UCSD, Children’s Hospital to Merge, Affects Two-Thirds of San Diego County’s Sick Children
After they "tried and failed" for 15 years, University of California-San Diego and Children's Hospital of San Diego officials planned to sign an agreement yesterday "merging" their pediatric programs, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. Hillcrest-based UCSD -- with 77 pediatric residents and interns, 82 pediatricians and an annual $12 million pediatric research program -- will join forces with hundreds of physicians at Children's Hospital in Kearny Mesa to provide care for about two-thirds of the sick children in San Diego County. "This will position us to be one of the country's leading programs in pediatric care overnight," Blair Sadler, Children's Hospital president and CEO, said.
Under the agreement, at midnight July 31, patients in UCSD's 19-bed pediatric unit will move to Children's Hospital, which has 226 beds. In addition, UCSD's pediatric cardiology, endocrinology, oncology, infectious disease, allergy, primary care and general surgery and pediatric intensive care specialties will "gradually" move to Children's Hospital. UCSD will retain a 40-bed neonatal intensive care unit and still treat children in the ambulatory care clinic. In addition, UCSD will still treat burn patients and renal dialysis patients. Patients can still visit emergency rooms at UCSD and Thornton Hospital in La Jolla, "but if they are sick enough to be admitted, they will be transferred to Children's Hospital." Officials at both hospitals said that they will "gain enormously" from the merger, pointing out that "they'll have more success" with recruiting "distinguished" experts, fellowships and special programs and will "minimize duplication in buying new equipment." In addition, the two hospitals plan to build a research facility next to Children's Hospital. "No jobs will be lost under the agreement," hospital officials said (Clark, San Diego-Union-Tribune, 6/21).