Mission Statement: To Nurture, Advance and Protect the Health and Well-Being of Children

Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC), a pediatric healthcare system based in Orange County, California, is committed to being a leading destination for children’s health by providing exceptional and innovative care. CHOC’s growing community includes two state-of-the-art hospitals in Orange and Mission Viejo and a regional network of primary and specialty care clinics serving children and families in four counties.

CHOC offers several clinical programs of excellence providing the highest levels of care for the most serious pediatric illnesses and injuries, physical and mental. CHOC’s research and innovation institutes are focused on translating real patient needs into real-world treatments so every child can live the healthiest and happiest life possible.

Serving Those in Need

Our mission is straightforward: To nurture, advance and protect the health and well being of children. That’s why at CHOC Hospital in Orange and CHOC at Mission Hospital, we are dedicated to working cooperatively—assisting and enriching existing services as well as developing programs to benefit the families of Orange County. Over two million children across four counties count on CHOC to be here when they need us most—regardless of their family’s ability to pay.

The community is invited to send comments on CHOC’s CHNA and CHNA Implementation Plan to CommunityComments@choc.org.

CHOC History: More Than 50 Years of Caring

People on the ground with helicopter flying over hospital

Children’s Hospital of Orange County

Since 1964, CHOC has nurtured, advanced and protected the health and well-being of children through innovative care and state-of-the-art facilities. What started as a 62-bed children’s hospital – the first in Orange County – has grown into a pediatric health care system serving multiple counties. CHOC’s rapid growth in size and community impact should be of no surprise, given its leadership and steadfast commitment to defining the future of pediatric medicine.

Proud of its rich past, CHOC’s focus is on the future. And because of this, children’s futures are brighter than ever. From Walt Disney to the new Bill Holmes Tower, see how CHOC has changed over the years.

Honors and Awards

U.S. News Best Children’s Hospitals rankings CHOC is consistently named one of the nation’s best children’s hospitals by U.S. News & World Report in its Best Children’s Hospitals rankings. CHOC ranked in seven specialties: neonatology; cancer; diabetes and endocrinology; neurology and neurosurgery; orthopaedics; pulmonology; and urology. Both orthopaedics and diabetes and endocrinology earned a “Top 20” spot.

According to U.S. News, the Best Children’s Hospitals rankings are intended to help parents determine where to get the best medical care for their children. The rankings highlight the top U.S. pediatric facilities in 10 specialties, from cancer to urology.

For its annual list, U.S. News relies on extensive clinical and operational data, and on an annual survey of pediatric specialists. Survival rates, adequacy of nurse staffing, procedure volume and much more can be viewed on  http://health.usnews.com/best-hospitals/pediatric-rankings.

CHOC is accredited by The Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of healthcare organizations in the United States. Accreditation is based on standards for organizational quality, safety-of-care issues and the safety of the environment in which care is provided.
Magnet designationCHOC was awarded “Magnet designation” from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). With this award - the highest honor bestowed to a hospital - CHOC has joined an elite group of hospitals nationwide. Magnet recognition honors healthcare organizations that demonstrate excellence in nursing practice and adherence to national standards. It officially recognizes our tireless commitment to the highest standards of nursing practice, quality of care, and patient safety.

Highlighting its nationally recognized achievements in patient safety and quality, CHOC is one of only 12 children’s hospitals in the nation to be named a Top Children’s Hospital by The Leapfrog Group. The Leapfrog Top Hospital award is widely acknowledged as one of the most competitive awards American hospitals can receive.

CHOC has been recognized by Press Ganey, a pioneer in patient experience measurement and performance improvement solutions, for excellence in physician engagement. CHOC Hospital in Orange received the Pinnacle of Excellence Award and CHOC Children’s at Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo was honored with the Guardian of Excellence Award.
California Awards for Performance ExcellenceCHOC has been recognized with the Gold Level CAPE (California Awards for Performance Excellence) Award from the California Council for Excellence (CCE). CHOC is the only children’s hospital in California to ever earn this distinction.

