Los Angeles medical center urged to reopen

Though it was purchased in April 2020, Los Angeles based-St. Vincent's Medical Center still remains closed, Los Angeles Business Journal reported July 18. 

The city's oldest hospital, located in the Westlake district and encompassing five buildings and 674,000 square feet, has only briefly served as an overflow campus for COVID-19 patients since it was purchased more than two years ago. . 

St. Vincent's originally closed in January 2020 following ongoing financial struggles leading to bankruptcy. Billionaire bioscientist Patrick Soon-Shiong, MD, purchased the hospital for $135 million in April of the same year at the start of the pandemic, claiming the facility would be used as a "premier [COVID-19] research center."

"The calls to reopen the vacant St. Vincent Medical Center are getting louder, and rightfully so," Westlake Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell said in a statement after he introduced a resolution urging the state to purchase or lease the hospital so it can reopen. "We need partnership from all levels of government, as well as Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, a multibillionaire, to step up to the plate and reopen St. Vincent Medical Center as an acute care facility for people experiencing homelessness." 

Dr. Soon-Shiong declined to respond to the resolution, but in May he told the publication, "We are still evaluating the best use for that property. A biotech center, a COVID research center — all are being considered."

Dr. Soon-Shiong enlisted the help of Chicago-based real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle to find new potential tenants for the site. It remains unclear if the site will remain a full service hospital once a tenant is found.

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