UT San Diego | Janet Lavelle
With the recruitment of Dr. Eric J. Devaney from the University of Michigan, Rady Children’s is poised to become the fifth California hospital and one of about 40 nationwide that perform pediatric heart transplants.
Chief executive Kathleen Sellick said the undertaking has been envisioned since 2006, when the hospital in Serra Mesa began reviewing its facilities and services with the goal of offering complete pediatric care so patients don’t have to leave San Diego. A five-year, $220 million fundraising campaign was also launched at the time to pay for new construction, equipment, research projects and patient-care programs.
“We are the biggest children’s hospital in California,” Sellick said. “We really believe it’s our covenant with San Diego to have the best and most comprehensive services available.”
The 440-bed Rady hospital serves as the regional pediatric trauma center; it handles more than 80 percent of pediatric surgeries and all pediatric bone-marrow transplants in the county. The facility has agreements with most medical centers in the region to provide at least some pediatric services, which means Rady Children’s serves 84 percent of children in the county in some way, Sellick said.