January 24, 2013
On the 84th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the Master Plan for the new Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital campus sponsored by Board Chairman Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, embracing his vision of health care delivery for not just the new hospital, but the entire MLK campus, they said.
The Master Plan was the result of a yearlong community planning process, and was formed with the input of hundreds of residents, civic leaders, business owners and health care advocates.
According to the plan, the new hospital will be at the heart of a web of community wellness resources, said the supervisors. It recommends not only expansion of the new hospital and existing Multi-Ambulatory Care Center, the plan also urges: a new mental health urgent care center, mixed-use retail space, medical office space, connected community gardens, safe pedestrian walkways and recreational facilities to promote wellness and physical activity.
“The master plans is a roadmap, not a hard and fixed requirement, but seeks to anticipate the future direction of healthcare and prepare for that new day,” they said.
“It also lays out a vision for the entire 142-acre Willowbrook community that surrounds the campus.”
Off campus, the plan allows space for school-based health centers, mobile clinics, blood banks, and community health centers to support the work of the MLK campus and provide a more holistic approach to health care. The plan recommends a new health park and a series of connected community gardens, safe pedestrian walkways, and recreational facilities to promote wellness and physical activity. It promotes access to healthier food options and includes space for retail. It also increases access to public transportation.
“I am thrilled with the passage of this master plan,” said Ridley Thomas. “It is our goal to bring a complete and comprehensive network of services –not just a hospital — to South Los Angeles. The planning process was intense and intensive, but it was well worth it. This document will serve as a guide for many years to come as we bring top-notch services to a community that has long waited for quality care.”