Willowbrook, MLK

Grand Opening of the new Martin Luther King Center for Public Health

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas was joined by representatives from the Department of Public Health, numerous elected officials, and members of the South Los Angeles community to celebrate the grand opening of the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Public Health (formerly the South Health Center).


The public health center’s completion marks a major milestone in the first phase of a $400-million investment to transform the Martin Luther King, Jr. Medical Center into a national center of excellence for health care delivery, urban health promotion, research and teaching, health workforce development, and economic development.

Part of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Wellness Community, the new 31,000-square-foot facility will provide immunizations and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, tuberculosis, and contagious diseases.

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Event Photos

Painting for the future of the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Hospital

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas addresses 200 young scholars at the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Hospital.

A sea of smiles from 200 children ages five to 16, surrounded the Supervisor and his wife Mrs. Avis Ridley-Thomas as they arrived at the Interns and Residents Building at the new Martin Luther King Jr. Hospital.

Led by City Year staff to their canvases with smocks on and paintbrushes in hand, these children were ready to paint panels for display on the 900 foot – long Multi- Service Ambulatory Care Center walkway.

Freedom School scholars cheer and chant in preparation for painting.

The student artists were drawn from several Freedom Schools, a six week summer literacy program in the Second District. As part of the Freedom School Curriculum, Freedom School students read books, illustrate their comprehension through arts, crafts, dance, sports and music, go on field trips, and engage in community service in a nurturing environment that fosters growth and development.

Freedom School’s was established in 1992, by Children’s Defense Fund founder and children’s advocate Marian Wright Edelman, Freedom Schools provide rigorous, quality summer and after school instruction to children who live in urban areas. The programming, which is both challenging and entertaining, is based on the belief that all children are capable of learning and achieving high standards.

For the past month, the schools in the second district have taught more than 200 students at the four sites located at: First New Christian Fellowship in South L.A.; Bethel A.M.E. Church in South L.A; Community Coalition at Foshay Learning Center in South L.A; and First Church of God in Inglewood.[pullquote_right]”Your young , intellectual, and creative minds are painting dreams of a bright future,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.[/pullquote_right]

In preparation for the 2013 opening of the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Hospital, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas partnered with City Year Los Angeles, the Department of Public Works, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Multi- Service Ambulatory Care Center to provide Freedom School students with the opportunity to paint the mural.

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas & Ms. Avis Ridley-Thomas direct young painters on the “dream” mural.

The finished product was a colorful collage that depicts dreams of a bright future for themselves and their community.

The mural will be displayed in front of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Multi-Service Ambulatory Care Center.

MLK Medical Center Project Labor Agreement Authorized by the Board of Supervisors

After six months of negotiations, the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors approved a project labor agreement for the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Medical Ambulatory Care Center, the first such agreement for a County construction project.

This agreement ensures that local residents have first priority when contractors select workers for construction of the ambulatory care center. Residents who live within a five – mile radius will be given priority at the time of hiring, and County residents in zip codes where unemployment exceeds 150% of the county average also will now have special access to jobs. Another component of the local worker project is job opportunities for low-income disadvantaged workers, such as those who are homeless, are high school drop-outs or single custodial parents.

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The Community Speaks, Stakeholders Listen, and a New MLK Hospital Is on the Horizon

April 9, 2011- Constituents and stakeholders gathered at H. Claude Conference Center at the Martin Luther King Medical Center Campus to  express their hopes for the Master Plan for the new Martin Luther King Hospital. The Community Open House  provided a  forum for constituents to share their ideas for creating a healthy community on and around the Martin Luther King campus. “We want to show what can be done when community and others who want to see good things happen come together,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas

Ridley-Thomas Applauds Funding For New Martin Luther King, Jr. Hospital

March 8, 2011 – Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas today applauded the first payment to the nonprofit entity established to manage the new Martin Luther King Hospital. In a sign that the Board of Supervisors is dedicated to preserving the autonomy of the nonprofit, the board authorized the first installment of its $50 million, five-year funding commitment.

The money will be used for start-up expenses, such as purchasing equipment and medical supplies for the new 120-bed in-patient tower scheduled to open in February 2013. Once open, the hospital will be managed by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Healthcare Corp. and staffed by University of California physicians.

“This is an exciting new model, one that portends considerable benefit for the County of Los Angeles,” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas. “I dare say it will be replicated in other parts of the nation as it relates to public/private partnerships and pioneering healthcare vehicles for underserved communities,” Supervisor Ridley-Thomas said.

The County’s contract with the nonprofit provides both for the autonomy of the nonprofit but also includes safeguards related to county contributions, stipulating the periodic auditing of funds.

“The board’s rights are ensconced in the agreement in such a way that transparency is preserved but the independence of the nonprofit is maximized,” Supervisor Ridley-Thomas said.