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Pediatric services

Growing to meet the health care needs of Kern County kids.


Pediatric services

The Lauren Small Children's Center at Memorial Hospital is the only comprehensive pediatric program in Bakersfield and Kern County, and is fully approved by California Children's Services. This children's center includes the Robert A. Grimm Children's Pavilion for Emergency Services, the only dedicated pediatric emergency department between Los Angeles and Madera; a 31-bed Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for premature or seriously ill newborns; an eight-bed Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU); and a 35-bed Pediatric Unit with around the clock in-house pediatricians, known as hospitalists. Memorial Hospital is also home to the S.A. Camp Companies Burn Unit at the Grossman Burn Center, which provides dedicated burn care to our youngest patients on both an inpatient and outpatient basis.

Pediatric unit

The Pediatric Unit is designed to make children feel more comfortable when they have to spend time in the hospital, with walls painted by local artist Jill Thayer. She was specially commissioned to create an outdoor theme evoking images of the Kern River. The Lauren Small Children's Center is named in honor of Lauren Paige Small, a local girl who inspired the community through her brave two-year battle with cancer. Read Lauren's story.


Comprehensive children's care

We offer a wide variety of pediatric health care services right here so fewer families have to travel long distances to reach children’s hospitals outside of the area.


Children's ER

The Robert A. Grimm Children's Pavilion at Memorial Hospital is the only dedicated pediatric emergency department between Los Angeles and Madera. It is located adjacent to the main emergency department and features separate waiting and treatment areas for pediatric patients, including an urgent care “fast track” exclusively for these patients. All patients are seen by doctors and nurses specially trained in pediatric medicine.

Specialty care

In addition to general surgeons with pediatric experience, Bakersfield is home to several different kinds of subspecialists, including: 

  • Neonatologists (newborns)
  • Pediatric cardiologists (heart problems) 
  • Pediatric nephrologists (kidney diseases)


Pediatric surgery

The brand new Pediatric Surgical Suites, scheduled to open in the winter of 2025 at the Lauren Small Children's Center at Memorial Hospital, will ensure that children and their families can continue to receive specialized medical attention close to home. The expansion reflects Dignity Health's dedication to delivering pediatric specialty care to children in and around Kern County.

Child Life Specialist

Grace Wilhelm is a Child Life Specialist at Memorial Hospital. Wilhelm is there to calm and comfort children and their families during their hospital stay. She helps young patients understand and cope with medical experiences and prepares them for procedures.


Click here to learn how our Child Life Specialist’s small gestures can make a big impact for our patients.


See Brock's story

Treatment at home, surrounded by family and friends. 

Brock Welch's story

In the past when he came to the Emergency Department with severe respiratory complications Brock was transported to a hospital out of town. But this time Brock's family was pleasantly surprised to learn that, thanks in part to the Bolthouse Family Pediatrics Department at Memorial Hospital, Brock was able to stay in Bakersfield and get the treatment he needed here at home, surrounded by his family and friends.

Pediatric donations

Ways that you can make a donation include:

  • Donate Your Time
  • Monetary Donations
  • Donate Toys and Supplies

Children's Miracle Network

Children's Miracle Network Hospitals is a national non-profit organization that raises funds for more than 170 children's hospitals in communities throughout the United States and Canada.

Learn more about pediatric services at Memorial Hospital

To find a Dignity Health pediatrician or family care doctor, please call (661) 324-7070.

Details & Directions: Lauren Small Children's Center at Memorial Hospital