Global Health Program - International Patient Services

About the Global Health Program for International Patients

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is the No. 1 pediatric hospital in the western U.S. and among the top 5 hospitals in the nation. Caring for children from six continents and 70 countries, we support the health of children and their families far beyond our country’s border.

The International Patient Services program supports the unique needs of patients and families traveling from their home country to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Our team helps your child get the right care. We are the contact for your family to make care easier at CHLA, from supporting your referral for care with us, to getting remote second opinions to supporting telehealth visits. We answer your questions before you come, to appointments and follow-up care while you are here to a seamless return to your home country.

We are dedicated to supporting your family’s needs. 

How We Can Help Your Family

  • Provide information on CHLA’s medical specialties, services and programs best suited for your child and family’s needs
  • Schedule appointments
  • Provide a preliminary treatment plan with estimated medical costs
  • Issue a Letter of Appointment to support the visa application process required for medical travel to the U.S.
  • Coordinate for an interpreter to accompany you during appointments and family conferences, and translation services for your child’s medical records
  • Advocate for your family to ensure your health care goals and cultural needs are met
  • Provide information about transportation, housing, support services and tourist information on popular places to visit in Los Angeles

Patient Video Story - Joshua from Taiwan
 

Clinical Innovation and Excellence

Families travel to us from around the world because of our comprehensive access to experts in all areas of pediatric care. Below are just a few of the comprehensive programs that offer families from other countries hope and a reason to come to the U.S. for care.

  • Brain Disorders, Epilepsy, Neurology and Neurosurgery
  • Cancer and Blood Diseases
  • Clinical Trials
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Eyes and Vision
  • Fetal and Neonatal Care
  • Heart and Cardiology
  • Transplantation
  • Orthopaedics, Scoliosis and Spine Conditions
  • Rehabilitation
  • Robotic Surgery

The Neurological Institute’s all-inclusive program for disorders and conditions of the brain focuses on getting children the right treatment in the right timeframe—because when it comes to a child’s neurological development, time is of the essence. Our physicians listen and work closely with families to determine the proper diagnosis and most effective treatment for their child. The Institute has received the highest accreditation possible—Level IV—for its Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, which features a state-of-the-art Epilepsy Monitoring Unit and the New-Onset Seizure Clinic. The neurosurgery team performs 100 epilepsy-related procedures per year with success rates among the highest in the United States: 89 percent of surgery patients become seizure-free. We are also the only hospital in the world using a novel, highly-customized approach to treating children with dystonia using deep brain stimulation.

The Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases is the largest and top-ranked pediatric hematology-oncology program in the western United States. We have been continuously ranked No. 1 in California and in the top 10 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report since the ratings were launched in 2008. With one of the largest clinical trials programs for children with cancer and blood disorders in the U.S., we provide patients with access to the most current and promising therapies. As a founding member of CureWorks, an international collaboration designed to accelerate the development of immunotherapy treatments for childhood cancer, we are pioneering the use of immunotherapies for children with cancer who have exhausted other curative options. Our goal is to give the patients at CHLA, as well as children with cancer and blood disorders throughout the world, the highest chance for a cure and the best possible quality of life during and after treatment. 

A clinical trial is a research study where human volunteers receive a new medical intervention—a drug, device or procedure—to test if the new intervention is safe and effective. Patients who volunteer to participate in investigational studies and clinical trials are critical to our research efforts. Thousands of children and families are involved in our patient-centered studies every year. Many of the treatments used today are based on the results of past research studies and clinical trials conducted with our patients. Our scientific and clinical experts take the best ideas from the laboratory to the bedsides of patients in the form of promising new treatments.

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is ranked No. 5 in the United States for endocrinology and diabetes care according to the U.S. News & World Report. The Center for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism treats nearly 2,200 patients with diabetes and approximately 4,000 patients with other endocrine disorders each year and is at the forefront of care and research in diabetes, obesity, growth, bone, metabolism and endocrinology. We are also pioneering new tools, treatments and lifestyle-changing clinical programs for these disorders and we are actively involved in regional, national and international efforts to bring about healthier lives for children and families. 

