The San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday that will allow for the operation of a helipad at the new University of California at San Francisco Medical Center at Mission Bay that is scheduled to open in 2014.
The board voted 11-0 to approve the helipad, which will be used to bring critically ill newborns, children and pregnant women to UCSF from other hospitals that do not have the same level of specialized resources.
By 2014, the 289-bed hospital complex is scheduled to consist of a children’s hospital, a hospital for cancer patients, and a women’s hospital that includes a birth center, according to university officials.
The hospital will be located just south of UCSF’s 43-acre life sciences campus at Mission Bay.
UCSF worked with the community over the past two years on the design and development of the helipad, hosting more than 60 public meetings since 2001 to answer questions and address concerns about the project, according to Barbara Bagot-Lopez, associate director of community relations.
In response to feedback from neighbors, UCSF relocated the project to the northernmost area of the medical center site to maximize the distance from residential neighborhoods, and have developed flight paths that go mostly over the San Francisco Bay.
UCSF also established a residential sound reduction program that Bagot-Lopez said was received well by local residents.
Homeowners near the site of the helipad can apply to the program, and if their residence meets certain criteria, then UCSF will pay for acoustic improvements to the home to block out the sound, according to Bagot-Lopez.
“Many residents said they were concerned initially, but felt that the sound reduction program would alleviate their concerns,” Bagot-Lopez said.
Supervisor Sophie Maxwell, whose District 10 includes the site of the future hospital complex, praised the community for working with the university on the project.
“It has provided a model of how to address the concerns of the immediate neighborhood and also meet the needs of other members of our broader community – in this case, the critically ill who need the specialized services offered at the hospital,” Maxwell said in a statement.