LLUCH - Indio

A $25,000 Coachella Valley Spotlight grant from the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation will expand pediatric sports medicine care in the Coachella Valley through Loma Linda University Children’s Health. With the opening of the Indio Outpatient Pavilion in 2018 and thousands of valley children participating in organized sports, the need for specialized care became evident quickly.

“Diagnosis and treatment for child athletes is much different than adults, because their physical development is still underway," said Jonathan Smits, MD, pediatric sports medicine physician at Children’s Health. “If not treated appropriately, musculoskeletal injuries can follow a child into adulthood causing future healthcare issues and physical limitations.”

Grant funds will purchase some of the initial equipment needed to help build the new program in Indio, such as a hand-held ultrasound machine and a portable automated defibrillator (AED) to support patients in the field. Durable medical equipment, including knee and ankle braces, splint/casting supplies, and other sports medicine equipment will also be purchased with the funds.

Approximately 3,800 patients receive care at the clinic in Indio. A dedicated pediatrician training in sports medicine will provide expertise in injury prevention, treatment and management with an emphasis on preserving future growth and function and safe-to-return play.

“With no other dedicated program like this in area, Loma Linda University Children’s Health is fulfilling a specific need that can help thousands of school-aged children participating in sports in our valley,” said Catharine Reed, vice president of Charitable Programs for the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation.

For more information about LLU Children’s Health, visit lluch.org.