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October 01, 2009

This October marks the 45th anniversary of Orange County’s only children’s hospital – CHOC Children’s.  Since 1964, CHOC has been providing pediatric care to children and families of Orange County, a community of roughly three million people, and growing to meet their increasing healthcare needs today and in the years ahead.  And, while residents of this diverse region know CHOC, they may not fully understand the uniqueness of their children’s hospital. In honor of the hospital’s 45 years of service, here’s a list of 45 facts Orange County residents may not know about CHOC and can take great pride in learning.

• CHOC is one of only 45 free-standing children’s hospitals in the entire United States. 
• Over the past 10 years, CHOC has distinguished itself as the fastest growing free-standing children’s hospital in California.
• In serving Orange County, CHOC serves the fifth largest county in the nation (based on population).
• Annually, CHOC receives inpatients from nearly 500 different zip codes.
• About 4,000 ambulances and helicopters transport patients to CHOC for specialized care each year.
• Since 2000, CHOC has provided more than 1,830,000 healthcare visits (inpatient and outpatient, excluding CHOC Children’s at Mission Hospital).
• In the last fiscal year, roughly 1,500 physicians/medical groups referred patients to CHOC.
• The number of babies in CHOC’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) has grown 104 percent since 1998.
• CHOC’s NICU cares for infants as small as one pound.  A man’s wedding band is bigger than the circumference of these infants’ thighs; yet these babies can hear and react to the spoken word!
• To keep up with the latest advances, CHOC NICU nurses receive an average of 24 hours of education each year.
• CHOC has the only pediatric-dedicated neuroscience unit in the state staffed by specially trained nurses.
• CHOC has the only inpatient adolescent and young adult cancer unit in the state – a new addition unveiled this past summer.
• CHOC offers Orange County’s only board-certified neurologist specializing in neuromuscular disorders.
• CHOC is the only hospital in Orange County that provides limb salvage surgery for pediatric and adolescent bone tumor patients.
• Recognized for extraordinary commitment to high-quality critical care standards, CHOC is the first children’s hospital in the nation to earn the Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence.
• The first children’s hospital in California to offer minimally invasive robotic surgery for pediatric patients, CHOC has one of the busiest pediatric robotic-surgical programs on the West Coast.• CHOC’s heart surgeons conducted the nation’s first balloon dilation of a cardiac lesion – now a routine cardiac procedure.
• Leading the nation in therapeutic outcomes for children with swallowing disorders, CHOC is the first children’s hospital in the U.S. to provide VitalStim Therapy.  This treatment has saved many children from having tubes inserted into their stomachs for nutrients.
• CHOC is one of only five facilities worldwide to receive a teaching grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to share findings with international researchers.
• The NIH recently awarded CHOC a five-year $3 million grant to use neural stem cells to study the impact of autism on the living brain – a completely novel approach to studying this condition.
• CHOC is one of the only children’s hospitals in the United States to have 24-hour board-certified critical care and neonatology specialists running the intensive care units. (Most hospitals cover late shifts with residents, only.)
• CHOC pioneered the use of the Amplatzer device for closing a hole in the heart, reducing the need for a child to undergo open-heart surgery.
• CHOC is the first hospital in the state to perform unrelated cord blood transplants.
• The nation’s predominant clinical trials group for children and young adult patients with cancer, the Children’s Oncology Group awarded CHOC with a prestigious Phase 1 clinical trial designation, making CHOC the only facility in the Southwestern United States—and one of only 21 in North America—able to offer alternative, experimental cancer treatments.
• CHOC physicians are the first on the West Coast to perform Scoliosis Vertebral Body Stapling to prevent further curvature of the spine.
• More than 100 hospitals transported children to CHOC’s Orange campus for inpatient care last year.
• Inpatient surgeries at CHOC have increased 54 percent since 1998.
• CHOC is one of the few centers in the world with the team, equipment and expertise needed to diagnose and treat children with metabolic disorders and boasts one of the largest metabolic programs in the state.
• CHOC is the hub of a regional pediatric healthcare system serving the needs of two million kids across four counties – more children than the entire pediatric population in any one of 39 states.
• Since 1998, CHOC’s specialty care clinic visits have increased by 145 percent.
• CHOC has entered into a strategic alliance with UC Irvine to create a world-class pediatrics center that integrates high-quality, comprehensive patient care; leading-edge research; and competitive teaching programs.  Since the alliance was approved by the UC Regents, pediatric inpatient and outpatient clinical services have been successfully transferred from UC Irvine to CHOC, and UC Irvine pediatric specialists have joined the group of pediatric specialists at CHOC – the Pediatric Subspecialty Faculty, making it the largest in Orange County.
• In collaboration with UC Irvine, CHOC has recruited some of the world’s leading pediatric specialists to Orange County, including Dr. Zeev Kain, Dr. Antoine Khoury, Dr. Anjan Batra and Dr. Neil Jones.
• CHOC developed the region’s first pediatric electrophysiology program, offering invasive and non-invasive services for the management and treatment of arrhythmias and the prevention of sudden cardiac arrest.
• One of the nation’s few pediatric facilities to do so, CHOC offers a comprehensive inpatient complementary alternative medicine program – including therapy for NICU babies.
• CHOC is the only children’s hospital in California to earn the Silver Level CAPE Award for performance excellence.
• CHOC’s music therapist plays a unique part in young patients’ healing process and quality of life.
• CHOC is expanding specialty care services to coastal communities at the new Hoag Health Center-Newport Beach, opening this Fall.  CHOC Children’s Specialty Center will provide allergy, cardiology, gastroenterology, genetics, neurology, hematology, orthopaedics and pulmonology services.  Located in the Mary and Dick Allen Diabetes Center in Newport Beach, which opened in the summer, the CHOC Children’s Endocrine and Diabetes Center provides cutting-edge diabetes care, education and support services. UrgiKids, pediatric urgent care, currently located at Hoag Health Center-Costa Mesa, will move to Hoag Health Center-Newport Beach later this year.
• Setting the national standard for high technology in the pharmacy environment, CHOC is the first facility in the world to implement RIVA – a self-contained robotic unit that automatically and accurately prepares IV syringes and bags in patient-specific doses, greatly enhancing patient safety.
• The region’s only American Diabetes Association-certified pediatric diabetes program is offered at CHOC.
• A nonprofit hospital, CHOC relies on the community’s philanthropic support to nurture, advance and protect the health and well being of children.
• CHOC runs one of the nation’s largest baclofen pump implant programs for treatment of spasticity and dystonia.
• CHOC’s healthcare network includes its main 238-bed hospital campus in Orange and a 48-bed children’s hospital, CHOC Children’s at Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo, in addition to several community clinics.
• Find CHOC on Facebook, Twitter and You Tube.  Learn more at www.choc.org/socialnetworking/
• CHOC is engaged in a passionate pursuit to provide the safest, most advanced care for children, and is moving forward with plans to build a patient care tower on its Orange campus.  The new, state-of-the-art tower will enable CHOC to continue to accommodate the healthcare needs of the community through the year 2020, while propelling the organization even closer to its vision of becoming a nationally recognized, preeminent children’s hospital. 
• At 45 years of age, CHOC is one of the youngest free-standing children’s hospitals, but boasts outcomes on par with those that have been around for centuries.

