Storm collapses roof at nonprofit South LA medical clinic, causing $500,000 in damage

Wednesday, March 1, 2023
Roof collapses at nonprofit South LA clinic, causing $500K in damage
Doctors found a way to keep seeing patients even when the roof collapsed and pipes burst at a nonprofit South Los Angeles medical clinic.

SOUTH LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Only months after it opened, a nonprofit medical clinic in South Los Angeles saw its roof collapse due to the heavy storm, damaging new equipment and office space.

The damage was made worse because the collapsing roof broke a sprinkler pipe, sending more water gushing into the clinic.

Within an hour, about six inches of water was building up on the floor of Universal Community Health Center on San Pedro Street, according to CEO Dr. Edgar Chavez.

"The biggest problem we have is that all of our medical equipment that we use to see patients was damaged," Chavez said. "We have equipment that we use to diagnose people that we cannot use right now because it got wet."

The collapse caused about $500,000 in damage, the CEO says.

The nonprofit clinic specializes in treating the uninsured. It has set up a GoFundMe asking the public for help repairing the damage.

UCHC's O'Neill Clinic opened in November 2022 and was just getting its dental department started when the roof collapsed in the construction area.

The staff members still found ways to see their patients.

"The dental unit got kind of damaged," said dental director Rebecca Marin. "So we had to make some modifications as far as how we can continue seeing the patients with what we had."