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Orange County Digest / Local News in Brief

Orange : Renewed Hospital Ties No Longer Opposed

February 17, 1988

Parents of children who have been treated at Childrens Hospital of Orange County have withdrawn their opposition to a planned reaffiliation between that hospital and UCI Medical Center.

The group of about 20 parents had been concerned that the proposed July 1 merger would reduce the quality of care at CHOC. But after a four-hour meeting last week with UCI doctors, the parents said their concerns were allayed.

One of the parents' main concerns was that medical residents would be allowed to work in CHOC's neonatal intensive care unit. Sheila Azzara, spokeswoman for the parents, said UCI assured them that this would not happen.

Azzara said the CHOC parents were also comforted by the presence at the meeting of about 20 families whose children have been treated at UCI. Those parents told the CHOC parents that they had experienced the same fears of the residents touching their babies but that their children had received the best of care.

The hospitals broke their 17-year association two years ago after CHOC accused UCI of trying to gain control over it in an effort to keep tabs on growing hospital competition in the county. Under the new arrangement, still to be ratified by the UC Board of Regents, UCI will send physicians and residents to work at CHOC and Childrens Hospital will regain access to the university's medical research.

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