John Muir Health and Stanford Children’s Health Continue to Grow Partnership and Services in Contra Costa County

Muir Health
and Stanford
Children’s Health
are continuing to expand access to children’s
specialty care services in Contra Costa County through an innovative
partnership launched just a few years ago. Local families now have
access to nearly 50 pediatric specialist physicians and nurse
practitioners in 14 different specialties, including cardiology,
gastroenterology, orthopedics and sports medicine, pulmonology, urology
and more.

“We listened and responded to the requests from our community and
general pediatricians to enhance and expand the availability of
children’s specialty services in our community so families could access
and receive the care they need close to home,” said Jane Willemsen,
president and CAO of John Muir Health’s Walnut Creek medical center.
“Our partnership is exceeding what we originally envisioned and
continues to grow, all for the benefit of our community and young
patients and their families.”

“Stanford Children’s Health has long been committed to successful
community partnerships with Bay Area health care providers,” said
Christopher G. Dawes, president and CEO of Stanford Children’s Health.
“Our strong partnership with John Muir Health increases access and
convenience to world-class pediatric specialty care and is a very
successful example of how our combined strengths can benefit the

The partnership includes outpatient, inpatient, neonatal and emergency
care, which enables children with conditions ranging from allergies to
more complex illnesses to see specialists locally through John Muir
Health. In April 2015, John Muir Health and Stanford Children’s Health
jointly opened a state-of-the art pediatric intensive care unit (PICU)
at John Muir Medical Center, Walnut Creek — the only one of its kind in
Contra Costa County. The PICU is complemented by a 16-bed child and
adolescent unit and 35-bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) also at
the Walnut Creek medical center.

In just 18 months, the PICU team of Stanford Children’s Health
physicians and John Muir Health nurses and staff has cared for 450
critically ill children. The PICU offers leading-edge medical
technology, and a broad complement of pediatric specialists, including
pediatric-trained nursing staff, pediatric anesthesiologists,
radiologists, neurologists, surgeons, gastroenterologists, orthopedists,
oncologists, and hematologists, among others. John Muir Health and
Stanford Children’s Health are also in the process of finalizing all
necessary steps to have the PICU certified by California Children’s
Services (CCS), a rigorous and exclusive certification program for the
treatment of children with complex medical conditions.

“Pediatric specialists are rare. In partnership with Stanford Children’s
Health, we have broadened our services so we can care for children and
families close to home, right here in Contra Costa County,” said Budi
Wiryawan, M.D. medical director, John Muir Health PICU, and clinical
associate professor of pediatric critical care medicine at Stanford
University School of Medicine. “It’s a privilege to work with a team of
professionals so dedicated to working with children and families, a team
that consistently goes above and beyond to deliver top quality care for
children with critical needs.”

The need for PICU and other specialty services in Contra Costa County
has been proven many times in the past few years. “My son had a near
drowning experience last year, when he was four years old. We performed
CPR on site and he was brought to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut
Creek where he was treated by the team in the PICU. The doctor was
concerned about the 24-48 hour window post resuscitation, as my son
could have had a fatal injury to his brain and lungs,” said Sadie
Hannah, parent of a former John Muir Health PICU patient.

“I remember walking into the unit and seeing the kindness in the team’s
eyes, as if they knew exactly how we felt and knew exactly what to do. I
knew immediately we were in the right place for healing. The atmosphere
was quiet and serene, it seemed we had 100 percent of the staff’s
attention. We had caring, honest discussions with the medical team. We
are grateful to John Muir Health for its quality care, good
communication, quiet comfort, and its location close to home. Thankfully
my son is fine. He returned to swim lessons five days after being in the
PICU and started kindergarten this year.”

“It’s heartwarming to hear the stories of children who we have cared for
and to meet their grateful parents,” said Willemsen. “We’ve always been
here for our patients and the community, but now we can treat and care
for children of all ages.”

For more information about the specialty services available at John Muir
Health through the Stanford Children’s Health partnership, please visit

About John Muir Health

John Muir Health is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit health care
organization east of San Francisco serving patients in Contra Costa,
eastern Alameda and southern Solano Counties. It includes a network of
more than 1,000 primary care and specialty physicians, nearly 6,000
employees, medical centers in Concord and Walnut Creek, including Contra
Costa County’s only trauma center, and a Behavioral Health Center. John
Muir Health also has partnerships with Tenet Healthcare/San Ramon
Regional Medical Center, UCSF Medical Center and Stanford Children’s
Health to expand its capabilities, increase access to services and
better serve patients. The health system offers a full-range of medical
services, including primary care, outpatient and imaging services, and
is widely recognized as a leader in many specialties – neurosciences,
orthopedic, cancer, cardiovascular, trauma, emergency, pediatrics and
high-risk obstetrics care.

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About Stanford Children’s Health

Stanford Children’s Health is the largest Bay Area health care
enterprise exclusively dedicated to children and expectant mothers. At
the heart of our network is the renowned Lucile Packard Children’s
Hospital Stanford in Palo Alto. Together with our Stanford
physicians, nurses, and staff, we can be accessed within 10
miles of most Bay Area homes through partnerships, collaborations,
outreach, specialty clinics and primary care practices at more than 60
locations across Northern California and 100 locations in the U.S.
western region. We are a leader in world-class, nurturing care and
extraordinary outcomes in every pediatric and obstetric specialty, with
care ranging from the routine to rare, regardless of a family’s ability
to pay. As a non-profit, we are committed to supporting our community –
from caring for uninsured or underinsured kids, homeless teens and
pregnant moms, to helping re-establish school nurse positions in local
schools. Learn more at
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Happy Lives blog
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John Muir Health
Ben Drew, 925-947-5387