LA supervisors approve MLK Hospital board

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AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Multi-Service Ambulatory Care Center, MLK-MACC is seen in Los Angeles. File photo.

The seven board members who’ll oversee Willowbrook’s new Martin Luther King Junior Hospital not only have extensive professional experience, they also have practical knowledge about how boards work.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors haven’t formally introduced the hospital's new board members yet, but the names include: Manuel Abascal, attorney and partner at Latham and Watkins; Elaine Batchor, head medical officer at L.A. Care Health Plan; and Robert Margolis of HealthCare Partners.

Supervisors approved the board’s appointments today.

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, whose district includes Willowbrook, told his colleagues that their yay or nay vote comes on the eve of the 45th anniversary of the 1965 Watts Riots.

“It’s a statement," says Ridley-Thomas, "that we are prepared to do what is required of us with respect to the improvement and the quality of life of the people who rely on this facility, who will rely on this facility."

L.A. County Chief Executive Officer William Fujioka and University of California’s Dr. John Stobo interviewed the nominees and jointly recommended all seven. Ridley-Thomas says initially, board members will likely have a five-year contract. The directors will begin hiring key support staff soon. The new hospital is scheduled to open in three years.

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