American College of Surgeons Grants CHOC Prestigious Trauma Center Verification

CHOC Children’s Hospital has been verified by the American College of Surgeons as a Level II pediatric trauma center.  This achievement recognizes CHOC’s commitment to providing the highest quality trauma care to injured patients.  CHOC opened its trauma center in 2015.  It is Orange County’s only trauma center focused exclusively on children.

To earn verification, CHOC submitted an extensive application and data.  This was followed by a site visit from a team of surgeons.  They commended CHOC for exceptional work in several areas, including support by the medical staff, nursing educational excellence and the commitment of hospital administration.

Dr. David Gibbs, director, trauma services, and Amy Waunch., MSN, FNP, CEN, trauma program manager
Dr. David Gibbs, director, trauma services, and Amy Waunch., MSN, FNP, CEN, trauma program manager

“Our team of pediatric subspecialists, nurses and staff are dedicated to providing the highest levels of care to   seriously injured children, from the moment they arrive to the day they go home.  Our goal is to give each patient the best chance of survival and recovery,” says Dr. David Gibbs, director, trauma services, CHOC. “We are honored to serve the children and families in Orange County, and are proud to join an elite group of hospitals committed to improving pediatric trauma care.”

As a verified Level II pediatric trauma center, CHOC is a referral resource for communities in Orange County and surrounding regions, and provides:

  • 24-hour coverage by board-certified pediatric trauma surgeons and quick access to pediatric specialties including orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, radiology, internal medicine, plastic surgery, oral and maxillofacial, and critical care
  • Injury prevention and education to the community
  • Continuing education and training for trauma staff
  • Substance abuse screening and patient intervention

CHOC’s trauma center also meets verification standards based on its patient volume and comprehensive quality assessment program.

To be designated a Level II pediatric trauma center, CHOC goes above and beyond to meet the requirements set by Orange County Emergency Medical Services by offering the following.

  • An award-winning pediatric intensive care unit providing intensive and acute care to critically ill surgical and medical patients
  • State-of-the=art operating rooms for performing immediate or emergency surgery using the latest and safest procedures
  • Support services, including child life, social services and psychology, for pediatric patients and their families dealing with traumatic situations
  • Additional hospital services, including a blood bank, radiology and rehabilitation services

Learn more about CHOC’s trauma center.

CHOC Doctor’s Day Celebration, March 30

In recognition of Doctor’s Day, we would like to take the opportunity to recognize CHOC Children’s physicians for their dedication to the patients and families we serve. Each day they offer hope and healing through their compassionate and world-class care.

CHOC physicians are invited to attend a special Parisian-inspired luncheon, held on Friday, March 30, at 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m., at CHOC Children’s Hospital, in the Wade Education Center (located on the second floor of the CHOC West/Clinic Building). A recognition ceremony will begin promptly at noon.

Additionally, a photographer will be available on site to take professional head shots.

Please RSVP by Friday, March 22 to CHOC Business Development, at, or 714-509-4291.

U.S. News Includes CHOC Among Nation’s Best Children’s Hospitals in 2017-18 Survey

CHOC Children’s has been named one of the nation’s best children’s hospitals by U.S. News & World Report in its 2017-18 Best Children’s Hospitals rankings.

CHOC ranked in seven specialties: cancer, diabetes/endocrinology, neonatology, neurology/neurosurgery, orthopedics, pulmonology and urology, which earned a top 20 spot on the coveted list.

According to U.S. News, the Best Children’s Hospitals rankings were introduced in 2007 to help families of children with rare or life-threatening illnesses find the best medical care available.

The 11th annual rankings recognize the top 50 pediatric facilities across the United States in 10 pediatric specialties, from cancer to urology.

“The pediatric centers we rank in Best Children’s Hospitals deliver exceptionally high-quality care and deserve to be recognized for their commitment,” U.S. News Health Rankings Editor Avery Comarow said. “Children with life-threatening illnesses or rare conditions need the state-of-the-art services and expertise these hospitals provide every day.”

The U.S. News Best Children’s Hospitals rankings rely on clinical data and on an annual survey of pediatric specialists. The rankings methodology considers clinical outcomes, such as mortality and infection rates, efficiency and coordination of care delivery and compliance with “best practices.”

