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An Agreement to Save Community Hospital

Release Date: 2019-03-13

Last night we took a big step forward by approving an interim agreement that could re-open Community Hospital this year. Long Beach and MWN, our operating partner, are now in the position to work directly with the California Department of Public Health and Office of Statewide Hospital Planning and Development for the State approvals needed to reopen the hospital. MWN will now complete the application for a new hospital license and the City will continue to work with the State on seismic compliance.

The final decision to reopen the hospital will be made by the State of California.

Under the agreement, Molina Wu Network (MWN) would operate the hospital and the City and MWN would share the costs of retrofitting the building so it is seismically sound.

The deal brings us one big step closer to ensuring this crucial part of our community’s healthcare system will continue to serve Long Beach as it did for 95 years before closing last year.

Some of the key terms of the deal are:

  • Recognition of the operation of Community Hospital as a public-private partnership between the City and MWN.
  • A 45-year lease term, with the option of two 10-year extensions, for one dollar a year.
  • Shared funding responsibility of seismic retrofit costs between the City and MWN for up to $50 million. The City will be responsible for up to $25 million and MWN will be responsible for any additional seismic-related costs.
  • An acute care facility, professional office building, and other ancillary medical uses, as well as a good faith effort by MWN to provide sobering center beds, medical detox beds, recuperative care, and psychiatric beds.

This agreement is an important part of addressing the goals of the Everyone Home Task Force, which called for increased mental health and substance abuse care to help prevent homelessness.

A commitment to reopen the hospital will take significant financial resources the city has not been planning for. I’ve asked city staff to return to the City Council with a full report on how we expand revenue to meet this important investment.

We all owe our thanks to city staff and to the City Council for their hard work during this long, complicated process. I especially want to recognize Councilman Daryl Supernaw, who represents the Fourth District where Community Hospital is located, for his diligence and commitment. And I want to thank Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell and Supervisor Janice Hahn for their strong advocacy, as well as our local nurses and doctors, who have been vocal supporters since day one.

This is a huge victory for Long Beach and for the health of our residents.