The Vision Center is an international referral center and the only program of its kind in the U.S. with full-time faculty in every pediatric ophthalmologic subspecialty. CHLA is one of only 10 hospitals nationwide approved to deliver Luxturna, a gene therapy treatment, to improve vision for patients with a specific type of blinding retinal degeneration.

The Fetal and Neonatal Institute cares for 4,000 infants and high-risk mothers annually and is home to a Level IV neonatal intensive care unit. This distinction means that Children’s Hospital Los Angeles offers the highest possible level of care for the most critically ill preemies, newborns and infants. We are committed to helping babies with complex and often life-threatening health challenges reach their full potential. The unique care we provide can begin before a child with a complex condition is born, continue during hospitalization and last after the patient goes home. 

The Heart Institute is a worldwide leader in treating pediatric heart disease and lung disorders and a global patient referral center. Physicians perform over 1,000 cardiothoracic surgeries and more than 11,600 clinic visits annually. Outcomes are among the best in the country, with an emphasis on high-complexity surgeries in neonates.

A leader in organ transplants, CHLA has performed more than 1,714 pediatric heart, liver, intestinal and kidney procedures. The Liver Transplant Program, with more than 20 years of experience performing more than 330 liver transplants in children, is consistently rated among the top pediatric liver transplant centers in the U.S. based on volume, outcomes, and wait time to transplant. All of our solid organ transplant programs—heart, liver and kidney—maintain excellent one-year pediatric patient and graft survival rates, ranging from 96 to 100 percent, according to the January 2019 Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients. Established in 1983, our Bone Marrow Transplant Program is one of the largest, most-highly regarded pediatric programs in the world. We have performed transplants for more than 800 children, and we currently perform 45 to 55 transplants per year for infants and children with cancer and leukemia, bone marrow failure and genetic diseases including sickle cell disease, severe immune deficiencies and more.

The Children’s Orthopaedic Center provides the most comprehensive care in the western U.S. Its Children’s Spine Program is one of the largest in the nation, with 2,000 surgeries and 13,000 patients followed each year. The Center has developed innovative surgical techniques for young children with early-onset scoliosis, infantile scoliosis and other deformities in the growing spine. The Center is an all-inclusive facility that works with expert orthotists to improve braces and halos. Our physician-researchers developed the pinless halo for conditions such as torticollis and rotatory subluxation. Our Hip Preservation Program helps to delay or prevent arthritis later in life by treating disorders of the hip in children and young adults. Our goal is to help our patients develop into healthier, more active, pain-free adults.

The 22-bed Margie and Robert E. Petersen Foundation Rehabilitation Center is one of the largest acute pediatric rehabilitation centers in the country and one of just 32 in the world to earn accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities—the gold standard in rehabilitative care—for pediatric inpatient medical rehabilitation. The Center features physical and occupational therapy as well as spaces for speech therapy, recreation, private treatment, hydrotherapy and a Child Life playroom.

Our Pediatric Robotic Surgery Program is among America’s busiest, with approximately 80 surgeries annually. Robotic surgery using the da Vinci Surgical System from Intuitive Surgical allows surgeons at CHLA to perform minimally invasive reconstructive procedures with tiny keyhole incisions through the use of 3D visualization, intuitive computer-enhanced motion control and increased range of motion. To date, we have performed more than 600 robotic surgeries on children, making the program one of the most experienced centers for pediatric robotic surgery in the U.S. The program also serves as a pediatric robotic surgery research and training center for pediatric surgical specialists.

Designed for Children

Below you will find additional information about Children's Hospital Los Angeles and what makes us the highest quality and safest children's hospital in the nation that is designed with the care of children and families in mind.

  • Facts and Figures
  • Awards and Accolades
  • Patient Experience
  • What to Expect

By the numbers

  • 391 active beds
  • 106 pediatric critical care beds (more than any other hospital in the western U.S.)

