Protecting the most vulnerable children in our community begins with ensuring that every child receives the care they need, including those with the most complex conditions. To ensure that happens, we, the voters, must make a stand this November by voting “yes” on Proposition 4, the children’s hospital bond.
Here in the heart of Silicon Valley, we have a nationally ranked children’s medical facility, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. The hospital provides more than 150 medical specialties focusing on improving the health of children and young adults, including the sickest and most complex, regardless of a family’s ability to pay.
Through this measure, vital funds will be granted to Lucile Packard and 12 other children’s hospitals throughout the state to aid in construction, expansion, renovation, and equipment projects meant to safeguard the high quality of care essential to the lives of many Californian children.
Two million times each year, young people turn to California’s children’s hospitals for care. The hospitals perform 97 percent of pediatric organ transplants and 96 percent of all pediatric heart surgeries in our state, and they conduct 76 percent of all pediatric cancer treatments. The approval of these funds will allow the state’s children’s hospitals to continue to allocate time and resources to caring for sick children, no matter the circumstance.
Children’s hospitals rely on specialized equipment tailored to children, which bolsters the quality of care, but also increases the costs placed on the hospitals providing such specialized care. Prop 4 will allow children’s hospitals to purchase the latest, highest quality medical devices, which can mean the difference in saving a child’s life. Specifically, Packard Children’s Hospital plans to utilize the funds to refurbish and modernize its 74-bed neonatal intensive care unit.
Children’s hospitals in California have a history of spending bond money wisely. Funds from previous bond measures were used to ensure seismic safety upgrades, add inpatient beds, and acquire new technologies. In the decade since the last measure was passed, pediatric care has become much more regionalized, which means there is a growing demand for care in California children’s hospitals. Prop 4 funding will ensure that California’s children’s hospitals have the resources needed to continue providing high-quality care for our state’s sickest kids.
The elite care these hospitals provide to children and their families provides a sense of hope. In addition to the innovative research that comes out of California’s children’s hospitals, their incredible doctors and nurses continue to implement new discoveries in pediatric medicine, making California’s children’s hospitals among the best in the nation, in multiple pediatric specialties, according to U.S. News & World Report. Investments in pediatric medical research and technology regularly produce important results — for example, 85 percent of children diagnosed with leukemia today are cured.
The care children’s hospitals provide children in our state is essential; we should do our part to make sure that every child has access to premium care. We cannot afford to deny younger generations the exceptional medical treatment that will allow them to thrive.
To ensure our state continues to offer our youngest residents world-class care, I ask you to join me in voting “yes” on Proposition 4 this November.
Alexandria Felton is the vice president for health policy for the Silicon Valley Leadership Group
Opinion: Prop. 4 will bolster care at California’s children’s hospitals