A story 70 years in the making that began with the vision of our Founding Mothers –
a legacy carried on by the Guilds of Valley Children’s.
 

 



Generations of Support: Carrying on Our Founding Mothers' Legacy

The five Founding Mothers of Valley Children's HospitalMore than 70 years ago, during a time when few pediatric hospitals existed nationwide and none resided in a rural area, five women – our Founding Mothers – envisioned a hospital just for kids right here in Central California. With the guiding mission to improve the lives of children in the Central Valley, Valley Children’s Hospital opened its doors in 1952 with just three dedicated pediatricians, 118 medical staff and 42 beds placed throughout a row of 23 rooms connected by a center hallway. Today, Valley Children’s is ranked one of the best children’s hospitals in the nation in seven pediatric specialties. Our 358-bed stand-alone hospital includes 28 regional NICU beds, with more than 670 physicians and 3,500 staff that provide comprehensive care to more than 1.3 million children throughout the Central Valley.

The Founding Mothers who led this movement also proposed the idea of the Guilds – together, with the support of our community, they would carry on their legacy generations into the future by raising funds, advocating for children and promoting goodwill for Valley Children's Healthcare.

 

Photo of Llanada Guild, Valley Children's first Guild
Photo of Llanada Guild, Valley Children's first established Guild

 

The Impact in Numbers

The daring promise of good health as a basic right for all children of the Central Valley has grown and prospered because of the ongoing commitment of our 13 Guilds – more than 1,200 devoted members across five counties. Over the years, the Guilds have funded various projects, such as:

  • A fully automated robotic system (RIVA) that produces intravenous (IV) syringes and bags. Since 2013, RIVA has produced nearly 400,000 products that have been used to give more than 1 million IV medication doses to children in the inpatient hospital setting.
  • A new home for our transport helicopter, Air George, which transports approximately 1,200 patients annually throughout our 45,000 square-mile service area.
  • And, The Guilds Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Center, which has treated more than 7,800 patients in almost 15 years and provided over 600 hours of trauma therapy to children since 2019. The Center also provides outreach and education, including trainings to professionals and community members. In fiscal year 2021 alone, the Center provided approximately 400 hours of education and outreach.

From the beginning, our Guilds have garnered support for new and innovative ways that contribute to bettering the health of the whole child – mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally – and their work of being at the forefront of kids’ needs isn’t done yet.

 

Historical photos of Valley Children's Guilds events

 

A Commitment to the Health and Well-being of Kids Continues 

Today, the Guilds of Valley Children’s carry on the legacy of our Founding Mothers through their current initiative: The Guilds Center for Community Health. As the first of its kind in the Central Valley, the Center will bridge the exceptional care kids receive within our network with the health impacts children experience where they live, learn and play. Of all the factors that influence a child’s health, only 20% are linked to clinical care; the other 80% are related to social determinants. The Guilds Center for Community Health is an investment in that 80% and will focus on priority areas such as infant and child health and safety, mental health, neighborhood and built environment, chronic disease prevention, improving access to healthy foods, and partnering with schools, parent and the community to improve the lives of kids with projects supporting health equity.

 

“The most important benefit the Guilds bring is their commitment and their engagement, and how they’ve made us the children’s hospital for all communities in the Valley. We wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for the Guilds; we wouldn’t have continued to grow.”

- Todd Suntrapak, Valley Children's President and CEO