Message from Kim Cripe, CEO

Dear friends,

emt_Cripe_lgYou are undoubtedly aware that CHOC Children’s has entered one of the most dynamic and exciting eras in our organization’s 48-year history. The state of-the-art CHOC South Tower will open to patients in spring of 2013, with a number of pediatric-specialized programs and services that will be new to our hospital. As we prepare to unveil the outstanding new facilities that will house these programs, we recognize that fostering innovation, discovery and advancement in quality and safety of care, while continuing to build alignment with our physician and community partners, will be essential to offering the world-class pediatric our patients and families deserve.

Our increasingly dynamic health care environment requires that we partner closely with physicians to provide the best possible care to our patients. We made important progress toward this goal with the formation of our new medical foundation, CHOC Children’s Specialists, which offers an important option for close collaboration with the pediatric subspecialists and surgeons who practice at CHOC. CHOC Children’s Specialists will facilitate clinical integration, expanded access to care, and help us attract and retain the next generation of pediatric subspecialists.

CHOC Children’s affiliation with UC Irvine continues to present exciting new opportunities for collaboration and synergy. Our two institutions have committed resources to the development of joint research and education strategic plans while building upon our strong foundation of clinical integration. Together, we are realizing the promise of our role as a preeminent academic medical center, discovering cures and training tomorrow’s pediatric experts.

Despite incredibly challenging economic times, evidence of our burgeoning growth is everywhere. Working in collaboration with our longtime community partner, St. Joseph Hospital, we will soon open a 13-bed, CHOC-staffed-and-licensed Level IIB neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) adjacent to St. Joseph Hospital’s new postpartum unit. We also expanded our NICU at CHOC Children’s at Mission Hospital, adding six new patient beds.

The most dramatic evidence of our growth is our new, seven-story patient care tower in Orange. When the South Tower opens next spring, for the first time in CHOC history, all core patient and ancillary services will be provided under our own roof—making CHOC one of the safest, most advanced children’s hospitals in the county.

Named one of the best children’s hospitals by U.S. News & World Report (2012-2013) and a 2011 Leapfrog Top Hospital, CHOC also earned the Gold Level CAPE Award from the California Council of Excellence, the only children’s hospital in California to ever earn this distinction. For a second time in a row, our Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) earned the Pediatric Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence.

Led by our board of directors and the extraordinary efforts of our physicians, our Magnet-designated nursing program, our Associates and volunteers, CHOC Children’s is shaping the future of pediatric medicine. On behalf of the patients and families we are privileged to serve, thank you for your support.


Kimberly C. Cripe
President and Chief Executive Officer

Choco, A Treasured Part of CHOC’s History…and Disney’s?

It’s CHOC Walk time again! And as we anxiously wait for Sunday’s festivities, we can’t help but reflect upon the long-standing relationship between CHOC Children’s and our CHOC Walk host and presenting sponsor, the Disneyland Resort.

Did you know that Choco Bear, the beloved mascot for CHOC, was born on the drawing board of artist Bob Moore at Disneyland? Disneyland had volunteered to help create a logo long before CHOC ever opened. Choco was first designed as a two dimensional logo, and through the years evolved into a three dimensional character.

The history of these organizations, two Orange County staples, goes way back. Walt Disney first formed a bond with the hospital in 1960, when he was appointed as one of the founding members of CHOC’s executive council. Decades later, the support continues with Disneyland Resort President George A. Kalogridis serving on CHOC’s board of directors, and most recently, a $5 million donation from the Disneyland Resort to CHOC’s comprehensive fund-raising campaign.

Choco Bear and CHOC Children’s President and CEO, Kimberly Chavalas Cripe stand in the new main lobby of CHOC Children’s Hospital, after a key ceremony in Sept. commemorating substantial completion of the new tower, set to open in Spring 2013.

Choco, however, is perhaps one of the most nostalgic treasures in the history that the two organizations share.

Today, Choco is recognized wherever he goes and continues to be the comforting and lovable mascot to all of the patients and families CHOC is privileged to serve, and the entire community.

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OC’s First “Kids’ ER” Opens in March

Staffed around the clock by our world-class team of pediatric emergency medicine physicians, pediatric nurses and other specially trained healthcare professionals, the Julia and George Argyros Emergency Department opens in March 2013 in our new state-of-the art patient tower at CHOC Children’s Hospital. It will be Orange County’s first and only exclusively pediatric emergency department, providing advanced, leading-edge care within a kid-focused, family-centered environment.

Thanks to the Argyros family’s generous $5 million gift, every inch of our new 22,000-square-foot emergency department will be designed and equipped to meet the special needs of babies, kids and teens.“Children are not merely miniature versions of adults,” said Frank Maas, R.N., director of the Julia and George Argyros Emergency Department at CHOC Children’s. “Physiologically, developmentally and emotionally, their needs are quite different. They require a sophisticated level of specialized care, especially in an emergency situation.”

From Left to Right – Kimberly Chavalas Cripe, President and CEO, CHOC Children’s; Julia and George Argyros; Stephanie Argyros, CHOC Children’s Foundation Board of Directors member, and her children.

Located on the first floor of the new patient care tower, the Julia and George Argyros Emergency Department will  feature:

  • 31 treatment rooms
  • 14 rapid medical exam rooms
  • Three triage suites

The Julia and George Emergency Department is among many new services being offered in CHOC’s new tower. For the first time in CHOC’s history, all patient care services will be provided within an all-pediatric environment under one roof. This includes advanced operating rooms, laboratory, pathology and imaging services. These capabilities, along with enhanced patient and family amenities, will create the most serene, healing environment possible for the youngest members of our community.



Advanced Patient Care, Safety Features
Featuring leading-edge advancements in technology and patient safety, our new seven-story tower will position CHOC as a premier children’s hospital, including:

Lower Level —Laboratory, Blood Bank, support services

1st Floor — Julia and George Argyros Emergency Department, main lobby, admitting, radiology

2nd Floor — Patient and family amenities, including in-house radio station and multimedia center, public and patient outdoor area, Meditation and Prayer Center, Family Resource Center, Café

3rd Floor — Robert L. Tidwell Surgical Center, CHOC Children’s Heart Institute

5th Floor — Hematology and Oncology, including 28 new beds

4th, 6th, 7th Floors — Shelled space for future needs

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