Today's Law As Amended


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AB-1457 Public Level IV neonatal intensive care unit: University of California.(2021-2022)



As Amends the Law Today


SECTION 1.

 Article 6.3 (commencing with Section 92161) is added to Chapter 2 of Part 57 of Division 9 of Title 3 of the Education Code, to read:

Article  6.3. Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the University of California School of Medicine in the County of Riverside
92161.
 (a) This article shall be known, and may be cited, as the Construction of a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the University of California School of Medicine in the County of Riverside Act.
(b) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) A robust and functioning neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is essential to providing comprehensive care for critically ill premature and full-term infants and to care for high-risk pregnancies and newborns requiring a high level of care, including twins, triplets, and other multiples.
(2) A regional NICU offers specialized care and family-centered care for critically ill newborns with complex care needs in one location for high-risk expectant mothers and their babies that includes, but is not limited to, highly trained neonatologists, nurses, respiratory therapists, nutritionists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and social workers.
(3) The Inland Empire, with a population of more than 4,200,000 people, is one of the most populous regions of the state. The unique needs and concerns of the Inland Empire are distinct and different from those even in other parts of southern California, including the Counties of Los Angeles and Orange.
(4) There is currently only one Level II NICU at the Loma Linda University Medical Center at the Murrieta campus, but if a newborn needs a higher level of care, the newborn is transported to the Level IV NICU at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital that services the Inland Empire region.
(5) Regionally, there are three NICUs, two in the County of Orange and one in the City of Loma Linda.
(6) There is no NICU in the Inland Empire operated by the University of California. Indeed, there is only one school of medicine in the entire region that is accredited to contract physicians and neonatal nurse practitioners, and provide pediatric residents a phenomenal educational experience in the NICU.
(7) The geographical distance between many Inland Empire communities and Westwood or the City of Irvine, especially with traffic congestion factored in, makes access to a special care nursery logistically difficult for prospective critically ill newborns with complex care needs in the Counties of Riverside and San Bernardino.
(8) The lack of a NICU in the Inland Empire is detrimental not only to prospective newborns with complex needs, but to the health of the neonatologists, pediatric neurologists, surgeons, specialty-trained nurses, and specialists in every pediatric subspecialty in the region as we encounter a physician shortage in the state.
(c) The sum of ____ dollars ($____) is hereby appropriated from the General Fund to the Regents of the University of California each fiscal year, commencing with the 2021–22 fiscal year, to be expended only for the creation, construction, and establishment of a public Level IV neonatal intensive care unit in the County of Riverside administered by the University of California.