South LA medical center's ground breaking first of many revitalization projects

Los Angeles County officials gathered to break ground today on a $20 million public health center that will provide outpatient services in South Los Angeles.

"We are standing at the epicenter of a great opportunity to address the health care crisis, not just South Los Angeles, but the entire nation,'' said county Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who represents the area. "Rather than throwing up our hands at the challenges presented to us, we are planting our shovels today to create a new reality.''

South Health Center, located at the corner of 120th Street and Wilmington Avenue, will offer outpatient care as part of the larger Martin Luther King Jr. Medical Center Campus.

The Board of Supervisors last year approved a $353.8 million plan to reopen the MLK Medical Center.

The county's plan calls for the hospital to be reopened with inpatient services by late 2012 with 120 beds, handling about 30,000 annual emergency visits and 10,000 outpatient visits.

The center is expected to create over 10,000 new jobs in the community, along with the much anticipated new MLK Medical Center, Multi-Service Ambulatory Care Center, and the MTA Rosa Parks Station.