Children’s Hospital Bond Act qualifies for November ballot

A toddler was airlifted by a Los Angeles County Fire Helocopter from a field in Newhall. Cory Rubin/The Signal

California voters will decide an initiative to funnel money into state children’s hospitals in the November election.

The Children’s Hospital Bond Act of 2018, if passed, would authorize a $1.5 billion bond over 15 years to expand and modernize California’s children’s hospitals.

A “Yes” vote would allocate $1.08 billion to seven nonprofit hospitals, including the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, which services the Santa Clarita Valley in certain child emergencies.

In June, three toddlers in the Santa Clarita Valley almost drowned and were airlifted to nearby children’s hospitals, with Los Angeles among them.

The funding doesn’t apply to “community hospitals,” per Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital spokesman Patrick Moody, therefore Henry Mayo’s funding isn’t affected by the measure.

The hospital does not have a formal pediatrics unit, although it has a county certification for their emergency center to take care of pediatric patients, Moody said.

California’s children’s hospitals perform 97 percent of all pediatric organ transplants, and 96 percent of all pediatric heart surgeries, and they conduct 76 percent of all pediatric cancer treatments, according to a California Children’s Hospital Association news release.

California is home to 13 regional children’s hospitals, which provide specialized care for children and young adults up to age 21, specializing as pediatric research centers.

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