Housing for Transplant Patients, Aspiring Doctors Gets Major Upgrade
Mar 19, 2024
Ashley Boarman
A group of individuals in business attire cut a red ribbon on a newly upgrade apartment building

For many transplant patients, the good news of a life-saving organ match is accompanied by feelings of uncertainty and a whole new set of challenges, especially if they are traveling to receive care.

This creates a burden for many transplant patients, especially those whose homes are many hours away. For patients transplanted at Sutter’s California Pacific Medical Center located in the heart of San Francisco, where the average cost of a hotel room is $160 a night, most out-of-town patient families cannot afford long-term lodging.

A freshly painted apartment building in San Francisco

2329 Sacramento Street

For this reason, CPMC has offered these patients affordable stays at a nearby 12-unit apartment building since the 1980s. Last year, the hospital embarked upon modernization of the building and units to better suit patient needs. Renovations included walk-in showers, space for a support person to stay and fully equipped kitchens.

Thanks to more than $4 million in donations, the apartments have been completely upgraded and remodeled to meet the needs of transplant patients, easing their recovery process. Additionally, four of the Sacramento Street apartments are used to house Dartmouth Medical School interns during their rotational clerkship at CPMC.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held recently to thank donors and CPMC’s transplant team for their dedication and generosity to the project. The first patients are planning to arrive this month, while the medical students will move in beginning in April.

“Through the incredible generosity of our donors, we can continue to offer our transplant patients a modern, comfortable and affordable home away from home where they can focus on their healing and well-being, said Hamila Kownacki, CEO of CPMC. “The building also provides housing for promising medical students who represent the future of medicine.”

CPMC has partnered with the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth since 2008. Students take the lessons they learn in the classroom and translate them into real-world skills in service to local patients. “This partnership has created a pipeline for future CPMC physicians,” said Dr. Robert Osorio, chair of the hospital’s Advanced Organ Therapies and Transplant Program. Following their clerkships, several Dartmouth medical students have elected to train at CPMC’s residency programs and build their careers in San Francisco and the Bay Area.

The renovated Sacramento Street housing complex includes eight one- and two-bedroom units for transplant patients and four two-bedroom units to house 16 visiting Dartmouth medical students.

A brightly colored kitchen with blue tiles, lots of countertop space and a stovetop

Fully equipped kitchens at CPMC’s newly renovated Sacramento Street apartment complex for transplant patients and medical students.

The joint philanthropic effort was made possible thanks to Yvonne and Angelo Sangiacomo, CPMC hepatologists and transplant surgeons, and other grateful patients.

“Our physicians understood the impact this project would have on their patients and they themselves wanted to contribute,” said Kownacki. “We’re glad to support our community in this way.”


Sutter’s CPMC is one of the largest private, not-for-profit, academic medical centers in California. With four campuses located throughout San Francisco, CPMC provides exemplary inpatient emergency and outpatient services, including The Barry S. Levin Department of Transplantation. Consistently ranked as one of the top transplant programs in the nation, the Department’s expert care teams have performed more than 10,000 organ transplants, including more than 2,000 liver transplants.

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