Fiscal Year 2020

Clinical Infograph
Research Infograph
National Rankings


Fiscal Year 2020

Total Coummunity Benefit
Total Coummunity Benefit keys




Education icon
Long focused on educating the next generation of pediatric caregivers, the hospital expanded its efforts to educate families and the community about the nature of the coronavirus and how to protect against it. In the initial weeks of COVID-19, we disseminated information to help keep people safe, with online content in eight languages viewed by more than 1 million people around the world. In a series of educational blogs related to COVID-19, our experts covered topics such as the proper way of wearing and handling face coverings to how to tend to kids’ emotional well-being. We also worked to assure families that it was safe to bring children to the hospital when they’re sick, even during a pandemic—as maintaining children’s health is always essential.
Growth icon
With the pandemic compelling families to stay at home, CHLA responded by introducing telehealth services through our Connected Care program, offering families access to CHLA doctors from the comfort of their home. The hospital experienced an overwhelming response to these telehealth options. A vivid example comes from the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) mental health program at CHLA. In 2020, from Jan. 1 through March 14, telehealth visits made up less than 1% of total patient visits; almost all services were performed on-site or in patients’ homes. From March 15 through Nov. 15, the proportion of telehealth visits jumped to 84.5%. The transition to telehealth has been so successful, the program is planning to maintain a hybrid model even after the pandemic ends.
Innovation icon
CHLA developed a digital symptom assessment tool to screen anyone coming into the hospital, including all team members, for COVID-19 and flag any high-risk individuals for further evaluation and testing. The web-based tool prompts individuals to answer questions about symptoms they may be experiencing that are indicative of the coronavirus, and whether they’ve had close contact with anyone who has tested positive. The tool has been so effective that several schools have adopted it to support their efforts to reopen for in-person instruction. CHLA is working with several school districts and health agencies in L.A. County to implement the screening assessment tool for team members who are coming on campus for administrative duties and teacher in-service sessions.
Patient care icon
Expertise combined with foresight permitted CHLA to take early steps to keep patients, families and team members safe during the pandemic. In February 2020, Jennifer Dien Bard, PhD, D(ABMM), Director of the hospital’s Clinical Microbiology and Virology Laboratory, reached out to Alexander Judkins, MD, Department Head of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and Maurice O’Gorman, PhD, MSc, Chief of Laboratory Medicine, to outline a plan that resulted in the development of on-site testing for the coronavirus. With their support, she and her team began acquiring test kits and reagents—the solutions needed for the tests. When a nationwide shortage of testing reagents occurred during the early months of the pandemic, CHLA had the resources it needed to protect the children of Southern California.
Philanthropy icon
In December 2019, a $25 million gift from the Margie and Robert E. Petersen Foundation established an endowment supporting three of the hospital’s signature programs: the Cancer and Blood Disease Institute, The Vision Center and Inpatient Rehabilitation Services. As the pandemic intensified in the U.S. in March 2020, Make March Matter still brought in more than $1 million. The hospital also launched a COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund that, thus far, has drawn $4.7 million in donations in the form of money, food and supplies to support patient care. The community continued to rally its support for CHLA through participation in Walk and Play L.A. and other virtual events, such as those hosted by the hospital’s Associate and Affiliate groups.
Research icon
CHLA investigators pivoted their work to advance understanding of COVID-19. Michael Neely, MD, MSc, served as lead investigator on a study to determine the safety and efficacy of treating children with existing available therapeutics. Xiaowu Gai, PhD, joined with Jennifer Dien Bard, PhD, as co-leaders on studies to discover why the virus affects patients of varying ages, ethnicities and geographic locations differently by studying the virus’s genomic characteristics. Linda Szymanski, DO, worked with the L.A. County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner to analyze postmortem blood samples to identify the earliest presence of disease and establish a timeline of infection in L.A. that could assist in predicting future disease spread.
Community icon
CHLA amplified the hospital’s commitment to supporting families near its campus through expanding Community Food Access initiatives in the greater L.A. area. The hospital’s Community Affairs team recruited faculty and staff to become members of the Community Impact Champions Network (CICN)—volunteers who work in collaboration with local civic, business and community partners. This year, partners included City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, the East Hollywood Neighborhood Council, Rick’s Produce Market and the Hollywood Food Coalition. In all, CHLA reclaimed more than 36,000 pounds of perishable food to redistribute as more than 30,000 meals. This involved the work of more than 80 CHLA volunteers who spent more than 400 hours preparing 2,250 boxes of fresh produce for local families in need.


Paul VivianoPaul Viviano
In no uncertain terms, 2020 was a year like no other. With unprecedented speed, COVID-19 upended social norms, confounded global economies and has taken millions of lives while infecting more than a hundred million more. Those in the health care sphere in particular were forced to tackle the magnitude of this global pandemic head-on.
I am proud to say that at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, there was never any question that we would rise to the occasion, respond rapidly and innovate to meet the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19.
This Annual Report reflects the vigilance, professionalism, skill, adaptability and perseverance that advanced the hospital’s mission to create hope and build healthier futures—all while protecting our precious young patients, their families and our team members from the coronavirus.
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles researchers and clinicians foresaw the emerging threat and acted to ensure that the hospital would be able to test patients and team members for COVID-19 within days of the pandemic being declared. CHLA pediatric sub-specialists provided multilingual COVID-19 resources for the community and became trusted national experts on the devastating inflammatory effects that the disease could have on children. The launch of the hospital’s Connected Care services grew our digital care footprint, which by year’s end tallied nearly 800 clinicians conducting more than 80,000 telehealth visits.
In short, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles continues to find ways to provide essential, world-class pediatric care for all children, including those with the most complex conditions and circumstances. This became the year that COVID-19 pressed our doctors, nurses, researchers and team members to handle nearly everything differently.
My pride in the work that was accomplished this past year is immense. I hope as you read this Annual Report, you will be equally proud of the dedication of this team, which continues to shine and provide superior clinical care. When parents choose this hospital, they can be confident they are selecting the best care for children in California—a place that remains one of the top 5 children’s hospitals in the nation and continues to provide a safe environment of hope, compassion and healing for children.



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