UCSD Pediatric Merges with Children's Hospital

After years of discussion, UCSD and the Children’s Hospital of San Diego agreed to consolidate their pediatric programs to provide a complete health system for San Diego’s children.

Agreements were signed in a ceremony June 21 and transition of UCSD’s inpatient programs to Children’s Hospital are set to begin Aug. 1.

The program consolidation will combine the clinical, teaching, research and community service efforts of the UCSD School of Medicine’s pediatrics department and those of the region’s only health care institution devoted to children.

Kenneth Lee Jones, professor of pediatrics and interim chair of pediatrics at UCSD, will become physician in chief of Children’s Hospital of San Diego.

Jones said the consolidation will give residents more experience with patients, most of whom are at Children’s Hospital, which is licensed for 226 inpatients compared to UCSD’s usual population of 15 to 20 pediatric inpatients.

“”This will really improve the quality of care because the consolidated programs will make it so that staff, faculty and residents will be where the patients are,”” Jones said.

Jones said he believes the combined program will allow more specialists to be hired.

“”When operating two services separately, you look for all-around utility players,”” he said. “”By consolidating, we will have the luxury of getting highly specialized people. It’s the large number of doctors that allows for that. It allows us to get the best people in very specific fields.””

Dr. Edward W. Holmes, vice chancellor of health sciences and dean of the UCSD School of Medicine, stated that current patients will not have to change their health care providers.

Holmes also stated that some pediatric services will continue to be offered through UCSD’s medical centers.

Primary care and adolescent services will still be offered at the Ambulatory Care Center in Hillcrest and temporarily at the Ambulatory Care Center in La Jolla. The Regional Burn Center, General Clinical Research Center, kidney dialysis unit and emergency rooms will also continue to treat children.

Jones expects the move to increase interaction among the best pediatric minds in the region.

“”This will improve communication,”” he said. “”We’ll be able to interact with one another more freely about general knowledge and about specific patients.””

UCSD Chancellor Robert C. Dynes said he is optimistic about the potential of the unified pediatrics programs.

“”By pooling our talent and resources, and consolidating our patient care, education 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,”” Dynes stated.

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