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Valley Children's Returning To Old Name, Creating Health Network

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Valley Children's Hospital

Children's Hospital Central California announced three big changes they say will improve quality of care for children in the Central Valley.

First, Children's Hospital Central California is returning to its old name Valley Children's Hospital, which it hasn't officially used since 2002.

Second, the hospital revealed its own new health network that will provide a full spectrum of pediatric services for kids in the region.

Valley Children's Healthcare will offer services through a group of doctors, clinics and satellite facilities throughout the Central Valley including Neonatal Intensive Care Units in Fresno, Hanford, and Merced, along with outpatient offices in Modesto and Merced. They're also planning a new outpatient office in Bakersfield.

At a news conference Wednesday morning, President and CEO Todd Suntrapak says they're also expanding their relationship with Stanford Children's Health.

"Our two organizations coming together in partnership and leveraging our strengths will produce better outcomes for kids and create more access in the decades to come," Suntrapak says.

Over the past decade, Valley Children's Hospital says they've developed a "strong clinical relationship in the pediatric heart surgery program, and have collaborated on the care of patients needing a solid organ and bone marrow transplants." 

Beverly Hayden-Pugh, the hospital's Senior Vice President for Clinical Operations and Chief Nursing Officer, says the relationship with Stanford Children's Health is crucial in the effort to keep very sick kids closer to home.

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Credit Diana Aguilera / Valley Public Radio
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Valley Public Radio
Valley Children's Hospital will expand its partnership with Stanford Children's Health in an effort to keep sick children closer to home.

"It's really recognizing that we need to partner in order to meet that dream, which isn't going to be a dream it's going to be a reality, of providing healthcare within 30 miles of the kids that we serve in our area," she says.

Hayden-Pugh says they’re still in conversations with Stanford Children’s Health to determine what that extended partnership will look like.

Diana Aguilera is a multimedia reporter native of Santiago, Chile. It was during her childhood in Santiago where her love for journalism sparked. Diana moved to Fresno while in her teens and is a proud graduate of California State University, Fresno. While earning her degree in journalism and minor in Latin American studies, Diana worked for the Fresno Bee. Her work as a general assignment reporter continued after college and was recognized by the California Newspaper Publishers Association. In 2014, she joined Valley Public Radio. Her hobbies include yoga, traveling and reading.