Las Madrinas Endowment and Chair in Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics

Recognizing the critical need for strong leadership to advance care, research and education for children with developmental and behavioral health conditions, the Las Madrinas Endowment and Chair in Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles will be a crucial investment in the Division of Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics. The Endowment will provide support for the chairholder to advance clinical care, research and education in the assessment, management and referral for children with developmental and behavioral issues, as well as ensuring the Division’s ability to engage in international research networks and oversee one of the largest fellowship programs focused on developmental-behavioral pediatrics in the Western U.S.

Visionary Leadership, Today and Into the Future

The inaugural Las Madrinas Chair in Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics is Douglas Vanderbilt, MD, MS, Chief of the Division of Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics (DBP) at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Dr. Vanderbilt also holds a Professor of Clinical Pediatrics (Educational Scholar) position at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. He is a leading expert in this field, specializing in high-risk infant follow-up, autism spectrum disorder, ADHD and learning challenges.

Playing a key role in the hospital’s DBP efforts since 2007, Dr. Vanderbilt has overseen Children’s Hospital Los Angeles’ DBP fellowship program, the Newborn Follow-up Program, the California Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Program and the Maternal Child Health Bureau-funded DBP training program. He is a site principal investigator for the Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Research Network, the only national professional society devoted exclusively to DBP disorders. Dr. Vanderbilt also serves as Co-Director of the Behavioral Health Institute at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where top experts from four key clinical areas—Psychology, Social Work, Psychiatry and Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics—work together to deliver multidisciplinary, comprehensive care that tends to the behavioral, emotional and developmental needs of patients.

“I am honored to hold the Las Madrinas Chair in Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics,” says Dr. Vanderbilt. “This support will provide crucial funding for enhancing the learning environment for fellows and faculty, improving clinical care systems and strengthening our research activities.”

Elevating Developmental-Behavioral Pediatric Care

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles has a longstanding commitment to providing expert behavioral and mental health care for young people. Global demand for pediatric behavioral and mental health services has increased exponentially over the past 15 years, and the COVID-19 pandemic has magnified how crucial these services are to a child’s healthy development.

Over the past few years, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles has expanded patient access to cognitive, emotional and behavioral health services; enhanced screening and intervention capacity; developed new training and education for providers; and launched a unified Behavioral Health Institute – Wilshire.

In collaboration with other specialties, the Division of Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics is responsible for the assessment, management and referral of children and adolescents with a variety of conditions, including autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, learning challenges, cognitive/developmental delays, regulatory issues, depression, anxiety, medical traumatic stress, medically complex or preterm infants and infant/child relationship issues. The Division’s team members offer comprehensive diagnostic services and follow-up care for patients who have concerns in the areas of neurodevelopment, behavior, attention, sensory processing, feeding difficulties, parent-child relationship challenges and social-emotional health. They advocate for patients by collaborating closely with schools, early childhood education centers and other agencies involved with developmental care and education.

In addition, the Division’s faculty engage in innovative research networks and mentor the next generation of specialists through the three-year accredited fellowship training program in Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics.

The Impact of Your Philanthropy

The Las Madrinas Endowment and Chair in Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics establishes a secure source of funding for the chairholder to pursue the Division’s most pressing—and promising—clinical care, research and education initiatives. Existing in perpetuity, the endowment will produce guaranteed annual income, providing the chairholder with the financial resources to advance DBP care at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to even greater heights.

The endowment will also strengthen the institution by serving as a valuable tool to recruit and retain the most talented faculty and, as a result, attract even more great minds, philanthropic support and grant funding for the hospital. At its core, this vital form of philanthropy will help shape countless futures by ensuring the Division of Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics has strong leadership to improve patients’ lives today and tomorrow. Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is deeply grateful to Las Madrinas for its sustained partnership in fulfilling the hospital’s mission to create hope and build healthier futures.