Angelina Castleberry has been making the more than 60 mile drive to receive medical care at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital since she was four months pregnant with her twins Matthew Cross and Callia Faith.
"It’s been a long four years of driving back and forth back and forth so worth it because Loma Linda is the best," says Angelina.
While she credits his kidney donor Deputy Alicia Lopez and the team of experts at LLUCH with saving Matthew’s life she’s always dreamed of having a place closer to home for his medical care, "Especially with Matthew when he was first seen, and he was first diagnosed when i was pregnant it was a wish and it was a prayer."
On March 11, 2018 her dream will come true. The hospital is opening a clinic in Downtown Indio.
"It’s been a four year journey and I‘ve never felt alone, someone has always been there for us and it means so much to me and my family," she says.
And this isn’t just her dream.
"This place wasn’t chosen just randomly, we looked at our region and said where is the largest concentration of children who need our support. It’s right here," Dr. Richard Chinnock, Chief Officer of Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital says it’s been his dream too, for many reasons, the main one convenience, "it’s such a hard thing to get to Loma Linda, maybe I can wait until tomorrow, well what if that creates disaster."
Now parents can come to the Indio location where doctors will have their medical history, the high tech systems will make a team of doctors more than 70 miles away accessible.
"Every one of these rooms is wired to be able to do tele-medicine so that rather than us having to move six people to come here we can move electrons, I call it high-tech but also high touch it’s interactive but it’s also persona and you can have that conversation." says Chinnock.
Eventually the nearly 13,000 square ft. location will expand beyond it’s 20 patient rooms to include specialized services and urgent care.
Angelina is just one of thousands of mothers who will rest easier knowing Loma Linda University Children’s is a little closer to home.
"It’s comforting to know we’re not going to be alone and our kids will have a place where we can feel confident in their care," says Angelina.
The grand opening will be on Sunday, March 11, 2018 starting at 2 p.m. and there will be tours, a health expo, food trucks, children’s activities, vendors and the community is invited to attend. and all are invited to attend.