Children’s HealthCare of California and Rady Children’s Hospital and Health Center have signed an agreement to merge Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) and Rady Children Hospital-San Diego (Rady Children’s) in the US, under a new parent company named Rady Children’s Health.

The new health system is designed to enhance patient outcomes, accelerate research and innovation, and attract talent in the paediatric field in Southern California.

It also aims to increase access to care, promote health equity, and train future healthcare professionals.

The merger is subject to customary regulatory reviews and is expected to be finalised in 2024.

CHOC president and CEO Kimberly Chavalas Cripe, and Rady Children’s president and CEO Patricio A Frias will lead the new company as co-CEOs.

Both hospitals will maintain separate medical staff and governing boards, and will also maintain their affiliations with the University of California’s medical schools at UC Irvine and UC San Diego.

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Rady Children’s board of trustees chair Paul Hering said: “CHOC and Rady Children’s, both nationally recognised for clinical excellence and compassionate care, have put forward a shared vision that puts children and their families first, ensuring them access to the very best practitioners, treatments, and technology available in paediatric medicine.”

CHOC board of directors chair Doug McCombs said: “CHOC and Rady Children’s have similar missions and visions and complementary cultures, focused on innovation, and a dynamic history of collaboration that has enhanced children’s health in our communities.”

CHOC and Rady Children’s have worked together for over ten years on critical projects such as Baby Bear, an initiative to diagnose rare diseases in infants using rapid whole genome sequencing (rWGS), and the Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative grant.

These collaborative works facilitated the integration of CHOC and Rady Children’s.