Charles Drew University closes its Urgent Care Clinic

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Patricia Nazario/KPCC

State-of-the-art exam room at the Charles Drew Urgent Care Clinic in South Los Angeles. The facility is inside the Kenneth Hahn Plaza across the street from the ambulatory care center that replaced Martin Luther King Hospital in Willowbrook.

Fourteen months after the state-of-the-art diagnostic and testing center opened, Charles Drew University officials say it costs too much to maintain. Leaders of the Community Health Councils say it’s also possible that the closing may be part of the university’s strategy to play a bigger role at the new MLK Community Hospital, if University of California regents decide to partner with Los Angeles County and vote for the project.

Charles Drew University, across the street from the Martin Luther King Ambulatory Care Center, has shut down its urgent care clinic.

University officials sent a written notification to its patients.

November 6, 2009 – The letter's date.
November 14, 2009 – The last date of services.
November 16, 2009 – The postmark on some of the batch mailings.

University Dean Dr. Richard Baker wrote that the sluggish economy has affected the health science university’s financial status, and that’s one reason it closed the clinic.

Charles Drew University opened the urgent care clinic in September 2008. The university’s Web site highlights the facility’s six exam rooms, X-ray machine, electronic medical records, and on-site laboratory.

So far, there’s no word on whether its closing is temporary or permanent. An outpatient clinic also operates on the site of the old Martin Luther King-Drew Medical Center that lost its accreditation for in-patient care in August 2007.

Leaders of the Community Health Councils say they hadn’t heard about the end of the Charles Drew University clinic. They say the facility wasn’t treating the number of patients it expected.

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