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Making a Mark
Making a Mark is published bi-annually by the CHOC Foundation. It features CHOC and children?s healthcare news, patient highlights, hospital updates, board member spotlights, and community involvement stories and is mailed to donors who support CHOC with a gift of $250 and more.

CHOC Clinics Provide Comprehensive Care to Orange County Children

CHOC’s Primary and Specialty Care Clinics work together to provide children in Orange County with high-quality, comprehensive healthcare services.

CHOC’s Primary Care Clinics reach out to children across the county, providing much-needed healthcare, including checkups, vaccinations and other routine medical care. But, increasingly, they are also being seen as a “medical home” for underserved children in our community.

According to Dr. Maria Tupas, medical director of CHOC’s Primary Care Services, “a medical home is an approach to providing comprehensive primary care in which a partnership develops between a family and their doctor. Together they access all medical and non-medical services needed by the child. Think of it as a home base for the child’s medical care.”

With the medical home approach serving as a guideline, CHOC’s Primary Care Clinics provide complete child health services with a strong focuson wellness and prevention. Pediatricians not only treat illnesses but also spend time counseling families on healthy behaviors. And, they refer children to specialists and coordinate their care.

Having a medical home is particularly important for patients who have a complex medical history, like 2-year-old Angela. Angela was born prematurely and was diagnosed with Goldenhar Syndrome, a congenital birth defect that caused her ear to develop abnormally, affecting her hearing. She also has severe gastroesophageal reflux disease, vocal cord paralysis, a heart problem that causes blood to recirculate through her lungs, and chronic pneumonia.

According to Dr. Andrew Lee, medical resident at CHOC, “Angela is seen by a variety of specialists in CHOC Specialty Care Clinics, including pulmonary; gastroenterology; cardiology; and ear, nose, and throat (ENT). She’s also seen by members of the craniofacial team. Due to the complexity of her case and the number of specialists she sees, it’s extremely important for Angela’s care to be coordinated by her primary care physician in her medical home—the CHOC Primary Care Clinic.”

Primary Care Clinics
CHOC’s network of primary care clinics includes five community based clinics and two mobile healthcare units that visit different schools and community centers, providing primary and asthma healthcare services, immunizations and screenings to school-age children.

A range of special interests include working with breastfeeding mothers and treating children with weight problems, asthma, developmental and behavior issues, attention deficit disorder and learning problems.

In addition to serving as the point of contact for children’s primary healthcare, CHOC’s community clinics also provide sick visits and well-child care, including immunizations, to low-income families who would otherwise go without medical care.

The CHOC Primary Care Clinic in Orange, CHOC Clinica Para Niños in Santa Ana, CHOC Boys & Girls Club Clinic, and CHOC Costa Mesa Clinic are all staffed with bilingual pediatricians, nurses and staff to better serve the communities in which they are located. In addition, the Boys & Girls Club Clinic in Santa Ana is the first freestanding, fullservice clinic located at a Boys & Girls Club in the nation. And, CHOC’s newest clinic, which opened in Garden Grove in 2006, provides children’s medical, dental and family support services.

“Locating CHOC clinics within densely populated neighborhoods and having mobile clinics visit schools brings vitally needed medical services within easy walking distance to our patients and their families,” says Kathy Kolodge, executive director, CHOC Ambulatory Care Services. “It’s part of our commitment to bringing programs and services right where our patients need them the most.”

In addition to serving the pediatric healthcare needs of the community, the CHOC clinic in Orange also serves as a teaching center for the CHOC Residency Program. Medical interns in their first year donate a significant number of volunteer hours at this clinic.

Through its residency program, CHOC physicians are helping to define quality healthcare for decades to come by teaching the next generation of doctors how to deliver the very best care.

Specialty Care Clinics
CHOC’s Specialty Care Clinics are designed to provide comprehensive, specialized care to children with specific chronic illnesses or medical conditions. A team of pediatric subspecialists, nurse practitioners, nursing staff and support staff work together to ensure that their patients get the very best care.

According to Kathy, “based on community need, the clinics meet daily, weekly or monthly at CHOC in Orange, and children are seen by appointment. Our services include consultation, evaluation, care of chronic conditions and treatment of episodic illnesses.”

CHOC’s Specialty Care Clinics cover a wide variety of specialties, from school readiness programs to programs that address specific conditions such as diabetes and asthma.

Patients like 11-year-old Hunter, whose medical home is the CHOC Primary Care Clinic in Orange, are referred to CHOC’s Specialty Care Clinics when specialized care is needed.

According to Dr. Lee, “when Hunter came in we were seeing him for his annual well-child visit. I noted that he was struggling with obesity, so we referred him to one of CHOC’s obesity prevention classes sponsored by the CHOC Division of Endocrinology. Hunter and his family were taught about healthy eating practices and the importance of diet and exercise. Since then, Hunter has started losing weight, and his esteem has lifted as well.”

As part of CHOC’s commitment to providing a broad range of pediatric specialty care services, the following programs are available through CHOC’s Specialty Care Clinics:

  • The CHOC Endocrine and Diabetes Division provides care and education for families and patients with pre-diabetes, type I and type II diabetes and a wide variety of endocrine disorders. CHOC is collaborating with Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian to create a diabetes center located in the Costa Mesa area that will open in fall of 2008.
  • The Early Developmental Assessment Center (EDAC) detects a broad spectrum of problems early in high-risk children to prevent or minimize developmental delays in the future.
  • CUIDAR for Attention and Learning, a collaborative program offered by CHOC and UCI, offers free parenting classes in English or Spanish to parents with children who are exhibiting disruptive behaviors that may impact their school readiness.
  • The Neurology Clinic, part of the CHOC Neuroscience Institute, provides care to children with complex neurological disorders such as uncontrolled seizures.
  • The Gastroenterlogy Specialty Clinic provides access to the dietary department, occupational therapy/rehabilitation, the CHOC GI motility center and the CHOC feeding team.
  • The Infectious Disease Specialty Clinic provides early diagnosis and intervention to prevent the complication and further spread of serious and life-threatening infections. The pediatric infectious disease specialists are highly experienced in the area of viral infections and complex or resistant bacterial and fungal infections.
  • The Metabolic Disorders Division diagnoses and cares for children with inborn metabolic disorders. Most treatment involves specific diets that do not contain metabolites that cannot be broken down in patients withmetabolic disorders.
  • The Asthma/Chronic Lung Disease (ACLD) Program is a partnership between CHOC and the University of California at Irvine (UCI) designed to provide a center of excellence in asthma clinical care, research and education. The goal is to work in partnership with families in order to provide patients with superior care.
  • The Orthopaedic Clinic is one of the largest specialty clinics at CHOC, receiving over 10,000 visits per year from children with fractures, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy and other complex disorders. The Orthopaedic Clinic is part of the CHOC Orthopaedic Institute, which was launched in 2007. CHOC’s Primary and Specialty Care Clinics work together to provide children and families with the highest-quality care, right in Orange County’s own back yard. They complement the high-level care delivered by CHOC’s Centers of Excellence and provide a place that community children in need of medical care can call their home.


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chocChildren's Hospital of Orange County | UCI University of California, Irvine

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

CHOC Children's - 1201 W La Veta Ave, Orange, CA. Phone: 714-997-3000. .