 CHOC has grown tremendously over the last 45 years and is entering an exciting time in its young history, as the entire organization is committed to making CHOC the best children’s hospital in the world.  According to CHOC President and CEO Kim Cripe, “CHOC has evolved from a community children’s hospital to a regional pediatric tertiary/quaternary referral center.  And, yet, this is not enough.  We are dedicated to leading the charge for pediatric medicine on a national basis, providing the most advanced care and cures.  Our community and our children deserve a world-class pediatric healthcare system, and CHOC will continue to advocate fiercely on their behalf.”



Named one of the best children’s hospitals by U.S. News & World Report (2014-2015) and a 2013 Leapfrog Top Hospital for the highest quality of care, Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC Children's) is exclusively committed to the health and well-being of children through clinical expertise, advocacy, outreach, education and research that brings advanced treatment to pediatric patients. Affiliated with the University of California, Irvine, CHOC’s regional health care network includes two state-of-the-art hospitals in Orange and Mission Viejo, many primary and specialty care clinics, a pediatric residency program, and four clinical centers of excellence - the CHOC Children’s Heart, Neuroscience, Orthopaedic and Hyundai Cancer Institutes..

CHOC earned the Gold Level CAPE Award from the California Council of Excellence, the only children’s hospital in California to ever earn this distinction, and was awarded Magnet designation, the highest honor bestowed to hospitals for nursing excellence.  Recognized for extraordinary commitment to high-quality critical care standards, CHOC’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) is the first in the United States to earn the Beacon Award for Pediatric Critical Care Excellence.


Media Contact:
Denise Almazan, Director of Public Relations
phone: (714) 509-8680
email: pr@chocchildrens.org


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Children's Hospital of Orange County is affiliated with UC Irvine Healthcare and UC Irvine School of Medicine

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