Healthy Kids - Summer 2021

On the Road to Recovery



ell, San Diego, we’re doing it. We’re starting to return to life as we knew it before COVID-19. Our local vaccination rates are excellent, with nearly 70 percent of County residents inoculated with at least one dose at the time I’m writing this to you. I continue to be immensely proud of Rady Children’s role in this progress, with active participation in research initiatives to bring solutions to pediatric patients and the administration of more

@radychi ldrens Audiologists Keri Colio, Julie Strickland, Janina Woodman, Kristen Baisley and Julie Purdy test out new masks that allow patients who are deaf or hard of hearing to read their lips.

than 100,000 vaccine doses representing just a few of many highlights. I am also proud of how our community continues to come together to support one another. Even through one of the toughest years we’ve collectively lived through, your compassion and generosity was stronger than ever, and Rady Children’s reached one of our most successful fundraising years on record in terms of amount raised, number of gifts and number of donors. We also launched “Tell Them Yes,” our first-ever advertised fundraising campaign, which was an amazing part of a less-than-typical holiday season. Thank you for being a part of that, and I look forward to the opportunity to outdo ourselves once again in the coming months and years. One such opportunity lies in the mental health of the region’s children and teens. Although the influences of COVID-19 on daily life are beginning to fade, its effects on mental and emotional well-being sadly linger. During the pandemic, local psychiatric distress calls to 911 increased significantly for this age group, and our Hospital’s Emergency Department saw an average of 400 such admissions each month—up from just 40 in 2010. Rady Children’s has worked with our community and partners to enhance our capacity to offer an array of psychiatric and psychological care options, through efforts including the incredible Copley Psychiatric Emergency Department and our initiative to train primary care physicians to screen and ensure continued care for arising mental health conditions in their patients. But we’re ready to do even more. We’re collaborating with the County to develop a state-of-the-art mental health facility adjacent to our main campus, with services ranging from acute emergent care to outpatient therapy. We’re also working on exciting projects in research, in continued staff training and in ensuring every local child, no matter where they live, has access to excellent mental health care and the ability to live to their highest potential. It brings me great joy to see how far we’ve come together, and great excitement for what’s to come.

@radychi ldrens A teen rolls up his sleeve for a nurse at the Rady Children’s vaccine clinic. He says it didn’t hurt at all!

STEPHEN JENNINGS Chief External Affairs Officer and Senior Vice President, Rady Children’s Hospital; Executive Director, Rady Children’s Hospital Foundation

@radychi ldrens Awesome occupational therapists like the trio seen here help kids work on their balance, coordination and confidence.


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