Children’s Hospital L.A. would be hampered by AB1250: Guest commentary

Two years ago, Monique Saldaña became a mother at age 16. Lost and unsure, she dropped out of high school. She credits the support system she built with her case manager and other teen mothers at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) for helping her navigate this confusing time.

Today, Monique is back in school and successfully juggling her studies, caring for her daughter and holding down a job. She’s on track to graduate in June, wants to be a registered nurse and often shares her story with other teen parents.

Though Monique calls herself an independent single mom, she also says having partners in her journey who understood her struggle made a huge difference. We at CHLA value partnerships for the same reasons.

California nonprofits have long partnered with county governments to deliver vital services to vulnerable populations, including Medi-Cal and uninsured patients. CHLA’s Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine was founded in 1963 to create hope and build healthier futures for one of the most vulnerable populations of all — young people inadequately served by local hospitals and health care services.

For five decades, we have been at the forefront of providing patient care for youth; substance abuse prevention and treatment; support for young and expectant parents; and HIV prevention and care for adolescents and young adults throughout the Los Angeles metropolitan area.

We accomplish this by collaborating and contracting with governmental agencies in L.A. County, entities that value our tangible results, medical expertise, and focus on reaching and helping youth. CHLA doctors, nurses, therapists and health educators specialize in addressing the unique needs of young people with the flexibility to bring these services to the schools, community centers, playgrounds and other areas where young people hang out. Our Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine team averages 35,000 visits a year by…

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