In my five years as a member of the Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital (LAOH) Board of Directors, I have had the opportunity to see time and again how quality and compassionate care changes the lives of children.
You can read some of their stories inside. Children like Loralynn, Oscar, Jenna, and Ben, who came with their families to LAOH when either a genetic or acquired condition threatened their mobility, and for whom we were able to achieve and restore that ability. There are also children for whom surgery and treatment, while improving the quality of life, may not return them to full mobility and function. These children have severe and often multiple disabling musculoskeletal injuries and disorders. Children like Sydney, an astonishingly bright spirit, who, while limited in her physical capacity, nonetheless experiences expanded opportunities thanks to her treatment at LAOH.
These children – and thousands more every year – experience challenges that impact their quality of life.
Most of the children we treat have already been seen at an emergency room and been told they had to go somewhere else. Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital is that “somewhere else.” We are the provider for many of the children of our community whose families struggle with insufficient access to pediatric orthopaedic services, and who – before they found us – had given up hope. We are also the provider for all families who know that our care is, quite simply, the best available in our community for children’s pediatric diseases and disorders, however common or complex these conditions.
The comprehensive nature of our services could not be more timely. According to research presented in October 2012 at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference, the number of orthopaedic surgeons willing to see a child with a broken arm who is covered by Medicaid has dropped 39 percent, and even children with private insurance face significant obstacles in getting a timely appointment. Underinsured children have difficulty accessing care for their fractures and even those with private insurance are being turned away at an increasing rate. This has resulted in a greater number of children being referred to hospitals for routine injuries, and many families are forced to drive long distances to access this care, placing a burden on families that often have limited resources.
Our alliance with UCLA Health System has brought new and expanded programs for patient care, research and education. We believe that it is essential that we provide outstanding patient care today, and search for better treatment procedures and the prevention of disabling diseases that can decimate a child’s life, while also teaching other clinicians how to best care for children with these crippling disorders.
I have been privileged to have spent time with our outstanding team of clinicians, dedicated staff and volunteers, and an impressive and passionate Board. These remarkable individuals manage to utilize very limited resources to the fullest ability in order to give our children the very best care. On behalf of all of the children of LAOH, thank you for supporting our mission and for contributing to their health and well-being.
Chairman of the Board