Winter 2007

ValleyCare Links UCSF to Tri-Valley

In January 2008, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital will launch a program with the ValleyCare Health System to offer more advanced services for women and children in the fast-growing Tri-Valley region of the East Bay. The goals of the three-phase plan are to expand regional access to high-quality perinatal and pediatric care and to broaden the availability of specialty services.

This collaboration marks the first time that UCSF has brought together such a comprehensive aggregate of health care services at a facility outside UCSF, according to Mark Laret, chief executive officer of UCSF Medical Center. "UCSF views this relationship with ValleyCare as a bellwether example of how academic medical centers can coordinate care with a community hospital," he adds.

During the first phase of the agreement, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital will provide inpatient pediatric hospitalist and neonatology coverage at ValleyCare's Pleasanton campus.

On an outpatient basis during the first phase, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital will provide new pediatric subspecialty services, including pulmonary medicine, gastroenterology, neurology and adolescent eating disorders, as well as support for existing cardiology practices. UCSF is also staffing a new perinatology clinic that includes genetic screening and treatment for complex pregnancies.

"We are very excited about the affiliation," says Marcy Feit, president and chief executive officer of ValleyCare Health System. "As the Tri-Valley continues to grow and ValleyCare serves more and more patients, we need to respond to that need. Aligning with such an outstanding organization as UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital helps us serve the people of our community at a level they have come to expect."

During the next three to five years, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital and ValleyCare envision the construction of a "hospital within a hospital" to be named UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital at ValleyCare, which would be governed by a board of representatives from both organizations. This new children's facility would include an expanded pediatric inpatient service and a level III neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

Within the next decade, UCSF Medical Center and ValleyCare will evaluate the construction of a new pediatric wing that would house all pediatric services, including the NICU and pediatric outpatient surgery and pediatric subspecialty clinics.

"We see this as a wonderful opportunity to partner with community obstetricians and pediatricians in the Tri-Valley region to provide world-class specialty care to mothers and children right in their own communities," says Sam Hawgood, M.B.B.S., physician in chief of UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital and chair of the UCSF Department of Pediatrics.

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