Annual statistics

  • 17,081 inpatient admissions
  • More than half a million patient visits
  • 94,809 Emergency Department visits
  • 17,150 pediatric surgeries performed, including more complex surgical procedures than any other hospital in Southern California
  • 2,453 patients transported via helicopter, Learjet and ambulance—one of the largest emergency transport programs in the nation
  • 487 traumas treated

Children's Hospital Los Angeles is the top-ranked pediatric hospital on the West Coast and No. 5 in the nation, according to the U.S. News & World Report Honor Roll of children's hospitals for 2019-20. CHLA has been named to the prestigious Honor Roll for 11 consecutive years and counting. In addition, our physicians are recognized for providing outstanding care in hundreds of pediatric specialties, including all 10 specialties of clinical expertise ranked on the U.S. News & World Report Honor Roll:

  • Cancer
  • Cardiology & Heart Surgery
  • Diabetes & Endocrinology
  • Gastroenterology & GI Surgery
  • Neonatology
  • Nephrology
  • Neurology & Neurosurgery
  • Orthopaedics
  • Pulmonology
  • Urology

Our world-class medical center is also proud to be:

  • Among the 3 percent of hospitals in the world with Magnet designation by the American Nurses Credentialing Center
  • Granted the Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence in the Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses
  • Named by 16 payor networks a Center of Excellence for complex procedures and surgeries in blood and marrow transplantation, heart disease, and liver, kidney and small bowel transplantation
  • Among the top 10 children’s hospitals for National Institutes of Health funding

In addition to the high level of clinical care we provide for patients, CHLA is recognized for its patient experience and family-centered care. Our hospital received the Health Excellence Award from the National Research Corporation for the previous three consecutive years based on overall inpatient care satisfaction and high scores from families for willingness to recommend.

Cultural and Diversity Services

We make it a priority to ensure that our culturally and linguistically diverse families can communicate effectively with their doctors, nurses and other medical staff. Our Language and Cultural Specialists are nationally certified medical interpreters who have received special training to deliver interpreting services in a health care environment, as well as training in knowledge and interpretation of medical terminology. These services are provided in more than 34 languages through a combination of in-house staff and contracted telephonic and on-site interpreters.

In addition to our interpreter services, CHLA recognizes the diversity of our patients and ensures the delivery of health care services that are respectful and compatible with patients’ and families’ cultural health beliefs. To meet the special needs of our international patients and families, CHLA also offers kosher and halal meal options upon request.

Spiritual Care Services

Our program offers support and comfort to patients, families and staff of all faiths, cultures and walks of life in times of crisis, loss, injury or illness. CHLA is also home to the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation Interfaith Center with four semi-private prayer and meditation spaces to serve all faiths including, but not limited to, Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist, Jewish, Mormon, Muslim and Hindu. A shaded outdoor reflection garden with soothing water features and symbolic art provides a healing space for our patients and families from diverse spiritual and religious backgrounds.

Security for Dignitaries

If your family requires a high level of security, CHLA’s experienced security team can support your family for the duration of your visit, from the moment you arrive at the airport through the entire time that your child receives care at our hospital.

Overnight and Extended Stays

Parents are welcome 24 hours a day. There are times during the day when parents may be asked to step out of the room or unit. Both parents or legal guardians or one family-designated caregiver may be in the patient's room before and after visiting hours, which are held from 9AM – 9PM daily. Sleeping arrangements for one parent and a private bath are available in most rooms.

Before You Arrive

  • Our International Patient Services team serves as the primary point of contact for international families. As soon as you contact us, your family will be assigned to a case coordinator from our team who will be help connect you with services and manage your needs throughout your child’s treatment. 
  • Our medical team will thoroughly review your child’s medical records to determine which specialists are best suited to care for your child and come up with a preliminary treatment plan.
  • Guided by the preliminary treatment plan, your case coordinator will contact your insurer, if any, to verify coverage, provide an estimate of the cost of treatment, secure payment, schedule your child’s appointments and issue a confirmation letter that you can submit with your visa application based on medical travel to the U.S.


