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Stanford Hospital gets $27.5 million gift

A Silicon Valley technology executive and his Stanford University faculty wife have pledged to give Stanford Hospital a $27.5 million gift to build a state-of-the-art emergency department when the university builds its new hospital. Marc Andreessen and his wife, Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, made the commitment as their first philanthropy decision as a married couple, the university announced Friday.

Andreessen built two billion-dollar companies while his wife, a Stanford business school faculty member, has made a career of practicing venture philanthropy. Andreessen, 36, is a software engineer who developed the Mosaic, a widely used Web browser. He founded Netscape Communications when he was 23, sold it to America Online in 1998 for $4.2 billion in stock, and then founded Opsware, a data center automation company.

Arrillaga-Andreessen, 37, has master's degrees from Stanford in business, education and art history. She has been on the Stanford faculty since 2000.

"Everybody walks into the Emergency Department at some point and it may be 2 a.m.," Andreessen said. "This means we could have a big impact. The opportunity to build a new emergency services department that is world-class is enormous."

The university plans to replace Stanford Hospital with a new hospital by 2015. The plans for construction of the new hospital are underway.

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"Both of us feel so strongly that, being part of the new generation in Silicon Valley, we have a responsibility to hopefully inspire other people in our age range to make significant philanthropic commitments," said Arrillaga-Andreessen, who grew up in Palo Alto.

"The night we met, philanthropy was a first topic of conversation. We became engaged a few months later. It's an absolute natural. It was one of the very first things we talked about when we became engaged: How can we as a couple effect the greatest social change?" she said.

She added that her ethics have been deeply grounded in the philanthropy of her parents, John Arrillaga and the late Frances C. Arrillaga. Andreessen also was raised with core beliefs in giving, but has only had the opportunity to act on a commitment to public service in the last 15 years, she said.

The couple plans to spend their lives committed to funding institutions and core services that are not necessarily the most transparent, but that touch everyone's lives. They chose health care, and in particular funding the Emergency Department at Stanford Medical Center, because it is a service that can make the difference between life and death, they said.

The gift will enable the hospital to build a department more than double the size of current facilities and expand its services and technologies to meet rapidly growing demand from patients. Stanford Hospital provides the only level-1 trauma center between San Francisco and San Jose. The Emergency Department will be equipped with a wide array of new technologies, including digital X-rays, ultrasound and other equipment for bedside diagnosis, new cardiac monitors and advanced methods for freeing up blocked airways. In addition, the department will acquire systems that will allow the medical team to rapidly communicate on critical patient issues and make it possible to track patients as they progress through the Emergency Department.

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On an international scale, Stanford's state-of-the-art model can be a core resource for other emergency departments, the couple said.

"It's exciting to have a community impact that can be leveraged around the world," Andreessen added.

There is a much greater level of accountability in today's philanthropic investments, according to Arrillaga-Andreessen. In Silicon Valley, many individuals have contributed to tremendous change in society through their inventions. As a generation, many view for-profit investment as tantamount to social investment. They seek specific outcomes and specific returns based not on throwing money at a program, but on active involvement in analyzing the outcomes of their investments -- and learning from the successes and failures and where to make improvements, she said.

"It's not just about writing a check," she added.

For the first time in the country's history, younger generations have the wealth to invest in social change. For previous generations, people didn't express their philanthropy until they were in their 50s and older, when they were at the end of their careers, according to Arrillaga-Andreessen.

"We have an opportunity to get started at an earlier age -- and what an incredible experience," she said.

With giving at the foundation of their marriage, the couple -- who have been married one year and 39 days -- see a bright and fulfilling marriage ahead of them.

"I'm so madly in love with my husband. We're so blissfully in love. I cannot believe how much more extraordinary one year can be," she said.

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— Don Kazak and Sue Dremann

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Stanford Hospital gets $27.5 million gift

Uploaded: Fri, Nov 9, 2007, 2:06 pm

A Silicon Valley technology executive and his Stanford University faculty wife have pledged to give Stanford Hospital a $27.5 million gift to build a state-of-the-art emergency department when the university builds its new hospital. Marc Andreessen and his wife, Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, made the commitment as their first philanthropy decision as a married couple, the university announced Friday.

