Hawaiian Gardens hospital aims to hire 100 people amid reopening as COVID treatment center

HAWAIIAN GARDENS, Calif. (KABC) -- A previously shuttered hospital in Hawaiian Gardens held a hiring event Saturday morning, following a recent reopening as a COVID-19 treatment center.

The 137-bed Pacific Gardens Medical Center is looking to hire 100 skilled and non-skilled nurses and other employees, including food services and janitorial workers.

Newly hired employees will help staff the facility's emergency room, intensive care unit and coronavirus treatment unit.

The hospital also needs to fill positions in its pharmacy, surgery and radiology departments, officials said.

Marilyn Evans of Pasadena hopes she is among those who will be hired. Recently, she's been working with COVID-19 patients.

"They are in there alone, we're constantly either Facetiming with families or on the phone with families, it makes it a little bit difficult but that's what we're for, to give them sort of hope and tell them, keep going push on," she said.

The medical center, which had shut down in 2017 after struggling financially, reopened earlier this week as part of the effort to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in the surrounding community. The hospital's new owners spent more than $20 million on the renovation.

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"It's a massive undertaking," said David Diamond, a spokesman for the facility. "It requires all of our support staff. In that building are heroes. These are people that have given up a great portion of their own personal lives for something that they believe is incredibly important for the community."

The facility hopes to be fully staffed by mid-April. Evans knows this opportunity for her can also help a struggling community.

"There's a demand and I'm meeting them each day. I just pray that I remain healthy in order to go to work," Evans said.

Saturday's job fair wrapped up, but more applications were to be accepted on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Pacific Gardens Medical Center, 21530 South Pioneer Boulevard in Hawaiian Gardens.

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