicine, addresses the gathering at the ceremony.
Steve Fisch

Then Levin spoke: “On behalf of the dedicated clinicians who provide world-leading clinical care within these walls; on behalf of the biomedical researchers whose discoveries fuel that world-leading care; on behalf of the educators who will use this exceptional facility to teach the next generation of health care professionals; on behalf of hospital and university leaders, government officials, community members, faculty and staff, design and construction professionals, volunteers, donors, countless collaborators who worked so hard to bring us to this day; and most of all, on behalf of the patients and families whose hope will be restored, whose lives will be touched for decades to come, by the dream we have realized together, it is my distinct honor on behalf of the Stanford Health Care board of directors to formally accept this building.”

To cheers and a rousing round of applause, Entwistle — with Minor on his left and Levin on his right — cut a red ribbon stretched across the stage. 

About Stanford Medicine

Stanford Medicine is an integrated academic health system comprising the Stanford School of Medicine and adult and pediatric health care delivery systems. Together, they harness the full potential of biomedicine through collaborative research, education and clinical care for patients. For more information, please visit med.stanford.edu.

2023 ISSUE 2

How the environment and health interact