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Citizens Raise $1.1 Million in Drive to Save Hospital

September 28, 2000

LONG BEACH — A citizens coalition formed to save Long Beach Community Medical Center from closing has raised $1.1 million in the first 36 hours of a desperate $4-million campaign to save the hospital.

At the beginning of this week, leaders of the Save Our Neighborhood Hospital coalition had raised $14 million of the $18 million they say is needed to operate the hospital. In a public plea issued Tuesday, they asked the public to donate $4 million in the next 10 days to complete the financing package.

The owner, Catholic Healthcare West, has already begun shutting down the hospital in anticipation of a final closure Monday. The nonprofit chain says it can no longer afford to keep the hospital operating and will return the land to the city of Long Beach.

Five potential operators, including Save Our Neighborhood Hospital, have submitted bids to reopen and run the facility. The city manager's office is studying the bids and expects to make a recommendation to the City Council in the middle of next month. But city officials believe that the coalition, if it can raise the money, holds the upper hand in the bid contest.

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