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Futures worth fighting for
care center-1 copy
Renderings of the specialty care center proposed by Valley Childrens Healthcare in North Modesto immediately east of the Costco and Savemart on Pelandale Avenue off Highway 99. - photo by PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED

Valley Children’s Hospital — the go to place in Madera for children facing life threatening medical conditions from Stockton to Bakersfield — is more than a two hour drive from Manteca, Ripon, and Lathrop.
While surgeries have to be done there, follow-up care and outpatient needs could be done elsewhere.
That is why the non-profit Valley Children’s Healthcare moving toward breaking ground later this year on a six-acre specialty care center campus on Pelandale Avenue in North Modesto. There is currently a small outpatient campus on McHenry Avenue in Modesto.
Last year, 18,000 children from Stanislaus County alone were treated by Valley Children’s. Patients also included youngsters from Manteca and Ripon.
Those patients that require follow-up care to surgery and treatments such as chemotherapy have to make round trips approaching five hours from South San Joaquin County to Madera.
And because Valley Children’s won’t refuse treatment if a family is unable to pay, the hospital emergency room handles between 450 and 500 patients on any given day with roughly half needed medical attention that doesn’t require hospitalization.
The openings of a larger Modesto outpatient care center will help reduce that load as well as slash travel time for patients.
The Madera ER is the busiest in California among pediatric hospitals. They also handle more inpatient cases than any pediatric hospital north of San Diego. They perform more than 12,000 pediatric surgeries a year. The Madera hospital has a medical staff of 550 physicians and 358 licensed beds.
Air George — the helicopter named after the hospital’s iconic giraffe mascot — makes two to three flights a day to transport patients needing immediate attention from throughout its service area.
The face of Valley Children’s in the South County for the past few years has been the Labor Day weekend balloon festival in Ripon that has chosen the pediatric hospital as one of its benefactors. It has working relationships with a number of valley hospitals included Memorial in Modesto and Emmanuel in Turlock.
They are also affiliated with Stanford Children’s Health to deliver access to more than 1,900 primary and specialty care physicians for the 3.5 million children of Northern and Central California.
Valley Children’s was recently ranked as one of the nation’s top 20 pediatric hospitals by U.S. News & World Report.
National data shows Valley Children’s patient survival rate is at 95.4 percent compared to the mean of 84.6 percent.
The proposed Pelandale complex will be located immediatly east of the Costco and SaveMart. It can be expanded in the future to 10 acres.
It will include an interactive theatre where children can be kept occupied learning about the human body much like they can at the high tech Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose.
The Modesto project carries a $26.6 million price tag. The non-profit’s foundation needs to raise $5 million from the community to make it possible.
There are naming opportunities for donors who wish to provide significant amounts toward the project. They range from $10,000 for a telemedicine cart and $50,000 for a procedure room to $150,000 for a giraffe statue, $500,000 for the imaging department or a playground and $5 million for a building name.
For more information go to where opportunities to learn more about the hospital and healthcare website can be found on their website dubbed “Futures Worth Fighting For.”

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email