Rancho Santa Fe resident Pauline Foster gives $7.5 million to Cancer Care Hospital


For RSF resident Pauline Foster, community philanthropist and longtime supporter of UC San Diego, giving $7.5 million in support of the new cancer care hospital at the UC San Diego Jacobs Medical Center is a gift from the heart — both her husband and brother died of cancer. The campus announced recently that the facility will be named “The Pauline and Stanley Foster Hospital for Cancer Care,” in consideration of her charitable contribution. The donation will be combined with a one-to-one match from the Jacobs Medical Center Challenge grant, for a total of $15 million in gifts. The Jacobs Medical Center, currently under construction, is projected to open on the east campus of UC San Diego in 2016.

Foster’s husband, Stanley, died of a form of multiple myeloma 13 years ago. “There was really no center to go to. You tried your luck and unfortunately his luck didn’t hold out,” Pauline Foster said. That was one of the reasons she gave for supporting the hospital for cancer care. She added, “I also lost my brother to cancer and, at the time, he needed to be in a hospital. But there weren’t any beds. So after witnessing that, I felt that the best thing I could do would be to make sure that other people had beds and had the opportunity to have the kind of care that would help, and hopefully cure them.”

Encompassing three floors of Jacobs Medical Center, The Pauline and Stanley Foster Hospital for Cancer Care will be home to medical staff specially trained in caring for the complex needs of patients with cancer. It will be the only in-patient facility of its kind in San Diego County, which has the fifth largest U.S. population, and where cancer is the No. 1 cause of death. With 108 dedicated beds, the hospital will double UC San Diego Health System’s capacity to treat patients with every form of malignancy. The facility will be the critical inpatient venue for the delivery of scientific discoveries and compassionate care to cancer patients and their families, and provide the community with a broad array of leading-edge treatments and dedicated world-class specialists for cancer in one place.

“Thanks to Pauline Foster’s generous gift, The Pauline and Stanley Foster Hospital for Cancer Care will offer patients hope and healing as they receive the most advanced treatment and support services,” said UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “Offering this type of state-of-the art facility to our community and beyond truly fits UC San Diego’s strategic vision.”

Foster-signage-renderingThe Pauline and Stanley Foster Hospital for Cancer Care will be the needed inpatient component to complement UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in San Diego, and the capstone of the university’s cancer campus. Most cancer patients are hospitalized at some point during their cancer journey. By virtue of their close proximity, the Hospital for Cancer Care and Moores Cancer Center can seamlessly align patient care by providing a familiar and healing environment, expert physicians and staff, and personalized cancer care with a continuum of services tailored to the needs of patients and their families, including treatment, clinical trials, nutrition, family support and other outpatient programs at Moores Cancer Center.

“The impact to California from Pauline’s generous gift will be transformational for San Diego and beyond,” said David Brenner, M.D., vice chancellor for Health Sciences and dean of the School of Medicine at UC San Diego. “Patients will have access to targeted cancer therapies, many that are only available in NCI designated comprehensive cancer centers. For the first time, patients with cancer will receive an integrated, multidisciplinary approach in a beautiful, state-of-the-art facility.”

“We thank Pauline Foster, a long-time supporter of important UC San Diego initiatives, for helping advance cancer care treatments in San Diego,” said Paul Viviano, CEO of the UC San Diego Health System. “With our patients and their families at the center, our team of cancer experts will listen to and understand their needs and be able to care for them in an intimate and compassionate way that dramatically aids healing.”

Pauline Foster grew up in San Diego with a tradition of giving in her family. “It was expected that one did that. You learned that sharing with other people is very gratifying.”

The Foster family has a long history as friends and supporters of UC San Diego. Their support has added enormous depth to UC San Diego programs, including the Shiley Eye Center by establishing the Abraham Ratner Children’s Eye Center and the Ratner Eye Mobile, which were originally funded by Pauline’s mother, Anne Ratner; the Rady School of Management by creating the $5 million Stanley and Pauline Foster Endowed Chair and the Stanley Foster Symposium; and providing fellowship support with a lead gift to the “Invent the Future” campaign, creating the Foster MBA Fellowship Fund with a $2.5 million gift.

Foster also served as a trustee and board chair of the UC San Diego Foundation from 2002 - 2010, and received the Chancellor’s Medal in 2010. She has been board chair of the Jewish Community Foundation and has been actively involved with the United Jewish Federation of San Diego, the United Way and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, where she served as board chair. She currently serves as a trustee of the Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute. Foster was declared “Woman of the Year” by the State of California Legislature in 1989 and was given the United Way’s Alexis De Tocqueville Award in 1998, to honor her extraordinary leadership and service in the community.

“I support the university because of the huge impact it has had on the growth of San Diego,” Foster said. “I think the university has given residents so many opportunities.” The loyal UC San Diego supporter summed up her philanthropy to the campus: “I’m so grateful I can do it, and to know that the future will be better because of this.”

Pauline Foster’s gift of $7.5 million was matched one-to-one thanks to a $25 million Jacobs Medical Center Challenge gift from an anonymous donor. The Jacobs Medical Center, currently under construction and projected to open in 2016, is a 10-story facility that will include three important clinical care units in one location: The Pauline and Stanley Foster Hospital for Cancer Care, the Hospital for Advanced Surgery, and the Hospital for Women and Infants. There are still numerous naming opportunities in the center, ranging from naming the Hospital for Advanced Surgery to the nurses station, family lounge, main courtyard and more.

For more information about supporting the Jacobs Medical Center, visit