Sharp HealthCare Breaks Ground on San Diego Innovation Center

By HCO Staff

SAN DIEGO—Sharp HealthCare has broken ground on the new Prebys Innovation & Education Center (PIEC), named in recognition of a $5 million challenge grant from The Conrad Prebys Foundation.

“The Prebys Innovation & Education Center will ensure the commitment of Sharp HealthCare to provide San Diegans with care of the highest quality through the continuous education of Sharp physicians, nurses, staff and leadership, and will also offer community engagement facilities,” said Tony Cortes, board chair of The Conrad Prebys Foundation. “The intent of this challenge grant is to inspire others to support Sharp and share our commitment to the best possible health care in our region.”

The capital project is comprised of a 70,000-square-foot, four-story addition to Sharp’s corporate headquarters made possible with building partners McCarthy and Hanna Gabriel Wells.

“Our new center will act as the hub for all Sharp innovation, furthering our vision to be the best place to work, practice medicine and receive care,” said Sharp President and CEO Chris Howard. “The PIEC is one of the most important projects in Sharp’s history and is certain to play an important role in bolstering our region’s reputation as a health care innovator and leader.”

Howard added that the PIEC will feature state-of-the-art spaces housing an auditorium and conference rooms; a Simulation Center to enhance caregiver knowledge and skills; a Technology Immersion Lab for open-access research and demonstrations; and community engagement facilities to serve San Diegans.

“Since our inception, Sharp HealthCare has been a partnership with the San Diego community,” said Bill Littlejohn, senior vice president and chief executive officer of the Sharp HealthCare Foundation. “Today we extend that partnership and legacy with The Conrad Prebys Foundation. Their generosity will inspire others to join in making possible this incredible innovation and education center.”

Over the next decade, Sharp is investing $2 billion in the future of health care in San Diego. The innovation program will have early emphasis on advanced technology, artificial intelligence and machine learning as well as development of new facilities, to attract the best and brightest clinicians and staff. The Foundations of Sharp are projecting a philanthropic investment of $250 million; including $20 million for the PIEC.  Nearly $1 million has been raised in just the six months since the Prebys challenge grant was announced.

The balance of the total cost of $75 million for the PIEC, new parking structure and improvements to the existing Sharp corporate offices will be provided through cash reserves and bond financing.  The project is planned for completion in mid-2023.

In collaboration with the Caster Nursing Institute and Center for Education and Technology, the Center will also provide simulation experiences for inter-professional team members including nurses and physicians, especially in the areas of clinical team training. The Caster Nursing Institute helps generate new professional nurses and provide advance practice and education for the nearly 6,800 nurses at Sharp. The Caster Nursing Institute along with four patient care simulation labs, will strengthen clinical performance and best practices that will translate to ever-greater care for patients. The center will facilitate both hands-on and virtual training throughout the system and between Sharp and other leading health care systems. This will create a nucleus for high-quality care and risk abatement.