Officials with John Muir Health have unveiled a planned expansion to the health care organization's Walnut Creek facilities, following a hefty donation from the Behring Global Education Foundation.
The $20 million gift from the foundation is the largest sum ever donated to John Muir Health, and comes several years following the death of the nonprofit's founder, Blackhawk developer Ken Behring.
"We've had family and friends who've received excellent care at John Muir Health for cancer and many other medical issues," David Behring, Ken Behring's son and foundation board member, said in an announcement this month. "John Muir Health has been there for our community, and now it's time to support this state-of-the-art facility and to invest in optimal outcomes for all regional cancer patients."
Construction is already underway on the upgraded facility, the Behring Pavilion at the John Muir Health Walnut Creek campus -- which will serve as a new addition to the UCSF-John Muir Cancer Center network, which currently occupies a single East Bay location in Berkeley.
The new 155,000-square-foot building is set to open its doors to patients in February, according to announcements from both John Muir Health and UCSF.
"The Behring Pavilion will undoubtedly become a symbol of healing and hope in the face of adversity," John Muir Health President and CEO Mike Thomas said. "This extraordinary gift enables us to advance our vision of providing world-class cancer care in our community. With BGEF's support, patients will benefit from the expertise of top cancer specialists from John Muir Health and UCSF Health, as well as have access to the latest treatment advances close to home."
Ken Behring. as well as his late wife Pat Behring, were both longtime supporters of John Muir Health before their deaths, with a legacy of that support and their prolific philanthropy still in existence in the form of the foundation. The foundation functions as the larger umbrella under which Behring's first nonprofit, the Wheelchair Foundation, now operates.
"We are profoundly honored to collaborate with John Muir Health in funding the Behring Pavilion," foundation president Steve Beinke said. "Our foundation's mission has always been centered on creating a positive impact through education and health care, and this donation represents our commitment to supporting world-class medical care in the local community. Together, we will lead the charge against cancer by providing a comprehensive and healing environment for cancer patients and their families living in the East Bay."
The new facility is set to serve as a central location for cancer screening, diagnosis, and comprehensive treatment including nutrition therapy and access to clinical trials.