MLK Jr. hospital secures $25 million in state funding to stay open for remainder of year

Ashley Mackey Image
Sunday, July 7, 2024
MLK Jr. hospital secures state funding to remain open for rest of year
When Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the state budget last week, the hospital secured $25 million in funding, which is going to help them stay open for the rest of the year.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- It was about a month ago that community members and leaders rallied for funding to keep the maternity ward at Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital open.

Now, they're celebrating. When Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the state budget last week, the hospital secured $25 million in funding.

Tamara Robertson, who had her baby at the hospital, said the funding is vital because for many residents, MLK is their only option.

"When we speak to the maternal ward, it's one of the safest in the county," said Robertson. "They serve predominantly Black and brown women, and so even the thought of it closing is crazy to me."

Senator Steven Bradford said it's a relief to know that voices are being heard.

"Not only the elected officials, but as a community as a whole, of this tremendous staff that does incredible work that's needed in this community," he said.

The hospital recognized Bradford, Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly Mitchell and Assemblymember Mike Gipson for their legislative efforts.

They said the proof is in the number of visits, saying the hospital had the second busiest emergency department in Los Angeles County.

"Our emergency department sees an average of about 120,000 visits a year," said Anahiz Correa, Senior Director of Critical Care Services at MLK Community Hospital. "When we first opened the hospital, we would see about 35,000 to 45,000 visits a year - we're seeing three times of that."

Mitchell called it a fairytale story.

"To see the way in which they stepped up, turned no one away, they were serving, quite frankly, patients that belonged to other health systems," said Mitchell.

Officials say critical work is ongoing to secure a more permanent solution for the hospital's future.