Children's Hospital Los Angeles joins Autism Treatment Network

January 19, 2011

LOS ANGELES (January 19, 2011) - Following a competitive application process, Michele D. Kipke, PhD, Vice Chair of Research for the Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, was awarded a $420,000 grant which will allow the hospital to become part of the Autism Treatment Network (ATN) as an ATN Center of Clinical Excellence. The ATN is supported by Autism Speaks, which is North America's largest autism science and advocacy organization. Children's Hospital Los Angeles is the only ATN Center of Clinical Excellence in California.

"It is with great enthusiasm that we join the Autism Treatment Network. Participation will allow us to engage in cutting-edge clinical and translational research that seeks to promote both discovery and delivery of high-quality care to children with autism spectrum disorder and their families," said Dr. Kipke.

The ATN is a clinical program, administered by Autism Speaks, that serves a critical role in advancing scientific discovery and developing clinical guidelines and evidence-based approaches to meet the complex medical needs of children with an autism spectrum disorder. The ATN consists of a network of hospitals and doctors employing a common protocol for diagnosis of autism and treatment of associated medical conditions.

There are two primary autism clinics at Children's Hospital Los Angeles: the Boone Fetter Clinic and the USC University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. Larry Yin, MD, MSPH, a board-certified developmental behavioral pediatrician, provides medical leadership at both sites. Both clinics use a family-centered model for patient care. Teams conduct interdisciplinary assessments while providing access to 100 pediatric medical and surgical subspecialists, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, nutrition services, physical therapy, and vision and hearing screening. Coordination of services is performed by a nurse management team with the participation of parents as partners in the delivery of care.

"Children's Hospital Los Angeles has become one of the leading providers of autism-related assessment, diagnosis, and medical care in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California. Participation in the Autism Treatment Network will allow us the opportunity to provide cutting-edge care while continuing to leverage our internationally renown partner, the University of Southern California, in advancing highly innovative basic, clinical, translational, and community-partnered research in order to change the future for those with autism and their families," said Brent Polk, MD, chair of the Department of Pediatrics and director of The Saban Research Institute.

Children's Hospital Los Angeles has also established a Diagnostic, Clinical & Research Center for Autism and Other Neurodevelopmental and Behavior Disorders to support autism clinical and translational research. This was made possible through the support of the Boone Family Foundation, the Las Madrinas Endowment for Autism Research Intervention and Outcomes, and the William Randolph Hearst Foundation. Through this effort, numerous studies have been launched in collaboration with the Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute, Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy Programs, Schools of Social Work and Education, and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.
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About Autism Speaks

Autism Speaks is North America's largest autism science and advocacy organization. Since its inception in 2005, Autism Speaks has made enormous strides, committing over $142.5 million to research through 2014 and developing innovative new resources for families. The organization is dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. In addition to funding research, Autism Speaks also supports the Autism Treatment Network, Autism Genetic Resource Exchange and several other scientific and clinical programs. Notable awareness initiatives include the establishment of the annual United Nations-sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day on April 2, which Autism Speaks celebrates through its Light It Up Blue initiative. Also, Autism Speaks award-winning "Learn the Signs" campaign with the Ad Council has received over $249 million in donated media. Autism Speaks' family resources include the Autism Video Glossary, a 100 Day Kit for newly-diagnosed families, a School Community Tool Kit and a community grant program. Autism Speaks has played a critical role in securing federal legislation to advance the government's response to autism, and has successfully advocated for insurance reform to cover behavioral treatments in 23 states thus far, with bills pending in an additional 14 states. Each year Walk Now for Autism Speaks events are held in more than 80 cities across North America. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit www.autismspeaks.org.

About Children's Hospital Los Angeles

Children's Hospital Los Angeles is one of the nation's best children's hospitals serving more than 97,000 patients each year with physicians specializing in more than 100 subspecialties. Children's Hospital is one of only eight children's hospitals in the nation - and the only one in the western United States - named to the national "Honor Roll" of children's hospitals in the 2010 U.S. News & World Report rankings. Children's Hospital is preparing to open a $636 million, 317-bed state-of-the-art facility in July 2011 that will further expand services and capabilities at its main campus on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, Calif., as well as increase the ability to provide family-centered care to residents throughout the region.

Children's Hospital offers care from some of the world's most prestigious physicians and surgeons, and is designated as a Magnet Hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, an honor held by only five percent of all hospitals nationwide. Children's Hospital is home to The Saban Research Institute, one of the largest and most productive pediatric research facilities in the United States; is one of America's premier teaching hospitals, affiliated with the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California since 1932; is the only Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center in L.A. County approved by the Committee on Trauma of the American College of Surgeons; and is one of the largest pediatric transport programs in the nation.

Children's Hospital Los Angeles

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