You will have the opportunity to vote in one of the most historic and important presidential elections in American history. You might not realize, however, that there are several important California-specific initiatives you will be asked to consider on the same ballot. Proposition 3, the Children’s Hospital Bond Act, is one of those important initiatives.
Children’s hospitals treat the most serious and deadly diseases and conditions, including cancer, heart defects, diabetes, sickle cell anemia and cystic fibrosis. The number of children who need care in California is growing, but the space and equipment to treat them are not.
As the president and CEO of the California Children’s Hospital Association, I can assure you that children’s hospitals work every day to do everything possible to help all of the seriously ill and injured children across the state who count on us all for health care. However, California’s children’s hospitals face daunting challenges. Each year more than one million children are treated in hospitals operating at or near capacity. Many are transferred from other hospitals that don’t have the resources to treat them. Without additional capital investment in medical equipment and facilities, children’s hospitals simply will not be able to meet the needs of the region’s expanding pediatric population.
Proposition 3, the Children’s Hospital Bond Act, would provide $980 million for the 13 children’s hospitals in California to purchase state-of-the-art medical technologies and to expand so that they can make more room to take care of more kids. Not a penny from Proposition 3 can be spent on anything else but construction or equipment at children’s hospitals. These funds cannot be raided or used for other purposes. Proposition 3 is a sound investment in facilities and technology that will enable better care of children in communities across the state for generations to come.
People often express their admiration for children’s hospitals and their respect for the life-saving work done by our physicians and nurses. Please make this admiration meaningful by voting yes on Proposition 3.
Diana S. Dooley is the President and CEO of the California Children’s Hospital Association.