Valley Children’s Hospital. File Photo.
Written by Gabriel Dillard
Valley Children’s Hospital in Madera celebrated 65 years of work in the Central Valley.
The hospital began with the fundraising efforts of Carolyn Peck, Gail Goodwin, Helen Maupin, Agnes Crockett and Patty Randall in the late 1940s to open a children’s hospital. On Oct. 26, 1952, their efforts paid off 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 needed medical care for children. Valley Children’s began performing pediatric heart surgeries in the late ‘50s and the Willson Heart Center continues to provide care for pediatric cardiovascular diseases. The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit was added in 1961, allowing care for critically ill newborns close to their homes. The emergency department began seeing patients in 1975 and is the only pediatric trauma center in Central California.
Valley Children’s Hospital moved to Madera in 1998. Last year, 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. They provide care for 11 counties, which have 1.3 million children.