During Your Hospital Stay

  • Your case coordinator will meet with your family to review your child’s treatment plan and appointment schedule. CHLA will provide information about local housing, restaurants, banks, grocery stores, and other retail and specialty shops.
  • If your child and other children need medical care during your stay, including routine immunizations or emergency care, our team is here to help.

After Your Hospital Stay

  • Prior to discharge, your case coordinator will make sure you have copies of all medical records and prescriptions, along with after-care instructions and a schedule of any follow-up appointments your child may have.
  • A financial specialist will be available to review and answer questions about your final bill.
  • The International Patient Services team will continue to work with you and your family when you return home, including communications with the health care provider who takes over your child’s care.

To obtain an appointment at CHLA for treatment or evaluation:

  • Intake Form and Medical Records - You will be asked to submit a patient intake form along with a complete package of your child’s medical records, including all relevant clinical information and diagnostic test results from the last six months. If not already, you must have the entire record translated into English.
  • Clinical Triage - Our medical team will conduct a comprehensive review of your child's medical records to determine if we can offer the care your child needs. If so, we will provide you with a preliminary treatment plan and a cost estimate for the anticipated services.
  • Financial Clearance - To secure an appointment with our physicians, you will be asked to make a monetary deposit for your child’s treatment. We accept wire transfers and credit cards via Flywire, as well as international medical insurance.
  • Scheduling an Appointment - Once we receive your deposit, our team will work with your family to schedule an appointment for evaluation or care. A Letter of Appointment will be issued to assist you in the visa application process for medical travel to the U.S.

Resources for Families

Whether you come for a few days or a long-term stay, Los Angeles has a lot to offer. Commonly referred to as the City of Angels, L.A. is the second largest city in the U.S. after New York City. It is also one of the most diverse cities in the world, with more than 140 nationalities and 200 languages represented.

  • Life in Los Angeles
  • Airlines
  • Lodging
  • Government Services

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is conveniently located in the heart of Los Angeles and just a short drive from some of the city’s most interesting culturally diverse neighborhoods and restaurants. The iconic Hollywood sign, Griffith Park Observatory, the Los Angeles Zoo and major motion picture studios are all a short distance from the hospital. Paramount Pictures, Universal Studios and Warner Brothers often offer behind-the-scenes tours. On nearby Hollywood Boulevard, you can put your hands and feet into the prints of Hollywood’s greatest legends at the TCL Chinese Theatre and find your favorite entertainer’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Los Angeles has a moderate climate nearly year-round with plenty of sunshine. We are only about an hour north of Orange County, home to some of the greatest amusement parks such as Disneyland, Disney California Adventure Park and Knott's Berry Farm.

Los Angeles is also the city that some of the world’s most famous professional sports teams call home. Catch a game with the Dodgers baseball team, Lakers or Clippers basketball teams, and Rams or Chargers football team.

Stroll through our gorgeous museums. Take in a world-class symphony. Shop on Rodeo Drive. The opportunities are endless.

Learn more about things to do in Los Angeles.

Here is a list of airlines that provide non-stop flights to Los Angeles. We suggest that you call the airlines to confirm that they still offer direct and non-stop flights. 

From Asia: Air China, Cathay Pacific, China Eastern, Korean Air, United Airlines 

From the Middle East: Emirates, Etihad, Saudi Airlines, Qatar Airways

From Europe: Aeroflot, Air New Zealand, Air France, Air Tahiti Nui, American Airlines, British Airways, Delta, Iberia, KLM, Lufthansa, Swiss, United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic

Within North America: Aeromexico, American Airlines, United, Southwest, US Airways

Many short- and long-term accommodations are available in the Los Angeles area and offer a medical discount rate for patients and families at CHLA. WWStay offers patients and families one centralized location to access hotels and furnished apartments based on rates and proximity to the hospital.

Ronald McDonald House 
4560 Fountain Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90029
For international patients, contact the Center for Global Health at +1-323-361-8737 to request a room.
 

Global Health Patient Stories