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California Briefing / L.a. County

Hospital may not reopen until 2013

November 04, 2009|Garrett Therolf

County officials indicated Tuesday that they probably will be forced to again delay the reopening of Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital -- this time to 2013.

It was the latest in a series of postponements for the Willowbrook facility. When supervisors voted to close inpatient services in August 2007, they promised to reopen it in 2009. When Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas was elected last year, he promised to reopen it in 2010. In August, he joined his board colleagues to approve a plan to reopen in 2012.

At Tuesday's board meeting, the county's point person for health services construction, Jan Takada, reported that the latest target was March 2013. He blamed a number of factors, including the still-pending agreement with the University of California to partner with the county to reopen the hospital. The selection of an architect also took more time than expected, he said.

--Garrett Therolf

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