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Apple cofounded effort to design and build $2 billion New Stanford Hospital

This month, Apple joined eBay, HP, Intel, Intuit and Oracle in an "unprecedented" joint philanthropic effort to help Stanford Medical Center build a new $2 billion hospital, designed to use the latest technology available in ways mirroring the innovation of Silicon Valley tech companies.

Members of the new Stanford Hospital Corporate Partners Program expect to contribute $150 million over the next decade and plan to raise an additional $400 million in private donation to construct the new project.

More than just contributing resources, the partners will work with New Stanford Hospital planners to develop innovative new approaches to providing patient access, information, education and navigation, a program that "has the ability to change the face of health care," according to Stanford Hospital president and chief executive Amir Dan Rubin.

The project balances new technical innovations with the goal of creating a healing environment "responsive to the emotional, social and psychological needs of patients, families, visitors, medical professionals and staff," said a report by the hospital.

The new complex will supply 600 beds, new intensive care and emergency services, state of the art imaging systems, and a garden floor supplying dining, conference and educational space.

Steve Jobs, chief executive of Apple, said "all of us are very fortunate to have Stanford's world-class medical center right here in Silicon Valley. We are very excited about the development of their new hospital and really want to support their plans."

Speaking about the project, Ron Johnson, Apple's senior vice president of retail, said "they have to solve the problem of 'how do you make what's intimidating, welcoming?' I think Apple's been able to do that through a series of great products, from computers to iPods to phones now. I don't think it's been done well in the healthcare field. And that's the opportunity of the New Stanford Hospital."

Johnson added, "the science in the hospital is the highest level of science that's done in the world. And perhaps done for the most important reason: to provide life. What we're doing is really changing the way people interface with the hospital.

"If you look at the history of Stanford health care, the products that have been created here and their impact on the world is much greater than Apple: radiation therapy used to cure cancer, the MRI. Because that's what you want to do here. You want to enable great new scientific discovery to come to the forefront. You want people to be healed like they couldn't be healed before. And who knows if it will be regeneration or stem cells or what the application will be, but the speed at which things are moving, the work we do today will have a profound impact on our families and people throughout the world. And that's what makes it fun to be a part of."

In an overview video posted by Stanford's YouTube page, Johnson says, "the whole idea behind the Stanford Hospital Corporate Partners Program is to unite the pioneering companies of the Silicon Valley with the New Stanford Hospital to create methods of taking care of patients that really haven't been imagined yet." He noted that the original Stanford hospital was built 50 years ago during the Eisenhower Era, "that was the same time that many of the great companies were just planting their seeds."

Johnson said that companies surrounding the hospital have since grown up with it, "and I think they believe that they can give back. And the impact will be profound."

Planning of the new hospital has been in progress for five years, and construction is expected to take another six, with work slated to begin later this year. A report by the hospital notes that "the new inpatient facility will retain the close proximity of Stanford Hospital to the Stanford School of Medicine, where discoveries ranging from gene splicing to the first report of the successful use of monoclonal antibodies to treat cancer emerged.

"In September 2010, the School of Medicine opened the new Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge, a transformative environment for medical education, followed by the October 2010 opening of the new Lorry I. Lokey Stem Cell Research Building, the largest dedicated stem cell research building in the country, if not the world."