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.