Winter 2007

Perspective from Children's Hospital Leaders

Sam Hawgood, M.B.B.S.

The wide range of specialty services offered at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital attracts patients from a wide geographical area. Just 20 percent of our hospitalized children come from the City and County of San Francisco; an additional 30 percent come from our four surrounding counties of Marin, San Mateo, Alameda and Contra Costa. The remaining 50 percent come from more distant regions in California and beyond.

In this issue, we highlight our brain tumor and neurosurgery program as just one example of our multidisciplinary programs that attract children and their families from far afield. These programs bring together teams of exceptional talent and experience with the latest in medical technology to benefit our patients.

Recent advances in imaging, computer science and radiation therapy have given our pediatric neurosurgeons high-precision tools that they could only have dreamed of a few short years ago. Access to new techniques — such as MRI spectroscopy and diffusion tractography, functional intraoperative brain mapping, Gamma Knife Perfexion, intensity-modulated radiation therapy, and intraoperative radiation therapy — helps us treat previously intractable problems with reduced risk and increased safety.

Diana Farmer, M.D.

We are also engaged in ambitious programs to use technology to make our specialized services more accessible to referring physicians and families in distant communities. The Inside online prenatal evaluation and consultation service launched this year is a good example of how the web can be used to provide worldwide access to our expert, multidisciplinary teams, in this case focused on improving outcomes of congenital anomalies.

Finally, we are committed to bringing secondary-level specialized care directly to the communities that rely on us. In January 2008, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital will launch a program with ValleyCare Health System to offer more advanced services for women and children in the fast-growing Tri-Valley region of the East Bay.

Although we have been providing direct patient care in regions throughout Northern California for several decades, our program with ValleyCare in Pleasanton represents our most comprehensive and ambitious partnership with a community hospital and the community physicians who support it. We see this program as a model as to how a university-based academic medical center can coordinate care with a regional community hospital.

These initiatives, along with completion of the design of our new UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital in San Francisco, suggest that 2008 will be an exciting year indeed.

Sam Hawgood, M.B.B.S.
Physician in Chief
UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital

Diana Farmer, M.D.
Surgeon in Chief
UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital

Related Information

News Releases

UCSF Lands $1.4 Million Grant to Reduce Maternal Mortality Worldwide
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has given UCSF researchers nearly $1.4 million to expand African research trials on an innovative anti-shock garment that aims to reduce maternal deaths in remote areas worldwide.

Overweight Teens Have More Heart Disease as Adults
A new study investigating the health effects of being overweight during adolescence projects alarming increases in the rates of heart disease and premature death by the time today's teenagers reach young adulthood.

Boys 3 Times More Likely to Have Growth Delay with Crohn's
The largest study ever conducted of the effect of gender in children with Crohn's Disease, a chronic intestinal disorder, has found that boys were over three times more likely than girls to suffer one of the condition's most devastating effects: the failure to grow normally.