L.A. Hospital On Track After Delay

LOS ANGELES — The Martin Luther King-Harbor Hospital in South Los Angeles is finally on track to open its doors to patients in 2013.

A private nonprofit corporation formed by a partnership between the University of California and the former Martin Luther King/Drew Medical Center facility will run new $400 million, 120-bed hospital.

The L.A. County Board of Supervisors and the University of California have named a board to oversee operations at the new hospital.

Pasadena-based Jacobs Engineering Group, and Jenkins/Gales & Martinez, Inc. — have signed onto the project for a reported $355 million contract.

A groundbreaking ceremony took place last June on the 33,000 square-foot, $20 million South Health Center, which will provide wellness and preventive services as well as a community garden and kitchen. Construction is expected to resume in the coming months.

King/Drew closed three years ago over controversy concerning its practices and the quality of its patient care. Since it closed its doors, residents in the South Central Los Angeles area have had to go as far away as Long Beach to seek care.

King/Drew became King-Harbor after Harbor-UCLA Medical Center agreed manage the hospital in a bid to keep it open. However, the hospital was unable to solve its problems and the county shut it down in 2007.