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Inside the Icon: Rady Children’s Hospital

The world-renowned pediatric hospital and research institution provides care to more than 150,000 children annually
Photo by Paul Body

By Christina Orlovsky Page

Brain Trust

The Neuro-Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (Neuro-NICU) is the only one in SoCal, one of only 10 in the nation, and is led by Dr. Mary Harbert, one of only 30 neonatal neurointensivists in the world. The program aims to prevent brain injury in infants at risk of neurological problems, such as seizures.

Frozen Treats

More than 21,000 popsicles are given out to patients each year.

Philanthropic Finery

Lena Sefton Clark, mother of Dallas Clark, chaired the first annual Charity Ball in 1909. The 106th Charity Ball is planned for January 31, 2015, and will benefit the Neuro-Oncology Program.

Before It Bloomed

Civic leader Dallas Clark persuaded city officials in the 1950s to build the hospital on its present Kearny Mesa spot which, back then, was a gladiola farm.

Generous Donors

Originally known as The Children’s Hospital, it was renamed Rady Children’s Hospital–San Diego in 2006 in recognition of a major gift from Evelyn and Ernest Rady.

Local, State, National Leader

It was the first to provide proton therapy to a pediatric cancer patient in San Diego, the first earthquake-safe and LEED-certified acute care facility in California, and the first to implant magnetic growing rods in scoliosis patients in the U.S.

Lone Star

The hospital serves as San Diego’s only pediatric trauma center. It also has the only pediatric blood and bone marrow transplant programs in the region.

60 Years and Growing

When it opened in 1954, the hospital had room to care for 12 patients. Today, it holds 520 beds.

Striving for Egg-cellence

On the second floor of the Acute Care Pavilion is a healing garden that includes a golden egg hunt. Once a patient finds all 12 eggs, she/he can place a wish in the locket of Marisa, the garden’s mosaic bird. Hospital staff later read the wishes to learn how to better meet their patients’ needs.

Canine Candy Stripers

To help reduce patients’ stress, 33 dogs (and handlers) of the PetSmart Paws for Hope Program make 15,000 bedside visits each year.

Inside the Icon: Rady Children’s Hospital

Photo by Paul Body

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