Humanitarian Care for Unaccompanied Children
“Our pediatric and family medicine physicians, nurses and child-life specialists from UCLA Health and UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital in partnership with UC Irvine Health and Children’s Hospital of Orange County bring expertise and compassionate care, and we are honored to support this important humanitarian effort undertaken by HHS.”
– Johnese Spisso, president of UCLA Health and CEO of the UCLA Hospital System
UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital, UC Irvine Health, CHOC providers care for unaccompanied children in Long Beach
On April 23, approximately 150 unaccompanied children were moved from U.S. Customs and Border Protection facilities to the Long Beach Convention Center Emergency Intake Site (EIS). The children were welcomed by staff and health care providers, including physicians and nurses from UCLA Health and UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital, who were on hand to provide medical services.
“UCLA Health, in partnership with UC Irvine Health and CHOC, immediately responded to help U.S. Health & Human Services provide on-site medical care to the unaccompanied children at the Long Beach Convention Center,” said Johnese Spisso, president of UCLA Health and CEO of the UCLA Hospital System. “Our pediatric and family medicine physicians, nurses and child-life specialists from UCLA Health and UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital bring expertise and compassionate care, and we are honored to support this important humanitarian effort undertaken by HHS.”
The EIS has a potential capacity of 1,000 beds. To get the site up and running and to ensure that clinical teams can focus on patient care, UCLA Heath pulled together IT systems, pharmaceuticals, equipment, supplies, personal protective equipment, lab point of care testing, and stand-up support systems. UCLA Health and UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital has more than a dozen family medicine and pediatric physicians on site providing care. UCI Health and Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) also are supporting this effort.
In addition to clean and comfortable accommodations and medical services, the EIS is providing meals and snacks, clothing, toiletries and laundry service. In line with CDC guidelines, all children are screened for COVID-19 to prevent and control this communicable disease. The goal is to ensure that children are safe and healthy until they can be unified with family members or other suitable sponsors.
“UCLA Health is committed to uplifting communities near and far by providing exceptional care that is rooted in kindness and respect," said Medell Briggs-Malonson, MD, MPH, chief of Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion for the UCLA Hospital and Clinic System. "We are honored to provide compassionate support to the children during this challenging time.”
UCLA Health and UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital will continue to participate in this humanitarian effort and provide health care to unaccompanied children in the coming months.