For the media

The Shiley Foundation supports behavioral health care

By The Health News Team | September 29, 2022
Darlene and Donald Shiley

Darlene Marcos Shiley pictured with the late Donald P. Shiley.

As Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital continues its efforts to address the mental health crisis in our community, philanthropist Darlene Marcos Shiley, president of the Shiley Foundation, has generously gifted $1 million in support of this effort. This transformational gift will support the modernization of Sharp Mesa Vista’s intensive care unit (ICU).

“We are very grateful that the Shiley Foundation has chosen to partner with Sharp on such an important project,” says Bill Littlejohn, senior vice president and CEO of the Foundations of Sharp HealthCare. “Darlene is one of San Diego’s most prominent philanthropists, and the impact of her giving touches the lives of countless individuals across our entire region.”

The Shiley Foundation’s recent gift to name Sharp Mesa Vista’s ICU is among the numerous contributions that Darlene and her late husband Donald P. Shiley have made toward medical, arts and educational organizations in San Diego.

“Sharp Mesa Vista came onto my foundation’s radar as I read about the hospital’s current programs and plans. I decided to match the David C. Copley Foundation’s recent donation in full and delved deeper,” says Darlene Marcos Shiley. “My late husband and I have always felt the desire to touch and elevate the lives of others where we could, and this desire is fundamental to the core values we were raised with and embraced.”

Modernizing Sharp Mesa Vista
Earlier this year, the David C. Copley Foundation generously pledged a $500,000 matching grant toward the modernization of Sharp Mesa Vista’s ICU. The ICU, which was built in 1963, annually cares for nearly 1,000 patients who experience significant mental health conditions. These philanthropic contributions are vital to the provision of world-class mental health care to our patients and their families.

“This donation from the Shiley Foundation comes at a most important time, as we expand our reach into the community to those in need,” says Littlejohn. “It is truly a visionary gift from a visionary benefactor.”

Sharp is passionate about this critically important unit. Comprehensive modernization will improve patient safety, enhance therapeutic quality, and provide facility enhancements. Every facet of the project has been thoughtfully designed to address the unique needs of this patient population.

The remodeling is estimated to be completed in late January 2023. Patients and their families who seek care at the Shiley Intensive Care Unit will be greeted by a warm, welcoming and rejuvenating environment that redefines the preconceptions of a psychiatric ICU.

“We are incredibly thankful for this donation from the Shiley Foundation, as it supports our long-standing commitment to provide excellent behavioral health services in a healing environment,” says Trisha Khaleghi, senior vice president and CEO of Sharp Specialty Hospitals. “The donations we have received — including the donation from the Shiley Foundation — help us meet the increasing need for behavioral health services in our community.”

Learn more about the Sharp Mesa Vista ICU Modernization Project as part of the ENVISION campaign.

For the news media: To connect with Kem Graham, senior development officer of Sharp HealthCare Foundation, contact Erica Carlson, senior public relations specialist, at

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