Community Hospital Closure

John Bishop, Community Medical Center CEO

[Editor Note: The following text was left off a story in the April 13 print edition due to space limitations.]

This was a very difficult announcement. We exhaustively explored all options to continue operations at Community Medical Center as an acute care hospital. This proved not possible since previously unknown seismic findings showed that large portions of the facility would have to be demolished, leaving a small, 94-year-old hospital with no more than 20 acute care beds, which would not allow for viable acute care operations.

We are all saddened that the findings from independent studies confirming a larger, more active fault than originally known beneath the hospital were not more encouraging for the future of Community Medical Center Long Beach. This information was supported by significant due diligence, including consulting with seismic experts, structural engineers and architects and also more recently confirmed by the city’s own independent analysis of the fault.

It was therefore determined, and the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development has confirmed, that due to the active fault line and California’s legal requirements for acute care hospitals, that Community Medical Center cannot meet the seismic compliance regulations.

Since the land and buildings are owned by the City of Long Beach, we have been working with the city and had suggested that there be consideration to transition the facility into what has been shown by independent studies, including one by the city, to be the greatest unmet health care need in the region. That is the need for a full-time behavioral health facility, which would be allowed under the state’s seismic regulations.

This unmet need was identified by an in-depth analysis conducted by a prominent third party and additionally through an earlier study conducted by Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services that confirmed the gaps in behavioral health across the city.

However, in light of the city’s recent decision rejecting the concept, we were forced to evaluate our ability to maintain viable acute care operations at Community Medical Center. We are helping the city while respecting the due diligence of the city to make a decision on how best to utilize its land and buildings. We will continue operating the facility until its closure, providing the quality and compassionate care that have been our hallmark for many years.



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