Long Beach Community Medical Center Could Reopen in May
Long Beach Community Medical Center could reopen as early as May 1, according to the facility's new operators, Community Hospital of Long Beach, but that date is contingent upon fundraising, obtaining permits and completing repairs, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reports. The opening date has been pushed back "several times" since plans to reopen the hospital were announced last fall (Gewirtz, Long Beach Press-Telegram, 2/12). Last fall, Catholic Healthcare West, the hospital's former owner, closed the medical center, citing operating losses. But a coalition of local doctors and residents urged CHW to turn the facility over to the city so a new operator could be found (California Healthline, 10/11/00). In addition to obtaining "dozens of licenses and permits" needed to reopen the hospital, Community Hospital of Long Beach must also complete numerous repairs to the facility.
But "most pressing" is the group's goal of raising $17 million in financing in order to secure a $2 million loan to cover repari costs from the Long Beach City Council. Betty Keller, chair of Community Hospital's board, said that the group has already raised $5 million but "is seeking a larger cushion for unexpected expenses." She added that the "more money the group raises, the better financing deal it can expect to get." Community Hospital received a "break" last week when the Pacific Hospital Charitable Foundation "allowed a recent $2 million donation to be counted toward" the hospital's $17 million fundraising goal. The donation is intended for "charitable uses," such as expenses incurred by providing care for uninsured patients, but the foundation allowed the hospital to access the funds "immediately" instead of waiting until the facility reopens (Long Beach Press-Telegram, 2/12).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.