Los Angeles Clinic Receives HUD Grant
Pacific Alliance Medical Center in Los Angeles will receive a $750,000 grant and a $5 million loan guarantee as part of a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development effort to help communities restore "brownfields" -- land that is abandoned or underutilized because of contamination -- the Los Angles Times reports. The money will be used to fund a $38 million expansion of the facility, including construction of a 129-bed skilled nursing facility for elderly residents, enlarging the hospital's obstetrics unit and adding a 350-space parking garage. According to Morella Lombardi of the Los Angeles HUD office, the site is considered a brownfield because it is located near "active and abandoned" oil wells, in addition to "a number of leaking underground storage tanks" currently under review by the Regional Water Quality Control Board, the Times reports. The grant is part of HUD's Brownfields Economic Development Initiative, which awarded $29 million in grants and $117 million in loans to transform such sites -- including six others in California -- into "new centers of community renewal," according to the Times. City council member Ed Reyes, whose district includes the hospital, said, "We could not allow this clinic to go unfunded and its residents to continue to feel that they live in isolation" (Stewart, Los Angeles Times, 10/14).
In related news, developer Rancho Mission Viejo has given $1 million to Mission Viejo-based Mission Hospital Regional Medical Center 's $10 million fund-raising campaign to double the size of its emergency room, the Los Angeles Times reports. The ER, which is the only trauma center in south Orange County, treats about 50,000 patients each year, double the number it was designed to handle. In the last five years, the number of life-threatening emergencies presenting at the trauma center has increased by half. As a result, the St. Joseph Health System-owned hospital is forced to go on diversion frequently, turning away ambulances 12 days in one month last year. The expansion will more than double the number of emergency beds from 17 to 38, allowing patients to enter surgery within nine minutes of arrival; the national average time-to-surgery is one hour. The project, expected to be completed by early 2005, is being paid for by donations and loans. The gift from Rancho Mission Viejo, which headed construction of the hospital in 1971, is the largest single gift to the hospital's current campaign (Pasco, Los Angeles Times, 10/14).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.