New Program Could Mean End For UCSF- Fresno, Valley Children's Partnership

Jan 9, 2015

Valley Children's Hospital announced Thursday a plan to establish its own pediatric residency and fellowship programs.
Credit Diana Aguilera / Valley Public Radio

Valley Children’s plan for a new medical education program for pediatric residents and fellows might lead to the breakup of a long running partnership in local medicine.

The new program will train doctors to become pediatric sub-specialists at the hospital, and will establish a fellowship program. The hospital’s choice to have its own residency program means that the hospital’s 40 year medical education partnership with UCSF – Fresno could come to an end.

Brandy Nikaido, with the UCSF Fresno Medical Education residency program, says they were not expecting this announcement.

“We believed it to be a successful relationship and I believe it was a surprise to our leadership. There’s a certain level of disappointment that comes to ending what has been a long successful and fruitful partnership.”

She says pediatric residents in the current program train both at Valley Children’s Hospital and Community Regional Medical Center.

Tensions between the two hospitals reached a new high last year when Valley Children’s chose to shut out referrals from a physicians group affiliated with Community.

Dr. David Christensen, Valley Children’s chief medical officer, says the hospital is deciding to go its own way in order to take more of an active role when it comes to pediatric training.

“We’re sorry they’re disappointed but this is really our way of taking a stand and say you know what we want to be responsible for pediatric training here in the Valley.”

The hospital says it has offered to sponsor the existing pediatric residency program, which is a partnership with UCSF. But UCSF officials say it’s too soon to decide on any future plans.

Just last month, Valley Children’s announced that it is launching its own health care network and a new expanded partnership with Stanford Children’s Health.