State grants Community Hospital license to operate; can accept patients as soon as Jan 4th

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Community Hospital Long Beach operator Molina, Wu, Network, LLC (MWN) announced Friday the facility was granted a license to open from the California Department of Public Health. After months of setbacks, the hospital will be able to receive transfer patients as soon as Monday, Jan. 4.

  • 🚑: CHLB initially will open with 11 much-needed ICU beds and space for 40 other patients with the ability to add additional capacity later in 2021

  • 🚑: Beds will be used for transfers of patients from local hospitals and nursing facilities to relieve stress from overwhelmed healthcare providers operating at or near capacity.

  • 🚑: No walk-in patients nor COVID-19 patients will be accepted at the current time; the additional beds at CHLB are intended to free up beds at other hospitals for the care of COVID-19 patients.

Catch up quick:

Ever since MWN signed a lease with the city, Community Hospital has faced a series of delays and lofty promises regarding its reopening. In June 2019, one of the owners, John Molina, told the LB Post the experience of reopening the hospital has "been two steps forward, and one step back."

  • One of the first significant issues was financing as MWN need $45 million to pay for seismic retrofitting.

  • The hospital was dubbed a "rebuild" due to the number of upgrades to get the facility under state compliance.

  • MWN has until 2025 to bring Community Hospital Long Beach into seismic compliance due to being on top of a faultline, per LB Post.

  • Over the past 18 months, more than $6 million has been put toward reopening the hospital, including deferred maintenance, replacement of equipment, supplies, utility systems, and refurbishments to both the exterior façade and interior rooms, city officials announced.

  • In the coming months, CHLB will expand the services offered, including the emergency department's opening in March of 2021.

But, but, but:

According to the L.B Press-Telegram, the California Department of Public Health hasn't yet confirmed the Community Hospital's license, and the Health Department's website still lists the hospital's license as "suspended."

What they're saying:

  • Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia: “With hospitals across our city and state at capacity, this reopening is critical for the safety and care of our community,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “Community Hospital is a local institution, and I’m incredibly grateful to our hospital partners and the state for getting it open. We expect the hospital reopening to have an immediate impact on local capacity and our ability to save lives.”

  • Virg Narbutas, Chief Executive Officer of Community Hospital Long Beach: "We’re on track to expand services within the next 90 days, and this initial opening allows us to fully ramp up our essential services so that we can provide a comprehensive level of quality care at the hospital.”

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