Valley Children’s celebrates a huge milestone on Thursday, October 26, 2017 – the 65th Birthday of Valley Children’s Hospital!
Valley Children’s Hospital began as the vision of five civic-minded women who saw the need for a dedicated pediatric hospital in Central California. In the late 1940s, Carolyn Peck, Gail Goodwin, Helen Maupin, Agnes Crockett, and Patty Randall spent countless hours raising funds and public support for a children’s hospital. On October 26, 1952, they saw their vision become a reality, when Valley Children’s Hospital was formally dedicated to the children of the Central Valley.
The Hospital continued to grow in the 1950s and 60s, adding critically needed medical care for children. Valley Children’s began performing pediatric heart surgeries in the 1950s and the Willson Heart Center continues to provide state-of-the-art therapies for the most complex congenital and pediatric cardiovascular diseases. The addition of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in 1961 began allowing some of the smallest and most critically ill newborns to receive care closer to home. The Emergency Department (ED) saw its first patients in 1975 and to this day, Valley Children’s is the only Pediatric Trauma Center in Central California and is one of the busiest EDs in the country.
Throughout the 1970s through 1990s, Valley Children’s continued to recruit some of the best pediatric specialists in the country to provide highly-specialized medical and surgical services – including pediatric plastic surgery, pediatric pulmonology, pediatric orthopaedics and pediatric hematology/oncology.
In 1998, Valley Children’s moved to Madera. Last year alone, the 358-bed Hospital saw 13,000 patient admissions, more than 13,600 pediatric surgeries and 121,000 Emergency Department visits. Valley Children’s Healthcare is now one of the largest pediatric healthcare networks in the country, with 550 doctors, 3,400 nurses and staff members and 400 volunteers all focused on ensuring that the 1.3 million children who live in the 11 counties we serve receive exceptional medical care, with an emphasis on patient safety, family-centered care and top clinical outcomes.