New law gives the go-ahead for a new name: UCSF Children's Hospital

When Governor Gray Davis signed Senate Bill 813 on September 12, he
acknowledged what the parents of Northern California children who need expert
medical treatment have known for many years: that UCSF Medical Center is home
to top-notch child-focused care. The bill authorizes a new name for the
significant portion of the medical center that is dedicated to children: UCSF
Children’s Hospital.

Under the law, which was sponsored by state Senator Joseph Dunn (D-Garden
Grove) the pediatric services at the five University of California medical
centers are designated as children’s hospitals. Eight other California
hospitals have this designation.

“This is the name that best fits the extraordinary depth, breadth and quality
of our children’s services,” said Mark Laret, CEO of UCSF Medical Center. In a
ceremony in the fall, the medical center and university will celebrate the new
name for UCSF Children’s Hospital and for its close affiliate, the UCSF Center
for Mothers and Newborns.

One-third of UCSF patients are children, from newborns to adolescents. The
127-bed UCSF Children’s Hospital fills three floors of the medical center and
one floor of the ambulatory care center, with additional child-dedicated
facilities throughout UCSF. The children’s floors are designed and staffed to
welcome children and to help both young patients and families feel comfortable
during their stay.

UCSF Children’s Hospital and the Center for Mothers and Newborns are regional
referral centers for children and mothers from all over Northern California and
often from around the world. They also are the neighborhood doctor’s offices
for the children and pregnant mothers of San Francisco. Mothers come for expert
care during normal deliveries and for experts in high-risk pregnancy, prenatal
diagnosis and neonatal care. Parents bring children to UCSF for everything from
well-child checkups to the most advanced treatment for high-risk medical
conditions and chronic or rare diseases.

Larry Shapiro, MD, UCSF professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics,
said that over the years, close ties between the hospital and the university
have led to rapid translation of scientific findings to better treatments for
children. “Major discoveries made at UCSF are used every day in San Francisco
as well as in hospitals around the world to save the lives of premature
infants, treat childhood cancer, diagnose and repair congenital defects, help
children grow normally and treat children in myriad other ways,” he said. UCSF
Children’s Hospital also is renowned for one of the world’s first neonatal
intensive care nurseries; the world’s first fetal surgery; leadership in
congenital heart disease; pioneering care for children with HIV/AIDS; children’
s kidney and liver transplants and treatment for the serious and chronic
diseases that afflict children.

“Most children are well, so when a child has a serious or life-threatening
medical problem, often there is no physician in that community who is a
specialist both in pediatrics and in that specific condition,” Shapiro said. At
UCSF Children’s Hospital, more than 150 medical and surgical experts in 50
pediatric specialties and a staff of pediatric nurses, child life specialists
and social workers draw on the full resources of the medical center to provide
that expert care for children.

“We have an 88-year tradition of recognizing that when children are sick, just
as when they are well, they are not just little adults. Children have unique
needs for their physical and emotional development,” Shapiro said.

The University of California, San Francisco is one of the nation’s most well
regarded medical and scientific institutions. UCSF Medical Center consistently
ranks among the top ten hospitals in U.S. News and World Report’s annual
survey. Currently UCSF is the highest rated medical center in Northern
California, and UCSF Children’s Hospital has the top rank for children’s care
in the region. The Department of Pediatrics, consistently ranked among the top
five training programs for pediatricians in the nation, was founded in 1913 as
one of the nation’s first pediatrics departments.

UCSF is accredited by the National Association of Children’s Hospitals and
Related Institutions (NACHRI), a national, non-profit association that
advocates the well being of America’s 70 million children and their families.
NACHRI members include the best among the nation’s children’s hospitals,
Shapiro said.