Grant Jumpstarts LLUCH Pediatric Sports Medicine Program

August 25, 2021

Grant Jumpstarts LLUCH Pediatric Sports Medicine Program

A $25,000 Coachella Valley Spotlight grant from the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation will expand pediatric sports medicine care in the valley through Loma Linda University Children’s Health (LLUCH). With the opening of LLUCH – Indio in 2018 and thousands of valley children participating in organized sports, the need for specialized care became evident quickly.

“Diagnosis and treatment for child athletes is much different than adults, because their physical development is still underway,” said Dr. Jonathan Smits, a Board Certified pediatric sports medicine physician at LLUCH – Indio. “If not treated appropriately, musculoskeletal injuries can follow a child into adulthood causing future healthcare issues and physical limitations.”

Grant funds will purchase some of the initial equipment needed to help build the new program in Indio, such as a hand-held ultrasound machine and a portable automated defibrillator (AED) to support patients in the field. Funds will also purchase durable medical equipment, including knee and ankle braces, splint/casting supplies and other sports medicine equipment.
Already, about 4,000 patients receive care through the Indio clinic, and a dedicated pediatrician certified in sports medicine will provide expertise in injury prevention, treatment and management with an emphasis on preserving future growth and function and safe-to-return play.
“With no other dedicated program like this in area, Loma Linda is fulfilling a specific need that can help thousands of school-aged children participating in sports in our valley,” said Catharine Reed, Vice President of Charitable Programs for the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation.
“The new program at the Indio clinic will benefit local children, whether they are elite athletes or just like being active,” said Jerry Upham, General Manager of Gulf California Broadcast Company, which owns and operates KESQ News Channel 3 and KPSP CBS Local 2.

Through the Coachella Valley Spotlight partnership with the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation and News Channel 3, Loma Linda University Children’s Health was featured on News Channel 3 programming, in public service announcements and on throughout August. For more information visit or call 909-558-5366. LLUCH – Indio is located at 82-934 W. Civic Center Dr., Indio.