Pediatric Sub Acute

The Children's Center

5 Star Award Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

About the Children's Center

Whittier Hospital Medical Center's Children's Center for Specialized Care (Pediatrics Sub Acute Unit) has been designed to care for children who are too ill or technologically dependent to receive care at home. Although these children may no longer require traditional hospital care, they continue to need the constant supervision and services provided in a professional "sub-acute" health care environment. The Children's Center offers that special level of care and caring to each of its patients - and more. Because the Center is located on the Whittier Hospital campus, the acute-level hospital services are close at hand, should the need arise.

Most Common Pediatric Sub-Acute Medical Conditions

  • Coma
  • Congenital Disease
  • Developmental Disabilities
  • Near Drowning
  • Neuromuscular Degenerative Disease
  • Prematurity
  • Respiratory Disease
  • Spinal Cord and Head Injuries
  • Tracheotomy Care
  • Ventilator Dependence
  • G Tube Dependent
  • Birth Abnormalities

Our Facility

Our patient environment is designed for children, with brightly decorated rooms, well-equipped group spaces and a pleasant home-like setting. Colorful artwork, a private outdoor play courtyard and other environmental stimulation encourage our patients to participate in activities to the extent they are able.

Our Treatment Team

Our treatment team is an interdisciplinary group of health care professionals specially trained to meet the unique care needs of our young patients. Each carries the appropriate licenses or credentials for their respective positions.

The Children's Center treatment team is under the direction of our Medical Director who is board certified in the specialties of pediatrics and critical care. Other team members include nurses, social workers, respiratory therapists, physical and occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists, special education teachers, child life specialists, pharmacists and dietitians.

These professionals work together to create individualized health care plans to address each child's specific problems and requirements. They meet regularly to review the treatment plan and to evaluate each child's progress, making adjustments as needed.

Family Support Network

Family involvement is an integral part of each patient's care and treatment-planning process, and a key to maximizing their child's potential for recovery.

Family members are educated about the injury or disease process, and they participate in conferences with the treatment team to keep abreast of their child's functional status and progress. The team also helps support family members by providing a sympathetic, supportive environment for them to share their feelings and experiences.

Assessment and Admission

To determine a child's need for the sub-acute level of care provided through our Children's Center for Specialized Care, a representative from our treatment team will visit the child in the hospital to review diagnostic test results, the patient's history and physical status. There is no charge for this evaluation.

If the child is admitted, a supplemental assessment by the entire treatment team will be used as the basis for developing the patient's individualized goals and treatment plan.

Referral Procedures and Insurance

Referrals to our program may be made by calling our Social Worker at 562.907.1621. Our no-cost evaluation should be initiated within 24 hours of the referral.

Whittier Hospital Medical Center's Children's Center for Specialized Care is certified by Medi-Cal, and care is covered by most other public and private insurance plans.

Named one of the best in the State for Skilled Nursing Care

We are proud of having been named of the best in the State for skilled pediatric nursing care by the US News & World Report more than 5 years in a row and one of the top 14 skilled nursing facilities in all of California. The comprehensive report showed that Whittier Hospital Medical Center's nursing staff provides four times more personal attention per resident than the national average.

To learn more about our CMS 5-star rating, please visit

Call for Assessment and Admitting

Please call (562) 907-1621 or (562) 907-1791 or click here for more information on the Whittier Hospital Medical Center Children's Center.

A message from the Director of the Pediatric Sub-Acute Unit

March 25, 2021

Dear Family Members:

We want to provide you with an update on the situation at Whittier Hospital Pediatric Subacute regarding visitation. The safety and wellbeing of our residents is our top priority. We have worked diligently to prevent infection from COVID-19 within the Pediatric Subacute. Since March of 2020, we have had Zero residents with confirmed cases of COVID-19.

The California Department of Public Health has issued detailed guidelines regarding visitation for units such as the Pediatric Subacute. Whittier Hospital Pediatric Subacute may restrict visitation due to COVID-19 county positivity rates and Tier level, the unit’s COVID-19 status, staffing issues, the residents COVID-19 status, visitor’s symptoms, lack of adherence to infection control protocols and factors relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic. This being said, we are happy to announce that we will slowly open the unit for outdoor and indoor visitation on April 12, 2021.

Any visitor entering the unit must adhere to the core principles and best practices to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission regardless of the visitor or resident vaccination status:

  1. Visitation will be scheduled in advance, a minimum of 24 hours prior to the visit with the Clinical Manager at 562-907-1770 or Child Life Specialist, Christina Lui at 562-907-1726.
  2. The number of visitors for outdoor visitation is 2-3 people and one (1) person for indoor visitation.
  3. Minors under the age of 18 years old will not be permitted at this time.
  4. Visitors will be screened for fever and symptoms prior to entering the hospital.
  5. Visitors will be required to wear the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment as instructed by staff.
  6. Visitors will be required to follow hand hygiene protocols.
  7. Visitors will be instructed by the staff on the visitation protocol.
  8. Social distancing will be enforced for all visitations with some exceptions.
  9. Visitation will be restricted when the county is in Tier (1) purple with some exceptions.
  10. Visitors will not be allowed to wander the unit or visit with other residents or staff.
  11. Visitation will be limited to 30 minutes to 1 hour or as tolerated by the resident.
  12. Visitors may be required to present a negative COVID-19 test with results less than 2 days prior to the visit dependent upon the visitors and residents vaccination status. (Depending on County Positivity Rate and Tier Status)

Thank you for your support during this very difficult year. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to care for your child and together we have kept the unit COVID-19 free.

Reinali Zabalerio RN
Director of Pediatric Subacute


Whittier Hospital's Pediatric Sub Acute Unit provides the latest information on COVID-19 statistics in our Unit. Please see below for current updates. For additional information, please feel free to contact the Unit Director by calling 562-907-1791 or email us at

California Highway Patrol visits the Children's Center for Specialized Care

CBS and California Highway Patrol (CHP) visit Whittier Hospital’s Pediatric Sub Acute Unit

Making a difference, one child at a time