UCSF Sustainability Stories


Deborah Fleischer & Jennifer Armenta, Green Impact, November 2015


UCSF Gives Back: Benioff Children’s Hospital Donates Equipment to Harare Children’s Hospital

Kapnek 1Once again, UCSF lives up to its mission, caring not only for its patients, but for patients around the world. When UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital moved to its new facility at Mission Bay, the hospital donated a generous amount of medical equipment, furniture and supplies to Harare Children’s Hospital in Zimbabwe. Harare Children’s Hospital is a 350- bed hospital located in Zimbabwe’s capital city, Harare. It is also the teaching hospital for University of Zimbabwe Medical School.

Due to limited funding and high equipment costs, the Harare Children’s Hospital has struggled to provide adequate care for many critically ill children. It was even forced to close for two years. Over the past four years, the JF Kapnek Trust has worked closely with the Harare administration to reopen the hospital and to assist in refurbishing the eighteen year old 350-bed facility. Daniel Robbins, MD, Pediatrician at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland and Executive Director of The JF Kapnek Trust explained, “We have been working to re-open and re-capacitate Harare Children’s Hospital over the past several years.”

Dr. Robbins shared, “When I became aware that UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital would be moving to its new facility to Mission Bay, I reached out to my colleague and friend, Dr. Bert Lubin. Bert connected me with leadership at UCSF and worked to facilitate a dialogue with the individuals responsible for the transition to the new facility. With the support of senior staff, a partnership developed which has resulted in the transfer of much needed equipment to Harare Children’s Hospital in Zimbabwe.” UCSF saw an opportunity to help revitalize the hospital and to directly impact the children’s morbidity and mortality rate.

Kapnek 2A stunning 63,000 lbs of equipment was donated to the children’s hospital. Six 40’ shipping containers filled with hospital beds, phototherapy lamps, resuscitation tables, carts, oxygen flow regulators, metal shelving and much more found a new home at Harare. Some of the specific items donated included: 45 crib beds, 15 bassinets, 35 neonatal incubators, 32 neonatal resuscitation tables, and 50 parent-sleeper chairs, helping to reduce neonatal mortality in the newborn nursery.

The JF Kapnek Trust manages donations and makes sure everything gets donated properly. Dr. Robbins is the third generation of his family to run the family foundation, which has been doing non-profit charitable work in Zimbabwe since 1946. Over the past 15 years, the Trust has played a central role in the elimination of pediatric HIV and in implementing child-health programming in Zimbabwe. The Trust is now expanding its program to address the broader issue of maternal-child health, focusing on the reduction of under-five mortality, which is currently 8.7%. To learn more, check out the Trust’s website or Facebook Page.

Story by Green Impact