Willowbrook is On the Move

Willowbrook, the community where the medical campus is located, was named for a willow tree, an original rancho boundary marker from the 1840’s that once stood near Compton Creek at the present day intersection of 125th Street and Mona Boulevard.  Much time has passed since the original 1843 land grant was given to Anastacio Avila, a member of the family who settled Pueblo de Los Angeles.  And Willowbrook is a place brimming with promise.

Willowbrook’s four square miles are in the midst of unprecedented investment, with the state-of-the-art Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital – to be dedicated August 7 – as the centerpiece.

Still to come are multimillion-dollar renovations to the Rosa Parks Metro station; a new Sheriff’s station, library and senior center, parks and streetscape improvements for Wilmington Avenue – all of which will complement recent upgrades to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Medical Campus.

A new consensus is emerging: Willowbrook is on the move.

Board Moves to Require Regular Audits for IT Safety

Calling for regular audits and strong safety measures to be in place so that information is secure, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a motion calling for more intense scrutiny of the county’s IT infrastructure.

The motion comes on the heels of a series of troubling audits that found security lapses in several Los Angeles County departments that allowed terminated employees to gain access to confidential records, including medical and criminal files (Probation Audit, Public Health Audit).  The audits conducted by L.A. County’s Auditor-Controller specifically revealed lapses in security at Los Angeles County’s probation and public health departments.  Although the Department of Probation has now deleted the accounts, the audit found that among former employees, 695 logins remained active for seven years – and 33 were used to access probation systems. At the Department of Public Health, 13 employee accounts were active well after termination of employment, and in one case, an old login was used to order tests and access the results for patients in the public health system – a possible violation of federal privacy laws.

“This information needs to be protected at all times,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who sponsored the motion that was approved. “Efficient, reliable, useful, modern, quality and secure IT systems must be a central component and core mission of our governance and any governance restructuring that we do.”

In recent years, Supervisor Ridley-Thomas has initiated several improvements to the county’s IT system including:



Metro Celebrates 25 Years


Several hundred people turned out for a festive celebration of Metro Rail’s 25th anniversary, a historical milestone marking the continued construction of a 21st century rail system for Los Angeles County. With a Metro train zooming in the background and the Staples Center within view, elected officials, rail enthusiasts and Metro representatives hailed the ongoing investment and efforts to improve public transportation.

Over the past 25 years, a total of 80 rail stations, 87 rail miles and 275 rail cars have been built with 37 more miles to come. To celebrate, Metro has plans for 25 events across the region.

Flanked by Metro directors Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis, Duarte Councilmember John Fasana, Inglewood Mayor James Butts, and Metro Chief Executive Phil Washington, Metro Chairman and Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas thanked voters for their ongoing support.

“This is your system,” Chairman Ridley-Thomas said in recognition of LA County voters who have supported funding the train system with such ballot initiatives as Measure R in 2008. “You supported it. And through your generosity and far- sightedness, we’re creating a modern rail system that is regional in scope, rational in its appeal to riders and equitable in the benefits it is providing for the people of L.A. County.”

Today’s Metro system transports 1.4 million people to their destinations every day. With many projects in the works, including expanding the Expo and Gold Lines, and construction of the new Crenshaw/LAX Line, the Metro Rail system will span over 113 miles to destinations across LA County over the next decade.  With all of these projects, there is no greater investment in infrastructure happening in the nation.

Metro rail is part of a broader transportation system that includes 2,200 Metro buses covering 170 bus routes and nearly 16,000 bus stops. “We’re building a balanced transportation network to address the issues of the entire region,” said Metro CEO Washington.

In celebration of the Metro Rail event, 5,000 25th Anniversary commemorative TAP cards are being loaded into ticket vending machines in Union Station and 7th/Metro, Pico and Willowbrook stations. A Metro website has been established at that include details on upcoming 25th anniversary events, including concerts and art and architecture tours of the rail stations, scheduled for the next year, as well as a chance for the public to share stories through an interactive literary program.


Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital Receives Official Go-Ahead

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas celebrated the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital receiving the official seal of approval Tuesday from the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in healthcare.

“Today is indeed a good day for Los Angeles,” he said. “Accreditation by The Joint Commission clears the final hurdle to restore quality hospital services at the MLK Medical Campus and marks the beginning of a new era in health care delivery in the Willowbrook community and beyond.”

“I want to convey heartfelt congratulations to the Martin Luther King, Jr., Community Hospital staff, the Board of Directors and the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services for all of the tireless work they have invested in making this day a reality,” he added. “I look forward to the August 7 community dedication that will celebrate the facility’s formal opening. It is indeed a brand new day at MLK.”

After rigorous inspections, The Joint Commission, which evaluates and accredits more than 20,500 health care organizations and programs in the United States, concluded that the Martin Luther King, Jr., Community Hospital met standards for safety and quality of care in infection control, surgical services, medical record keeping, pharmaceutical services and a clean physical environment.

Built by Los Angeles County at a cost of $210 million, Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital is a state-of-the-art safety net that will provide compassionate, collaborative, quality care – regardless of citizenship or ability to pay. It has 131 beds, including 29 in the Emergency Room and 20 in Intensive Care. However, this is only Phase I of the project and another expansion is envisioned in the future.

The hospital is part of a $650-million medical campus that is a new model for healthcare delivery that emphasizes preventive care and holistic health with an Outpatient Center, Mental Health Urgent Care Center, Center For Public Health and, soon, a Recuperative Care Center serving homeless patients and an office building for doctors.