Newswise — Los Angeles (May 2, 2014) – The Division of Adolescent Medicine at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) will celebrate its 50th anniversary of providing care for Los Angeles youth with a special event Saturday May 10, 6 p.m. PST, at the Sheraton Universal Starview Ballroom. The celebration will be put on by the CHAMPION Fund.

The gala will also celebrate television producer, academician and pediatrician, Neal Baer, and Rhodes Scholar Amy Wakeland, an advocate for women’s issues, a foster mother and First Lady of the City of Los Angeles. The Division of Adolescent Medicine (DAM) currently includes 11 comprehensive programs and services that address the special needs of today’s young people living in Los Angeles. In the 1960s, Children’s Hospital established the first medical unit for adolescents west of the Mississippi and the first telephone hotline crisis intervention program for teens. The Division’s youth health care initiatives would later capture the attention of the World Health Organization. DAM’s current programs stem from the division’s early years and focus on specific issues that critically affect a youth’s development, including initiatives targeting homeless and runaway youth, transgender youth, pregnant teens and teen parents, substance users, behavioral health for adolescents, and young people at risk for or infected with HIV, or affected by gang violence.

These programs include:• Behavioral Health• Project NATEEN (Teen moms)• L.A. Fathers Program• Risk Reduction Program• Center for Strengthening Youth Prevention Paradigms• Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment (SAPT)• Teenage and Young Adult Health Center• The Center for Transyouth Health and Development• Gang Reduction and Youth Development (GRYD)• Homeless Adolescent Wellness Center/High-Risk Youth• My Voice Transition Clinic for chronically ill youth transitioning to adult care.

After five decades of learning and working with the Los Angeles youth, the Division of Adolescent Medicine hopes to advance the research, evaluation and care with the help of CHAMPION Fund. “The contemporary healthcare environment requires more than constant innovation; it also demands academic rigor in the research and evaluation of new interventions to help high-risk adolescents,” says Marvin Belzer, MD, FACP, FSAM, head of the Division of Adolescent Medicine at CHLA. “We hope to continue to define the field and share our finds with the rest of the country, and the world.”#For Gala Tickets go to www.championfund.orgInterviews and experts available on request:• Marvin Belzer, MD, is the division chief for Adolescent Medicine and an adolescent medicine physician who specializes in care for youth with HIV, transgender youth, and youth with chronic fatigue. He is a Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine on the USC faculty. • Richard Mackenzie, MD, is a specialist in eating disorders, reproductive issues and issues of young women and psycho-biological disorders. He joined at CHLA as a fellow in 1969, served as division head from 1974-2008, and serves as the division’s link between its early years during the 1960s and today. He is an associate professor at USC.