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Study shows California’s Partners for Children program benefits children with life-threatening conditions

San Diego Hospice is the first, largest provider of Partners for Children program in the State


Researchers at UCLA have released a new policy brief on California’s Partners for Children program, a Medi-Cal Pediatric Palliative Care benefit that helps California families to address the challenges that accompany life-threatening childhood illness, suggesting a positive impact on children’s quality of life as well as cost-savings to the State.

In California, 11 counties participate in the Partners for Children program and San Diego County is the largest participant through San Diego Hospice, the County’s only service provider for the Partners for Children program.

According to the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, researchers found that participation in the Partners for Children program improved quality of life for the child and the family, noting less time spent in a hospital, as well as an 11 percent decrease in medical costs.

Families on the program have reported less stress, greater emotional and physical health, a reduction in unnecessary emergency room visits, and fewer and shorter hospitalizations. 

San Diego County residents, Anna and Debra Zeldin, shared why Partners for Children makes a difference in their lives.    
“This program is important to me because I get treatments at home so I don’t have to live in pain,” said Anna Zeldin, a seven-year-old Partners for Children participant living with congenital anomalies. “And if I get a treatment at night, that means I don’t have to sleep in pain.”
“What Partners for Children has meant for me and my family is that we don’t have to go into the ER constantly or call 911 when Anna has a medical issue,” said Debra Zeldin, mother of Anna and two other children. “As a single mom, it has brought a sense of normalcy to my family and there is a huge relief in knowing that Anna is receiving the care she needs, in the comfort of her home, so that she doesn’t have to live in pain.”                   
“The Partners for Children program has made a positive impact overall, especially regarding the fiscal challenges of caring for chronically ill children” said Jan Wyss, Program Manager for San Diego Hospice’s Partners for Children Program. The program allows high-quality, cost-effective care to be delivered to chronically ill children in the comfort of their home"
San Diego Hospice works in partnership with the Children’s Hospice and Palliative Care Coalition (CHPCC), who initiated and led the effort to establish the Partners for Children pilot program and continues to spearhead the implementation process throughout the State.

“CHPCC has been a leading advocate and change agent in the pediatric palliative care movement for more than ten years,” said Devon Dabbs, Co-founder and Executive Director of CHPCC. “We partner with families and healthcare organizations like San Diego Hospice to build programs and initiate policies which improve care for children with life-threatening conditions.”
California families interested in Partners for Children must contact their County’s CCS (California Children’s Services) office. Statewide information is available online at In San Diego County, contact the CCS office directly at (619) 528-4000, ext. 6543, as all Partners for Children referrals will need to go through the CCS office.


 Partners for Children
 San Diego Hospice

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