UCSF Children's Medical Center Joins National Network

March 22, 2001
News Office: Janet Basu (415) 502-6397

The National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions (NACHRI) has accepted UCSF Children's Medical Center for membership. NACHRI is a national, non-profit association that promotes the well being of America's 70 million children and their families through support of hospitals and health systems that are committed to excellence in children's health care.

Mark Laret, CEO of UCSF Medical Center, said, "The NACHRI designation is further recognition of UCSF's children's 'hospital within a hospital' and the importance of its comprehensive children's services."

"By joining NACHRI, UCSF Children's Medical Center joins the best among the nation's children's hospitals," said Dr. Larry J. Shapiro, UCSF chair of pediatrics. "NACHRI's designation is recognition of nearly nine decades of leadership in translating knowledge into improved health care for growing, developing children."

UCSF founded one of the nation's first medical school departments of pediatrics in 1913. It has led the world in discoveries about children's hearts, survival for premature newborns, fetal surgery, sickle cell anemia and thalessemia, children's growth and development, adolescent risk-taking and in many other fields.

UCSF Children's Medical Center is a 150-bed children's hospital within a major academic medical center. It admits more than 6,000 pediatric patients each year, including children referred from Northern California and around the world. Its pediatric outpatient clinics average more than 57,000 annual visits, ranging from well-baby checkups to chemotherapy to kidney dialysis. Children are referred when they need liver or kidney transplants, surgery or repair for congenital heart defects and other serious anomalies, care for cancer, diabetes, extreme prematurity and many other serious medical conditions. When they go home, children with complex medical problems continue to see their UCSF pediatric specialists at more than 50 outreach clinics in communities throughout the region.

NACHRI was founded in 1968. Its members include 161 children's hospitals, large pediatric units of medical centers and related institutions. Its primary roles are advocacy for children and their caregivers, public policy analysis, education and research. It maintains extensive data on children's health in general and descriptive data on its 161 members and the conditions they treat. The organization and its members advocate broadly for child health and well-being, focusing on prevention, financing and the highest quality of care. Some of the issues they address are seriously ill children, immunization status, prenatal care, low birth weight infants, children with AIDS, Medicaid and uninsured children.

"Hospitals like UCSF Children's Hospital are able to identify emerging trends and problems associated with children's health and to develop treatment programs drawing on the expertise of pediatric researchers and practitioners," said NACHRI president and CEO Lawrence A. McAndrews. In 1998, children's hospitals gave more than 3.7 million days of inpatient care to more than 600,000 children at an annual cost approaching $8.7 billion. More than 9 million times a year, a child benefits from a variety of outpatient services provided by children's hospitals.

"Participation in NACHRI offers us a wide communications network with children' s health specialists like ourselves," said Roxanne Fernandes, director of mothers' and children's patient care services at UCSF Children's Medical Center. "These are people who understand children: their needs, their treatment and the financing of their care. Improved contact with our fellow members will enhance our ability to share knowledge about new and innovative practices."