Los Angeles hospital closing after 74 years

Ayla Ellison (Twitter) - Print  | 

Olympia Medical Center, a 204-bed hospital in Los Angeles, is slated to close March 31 at 11:59 p.m. 

Employees found out the hospital, which opened 74 years ago, was closing Dec. 31, when they arrived at work to find a piece of paper on the door informing them that the facility was shutting down at the end of March.

After the closure was announced, there were protests; healthcare workers signed petitions; and local government officials wrote letters in an attempt to persuade the hospital's owner, Irvine, Calif.-based Alecto Healthcare Services, to keep it open, according to the Los Angeles Times

Alecto, a private company, sold the hospital in January to UCLA Health, which is leasing the facility back to Alecto while it winds down operations. Details of the transaction are not publicly available.  

UCLA Health told Becker's Hospital Review it is preparing to renovate the facility and exploring  services to offer. 

"The initial plans will include exploration of inpatient and outpatient mental health services — a dire and unmet need in Los Angeles County with few and shrinking providers of inpatient care," the health system stated to Becker's Hospital Review.

The additional campus in the Mid-Wilshire area will allow UCLA Health to expand healthcare services and add hundreds of healthcare jobs in L.A. County, the health system stated.

Alecto's decision to close the hospital has prompted concern from the local community. Ninety percent of the hospital's patients are covered by Medicare, and nearly 40 percent are Black Americans, according to the Times. An Alecto representative said at a virtual hearing in January that Olympia Medical Center had not been busy and did not offer enough services to justify keeping the facility open.

When the hospital closes, 451 employees will lose their jobs, according to a notice filed with the state. 

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