Consolidation of children’s health services to create a world-class center for pediatric care, research and teaching is the subject of ongoing discussions between physicians and administrators from UCSD and Children’s Hospital and Health Center.
Integrating programs would benefit the community and the improve the health and well-being of the region’s children by creating a university-affiliated children’s medical center, excelling in state-of-the-art care, research and education, according to UCSD Interim Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences David Bailey, M.D.
Bringing research and patient care programs together, with the Children’s Hospital site in Kearny Mesa becoming the focus of the unified program, would create the shortest bridge possible between medical research discoveries and the child’s bedside, said Children’s Hospital’s Chief Executive Officer Blair Sadler.
Combining strengths and resources would also strengthen the ability of both institutions to attract and retain the world’s top pediatricians and pediatrics researchers, and lead to expanded community-based programming and outreach, they said.
A progress report on these deliberations was provided to the University of California Board of Regents Committee on Health Services at its meeting July 20 in San Francisco. Over the years, serious efforts have been made to consolidate children’s services of UCSD Medical Center and Children’s Hospital. During that time, the two institutions have successfully established numerous joint programs. For example, a number of UCSD pediatrics faculty also practice at Children’s Hospital, there are several collaborative specialty programs based at each institution, and UCSD medical students, interns and residents in pediatrics, and trainees in many other children’s related medical specialties receive part of their training at Children’s Hospital.
The current discussions toward full integration of programs began in fall of 1999, with physician leadership and administrators working together to outline a model for a consolidated, jointly managed health system that would build upon the many existing program affiliations.
The model being developed would consolidate programs, including research and teaching activities, relocating UCSD Medical Center’s inpatient care programs and most research laboratories to Children’s Hospital and Health Center. UCSD Medical Center would continue to operate its neonatal intensive care unit and newborn nursery; and would also continue to care for pediatric burn patients in its Regional Burn Center. In addition, some outpatient services would continue to be offered in UCSD’s Hillcrest and La Jolla facilities for the foreseeable future.
Part of the current planning involves a proposal for new research facilities at the Children’s Hospital site, to allow close collaboration among researchers and clinicians developing improved diagnostic and treatment approaches to childhood disease.
Details of the proposed collaboration are still being worked out by administrative, physician and faculty leaders. They hope to present a formal proposal for review to the UC Board of Regents and Children’s governing boards by early this fall.
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Leslie Franz, UCSD, (619) 543-6163)
Larry Nuffer, CHHC, (858) 576-4079
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