MLK Hospital Construction Nears Completion

[raw]Moving forward with construction of the new Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital in Willowbrook, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved $29 million to complete the County’s share of construction work on the facility within the next 60 to 90 days.

After the construction of hospital, which is 92 percent complete, is finished, the staffing and equipping of the facility will begin; the hospital is expected to open in early 2015. Workers will be on site, working overtime and on weekends to meet the Oct. 31 deadline to complete construction of the hospital. The adjacent Outpatient Center is also near completion and is scheduled to open in late spring of 2014.
After the board vote, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chairman Mark Ridley-Thomas emphasized that the hospital, part of an entire medical complex with a focus on preventive care in addition to inpatient services, will be a model of cutting edge care for the region and the nation.

“We’re making wonderful progress, and I really think it’s important to understand that this is more than a hospital,” he said. “This is an entire medical campus that’s in the works. And if it takes a little more time to get more than what was anticipated, I can live with that. But it will not be second rate health care for the people of this portion of our county. It will be as good as it can possibly get. That’s why we’re taking care to build a first-rate, 21st century medical village.”

[/raw] The funding pays for such necessary items as bringing utilities up to seismic codes, replacing structural floor slabs and rebuilding deteriorating sewer pipes—all issues that came to light as workers began renovating the 40-year-old structure.

The board, which approved of the motion brought by Chairman Mark Ridley-Thomas, was approved 4-0.

Dozens Take Part in Health Walk

Gloria Serra, a volunteer at the UMMA Community Clinic in South Los Angeles, is always giving tips to clients seeking health advice. At the top of her list—exercise. So, on a recent Friday, she put on her walking shoes, visor and sunglasses and joined dozens of other volunteers, residents and healthcare providers for a two-mile walk to celebrate health and fitness.

Although the sun’s intense heat pressed down on them, Serra and the other walkers marched on enthusiastically. Serra says she has seen more interest among clients in talking about the connection between obesity and major health problems. They want help.

“A lot of people are asking about healthier things to eat,” she said. “I tell them not to drink soda and instead to drink water.” She says she has also mastered the art of making “green” juice with kale, spinach and cactus paddles as part of her daily vitamin intake and to cleanse her body.

The organized walk, now in its second year, came after the Board of Supervisors approved a motion by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas that commends the important service of health centers by proclaiming August 11 thru the 17, National Health Center Week in Los Angeles County. Nearly 100 people participated.

The walk, which began at St. John’s Well Child and Family Center on W. 58th Street and ended at Mt. Carmel Park on 70th , was done in a partnership with the Southside Coalition of Community Health Centers, the Empowerment Congress, UMMA Community Clinic, St. John’s Well Child and Family and L.A. Care.

“This walk exemplifies the importance of exercise and fitness,” said Jim Mangia, CEO of St. John’s. “It also creates a sense of stronger and healthier communities.”

Indeed, many of the participants walked with their children in tow or in strollers. Some, like Amelia Amaro, who brought her 4-year-old daughter Janele, thought it was important to set a good example.

“It feels good to walk,” she said as she sipped on a bottle of cold water. “I walk every morning when I take my son to kindergarten.”

Maria Reyes was visiting the park with her children, Adan,3, and Brian, 1, when she saw the event and decided to visit. While she strolled along, receiving information from healthcare providers about healthcare enrollment, emergency preparedness, reproductive health and blood pressure tests, her sons munched on bananas, watermelon slices and grapes.

“This is great,” she said and then looked down with pride at her two boys. “And they have a great appetite.”


Construction Update: Moving toward completion, MLK Outpatient Center Gets Glassed In

  Wonderful progress continues to be made at the Martin Luther King Jr. Medical Center Campus. Construction of the new MLK outpatient center is more than 80% complete, and this short video shows workers installing the very  last pane of glass onto the façade of this beautiful new facility. More than 150 skilled construction workers are hard at work on the new building, putting in complex electrical wiring, finishing rooms and landscaping the grounds on the site. When it opens next year, the center will  far surpass what is typically expected in a “clinic”. Through approximately 70 specialty clinics and an urgent care center that will operate seven days a week, 16 hours per day, the outpatient center will provide a full range of primary and specialty services. The outpatient clinics will specialize in pediatric, obstetric and genecology services, as well as ophthalmology, orthopedics, maxillofacial and even neurosurgery treatment. The center also will have clinics for special populations, including pediatric foster children and people with HIV/AIDS.   Also, an ambulatory surgery center will offer elective outpatient surgical procedures, rehabilitation services and a wide array of diagnostic services. Stay tuned for more updates!