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Largest Private Donation in its History – $8 million value

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A real estate development firm whose major partners include five prominent local families has donated 15 acres of undeveloped land valued at $8.17 million to the University of California, Davis, Health System.

The property, at the northeast corner of Whitney Boulevard and Highway 65 in Rocklin, will be used for medical facilities to serve the health-care needs of this fast-growing region of Northern California. This is the single largest private donation received in the history of the health system.

The gift is from River South Holdings, LLC, whose partners include five local landowners: Mark Friedman of Fulcrum Properties; Martin Harmon of Western Care Construction; the Tsakopoulos family, represented by Kyriakos Tsakopoulos of AKT Development; Brian Vail of River West Investments; and John Sinadinos, an attorney and developer. Many of the partners have a history of philanthropic support for UC Davis.

“This generous donation has far-reaching benefits for UC Davis Health System and the many residents it serves throughout the region,” said Larry Vanderhoef, chancellor of UC Davis. “By providing this gift, these philanthropists have demonstrated a commitment to the health of our community and to society as a whole. We are deeply grateful for their support.”

“The south Placer area is undergoing significant growth and development,” said Claire Pomeroy, vice chancellor of Human Health Sciences and dean of the School of Medicine. “With the population of approximately 90,000 residents expected to increase by more than 5 percent through the year 2010 in this area, the need for health services is great. Thanks to the generosity and vision of these donors, we can expand our presence in the growing Placer County region to better meet the health-care needs of patients.”

Health system officials envision using the 15-acre gift to develop a health campus offering a range of outpatient services, including cancer care. The health system already has physician practices in Placer County, and has submitted plans to the City of Rocklin planning commission for a new outpatient facility on a site adjacent to the gift parcel. That facility will include comprehensive imaging services and an infusion center for cancer patients. Health system officials expect that facility to be completed by the end of 2008.

Kyriakos Tsakopoulos, whose family has led major growth and development in the region for the past two decades, saw an opportunity to enhance the quality of life for the region’s residents.

“UC Davis Health System has an outstanding reputation for health-care services, in particular for cancer treatment programs,” said Tsakopoulos.

“At the same time, there is a growing need for increased access to quality health care in South Placer County. This was an obvious opportunity to work with the community to enhance the quality-of-life for residents.”

The Tsakopoulos family has a long history of supporting UC Davis programs in the arts, engineering and health care, among others. Angelo Tsakopoulos was a founding member of the UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute, and Kyriakos is a former chair of the M.I.N.D. Institute board of directors.

Friedman, a major developer in the region and owner of Fulcrum Properties, is a trustee emeritus of the UC Davis Foundation and a generous supporter of many UC Davis programs.

“I am privileged to be part of this important contribution,” said Friedman, who currently serves on the UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute board of directors and chairs the institute’s fundraising initiative. “A portion of this donation will facilitate important research into the causes and potential cures for autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders.”

In recognition of the gift, UC Davis Health System will establish endowments to support faculty scientists at the M.I.N.D. Institute, a unique center for the study of neurodevelopmental disorders.

Martin Harmon, vice president of Western Care Construction and a generous supporter of cancer research and awareness at UC Davis Cancer Center, cited UC Davis’ national reputation for training primary and specialty-care physicians as a factor in offering the gift.

“I am pleased that our gift will bring expanded services to our region,” Harmon said. “I believe it will not only benefit residents of the surrounding community but also help support UC Davis’ medical research programs in ways that will advance health throughout the country.”

Brian Vail, owner of River West Investments, noted that the gift would make it easier for Placer County residents to access the state-of-the-art care that UC Davis physicians have to offer.

“UC Davis has had a tremendous impact on the health of patients in the region,” said Vail, a contributor to children’s health programs at UC Davis. “I am pleased to donate this land, which enables UC Davis to provide more services while also enhancing their teaching and research programs.”

“I am pleased to join in making this contribution,” Mr. Sinadinos added.
“Access to health care is vital for the community. This is a step forward for health care in Placer County and will make a lasting contribution to our community.”

UC Davis Health System is an academic medical center that includes a top-ranked school of medicine, a 577-bed acute care hospital, a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center, the unique M.I.N.D. Institute for the study of neurodevelopmental disorders, a comprehensive children’s hospital, a level 1 trauma center, and outpatient clinics in communities throughout the Sacramento region. Consistently ranked among the nation’s top medical schools and best hospitals, UC Davis has established itself as a national leader in telehealth, rural medicine, cancer, neurodevelopmental disorders, vascular medicine, and trauma and emergency medicine.

UC Davis Health System is the leading tertiary care provider for a 33-county region of Northern California. Research strengths at UC Davis Health System include clinical and translational science, stem cell science, infectious diseases, vascular biology, neuroscience, cancer, functional genomics and mouse biology, comparative medicine, combinatorial chemistry and nutrition, among many others.