The new Martin Luther King, Jr. Outpatient Center, with its bright floors and gleaming steel and glass picture windows, is ready for its close-up. On May 28, the doors will be opened for a ribbon cutting ceremony and public viewing. Whether it’s the high-tech specialized clinics such as the blood infusion bay for chemotherapy patients, the stroke rehabilitation suite or the oral surgery center, the MLK Outpatient Center promises to deliver the very best in preventive and primary care for residents.
“The main message coming out of this building will be that we can help you stay well and get well,” said Dr. Mark Ghaly, deputy director Los Angeles County Department of Health Services.
After nearly two years of construction, the $172 million-county-run center will begin serving the public on June 17. With approximately 70 specialty clinics offering a range of services from pediatric and obstetric care to orthopedics and neurology, the Outpatient Center is an important component of the county’s plan to deliver quality primary care and preventive services to keep people healthy.
There are five operating rooms for outpatient surgical procedures, in addition to rehabilitation services and a wide array of diagnostic services. The urgent care center will operate seven days a week, 16 hours-a-day for urgent needs.
Also, the Outpatient Center will work closely with the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital, which is scheduled to open next year. When he was elected to office in 2008, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas pledged to open a new state-of-the-art hospital, to replace the old one that was shut down in 2007. But in addition to the hospital, the plan to serve the community includes developing a full-scale medical village. Already there is the Center for Public Health, which opened in October 2011 and provides immunizations as well as testing for sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis. A psychiatric urgent care facility, which will offer emergency mental health services to residents, is scheduled to open in the fall.
A medical wellness village is increasingly important in a time when patients are more informed about their healthcare needs and able to access healthcare with the Affordable Care Act.
“As healthcare has evolved, patients have stepped up as partners in the delivery of their care,” said Cynthia Oliver, chief executive of the Outpatient Center. “They are making decisions about their healthcare and partnering with us. It’s really exciting to move into a brand new state of the art building, with the latest in technology and equipment. We are now going to have that to aid us as we continue to provide top notch services for our patients.”