Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) has received a $10 million donation from the Argyros Family Foundation in support of The Fetal Care Center of Southern California. A unique collaboration between CHOC and UCI Health, the Center brings together world-class experts in maternal-fetal medicine and pediatrics to care for families facing severe diagnoses in their unborn babies, and to care for these babies upon delivery. Since opening last year, the center has seen more than 700 patients, including babies with extremely rare conditions. The Argyros’ transformational gift will enable CHOC to grow its fetal care program, including adding staff and becoming a hub for groundbreaking research on fetal disorders.
“CHOC and UCI Health are committed to improving maternal and fetal health in Orange County and beyond. We are very grateful to the Argyros family for their extraordinary support, which will enable us to become one of the premier fetal programs in the United States,” said Dr. Peter Yu, a pediatric general and thoracic surgeon at CHOC and medical director of The Fetal Care Center of Southern California.
The Fetal Care Center was recently approved for membership in an international fetal research and oversight body whose hospitals have some of the most prestigious and well-established programs in the country. NAFTNet, for North American Fetal Therapy Network, is a voluntary association of medical centers in the U.S. and Canada with expertise in fetal surgery and other forms of multidisciplinary care for complex disorders of the fetus. CHOC’s membership represents its commitment to advancing the highest standards of fetal care and promoting more research on fetal disorders.
“The Fetal Care Center of Southern California gives expectant parents facing unexpected diagnoses access to the highest levels of expert care – for them and their babies. We are truly proud to support the great work of CHOC,” said Julia Argyros.
George and Julia Argyros, and their daughter Stephanie, have been longtime CHOC supporters. The family’s $5 million donation in 2012 was recognized by naming CHOC Hospital’s emergency department in their honor. That gift was followed five years later with $2 million to grow neonatal services. In addition to their donations, Julia and Stephanie have volunteered at key signature events benefitting the pediatric healthcare system. Julia was an early cast member of the CHOC Follies, and Stephanie has served on the CHOC Foundation Board of Directors since 2011. She has also been an executive committee member, including serving as co-chair, for the CHOC Gala, helping raise more than $5 million for CHOC.
“The Argyros family has been an integral part of CHOC’s history for more than two decades. They never waver in their dedication to making our community a better place, especially for children and families. This most recent gift will help us ensure these babies have the best chance at a happy, healthy childhood,” said CHOC President and CEO Kimberly Chavalas Cripe.
The 2,200-square-foot Fetal Care Center, located on CHOC’s Orange campus, features a spacious lobby, two echocardiogram rooms, one ultrasound room, two patient consultation rooms and a physician reading room, all set against soothing, spa-like aesthetics.
In addition to certain fetal interventions, the center currently offers:
- Fetal diagnostics
- Treatment planning
- After-birth care
- A full complement of specialties, including cardiology, genetics, maternal-fetal medicine, neonatology, neurology, neurosurgery, otolaryngology, orthopedic surgery, pediatric general and thoracic surgery, plastic surgery, urology and more.