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SHC Celebrates Ceremonial ‘Topping Off’ of Steel Structure for New Stanford Hospital

Stanford Health Care celebrated a major milestone today in the construction of the new Stanford Hospital with the ceremonial ‘Topping Off’ of the steel structure. Construction workers, employees, physicians, community members, elected officials and donors gathered to sign the steel beam before it was hoisted atop the new hospital building.

Lifting of the ceremonial beam. (Photo: Business Wire)

“Stanford Health Care is advancing health outcomes and transforming the patient experience by delivering leading edge and coordinated care in innovative new facilities,” said Amir Dan Rubin, President and CEO, Stanford Health Care. “Anchored by the new hospital construction in Palo Alto, Stanford Health Care seeks to deliver the absolute best in patient care and patient experience anywhere. The future template for improving health and for delivering outstanding care is being built right here at Stanford.”

The ‘Topping Off’ ceremony is a long-standing tradition in construction derived from an ancient Scandinavian builders rite held when the highest beam of steel is placed atop a structure during construction.

“The new Stanford Hospital will serve those of us fortunate enough to call Northern California home, but its reach will be much broader than that,” said Dr. Lloyd B. Minor, Dean, Stanford University School of Medicine. “Informed by the teaching and research activities of Stanford Medicine, the new treatments and technologies that elevate standards of clinical practice around the globe will be pioneered in this new hospital.”

Designed by internationally-recognized Rafael Viñoly Architects and medical planners Lee, Burkhart, Liu, the innovative hospital design is based on a philosophy of patient-centered care. The facility will feature individual patient rooms with large windows that provide extensive natural light – proven to speed the healing process – and ample space for family members to gather and even spend the night. At the heart of the hospital will be a garden level that provides a quiet retreat for patients and families. The facility also incorporates the latest in green technology to reduce the hospital’s environmental impact.

“We believe the new Stanford Hospital will be the world’s safest and most advanced medical center with its unique design, structural system and technological innovations,” said Bert Hurlbut, Vice President of new Stanford Hospital Construction at Stanford Health Care. “We could not have reached this milestone without the collective efforts of many people, including our tradesmen and construction workers. Today is their day.”

The 30-foot long, 3,400-pound ceremonial beam was placed outside of the entrance to Stanford Hospital the week before the event. Thousands of people, including patients, physicians, visitors, employees and community members, signed the beam and left their mark on history.

“It is incredibly exciting to see the dedication and hard work of our community, our volunteers and hospital leadership take shape with the construction of this revolutionary new hospital facility,” said John Levin, Chair, Stanford Health Care Board of Directors. “The tireless effort of these individuals, coupled with the generosity of our corporate and individual donors as part of the Campaign for Stanford Medicine has helped build the foundation of care for generations to come.”

Construction of the $2 billion new hospital building, led by joint venture general contractor Clark/McCarthy, is part of the Stanford University Medical Center Renewal Project, which will bring facilities to new seismic safety standards and support the overall growth of the medical center. Once completed, the new Stanford Hospital facility will add 824,000 square feet to the existing hospital, modernize and replace existing services, and expand intensive care and emergency services. Construction is expected to be completed in 2017 and the new hospital facility will open its doors to patients in early 2018.

About Stanford Health Care

Stanford Health Care (SHC) seeks to heal humanity through science and compassion one patient at a time, through its commitment to care, educate, and discover. Stanford Health Care delivers clinical innovation across its inpatient services, specialty health centers, physician offices, virtual care offerings and health plan programs.

Stanford Health Care is a leading academic health system and part of Stanford Medicine, which includes the Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford. Stanford Medicine is renowned for breakthroughs in treating cancer, heart disease, brain disorders and surgical and medical conditions. For more information, visit:

About the Stanford University Medical Center Renewal Project

The Stanford University Medical Center Renewal Project will rebuild and modernize facilities that are the foundation of our community’s healthcare services. This includes rebuilding Stanford Health Care and the Emergency Department; expanding Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford; replacing School of Medicine laboratories; renovating Hoover Pavilion, the original Palo Alto Hospital, and expanding the Hoover Medical Campus with construction of the new Neuroscience Health Center. For more information, visit:

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