Willowbrook, MLK

Ridley-Thomas Advocates for Level I Trauma Center in South LA

Doctors and nurses pushing patient on gurney through emergency room

Given the high incidence of trauma-related deaths in the South Los Angeles area, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas has asked county officials to determine how to bring a Level I trauma care center to South Los Angeles.

Supervisor Ridley-Thomas’ motion, which was adopted by the Board of Supervisors June 30, asks for a comprehensive report to be completed by the fall which will include a timeline detailing the necessary steps.

Level 1 trauma centers have more resources available to provide total care for every aspect of trauma injury, from prevention through rehabilitation.  They are also research and teaching facilities.

“Ensuring quality trauma care is a priority for me,” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas. “We need more information and analysis to get a complete picture of the county’s trauma care needs. In particular, the trauma care system must provide intensive services, including trauma prevention strategies in those ‘hot spot’ areas with persistently high trauma mortality rates.”

The latest data shows that Los Angeles County as a whole has one of the best trauma care systems in the world, with the overall mortality rate at 3.6 percent well below the national average of 4.2 percent. However, South Los Angeles accounts for 20 percent of the trauma-related deaths, while it is only 10 percent of Los Angeles County’s population.

The new MLK Community Hospital, which is scheduled to open this summer, will have an Emergency Department with 21 beds, staffed 24-hours a day, seven-days a week to treat serious, life-threatening conditions that are not caused by traumatic injuries. 

“I look forward to the report in the fall so we can move as quickly as possible on this effort,” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas.

Dr. Mitchell Katz, Director of the Department of Health Services, supported the motion stating that: “We are committed to placing the most extensive resources in the areas that they are most needed.  South LA had a level one trauma unit in the past because of the high rate of trauma in that section of the county, and we want to restore that capability.”


Video: A New Day at MLK

The hospital is part of the MLK Medical Campus, which includes a new Outpatient Center, a Mental Health Urgent Care Center and the Center for Public Health. Soon, the campus will also have a community garden, recuperative care center, a new child medical hub and many more services. The Medical Campus delivers on a promise to bring quality, preventive health care delivery to South Los Angeles residents.

To view a 60-second sizzle reel highlighting MLK Campus, click here.  Click here for the full save the date flyer. Click here for the flyer in Spanish. Below is a timeline marking important events for the medical campus from 1965 to the present.

MLK History Timeline

Doctor’s Office Building Coming to MLK Campus

Hospital Staff at Reception Desk

For the first time in its long history, the Martin Luther King Jr. Medical Campus is poised to get a medical office building to house physicians as well as other healthcare providers as part of a broader plan to transform the medical campus into a center for innovation and medical excellence.

The Board of Supervisors agreed Tuesday to have the Community Development Commission begin negotiations with developer Trammell Crow to lease the land owned by the County. It is hoped that construction will begin within 18 months and that the 50,000 square foot facility will open in 2018.

In a new era of healthcare, where providers are rewarded for keeping people healthy, the new medical offices will play a key role. The physicians affiliated with the new hospital will be able to see their patients in a state-of-the-art facility located in their community and in close proximity to the new hospital. The area surrounding the Martin Luther King Jr. Medical Campus historically experienced a shortage of primary care and other providers and rates of preventable diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and raised levels of cholesterol are high.

“This is an important piece of the medical campus puzzle that has always been missing,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who authored the motion. “With the Outpatient Center, the Mental Health Urgent Care Center, the Center for Public Health, a brand new hospital, this medical office building and other new initiatives coming, we are truly on our way to creating a holistic approach to healthcare on this campus.”

ABC 7 – South Los Angeles Gets New Hospital After 8 Years

By Adrienne Alpert
South Los Angeles is set to reopen a hospital in about three weeks after going eight years without one.

The original Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital was forced to close because of poor patient care. Managers of the new operation hope they can keep patients healthy and out of the hospital with a focus on preventative care.

Reporter Adrienne Alpert got a sneak peek into the revamped hospital in the video above. Click here for the 2-minute clip.

New MLK Hospital Now Offering Tours

The brand new Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital is now providing free tours for the general public.  While the hospital is still in the process of preparing for their July opening,

Hospital staff now provide free guided tours to visitors on Tuesdays and Thursdays, at 1:00 p.m., 2:00p.m., and 3:00 p.m.  Tours are available on a pre-registered basis only.

To register for a tour, or for more information, please contact Yliana Gomez, Senior Community Relations Specialist, by email at  ygomez@mlkch.org, or by phone at 424-338-8617.

For more information on Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital, please visit www.mlkch.org


MLK History Timeline