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On The Mark
On the Mark is published three-times-a-year by the CHOC Foundation. It features patient highlights, physician spotlights, news about major gifts and upcoming events, construction updates, and fundraising stories and is mailed to donors who support CHOC with a gift of $50 and more.

Physician Spotlight
Richard Gates, MD

When Richard Gates, MD, arrived at CHOC in 1995, there was only one way to protect a neonate’s heart during cardiac surgery. Surgeons had to cool the patient down, stop circulation—and hope for no permanent neurological injuries.

The process was successful about 95 percent of the time, but Dr. Gates wasn’t satisfied with those odds. What about the other five percent?

Working with bioengineers at Texas-based Quest Medical, Dr. Gates helped develop a myocardial protection system (MPS) that provides oxygen to the child intermittently, dramatically lowering the risk for neurological injury.

As a result of Dr. Gates’ efforts, CHOC was the first hospital in the world to use the Quest MPS for pediatrics in 2001, and now more than 20 centers worldwide have adopted the system. Dr. Gates has presented lectures about MPS at medical schools throughout the country, including UCLA, Cornell, Columbia and Vanderbilt.

Dr. Gates is a graduate of the Yale University School of Medicine. He completed his internship and general surgery residency training at Columbia–Presbyterian Hospital in New York. Then, he moved west to UCLA for his cardiac residency and fellowship, plus a second fellowship in heart-lung transplantation. As Dr. Gates was completing the second fellowship, he was recruited to CHOC.

“Having grown up in Southern California, I could see that Orange County was going to grow and mature,” Dr. Gates recalls. “I knew CHOC was going to be a great hospital for our community.”

“One of the reasons I wanted to come to CHOC is that I really enjoy meeting the families, explaining the surgery, and getting a chance to see them afterward. That is not always possible in the university setting,” says Dr. Gates, who also speaks Spanish. “At CHOC, we do the procedure technically well, plus we understand what it means to patients and their families.”


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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. .