A new wellness center and community garden come to Fremont High School

A new community garden and Wellness Center are coming to Fremont High School thanks to a partnership with Los Angeles Unified School District, the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust (LANLT) and the University Muslim Medical Association (UMMA) Community Clinic, two community-based non-profits. The community garden and Wellness Center, which will be located on the corner of Avalon Boulevard and 79th Street, will be the first in its area to serve both students and residents in the surrounding community.

Aside from being a place for residents and students to gather their harvest of fresh fruits and vegetables, this one and a half acre project includes a community health center that will provide educational programming, job training opportunities, and direct clinical care to the students and community members in South Los Angeles.

“We’re so delighted to see this long planned project come to life,” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas. “This wellness center and community garden will provide Fremont High’s 3,200 students and the surrounding community with accessible high quality healthcare in addition to providing sorely needed open space.”

The project is scheduled for completion in November of 2012.

The Neighborhood Land Trust

The Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust (NTL) is the leading non-profit organization working to grow healthier communities through urban parks and gardens in Los Angeles City and County. Founded in 2002, NLT has played an important role in the creation, renovation and opening of nine parks and gardens, seven of which it currently manages and programs. The Neighborhood Land Trust mission is to grow healthier, safer and stronger communities by creating small, accessible urban parks and gardens that help remedy the critical lack of green and recreational spaces in greater Los Angeles’ underserved neighborhoods and to ensure participation and collaboration among low-income residents throughout the process of envisioning, building and managing the parks and gardens created. To learn more about the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust, please visit: http://lanlt.org/

University Muslim Medical Association

The mission of the University Muslim Medical Association (UMMA) is to promote the well-being of the underserved by providing access to high quality healthcare for all, regardless of ability to pay. UMMA envisions itself as part of a larger network of institutions addressing the health and wellbeing of the underserved and indigent, mindful of the cultural, spiritual, social and economic realities that impinge upon them and the traditional barriers to accessing care. UMMA strives to: cultivate and expand a robust network of collaborative relationships with individuals, organizations and institutions among the community at large and pursue opportunities for interaction and understanding between Muslim Americans and people of all other cultural, economic and religious backgrounds. To learn more about the University Muslim Medical Association, please visit:  http://www.ummaclinic.org/the-community/who-we-are

Constructing a new future

On the 44th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, hosted an appreciation luncheon at the construction site of the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Hospital for the men and women who are building the new 194,000-square-foot hospital — a hands on dedication to keeping the legendary civil right’s leader’s dream of equal opportunity alive.

“We recognize you for all the work you do each day to build a new hospital that is built on time and on budget,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, before a crowd of more than 400 construction workers. “We are delighted to honor your contributions to this important project.

“Today we celebrate the progress being made and look forward to an extraordinary future,” he continued.

From pipefitters to electricians, workers of all trades took off their hard-hats for an hour to chat with colleagues, eat grilled hotdogs, hamburgers, and apple pie prepared by Earlez Grille, and hear gratitude expressed by representatives from the County of Los Angeles and the MLK Healthcare Corporation, board of directors.

“You are changing the lives of those who live in this community,” said Chief Executive Officer William T. “Bill” Fujioka. “Thank you for what you do.”

The same sentiment of was shared by Healthcare Corporation board Chairman Manny Abascal , who reiterated that the workers are making a profound investment into the community and building the foundation for a quality facility.

Of particular note throughout the day was the significant presence of workers who also are residents of the surrounding neighborhoods. Several said that building a hospital in their own community was a source of tremendous pride for them. Their participation, many pointed out, was not by accident. County employment policies enacted two years ago were essential to providing job opportunities for them with regard to the hospital’s construction.

In October 2010, the Board of Supervisors established a local working hiring policy for the MLK Medical Center campus. The policy requires that 30% of the total construction hours be reserved for workers who live within a five – mile radius and/or reside in zip codes experiencing 150% of the County’s average rate of unemployment. The investments on the campus are projected to create nearly 2,100 direct construction jobs for the community. To date, the MLK Inpatient Tower project has succeeded in hiring 38% of its employees from within a five mile radius and 31% of its employees from those zip codes experiencing higher rates of unemployment. When the MLK Multi-Service Ambulatory Care Center begins construction, it will be governed by an unprecedented project labor agreement to ensure compliance with the local hiring policy.

The new Martin Luther King, Jr. Hospital

Forty years after the Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) Hospital initially opened its doors the MLK Medical Center is experiencing a renaissance. A new state-of-the-art , independently governed hospital is being developed to replace the old Los Angeles County-run facility. Steady progress is being made in an effort to transform the MLK Medical Center campus into a center of excellence for health care delivery, a medical home for the underserved, urban health promotion, health workforce development, research and teaching, and economic development. The County of Los Angeles has earmarked nearly $400 million in public funds to promote quality health and wellness services on the Watts-Willowbrook campus.

Since the closure of MLK-Harbor Hospital in August 2007, the County has been diligently working to restore inpatient services at the MLK site. In 2009, the County of Los Angeles partnered with the University of California to form a new non-profit corporation with its own independent governing board to open and operate the 120-bed MLK Hospital. This innovative public-private partnership will leverage the County’s resources, the University of California’s medical expertise and the leadership of an independent governing board to deliver high quality services in the new facility. Construction of the inpatient tower is scheduled to be substantially completed in March of 2013.

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.