Santa Teresita Hospital Closes Emergency Room, Acute Care Facility
Santa Teresita Hospital in Duarte on Friday closed its emergency room and acute care facility in part because of the state's nursing shortage, the Los Angeles Times reports. The hospital's outpatient surgery center, fertility clinic and 177-bed skilled nursing facility will stay open, according to Sister Michelle Clines, chair of the hospital board of directors. The hospital had been slowly reducing the number of its acute care beds , from a high in 1987 of 150 beds to fewer than 40 in 2003. The closing of Santa Teresita's ER will put "further strains" on the local health system, which was recently affected by the closure of St. Luke Medical Center in Pasadena, the Times reports. The closure of Santa Teresita's ER is expected to produce a 25% increase in emergency room patients at Methodist Hospital in Arcadia, the closest hospital to Santa Teresita. Carol Gunter, acting director of the Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services Agency, said, "Every ER that closes in L.A. County puts greater pressure on our system, which is already overwhelmed." Clines did not have information on layoffs resulting from the closure but said that the hospital would retain many of its 475 employees because they are linked to its skilled nursing facility and clinics (Chavez, Los Angeles Times, 1/9).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.