June 21, 2001

Children's Hospital, Children's Specialists and UCSD Finalize Affiliation Agreements

San Diego--Physicians and leadership of the University of California, San Diego (UCSD); Children's Hospital and Health Center, and Children's Specialists of San Diego will formally unify pediatric patient care, research, education and community service programs, creating a university-affiliated children's health system to serve the region.

Plans to consolidate pediatric services have been under discussion for several years. With formal affiliation agreements signed in ceremonies on June 21, the transition of UCSD's pediatric inpatient programs and specialty services to Children's Hospital is on track to begin August 1.

University of California and Children's leadership sign the agreement. Blair Sadler, Dr. Michael Segall, Dr. Kenneth Lee Jones, Dr. Edward W. Holmes, and William Gurtner celebrate the signing.

This affiliation will consolidate the clinical, teaching and research and public service programs of the UCSD School of Medicine's Department of Pediatrics with San Diego's only health care system dedicated to the health and well-being of children.

The move was applauded by community leaders.

"The forging of this partnership will pave the way for realizing world-class, pediatric excellence for the children and families of San Diego County," said Robert Ross, M.D., a pediatrician and President and CEO of the California Endowment and former head of the San Diego County Department of Health and Human Services.

"These two superb institutions are known for excellence in patient care, research, education and community service," said Bill Horn, Chairman of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. "This alliance for the sharing of resources dedicated to children's health is good news for all of our County's children."

Over the past two decades, an extensive list of joint programs has developed, with many physicians and researchers playing a role at both institutions.

"This historic agreement with the University of California, San Diego enables us to establish a fully collaborative enterprise excelling in patient care, teaching, research and community health," said Blair L. Sadler, President and CEO of Children's Hospital and Health Center." These agreements represent the culmination of much work. They also represent a new beginning, and a solemn pledge to harness our energies and abilities to focus on the health of our children."

 Chancellor Dynes addresses the audience.

"By pooling our talent and resources, and consolidating our patient care, educational and research activities in a facility designed especially for children, we will be able to set new standards of pediatric excellence not only for San Diego, but for the nation," said UCSD Chancellor Robert C. Dynes.

Children's logoChildren's Hospital opened its doors in 1954, and over the years has evolved from a 59-bed hospital to a major regional resource for the prevention and treatment of pediatric diseases and injuries, and for advocacy and education on behalf of children. The hospital's Rose Pavilion, which opened in 1993, blends innovative design, color, lighting and proportion to give children the best environment for recovery. Children's has 226 inpatient beds, a 32-bed NICU, a 59-bed convalescent hospital, and an extensive network of primary care and specialty care centers, and approximately $8.5 million research funding. It was recently ranked seventh among children's hospitals in the U.S. by Child Magazine, the only children's hospital in California to be in the top 10.

SOM logoUCSD's Department of Pediatrics was among the School of Medicine's original departments when the medical school opened in 1968. Today the department has about 80 faculty physicians and researchers, approximately $12 million in research funding, and an extensive community outreach program. The UCSD Medical Center has 19 inpatient pediatric beds and 40 licensed neonatal intensive care beds, with primary and specialty services provided at UCSD outpatient facilities in Hillcrest and La Jolla. The pediatrics graduate training program has 77 interns, residents and clinical fellows, many of whom already train at Children's Hospital as well as UCSD.

small group
UCSD and Children's officials with Alan Brunet,12 years old, a  patient who has already benefited from this collaborative care.

"This alliance will create the shortest bridge possible between medical research discoveries and the child's bedside, ensuring that San Diego children have access to the most advanced care available anywhere in the world, in a child-friendly environment," said UCSD Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences Edward W. Holmes, M.D." This will also enhance the education of new physicians, leading to new generations of outstanding child health providers."

Children's Specialists, a medical group of about 100 specialty physicians affiliated with Children's Hospital, has also joined this alliance. The group has participated in the training of UCSD medical students, residents and fellows for several years.

"Much of the impetus for this consolidation for closer affiliation has come from the physicians, who have been involved throughout this process in developing and finalizing the agreements," said Michael Segall, M.D., President of Children's Specialists. "We believe this consolidation is in the best interest of our patients, expanding access to a broad range of services, from primary to subspecialty care and clinical trials."

Dr. Michael Segall and Dr. Kenneth Lee Jones

"This joining of effort today brings together not only two excellent health care institutions, but two excellent groups of physicians. It will combine resources, skills, and knowledge in ways which will be more than additive," said Kenneth L. Jones, M.D., UCSD interim chair of pediatrics. Jones will serve as Physician-in-Chief of the consolidated enterprise. "There is no argument that scientific and medical knowledge advances most rapidly when those involved work together, sharing information and experience. These advances translate into continually improving medical care for the community."

Richard Walls, M.D., Chief of the Children's medical staff, also praised the agreement, indicating that Children's Hospital will remain an open medical staff, available to all qualified pediatric physicians in the region.

Leaders emphasized that patients and families will not have to change pediatricians or health plans as a result of this affiliation. UCSD Medical Center will continue to care for children in the Regional Burn Center. The newborn nursery and neonatal intensive care unit will remain at UCSD, pediatric renal dialysis will be offered, and children participating in clinical trials will be seen in the General Clinical Research Center. Children also will be treated in UCSD's emergency rooms at the Hillcrest medical center and at Thornton Hospital in La Jolla.UCSD will continue to provide primary care and adolescent outpatient services in Hillcrest and La Jolla.

UCSD and Children's will continue to engage in separate, but coordinated fundraising efforts.

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Media contacts:
Leslie Franz, UCSD 619-543-6163
Larry Nuffer, Children's 858-966-4079
or pager 858-493-5564
Jen Marchesini, Children's 858-966-4901

UCSD Health Sciences Communications HealthBeat : http://health.ucsd.edu/news/