Agreement Reached to Reopen Long Beach Hospital

An interim lease and tentative operating agreement that will lead to the reopening of Community Hospital Long Beach was approved Tuesday by the Long Beach City Council.

Exclusive negotiations between the city and the Molina, Wu, Network LLC (MWN) healthcare group began in June. The network is a strategic and operating partnership involving Pacific6 Enterprises, AHMC Healthcare Inc. and Network Medical Management.

MWN and Long Beach have jointly agreed to operate Community Hospital as a public-private partnership. MWN will provide up to $25 million in initial costs for the seismic retrofit needed to reopen the hospital, according to Brandon Dowling, communications director of Pacific6 Enterprises.

Long Beach will share in seismic retrofit costs, committing up to a total of $25 million. MWN has also committed up to an additional $40 million for deferred maintenance, the purchase of necessary equipment, operating capital and any additional seismic retrofit costs above the combined $50 million provided by MWN and the city, Dowling said.

Community Hospital will have a full-service emergency room, outpatient surgery, radiology, a behavioral health unit and gastrointestinal lab, Dowling said.

MWN is also working with the city and other partners to explore the feasibility of adding outpatient behavioral health services, substance abuse services, recuperative care, diabetes care and wound care to the hospital's services to address community needs identified in the city's "Everyone Home Long Beach" task force report, Dowling said.

MWN intends to rehire many of the staff previously employed at the site through a partnership with Pacific Gateway, Dowling said. MWN anticipates that the hospital will reopen with roughly 200 employees, with an additional 200 to be hired as new health care services are offered after seismic compliance is achieved, Dowling said.

MWN will also pursue significant community collaborations with local residents including health and wellness workshops, hands-on volunteer opportunities and education internship and employment partnerships with Long Beach City College and Cal State Long Beach, Dowling said.

"I'm proud of the entire city team and thank MWN for making the reopening of Community Hospital a priority," Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia said.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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