Valley Children’s Magnolia Pediatrics center opens in Clovis

Valley Children’s staff, CEO Todd Suntrapak (fourth from the right), Derek and Heather Carr, Dr. Mark Simonian (third from left) George the giraffe and local Clovis dignitaries celebrate the grand opening of Magnolia Pediatrics in Clovis at a ribbon-cutting Friday, July 6. (Photo by Valerie Shelton/Clovis Roundup)

Clovis parents seeking optimal health care for their children no longer need to travel to Valley Children’s Hospital to receive the unparalleled pediatric care it provides.

Magnolia Pediatrics, a primary pediatric care facility operating under the Valley Children’s umbrella, celebrated its grand opening at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday, July 6.

The Valley Children’s center, located on Herndon just west of Temperance Avenue in the burgeoning medical neighborhood anchored by Clovis Community Medical Center, is the first to open in a 19,000 square-foot complex built by Valley Children’s to increase access to medical care for families in the Clovis area. Magnolia Pediatrics occupies 5,263 square feet of the complex.

Under the care of lead pediatrician Dr. Mark Simonian and nurse practitioner Janice Santos, Magnolia Pediatrics will provide primary care services including wellness checks, immunizations, same-day sick child visits, and interviews for expectant parents.

Magnolia Pediatrics is Valley Children’s Medical Group’s 9th primary care pediatric practice in the Valley.

Valley Children’s CEO Todd Suntrapak said these primary care pediatric facilities are being built in an effort to increase access to high-quality medical care for children throughout the Valley.

“We’re pleased to be in the business of caring for the Valley’s children,” Suntrapak said. “Our goal is to be within 30 minutes or 30 miles of Central Valley families and this is the next logical fulfillment of that goal…It is a pleasure to be here in Clovis with this facility. It is the first step of many and we’re honored to be here.”

Greg Newman, the Executive Director of the Clovis Chamber of Commerce who served as the MC for the ribbon-cutting, said this is actually the return of Valley Children’s Hospital to the area and he is glad to see them back.

“[Valley Children’s] was at Sierra Vista Mall in the late 90s and early 2000s and we are very happy to have them back in the city of Clovis,” Newman said. “Valley Children’s continues to show its support of our communities throughout the Valley by filling the gaps with access to primary care where needed. It’s all part of Valley Children’s goal to bring pediatrics closer to home for all the 1.3 million children in the Central Valley.”

Oakland Raiders quarterback and former Fresno State star Derek Carr spent a few moments at the ceremony to reflect on his personal experience with Valley Children’s and impact they made in the lives of he, his wife Heather, and their oldest son Dallas, when as a newborn Dallas had to undergo three surgeries at Valley Children’s Hospital and spend 23 days in the Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Today, Dallas is a healthy preschooler thanks in part to the care he received at the hospital. Two years ago, the Carr family established DC4KIDS, a campaign intended to fund the most immediate needs at Valley Children’s. To date DC4KIDS has raised more than $450,000 for Valley Children’s.

“Anytime you have to come to a hospital anywhere it is a scary thing, but it’s comforting to know the children here in the Central Valley and the children here in Clovis now have a place to go where the care is top notch and second-to-none, not only physically but emotionally and spiritually—where you know people are praying for you—you can’t find that anywhere else,” Carr said. “I’ve been in my fair share of hospitals myself, having more broken bones and surgeries than I care to admit, but the time we have spent with Valley Children’s, we just feel like its family. We’re so glad to be a part of this in any way.”

Mayor Bob Whalen referred to another Valley born-and-bred star quarterback for the Oakland Raiders in his comments comparing the Hail Mary fourth-quarter pass in football to the lifting up of prayers for children being treated at Valley Children’s.

“What Daryle Lamonica would do as soon as the ball was released from his hands was put up the prayer of Hail Mary and it would be such a distant pass that by the time the receiver caught the pass, the Hail Mary was completed,” Whalen said. “I will confess to you that there were times in the fourth quarter when Derek had the ball and we just needed one more score for the Oakland Raiders that I would put up a prayer. To be theologically sound, I would put up a prayer saying ‘Lord, your will be done, but may it be your will that the Raiders win.’ At Valley Children’s Hospital and also here at the Magnolia Center there will be a lot of prayers lifted up. All of us have probably had an experience with Valley Children’s Hospital and there are times when the prayers become very important and very meaningful. You are on your knees, sometimes face down, praying for your child and just like I would rather not have the ball in anybody else’s hands but the hands of Derek Carr in the fourth quarter, there are no other hands that I would rather have our children in than the hands of the medical professionals at Valley Children’s Hospital.”