Willowbrook, MLK

Tree Lighting Ceremony Brightens Martin Luther King, Jr. Medical Center

Neither rain nor frigid temperatures could dampen the joy on 9-year-old Amauria Bowman’s face Friday night at the fourth annual tree lighting ceremony at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Multi-Service Ambulatory Care Center in Willowbrook.

The fourth grader at Carver Elementary school was one of nearly 250 children that showed up to sip hot cocoa, eat sugar cookies and receive a toy for Christmas at the event hosted by Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chairman Mark Ridley-Thomas. As she snuggled into her warm jacket, Bowman reflected on the true meaning of the holidays.

“I just think this is a big celebration of life and the rain doesn’t ruin it,” she said. “What matters is that we have fun and celebrate and have a nice time.”

The gathering, which was also supported by Legrant Communications, served as a time of reflection in honor of the Newtown, Connecticut mass shooting where 27 people died—including 20 children. The Rev. Shane Scott of Macedonia Baptist Church, MACC Chief Executive Officer Cynthia Moore-Oliver and Elaine Batchlor, the Chief Executive Officer of the MLK Community Hospital joined Chairman Ridley-Thomas and the Grant AME Church Youth Choir at the event in addition to more than 100 adults from the local community. In his welcoming remarks, Chairman Ridley-Thomas noted that the tragedy put a spotlight on the importance of protecting children.

“When we think about Newtown, Connecticut we must give special accord to the children. We cannot act as if something extraordinary didn’t happen in this land,” said Chairman Ridley-Thomas. “We are here, also saddened by the circumstances in which any of us could have found ourselves.”

After a moment of silence and a prayer, 9-year-old Chryshell Perkins, a fourth grader who is also from the Watts-Willowbrook Boys and Girls Club, flipped the switch to light the tree. Perkins was selected for the honor because of her good grades. She smiled proudly and as she sipped her hot cocoa she noted how getting good grades would help her get into college. “If I get good grades and I don’t have enough money for college, they could pay my way,” she said, describing the possible scholarships that could be available to her.

The lighting of the “Tree of Hope” also highlighted anticipation of the upcoming construction and eventual opening of the brand new medical campus that is coming to the site. The Medical Campus, which will host an inpatient hospital, mental health urgent care center, medical office space, residential facilities for seniors and medical interns and residents, will provide a more holistic and preventative approach to health care for local residents.  “We signal hope and life and new beginnings at the Martin Luther King Medical Campus,” said Chairman Ridley-Thomas.

But for 6-year-old Jonathan Eason, the night’s highlight was the Hot Wheels Trick Track stunt set that he received.

“It looks awesome and has very cool cars!” he said as he held the box tightly.

And while 12-year-old Karen Mendoza, of Edison Middle School, was happy to receive a Scrabble Slam card game to play with her siblings, her wish was a simple one for the holidays.

“I would like for my family to get together and have a great time,” she said.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Hospital Street Naming Contest: Winner Announced

The people have spoken!  The street leading to the new Martin Luther King Jr. Hospital will be named “Healthy Way.” Healthy Way, proposed by Yolonda Simmons, received 370 out of 776 votes — a whopping 48%. In second place was Charles R. Drew Drive, with 202 votes, and King-Drew Avenue, with 56 came in third. Congratulations to Simmons , a resident of Inglewood, for choosing a name that resonated with so many people. “Healthy Way” communicates that a person driving on the road leading to and from the hospital will be embarking on a healthier way of life. The street-naming poll spanned two months, and I was both pleased and moved to see so many people participating in the opportunity to name this historic street. The construction and ultimate completion of the new hospital is proceeding well and is only three to four months off its original schedule with the building scheduled for completion in the Spring of 2013 and its opening, in 2014.

Simmons will be presented a certificate of appreciation at a Board of Supervisors meeting in January 2013 and also invited to attend the official naming of the street. Thank you again to everyone who submitted a name and/or voted. Although the contest has ended, I hope that you are still just as excited for the new Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital to open as I am. — MRT

What is your favorite street name?

  • Healthy Way (48%, 370 Votes)
  • Charles R. Drew Drive (26%, 202 Votes)
  • King-Drew Avenue (7%, 56 Votes)
  • Leonard Deadwyler Drive (7%, 53 Votes)
  • Healing Way (5%, 41 Votes)
  • Wellness Court (5%, 35 Votes)
  • Community Wellness Court (2%, 16 Votes)
  • Safe Harbor Way (0%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 776

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What’s in a street name?

A name can tell the history of a city or a nation. It can honor leaders who improved lives, fought for human rights, educated children, greened a community or inspired generations. Martin Luther King Boulevard, Cesar Chavez Way, Pico Boulevard, Lincoln Boulevard—these names remind us that ordinary people do extraordinary things. Street names can also reveal the aspirations of a community. For example, Los Angeles residents living on Charity Street in the 1800s, found the name degrading. After successfully petitioning the city, they changed the name to Grand Avenue.

So have some fun. Tell us what matters to you, your community and your hopes for the new hospital – In this context, that’s what is in a name.

Submission Form – Now Closed

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas released his top five choices on November 6 for a final vote by you.

[faq title=”Click here for the rest of the rules and timeline.”] Phase 1: A Call for Names (October 2 – October 12)

Entries will be accepted from October 1 to October 12. There is no limit to the number of suggestions that can be made.


