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Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians Expands Community’s Access to Pediatric Developmental and Mental Health Care

A $550,000 gift will bring a multidisciplinary diagnosis and treatment clinic to Rady Children’s Murrieta Medical Plaza

(MURRIETA— Dec. 19, 2020) —A philanthropic gift from the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians will open new doors to mental health and autism spectrum disorder care to pediatric patients in Riverside County. With a $550,000 investment, Rady Children’s  will design and outfit dedicated clinical space in its existing Murrieta Medical Plaza to support diagnosis and treatment plans that unite developmental, behavioral and medical specialists and focus on each child’s unique needs.

Opened in summer 2018, the Murrieta Medical Plaza’s current setup allows for Developmental Services appointments; which can identify, evaluate and treat a limited number of children with early developmental and behavioral health needs. With the addition of a dedicated clinic, appointment capacity will grow significantly, and support Rady Children’s multidisciplinary model of care for children with autism and behavioral health disorders. Specialists will come together to evaluate and build a care plan for each child, and collaborate with patient families and case managers to create a tailored continuum of care within Rady Children’s and, as necessary, with trusted community partners.

“One of Rady Children’s driving goals is to ensure that every child facing a mental or behavioral health challenge can live to their fullest potential, supported by an experienced team of clinical experts and powered by Rady Children’s system of whole child care,” said Gail Knight, MD, MMM, senior vice president and chief medical officer. “With Riverside County being our newest area with a physical health service location, the Pechanga Tribe’s incredible vision and generosity will allow us to provide comprehensive and coordinated mental health services, and to help more children in their own neighborhood.”

Services at the clinic will include comprehensive diagnostic evaluations for young children with symptoms such as challenges with social interaction and communication, aggression, difficulty regulating emotions, attention issues, sleep concerns and impulsivity, all of which may be early indicators of mental health disorders.

“Developmental and mental health disorders in children and teens are incredibly common, and many developmental concerns can evolve into mental health problems such as anxiety and depression,” stated Kristin Gist, senior director of Rady Children’s Developmental Services. “In addressing these conditions at an early age and juncture, and by creating a partnership between our care providers, our patients and our patient families, we aim to empower children to reach their full developmental and social-emotional potential in a way that works just for them.”

“The pandemic has created massive hardships for many families and children in our region, especially those with developmental and behavioral health needs,” said Mark Macarro, Tribal Chairman of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians. “As the Inland region grows, so does the need for comprehensive care for every child.  This contribution helps families and children receive the best possible outcome when working through an autism or mental health diagnosis.”

The all-new clinic is slated to open spring 2021. For more information on Rady Children’s Developmental Services, please visit For more information on the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, please visit

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About Rady Children’s Hospital

Rady Children’s Hospital is a 505-bed pediatric care facility providing the largest source of comprehensive pediatric medical services in San Diego, southern Riverside and Imperial counties. Rady Children’s is the only health system in the San Diego area dedicated exclusively to pediatric healthcare and is the region’s only designated pediatric trauma center. In June 2020, U.S. News & World Report ranked Rady Children’s among the best children’s hospitals in the nation in all ten pediatric specialties the magazine surveyed. Rady Children’s is a nonprofit organization that relies on donations to support its mission. For more information, visit and find us on FacebookTwitter and Vimeo.