Planning for the Future at MLK and Harbor-UCLA Hospitals

The new Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital and the newly renovated Harbor-UCLA hospital will be so much more than the old fashioned, traditional centers of medical services of previous generations. After a year-long community planning process, master plans for both hospitals are completed. Instead of fashioning two stand-alone facilities, plans are to have them be the heart of a web of community wellness resources. The hospital campuses will be at the center of a network that includes healthcare-related businesses, fitness centers, nutritional education and even housing. The master plans are roadmaps, not hard and fixed requirements, but they seek to anticipate the future direction of healthcare and prepare for that new day.

Martin Luther King Jr. Medical Center Master Plan 

The MLK Medical Center Campus Master Plan lays out a vision not just for the facilities on what will be part of the completed MLK medical village, but also for the entire 142-acre Willowbrook MLK Wellness Community that surrounds the campus.

On campus, the plan suggests room for a new mental health urgent care center, medical office space, residential facilities for seniors and medical interns and residents, research and development, and health-related retail space, such as a pharmacy on the 42-acre MLK Medical Center campus. It also leaves room for the eventual expansion of the new hospital and new Multi-Service Ambulatory Care Center.

Off campus, the MLK plan envisions space for school-based health centers, mobile clinics, blood banks, and community health centers to support the work of the MLK campus and provide a more holistic approach to health care. The plan recommends a new health park and a series of connected community gardens, safe pedestrian walkways, and recreational facilities to promote wellness and physical activity. It promotes access to healthier food options and includes space for retail. It also increases access to public transportation.

Click here to download the Martin Luther King Jr. Medical Center Master Plan.

Harbor-UCLA Medical Center Master Plan 

The 72-acre Harbor-UCLA Medical Center Master Plan substantially reconfigures the campus. It moves out-patient and mental health services into new buildings, adds hospital beds, adds new retail and improves campus parking. This plan suggests development of community walking paths, roof top gardens, and green open space for recreational community use. The plan also promotes the continued bioscience innovation already occurring on the campus through the County’s partnership with LA BioMed.

The County invested nearly $3 Million per campus to develop these long-term plans, which assess current conditions and propose a framework for future expansion of each site.

The next step is implementation. Once the master plans are approved by the Board of Supervisors, anticipated to occur later this year, the County will determine how it will finance these exciting redevelopment opportunities over the next 20 years.

Click here to download the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center Master Plan.

Clipper Star Blake Griffin joins Supervisor Ridley-Thomas on a visit to Harbor UCLA Medical Center

Clippers star Blake Griffin is becoming a familiar sight at Harbor UCLA Hospital. On Tuesday September 25, the power forward spent part of his afternoon in the pediatric ward where he shook hands, signed autographs, handed out toys and playfully towered over the hospital’s youngest patients. As he did on a previous visit, Griffin made the rounds of the pediatric ward, the outpatient Child Life Center and the Child Life Center playground at the pediatric intensive care unit and emergency room, bringing delighted smiles to many young faces.

Not every child knew who the 6’10” Griffin was. Some were oblivious to his season of spectacular dunks and unaware that they were shaking hands with the man ranked by Sports Illustrated Magazine as one of the greatest Rookies of all time. It didn’t matter. They were happy to have a visitor who delivered toys, along with a big smile and a lot of encouragement for a speedy recovery. Supervisor Ridley-Thomas, who accompanied the ballplayer, noted his humility and gentle manner with the children. “Blake Griffin gave the children at Harbor-UCLA the best presents of all — his time and attention.” the Supervisor said. “He sets a wonderful example for all of us, showing how much we can touch other people’s lives simply by taking the time to show we care.”

Thousands of County residents receive free health care at CareHarbor-LA

The fourth annual Care Harbor free clinic, which kicked off Thursday, September 27, and ended Sunday, was a tremendous success. More than 4,000 people received free medical, vision and dental services inside the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, thanks to the compassionate care provided by hundreds of physicians, dentists, optometrists, nurses, and other healthcare workers. Together these volunteers transformed the arena into one of the nation’s largest free clinics by volunteering their time and expertise.

As he has in past years, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas donated both funding and staff resources to the event.

“Over a period of four days, we witnessed a tremendous outpouring of goodwill and kindness” said the Supervisor. “That’s why I am proud to stand with the tremendous Care Harbor organizers, partners and volunteers.

“Everyone has the right to decent, compassionate and accessible healthcare,” the Supervisor added, “and it’s a shame that our national discussion about healthcare is too often political and ideological in nature. This is a human issue.
I can’t speak highly enough of all the doctors and dentists, nurses and other volunteers who answered the call to help their neighbor in this time of great need.”

Care Harbor provided services on a massive scale last week – offering everything from eye exams and prescription glasses, to dental fillings, extractions and teeth cleaning, as well as immunizations and other health procedures. The clinic also arranged follow-up care with local community clinics and hospitals for about one quarter of patients treated.

One of those seeking care at the event last week was Kameka Jackson, 26, from Los Angeles. “I. don’t have medical insurance because I just got kicked off my mom’s medical plan because I turned 26 on August 22nd,“ said Jackson. “This is a blessing, she continued. “I’m a diabetic and I absolutely need medical insurance. I wish they did this more than once a year.”

Just as enthusiastic about the event were the medical professionals who administered care to the waiting patients, including 30-year-old nurse Jaclyn Risos. She heard about the Care Harbor volunteer opportunity on Facebook.

“I’m still looking for a job but I wanted to use my education to help my community,” said Risos, looking around the arena. “People have been so happy and appreciative of the medical services they are going to receive.”