1. Wellness Way

I believe that this hospital represents health and wellness in our community. Good health is about more than getting medical care, it’s a lifestyle. The street name Wellness Way will remind everyone that this hospital is committed to providing excellent medical services in the hopes of improving the health of our community.

2. Abernathy Ave

Rev. Ralph David Abernathy, Sr. was a passionate civil rights leader and minister. Honoring the spirit of the hospital, he was a close associate of Martin Luther King, Jr. in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

The Fine Print

Please be sure to keep the following Department of Public Works street naming policies in mind when making your suggestions:

    1. Historic names and names that refer to geographic features are encouraged.
    2. Streets may not be named after a business or to honor a living person
    3. Keep it short: Names can’t exceed 18 characters, including spaces and punctuation.
    4. Compound names are discouraged.

After Phase 1 is closed, the list will be sent to the Department of Public Works to disqualify any names already in use by Los Angeles County.

Phase 2: Voting on the Top 5 Choices (November 6 – December 1)

Supervisor Ridley-Thomas will select his top five choices and those names will be posted for a final round of voting. Voting will take place from November 6 through November 28, 2012. The top vote-getter wins.

Phase 3: Official Street Naming

The winning street name will be announced and printed on street signs and road maps. The writer or writers of the winning submission will be invited to participate in the official street naming ceremony and be awarded a certificate of appreciation by the Supervisor.


Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital board appoints new chief executive

Major progress toward the creation of the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital occurred this week, when the MLK hospital board named Dr. Elaine Batchlor as the institution’s new chief executive officer. Now as the hospital, still under construction, is built, Batchlor will begin to assemble its staff, physicians, personnel and also see to the equipping of the new facility. Scheduled for completion in 2014, the hospital will have 130 beds, including a 21-bed emergency department and a critical care unit. It also will provide a range of healthcare and social services.

Dr. Batchlor has an outstanding background and brings a history of excellence and innovation to her new position. A physician of internal medicine and rheumatology, she previously served as chief medical officer for L.A. Care, the largest public health plan in the United States. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Harvard University, an M.D. from Case Western Reserve University, and a master’s degree in public health from UCLA. Upon her appointment as CEO, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said, “Dr. Batchlor has the experience, expertise and leadership skills required to make this tremendous undertaking, the launch of a new hospital, the success we know it will be.” In this video, Dr. Batchlor talks about her vision for the new community hospital.
Click here to view the Los Angeles Times article.

What’s new around the MLK Campus?

Martin Luther King, Jr. Campus Construction Update

Work continues apace at the MLK Multi-Service Ambulatory Care Center (MACC) construction site, where workers have installed the pile foundation, underground utilities and the building’s footings. At the Inpatient Tower, workers have completed installation of the new chillers and cooling towers and now are installing the plumbing, electrical wiring and walls. Erection of structural steel for the new ancillary building also is underway.

New New Women’s Clinic Across the Street

A new woman’s health center opened on April 24 across the street from the new Martin Luther King Jr. Medical Center campus. Planned Parenthood’s new Stoller-Filer health center, which has four counseling rooms and four exam rooms, will provide a range of women’s health services, including; testing, treatment and vaccines for sexually transmitted infections; pregnancy testing and services; emergency contraception including the morning-after pill; men’s healthcare services; HIV testing; birth control; and abortion referral. No abortions will be performed at the center. The health center accepts Medi-Cal and Family PACT (planning, access, care, treatment) therefore no one seeking medical services ever will be turned away.

The Stoller-Filer health center uses the widely successful Promotoras Comunitarias program to address the lack of access to reproductive health care information in the Latino community. This group has reached over 150,000 residents in Los Angeles County since its launch in 1990. After 214 hours of training, Planned Parenthood Promotoras go to schools, homes and community centers to provide information sessions that cover reproductive health, family violence, and alcohol and drug abuse. The group also stages a play based on a true story entitled “La Decisión” in order to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS.

The health center is located at 11722 South Wilmington Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90059. Operating hours are Monday, Tuesday, and Friday from 8:30 AM until 5:00 PM. The health center will be fully operational five days a week in the coming months. To schedule an appointment, call (800) 576-5544.

Women’s health care services available at Martin Luther King Jr. Multi-Ambulatory Care Center

Did you know that a wide range of quality women’s health services are available at Martin Luther King Jr. Multi-Ambulatory Care Center (MLK-MACC)? The Women’s Health Clinic is staffed by highly trained physicians and mid-level practitioners who provide both preventive and therapeutic obstetrics and gynecology services. Preventive services include the following: well woman check ups, pap smear testing, bone density screening, vaccinations, mammograms, family planning services, nutritional counseling, genetic counseling, and access to social services.

Therapeutic services include treatment of both high and low risk pregnancies with support from the perinatal diagnostic center. MLK-MACC medical staff perform amniocentesis, genetic counseling, fetal surveillance ultrasonography, and treatment of expectant mothers with chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. Gynecologic services are extensive and include routine gynecology, gynecology-oncology and urology-gynecologic services.

The MLK-MACC medical staff also performs outpatient surgery on women requiring surgical intervention for their gynecologic issues. In some instances, patients are treated in the Martin Luther King Jr. Ambulatory Surgery Center located on the MLK-MACC campus and return home the same day.

MLK-MACC is committed to providing quality healthcare services to women throughout South Los Angeles and surrounding communities. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday 8:00am to 4:30 pm. To schedule an appointment, call (310) 668 – 5011.