Valley Children’s Residency Program: National Award for Advocacy and $1 Million Gift


Valley Children’s Pediatric Residency Program, Affiliated with Stanford University School of Medicine, is the recipient of one of only four national Advocacy Training Grant Awards from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). As part of the honor, two program leaders - Dr. Jolie Limon and Dr. Janae Barker - represented Valley Children’s at this week’s AAP Legislative Program in Washington, D.C.

The grant recognizes residency programs seeking to strengthen advocacy training within their institutions, and Valley Children’s program – in its first year – was awarded the grant based on its innovation, interprofessional collaboration and desire to create a culture of advocacy for the Central Valley’s underserved children.

“With our new residency program and the state of the health of our local children, there is tremendous opportunity for teaching advocacy to our residents and creating awareness around our faculty,” Chief of Pediatrics and Executive Director of Medical Education Dr. Jolie Limon said. “We are looking towards a sustainable model that will be part of our training program and infiltrate our organizational culture.”

In addition to Dr. Limon and Chief Resident Dr. Barker attending the AAP event in Washington, D.C., Valley Children’s faculty-resident team will start implementing an educational project in collaboration with Valley Children’s AAP chapter. In concert with that project, the Residency Program will host the Central Valley Healthcare Disparities Panel Discussion on July 13 at the Hospital. The panel will include AAP chapter leadership and focus on healthcare disparities in Central California.

“Valley Children’s is committed to improving the health and wellbeing of all children throughout our service area,” says Tim Curley, Valley Children’s director of community and government relations. “The Residency Program will play an important role in that commitment as we work to measurably move the needle on some of the most important issues adversely impacting children’s health.”

As director of community and government relations, Mr. Curley has and will continue to work closely with the Residency Program in the design and implementation of the Program’s advocacy work.  

The AAP’s Advocacy Training Grant aids Valley Children’s Pediatric Residency Program’s dedication to advocacy in local communities as well as statewide and nationally. The Central Valley is one of the poorest areas in the nation and is severely underserved in terms of pediatric physicians, making this effort and our Residency Program critical to the 1.3 million children Valley Children’s serves.

Valley Children’s Pediatric Residency Program is also honored to be the recipient of a $1,000,000 gift from the Richard Berberian family of Fresno. This gift established the Richard and John Berberian Chief of Pediatrics Endowed Chair and the Richard and John Berberian Pediatric Residency Program Endowment.

The Endowed Chair is a position structured to lead Valley Children’s entire Medical Education program. Chief of Pediatrics and Executive Director of Medical Education Dr. Jolie Limon is currently serving in that role. The Residency Program Endowment will specifically fund the needs of Valley Children’s Residency Program. The first class of 13 residents arrives in June.

“As a family, we welcome Valley Children’s first group of residents to our Central Valley,” said Barbara Berberian, spokesperson for the Berberian family. “We are excited by their willingness to be a productive part of our community through service and education, both of which we recognize as being vital to the fabric of our lives. As Valley families, we have been the recipient of their high standard of care that is provided in a loving, joyful, and caring atmosphere. We are thankful to have the opportunity and are honored to become a contributing member of this very special place called Valley Children’s Hospital.”

The Richard Berberian family’s gift is in honor of the late Richard and John Berberian. Richard was a proud father of three children. John, who was one of Richard’s sons, died in 2005 at the age of 29. John was days from participating in his graduation ceremony at Tulane University School of Medicine. He was set to go to Georgetown University for his residency in neurosurgery.

The family established the endowment to enhance the mission of the Residency Program in memory of their beloved family members, Richard and John, and hope that these future physicians will impact children’s health in the Central Valley for generations to come. The family encourages the community at large to join them in contributing to the residency program endowment. 

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