Ribbon cutting today for new MLK Center for Public Health in South LA

Corey Bridwell/ KPCC

Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas opens the new Martine Luther King, Jr. Center for Public Health in South L.A. on Friday, October 7, 2011

A well-known name in public health resurfaces Friday in South Los Angeles. The ribbon cutting for the first section of the new Martin Luther King hospital complex is scheduled for 9 a.m.

The opening of the Martin Luther King Center for Public Health marks a milestone. It’s the first phase of a $400 million health care campus in the Watts-Willowbrook area of South Los Angeles County.

The center will focus on preventive care. Parents may bring in their kids for free and low-cost immunizations. Testing and treatment for tuberculosis will be available — so will the same kinds of services for sexually transmitted diseases.

L.A. County closed the original Martin Luther King hospital four years ago after reports of chronic mismanagement and subpar conditions and allegations of negligent patient care. The new 120-bed hospital and outpatient clinic are scheduled to open a couple of years from now. University of California medical staff will deliver services at that facility.

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