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Children’s Hospital opens doors in SCV

Posted: May 27, 2012 5:00 a.m.
Updated: May 27, 2012 5:00 a.m.

Julian Andrade holds his 10-month-old son Matias as medical assistant Annalise D'Souza checks the boy's vital signs in an examination room at Children's Hospital Los Angeles' Valencia Clinic on Friday.

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Nationally renowned Children’s Hospital Los Angeles has opened an outpatient center in the Santa Clarita Valley offering local residents specialized pediatrics care.

The center in Valencia is only the second satellite location for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, which is the only hospital in California ranked nationally in all 10 pediatric specialities. The first satellite location was opened in Arcadia in 2010.

Nine Children’s Hospital Los Angeles physicians will see patients at the Valencia outpatient center.

“It’s really the same thing (as traveling to the main facility),” said Dr. Cathy Shin, a pediatric surgeon, “except they don’t have to drive all the way down (to Los Angeles).”

“We really want to make it convenient and provide specialized quality care for the community,” Kelly Iwanabe, administrator for the Satellite Ambulatory Care Center, said during a tour Friday of the location.

The Los Angeles-based hospital treated 10,000 Santa Clarita and Antelope valley patients in 2009, the most recent year for which numbers are available.

But on Friday, the new center was visited by Sherman Oaks residents Rebecca and Julian Andrade, who are among the first parents to visit the Valencia center. Their 10-month-old son, Matias, is being treated for asthma and will receive regular check-ups at the Valencia location, the parents said.

Rebecca Andrade said she was able to get an appointment for her son within weeks, rather than putting Mathias’ name on a four-month wait list for an appointment at the Los Angeles location.

“It’s just easier to come here,” she said.

The two say they don’t hit the routine Los Angeles traffic, which has saved them time during the week.

“It’s so easy,” Julian Andrade said. “Just in and out.”

The center officially opened in March at its 4,000-square-foot location on Valencia Boulevard. It offers eight exam rooms, as well as X-ray services, draw stations and lab stations for blood work and tests.

Among the services included are endocrinology, gastroenterology, hematology and oncology, pulmonology and neurology.

“We really tried to meet the demands of the community and fill some of those gaps,” Iwanabe said.

By summer, the hospital hopes to boost the number of speciality physicians to at least 12, Iwanabe said.

Families will still need to visit the main campus in Los Angeles for surgeries, but doctors will be able to handle pre- and post-operation procedures in Valencia.

Doctors have access to electronic medical records, which means information about visits can be easily shared between the Valencia center and main Los Angeles hospital campus.

Hospital officials say in the coming months they will consider starting tele-health services, in which families will be able to visit the Valencia location and hold “tele-meetings” with doctors and medical staff for care, she said.

Plans to open a Valencia center had been under way for a while after Children’s Hospital leaders surveyed local pediatricians to understand what types of medical services are needed.

The Valencia center’s decor is similar to the Los Angeles location and includes framed children’s artwork throughout the office and exam rooms.

“We really want to make the patients feel comfortable,” Iwanabe said. “When they come, it has the same feeling.”

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