Andreessen built two billion-dollar companies while his wife, a Stanford business school faculty member, has made a career of practicing venture philanthropy. Andreessen, 36, is a software engineer who developed the Mosaic, a widely used Web browser. He founded Netscape Communications when he was 23, sold it to America Online in 1998 for $4.2 billion in stock, and then founded Opsware, a data center automation company.

Arrillaga-Andreessen, 37, has master's degrees from Stanford in business, education and art history. She has been on the Stanford faculty since 2000.

"Everybody walks into the Emergency Department at some point and it may be 2 a.m.," Andreessen said. "This means we could have a big impact. The opportunity to build a new emergency services department that is world-class is enormous."

The university plans to replace Stanford Hospital with a new hospital by 2015. The plans for construction of the new hospital are underway.

"Both of us feel so strongly that, being part of the new generation in Silicon Valley, we have a responsibility to hopefully inspire other people in our age range to make significant philanthropic commitments," said Arrillaga-Andreessen, who grew up in Palo Alto.

"The night we met, philanthropy was a first topic of conversation. We became engaged a few months later. It's an absolute natural. It was one of the very first things we talked about when we became engaged: How can we as a couple effect the greatest social change?" she said.

She added that her ethics have been deeply grounded in the philanthropy of her parents, John Arrillaga and the late Frances C. Arrillaga. Andreessen also was raised with core beliefs in giving, but has only had the opportunity to act on a commitment to public service in the last 15 years, she said.

The couple plans to spend their lives committed to funding institutions and core services that are not necessarily the most transparent, but that touch everyone's lives. They chose health care, and in particular funding the Emergency Department at Stanford Medical Center, because it is a service that can make the difference between life and death, they said.

The gift will enable the hospital to build a department more than double the size of current facilities and expand its services and technologies to meet rapidly growing demand from patients. Stanford Hospital provides the only level-1 trauma center between San Francisco and San Jose. The Emergency Department will be equipped with a wide array of new technologies, including digital X-rays, ultrasound and other equipment for bedside diagnosis, new cardiac monitors and advanced methods for freeing up blocked airways. In addition, the department will acquire systems that will allow the medical team to rapidly communicate on critical patient issues and make it possible to track patients as they progress through the Emergency Department.

On an international scale, Stanford's state-of-the-art model can be a core resource for other emergency departments, the couple said.

"It's exciting to have a community impact that can be leveraged around the world," Andreessen added.

There is a much greater level of accountability in today's philanthropic investments, according to Arrillaga-Andreessen. In Silicon Valley, many individuals have contributed to tremendous change in society through their inventions. As a generation, many view for-profit investment as tantamount to social investment. They seek specific outcomes and specific returns based not on throwing money at a program, but on active involvement in analyzing the outcomes of their investments -- and learning from the successes and failures and where to make improvements, she said.

"It's not just about writing a check," she added.

For the first time in the country's history, younger generations have the wealth to invest in social change. For previous generations, people didn't express their philanthropy until they were in their 50s and older, when they were at the end of their careers, according to Arrillaga-Andreessen.

"We have an opportunity to get started at an earlier age -- and what an incredible experience," she said.

With giving at the foundation of their marriage, the couple -- who have been married one year and 39 days -- see a bright and fulfilling marriage ahead of them.

"I'm so madly in love with my husband. We're so blissfully in love. I cannot believe how much more extraordinary one year can be," she said.

— Don Kazak and Sue Dremann

Comments

Not so fast
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 9, 2007 at 2:24 pm
Not so fast, Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 9, 2007 at 2:24 pm
Like this comment

Stanford may have to turn this donation down--if the PA City Council does not okay the hospital remodel.
I am sure the "Too Much Traffic" contingent on the council and in the city will be upset with this donation since they will feel it puts them in a corner to okay the Stanford Hospital remodel


Sanford Forte
Evergreen Park
on Nov 9, 2007 at 2:44 pm
Sanford Forte, Evergreen Park
on Nov 9, 2007 at 2:44 pm
Like this comment

Gifts "move", in that they enkindle the spark of gratitude to all that receive them, thus encouraging and enabling the recipient in ways that approach the ineffable.

