In South Los Angeles finding a hospital that would exceed your expectations is slim to none. South Los Angeles is one of the most underserved communities in the nation. To have a first class hospital that the community deserves sounds like only a dream, that has officially come true.
On January 15, 2015 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Grand Hall more than 600 civic, business and philanthropic leaders from Los Angeles, gathered at the Celebrating the Dream luncheon to applaud the accomplishments of the public-private partnership that has created the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital (MLKCH). The opening of the new hospital is scheduled for spring 2015.
Award-winning KCBS News Anchor, Pat Harvey was the Mistress of Ceremonies.
“I am very excited to be the M.C. for today’s ceremony. I was so heart broken when the original hospital closed. To see it actually come into fruition and to actually serve the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is very, very important to me. I am very honored and happy to be here,” said Harvey.
At this luncheon, high profile leaders were honored.
Celebrating the Dream Honorees were, actor and humanist, Forest Whitaker; director of UCLA Spanish Speaking Psychosocial Clinic Department of Psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine, Dr. Cynthia A Telles; and the Stand Up to Cancer Founders (Katie Couric, Sherry Lansing, Kathleen Lobb, Lisa Paulsen, Rusty Robertson, Sue Schwartz, Pam Oas Williams and Ellen Ziffren).
“It is a great honor to be honored. Especially, on this day,” said Whitaker. He continued, “To be here and connecting with everyone on Martin Luther King’s birthday is a special thing. For people to acknowledge you, as little as we all try, because I think everybody could play a part in doing something to help their fellow man. I am just trying to do my little part,”
Whitaker was honored the Community Engagement Award for his organization that he is the Founder and CEO of called, Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative.
As for Dr. Cynthia A. Telles, she described being honored as “wonderful.”
“It feels wonderful, but quite frankly I think the most important thing is the cause,” Telles said. “Which is expanding healthcare for underserved communities and the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Health Foundation has just done a fabulous job of making his dream a reality, of ensuring that we have high quality for the most vulnerable in the community. That is what we should be most excited about right now.”
Telles was honored the Yancey Award.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital, a private non-profit, safety-net hospital, is designed to improve and transform healthcare delivery for South Los Angeles. In partnership with the County of Los Angeles and the University of California, and under the authority of the eight-member MLK-LA Board of Directors, the new hospital will offer a level of service that ensures a high-quality, high-tech and high-touch healthcare experience for patients and their families regardless of citizenship status or ability to pay.
The new Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital will provide 131-beds and general acute care. It will feature an emergency department, critical care, labor and delivery units, and general surgery, as well as radiology and other ancillary services. Care will be organized through a state-of-the-art electronic health records system. It will also create more than 1,800 jobs in the area with approximately 900 directly at the hospital.
The luncheon was more than a celebration. It was an outstanding amount of support for health care, the community, and individuals who are doing an extraordinary job improving the quality of life within our community.