UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, a part of UC San Francisco, and Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland (Children’s Oakland), located in California, have joined forces to provide comprehensive paediatric care and strengthen their national leadership in paediatric education and research, and advocacy.

The affiliation is effective as of 1 January 2014 and brings together the two Bay Area children’s hospitals, strengthening their abilities to meet marketplace expectations, including the Affordable Care Act.

The affiliation gives patients access to what is now the largest network of children’s medical providers in Northern California, including a coordinated network of paediatric care from the Oregon border to San Luis Obispo, and as far east as Reno.

The alliance helps improve the combined financial operating performance of both Children’s Oakland and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital to support state-of-the-art equipment purchases, facility expansion and upgrades, and seismic compliance.

The affiliation is also designed to provide better health care value to consumers through higher quality care, lower costs and more coordinated access to services at hospital locations on both sides of the Bay, as well as medical facilities throughout Northern California.

UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital CEO Mark Laret said the partnership promises to elevate the health of all children, especially the most vulnerable patients.

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"Both institutions have a longstanding commitment to public service, and by working together we are better able to deliver on that commitment," Laret added.

"The synergies created by these two respected institutions coming together allows children and families to benefit from greater depth and breadth of pediatric expertise."

In addition to the two main hospitals in San Francisco and Oakland, patients can now access more than 800 paediatricians and paediatric specialists at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital and Children’s Oakland, as well as hundreds of community-based paediatricians affiliated with the two hospitals.

The two hospitals jointly offer more than 65 different paediatric medical specialities and subspecialities including transplant, sickle cell, orthopaedics, neurology, cardiology, thalassemia, paediatric rehab, and asthma and diabetes care.

While Children’s Oakland will remain separately licensed and retain its own board of directors and separate medical staff, the hospitals will share best practices for the delivery of high-quality paediatric care.

Children’s Oakland CEO Dr Bert Lubin said, "The synergies created by these two respected institutions coming together allows children and families to benefit from greater depth and breadth of pediatric expertise as well as innovation that is possible by working together."

Children’s Hospital Oakland is one of only two solely designated California Level One paediatric trauma centres in the region and has one of the largest paediatric intensive care units in Northern California.