Marc Andreessen and his wife, Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen are to be thanked and for this most generous and wonderful gift to the Stanford Hospital, and for the many human beings that their gift will touch.






Forum Reader
Stanford
on Nov 9, 2007 at 3:30 pm
Forum Reader, Stanford
on Nov 9, 2007 at 3:30 pm
Like this comment

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Not so fast
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 9, 2007 at 4:14 pm
Not so fast, Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 9, 2007 at 4:14 pm
Like this comment

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Ken
South of Midtown
on Nov 9, 2007 at 4:27 pm
Ken, South of Midtown
on Nov 9, 2007 at 4:27 pm
Like this comment

Having spent many an evening at the Emergency room at Stanford, with my very sick daughter, I can attest that this gift is much appreciated.


A community member
Mountain View
on Nov 9, 2007 at 8:15 pm
A community member, Mountain View
on Nov 9, 2007 at 8:15 pm
Like this comment

When I was a resident of Palo Alto, I accompanied emergent patients to the Stanford ER several times and saw others suffering terribly (and endlessly, they must have felt) as they waited their turn, due to the crowded conditions and limited resources. It broke my heart that people could not be treated more quickly.

I make absolutely no judgment as to a person's "right" to visit the ER. If they or their family feel they need to be there, they should have prompt, competent care and relief. This generous gift will help the ER meet that standard of simple humanity.


Keith P.
Stanford
on Nov 9, 2007 at 9:54 pm
Keith P., Stanford
on Nov 9, 2007 at 9:54 pm
Like this comment

This is an incredible gift that follows many that the Arrillaga family have already made to Stanford and the greater Palo Alto community.

Thank you Marc and Laura!


NL
South of Midtown
on Nov 10, 2007 at 6:17 am
NL, South of Midtown
on Nov 10, 2007 at 6:17 am
Like this comment

If Palo Alto rejects this proposal to build a new hospital, it will be the residents of Palo Alto who will suffer.

Anyone who has tried to get into Stanford Hospital recently knows it is always full. If you need immediate hospitalization it probably won't be at Stanford, if you're lucky it might be at Sequoia or El Camino but these hospitals are also full.

We need a new and enlarged Stanford Hospital ASAP, and Palo Alto would be shooting themselves in the foot if they don't approve this project.


Jeremy
Evergreen Park
on Nov 10, 2007 at 10:41 am
Jeremy, Evergreen Park
on Nov 10, 2007 at 10:41 am
Like this comment

No one is talking about rejecting the proposal.
Please inform yourself so you can avoid making up stories and spreading mis-information.


Not so fast
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 10, 2007 at 1:31 pm
Not so fast, Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 10, 2007 at 1:31 pm
Like this comment

Jeremy--while no on the city council has dared to come out in opposition to the Stanford hospital remodel, there are those that:

a) are not very happy with it (yoirko's quote of this being like swallowing a bowling ball)

b) see this as an opportunity to "extort" concessions from Stanford in order for them to get the okay.

Only time will tell what will happen when this comes before the council.

I am sure that there are those who may be against, n principle, this gift since it will enlarge the emergency room, which will mean more traffic
(do not scoff about PA being more concerned with "quality of my life" issues vs health--look at the threads where trees are more important than people's health and those with allergies are told that they are faking or should go somewhere else, as an example)


Resident
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 12, 2007 at 8:51 am
Resident, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 12, 2007 at 8:51 am
Like this comment

The gift for the emergency room at Stanford unfortunately will cause some people to point to the gift as further proof that an expanded emergency room at Stanford is a good thing. An expanded emergency room is only good if it is located in the right place, away from a highly congested area. You may remember that Stanford argued for the expansion of Sand Hill Road because emergency vehicles are slowed by traffic and this traffic congestion endangered people’s health. We know our neighboring cities have hospitals with emergency rooms located in less congested areas than El Camino/Sand Hill Road. Looking a gift horse in the mouth . . .


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