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2018’s Philanthropy Influencer: Sloan Barnett

Story by Catherine Bigelow; photo by Gabriela  Hasbun

Sloan Barnett, socialite, billionaire and environmental activist. She wrote the New York Times bestseller Green Goes with Everything: Simple Steps to a Healthier Life and a Cleaner Planet.

During a meeting to create a catchy tagline describing two new, state-of-the-art hospitals under construction by California Pacific Medical Center, Sloan Barnett, board chairman of CPMC, cut to the chase.

“Let’s simplify this,” the native New Yorker recalls saying. “This is the hospital for our city. How about, ‘Your City, Your Hospital’?”

Of course, Barnett admits, there are other fine San Francisco hospitals that provide different services. “But those aren’t places you go to see your internist or to deliver a baby,” she emphasizes. “That’s what CPMC is for. The new hospitals will transform healthcare in San Francisco by providing everything from top-notch family doctors to world-class researchers.”

These new, state-of-the-art, LEED campuses are almost complete: The seven-floor, 120-patient bed Mission Bernal campus is scheduled to open this summer in August. The larger 11-floor Van Ness campus, with 274 beds, aims to open in early 2019.

Barnett moved to San Francisco 13 years ago with her husband, Shaklee Corp. CEO Roger Barnett and their three young children. The parents came to appreciate CPMC when minor childhood mishaps led them to the hospital’s ER. Impressed by the care, Sloan learned more about the Foundation board from her friend and fellow trustee Carol Bonnie. Soon after, she signed on.

A former Manhattan assistant district attorney turned legal-consumer journalist and, later, green advocate author and Today Show contributor, Barnett describes herself as a frustrated pre-med student at Brown University who switched to law studies. But her passion for healthcare inspired her to support the cause: she currently serves on the Leadership Council of the Harvard School of Public Health.

In 2014, Sloan was named co-chairman to the CPMC board. This year, she assumed the full duties of that office. And with $150 million of the hospital’s $300 million campaign has been raised, she considers herself a very lucky leader.

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