Dignity Health announced a historic donation on Wednesday to its $300 million expansion of Mercy Southwest hospital, which is the only acute care hospital serving the area west of Highway 99 in Bakersfield.
The $25 million contribution comes from the sale of land that was gifted to the hospital by the late Adelaide Karpe after her death in 1979, according to a news release from hospital officials.
Adelaide Karpe’s husband, A.H. Karpe, was treated at Mercy Hospital in the intensive care unit in the 1970s. During that time, Adelaide Karpe became friends with nurse Marian Joseph, a Sister of Mercy who was director of the ICU. Adelaide Karpe subsequently left the property to the hospital for the use of building future medical facilities.
"Mrs. Karpe’s gift of generosity will literally change the landscape of health care in our community," the hospital said in its news release.
The property was described as a 1,100-acre ranch the couple owned. The sale was finalized in January, hospital spokeswoman Jessica Neeley said. However, she declined to say who purchased the property.
The expansion will add a four-story tower adjacent to the hospital, adding 106 beds and tripling ICU beds, from the current eight beds to 24.
The initial price tag was about $250 million but shortages of materials worldwide due to the pandemic have already driven the price up by another $50 million, Mercy's CEO and President Bruce Peters recently told The Californian.