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Medical Center Is Dedicated in Palmdale

October 18, 2002|Stephanie Stassel | Times Staff Writer

A new $6-million medical center was publicly dedicated Thursday in Palmdale on what could be the site of the city's next hospital.

The South Valley Medical Center has a primary-care clinic, an obstetrics clinic and an urgent-care facility. It also houses the state-run Women, Infants and Children program.

Plans call for eventually expanding the center into a 300-bed hospital, said Gary Hill, chairman of the board of the Antelope Valley Health Care District, which paid for the 25,000-square-foot facility's construction.

Although the center opened three months ago, the dedication was delayed until X-ray equipment for the urgent-care facility arrived recently. Since its opening, 3,300 patients have been treated at the center.

"This means close access to health care," Hill said.

The medical center, at 38350 40th St. East, is critical to Palmdale, which has been without a hospital since Palmdale Hospital closed in 1996. Also, due to a budget shortfall, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted this summer to convert High Desert Hospital in Lancaster into an outpatient center -- unless it can start turning a profit by May.

Staffing costs at the Palmdale center will be shared by the Antelope Valley Health Care District and Los Angeles County.

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