“At CHOC Children’s, we are steadfastly committed to delivering high-quality, safe and reliable health care to our patients,” said Dr. James Cappon, CHOC’s chief quality officer. “Recognition from U.S. News of our excellence in these seven subspecialties validates our efforts, but also provides our patients and families with even more assurance of our commitment to excelling in all areas of care.”

Survival rates, adequacy of nurse staffing, procedure and patient volume, availability of programs for particular illnesses and conditions and more can be viewed at

Help Me Grow Orange County Wins National Innovation Challenge

Help Me Grow Orange County, which became operational at CHOC Children’s in 2007 to help ensure the community’s children and families are connected to developmental services, was named the winner of the 10K Innovation Challenge. The Help Me Grow National Center and Connecticut Children’s Advancing Kids Innovation Program (AKIP) invited the nation’s 28 Help Me Grow affiliates to submit innovative ideas, models or approaches that promote children’s healthy development and can be replicated by other affiliates.

Four finalists were selected among all submissions to receive technical assistance from AKIP in defining and describing their innovation to a panel of experts at the 8th Annual Help Me Grow National Forum, held in St., Paul, Minnesota.  After an audience vote, Help Me Grow Orange County was declared the winner, receiving $10,000 from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation to support the continued growth— and expansion to other affiliates— of their innovation.

Help Me Grow Orange County was honored for effectively using collaboration, linked technology and the Help Me Grow infrastructure to improve developmental screening rates for children in family child care settings.   Currently, young children cared for in such settings do not experience developmental screening rates equivalent to children in center-based settings.  As a result, they are typically not getting identified and connected to services that can help them overcome certain challenges they may be facing for healthy growth and development.

To address this gap, Help Me Grow Orange County created a link to developmental screening questionnaires available to childcare providers.  The questionnaires are automatically scored using an online system, and results are imported into a database used for intake, referrals and care coordination.  Screening results are shared with families, early care and education providers, and pediatric health care providers.  Children who are determined to be in the at-risk or monitoring categories receive referrals and follow-up care coordination from the Help Me Grow staff.

“We are elated to have won the 10K Innovation Challenge,” says Rebecca Hernandez, manager, Help Me Grow Orange County. “Our participation allowed us to highlight our innovative and collaborative efforts with Quality Start OC’s Quality Rating & Improvement System.  Utilizing integrated technology, we created a more accessible and efficient process to conduct developmental screening for young children in family child care.  We are certain these children are connected to services because they are easily linked now to Help Me Grow.  We hope we inspired our colleagues in the nation’s other affiliates to consider implementing a similar innovation.”

Help Me Grow Orange County will now be working on increasing the number of family childcare providers who utilize the link to complete developmental screenings, and developing API (Application Programming Interface) to import screening results into the OC Children’s Screening Registry.

Parents, caregivers, and providers can call Help Me Grow Orange County at 866-GROW-025 (866-476-9025) or visit to get help in navigating the developmental services system in Orange County.


CHOC Children’s Honored as a National Leader in Maintaining Outstanding Employee Engagement

CHOC Children’s has been awarded The Advisory Board Company’s 2017 Workplace of the Year Award for its commitment to fostering and maintaining high levels of employee engagement. CHOC is one of 20 organizations nationwide, and one of only two freestanding children’s hospitals, to receive the award.

“CHOC’s vision to be the leading destination for children’s health by providing exceptional and innovative care starts with its extraordinary and engaged employees. That’s one of the reasons we work so hard to foster engagement and create a best place to work,” said Tom Capizzi, CHOC’s vice president, human resources. “We create opportunities, including an annual survey, whereby our employees can feel comfortable in providing us their candid feedback so we can continue to honor our commitment to them, as well as to our patients and their families.”

Engaged employees, as defined by The Advisory Board Company, are those who exhibit both loyalty and commitment to the organization. These employees are willing to expend discretionary effort, often going above and beyond to help the organization succeed. The award recognizes CHOC’s commitment to creating a best-in-class work environment for its employees.

“Engaging the workforce is arguably more important now than ever before, with all signs indicating that we are heading into a staffing shortage,” said Steven Berkow, executive director, Survey Solutions at The Advisory Board Company. “With a significant portion of the workforce retiring in the coming years and non-traditional employers encroaching on talent, hospitals and health systems must be laser-focused on engaging their staff. Our award winners have demonstrated an impressive ability to inspire the highest levels of engagement across the country while maintaining remarkably low levels of disengagement.”