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MLK Center for Public Health opens in South LA

October 7, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Martin Luther King Center for Public Health opened Friday in the South Los Angeles community of Willowbrook.

The two-story facility will serve specific health needs to the South Los Angeles community.

Dr. Jan King with the MLK Center for Public Health said the clinic's services include treating sexually transmitted diseases, tuberculosis and other conditions. King said the clinic also provides immunizations to people without health insurance.

The clinic has been treating patients for about a month. Friday was the formal grand opening.

At a cost of $20 million, the clinic has state of the art equipment.

X-ray technician Linda Kelley said patients have been very appreciative to have the new clinic in their community.

"They love coming here. They really enjoy it. The atmosphere is nice, and we're warm and we help them the best we can," said Kelley.

The MLK Center for Public Health is just across the street from the problem-plagued MLK Hospital, which was closed in August 2007 and is currently being rebuilt.

Friday's grand opening was the first phase of what is slated to be a huge $400 million health care campus, serving low-income families.

"Today we are renewing our covenant with this community that we will rebuild like never before. Today, we witness the steady progress in our effort to open a new medical center, celebrating this, our first installment in that development," said Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.

The new health center was only open to invited guests Friday to tour the new facility.

The MLK Hospital across the street is tentatively slated to reopen in January 2013 on Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday.

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