The Alliance Helps to Ensure Children Have Access to Comprehensive Pediatric Subspecialty Inpatient Care
St. Jude Medical Center and CHOC Children’s have formed a strategic alliance that supports the regionalization of pediatric care, and helps to ensure that the community’s children have access to the comprehensive, specialized expertise of CHOC and its dedicated pediatric environment and staff.
The two health care leaders have enjoyed a long-standing relationship, with St. Jude referring non-routine cases to CHOC, and CHOC’s neonatologists staffing St. Jude’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Given CHOC’s critical role in the community – serving as the regional hub for pediatric tertiary and quaternary care – and the reduced need for pediatric inpatient services at St. Jude, the Fullerton-based hospital has decided to close its 12-bed pediatric unit, effective October 1, 2011.
St. Jude’s NICU will remain open. The hospital will continue to provide pediatric care in its emergency department, as well as its outpatient services, and its surgeons will continue to perform outpatient pediatric surgery; however, pediatric patients younger than 16 years of age requiring hospitalization will be transferred to CHOC.
“This decision was made after thorough analysis and evaluating our options, and we believe this is the best course for the children and families in our community,” says Lee Penrose, President and CEO, St. Jude Medical Center. Penrose adds, “Over the years, there has been a significant shift to providing pediatric care in dedicated children’s hospitals or outpatient settings. Fewer operations to remove tonsils and adenoids, improvements in medical procedures and preventive care, and other trends have led to an overall reduction in children’s hospitalizations. Those children, who do require hospitalization, need the comprehensive care that only a dedication children’s hospital can provide. As a result of these trends, our pediatric inpatient volume has decreased. Fewer than 125 pediatric patients utilized the unit last year. On some days, the unit had just one patient, on most days it has none”
“We are delighted that our long-standing relationship with St. Jude has resulted in this new alliance,” adds CHOC President and CEO Kimberly C. Cripe. “CHOC has evolved from a community hospital into a regional healthcare system providing quaternary and tertiary care for children with complex, chronic and congenital conditions. As a research and teaching facility, we are dedicated to training and recruiting future pediatricians and pediatric specialists, as well as advancing treatments and cures to benefit children in the communities we serve. We are pleased that St. Jude, along with our other strategic hospital partners, supports us in our passionate pursuit to provide the safest, most advanced care for children.”
About St. Jude
As a Level IIIb NICU, St. Jude Medical Center provides state-of-the-art care for critically ill newborns at a time. Staffed 24/7 by CHOC Children’s -affiliated neonatologists and a highly trained nursing staff, the unit specializes in creating exceptional outcomes for even the smallest of babies.
St. Jude Medical Center, part of the St. Joseph Health, is a faith-based, nonprofit, 384-bed, facility, and is one of Southern California’s most respected and technologically advanced hospitals. With over 700 of the area’s finest physicians on staff, St. Jude offers nearly every medical specialty and sub-specialty. Whether for the birth of a baby, lifesaving surgery or a routine mammogram, St. Jude continues to set the standard for medical care and offers the community the most comprehensive array of services and programs.
Named one of the best children’s hospitals by U.S. News & World Report (2011-2012), CHOC Children's is exclusively committed to the health and well-being of children through clinical expertise, advocacy, outreach and research that brings advanced treatment to pediatric patients. Affiliated with the University of California, Irvine, CHOC’s regional healthcare network includes two state-of-the-art hospitals in Orange and Mission Viejo, several primary and specialty care clinics, a pediatric residency program, and four centers of excellence - The CHOC Children’s Heart, Neuroscience, Orthopaedic and Hyundai Cancer Institutes.
CHOC earned the Silver Level CAPE Award from the California Council of Excellence, the only children’s hospital in California to ever earn this distinction, and was awarded Magnet designation, the highest honor bestowed to hospitals for nursing excellence. Recognized for extraordinary commitment to high-quality critical care standards, CHOC is the first children’s hospital in the United States to earn the Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence.
Dru Ann Copping
St. Jude Medical Center
714-992-3000, ext. 3761