The CAPE Program, administered by the CCE, emulates the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and is the highest recognition in the state for performance excellence. The CAPE Program, employing the same rigorous criteria used on the national level, recognizes organizations that demonstrate continuous improvement and superior performance in the areas of leadership, strategic planning, customer and market focus, measurement/knowledge management, human resources, process management and business results.
Pediatric Beacon Award for Critical Care ExcellenceThe CHOC Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) is the first in the nation to earn the Pediatric Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence, an award presented by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN). The CHOC Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU) has also earned this distinction. This recognition represents CHOC’s extraordinary commitment to high quality critical care standards, and dedication to the exceptional care of patients and their families.

As a Beacon Award recipient, CHOC’s PICU succeeded in the following areas, as measured against evidence-based criteria:
  • Recruitment and retention
  • Education, training and mentoring
  • Research and evidence-based practice
  • Patient outcomes
  • Leadership and organization ethics
  • Healing environment

CHOC is one of the few centers in the world to receive a gold-level Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO) Award of Excellence in Life Support, as well as a three-year designation as an Extracorporeal Life Support Organization Center of Excellence.

CHOC Hospital is the only children’s hospital on the West Coast and one of just three children’s hospitals in the nation to be recognized by the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) with the 2021-22 Apex Recognition Award, which honors respiratory care departments for best practices and high-quality care.

The Julia and George Argyros Emergency Department at CHOC Hospital is one of only five emergency departments in California – and 25 worldwide – to be honored with the Emergency Nurses Association’s 2020 Lantern Award. The ENA bestows the Lantern Award on emergency departments that exemplify exceptional practice and innovative performance in the core areas of nursing leadership, practice, education, advocacy and research.

Excellence in Patient Care

Last year’s annual report was titled “Stronger Together.” At this time last year, we thought that the worst of the pandemic was behind us. We were confident in the successes we won together. We thought we knew everything there was to know about COVID-19 and how to care for COVID patients. Indeed, we were stronger together. Little did we know, however, that not only were some dark pandemic days ahead, but also deep-rooted beliefs and biases would rock the world, including our world at CHOC. We have done amazing things at CHOC over the years, many of you will read about in the following pages, but the proudest moment of my leadership career came this past year as our CHOC staff embraced our own who were hurting in silence over national events riddled with inequality. It was a deliberate decision to make the theme of this annual report Stronger Together — again.

UC Irvine Affiliation


CHOC and University of California, Irvine have a strategic affiliation, working together to create a world-class pediatrics center that integrates high-quality, comprehensive patient care; leading-edge research; and exemplary teaching programs.

CHOC provides inpatient and outpatient pediatric specialty care to patients, while UC Irvine Medical Center continues to provide pediatric emergency services, burn care, trauma services requiring immediate surgery, neonatal intensive care, newborn nursery care, and child and adolescent psychiatry.

Bringing advanced treatment to the bedside

CHOC and UC Irvine have a history of collaborating on research that brings advanced treatment to patients, including the National Children’s Study, which is the largest and most comprehensive long-term study of environmental effects on child health and development. Through the formal affiliation, additional grants have been awarded to both institutions, and CHOC researchers have access to valuable University resources, like the Beckman Laser Institute, in an effort to bring breakthrough therapies and cures to pediatric patients.

Training the next generation of physicians

Committed to training the next generation of pediatric experts, CHOC and UC Irvine have integrated their pediatric residency and fellowship programs. Currently, UC Irvine medical students conduct their clinical clerkship rotation at CHOC, providing them with increased access to a greater number of pediatric cases and enhancing their overall training and education.

While both CHOC and UC Irvine remain separate institutions, the strategic affiliation will transform the delivery of pediatric care in Orange County and beyond.

CHOC Board of Directors