Community Hospital to Reopen

Kirt Ramirez

Community Hospital Long Beach is expected to reopen in the coming weeks, a spokesman for the hospital has said.

The hilltop facility on Termino Avenue near Pacific Coast Highway has the only emergency room on Long Beach’s eastside.

The historic facility, which closed in the summer of 2018 after then-operator MemorialCare stepped away due to seismic compliance issues, has not yet reopened under its new management Molina, Wu, Network, LLC, (MWN) despite officials from the healthcare group saying it would reopen earlier in 2020.

The Press-Telegram reported that state health officials recently performed an inspection but that more matters arose “that will likely keep the hospital closed until after 2021.”

The paper quoted MWN Principal John Molina as saying, “The inspectors found a number of items that need to be addressed/fixed. Our current staff is knocking each item down. It’s like a ‘punch list’ that is done at the end of construction.”

MWN spokesman Brandon Dowling told the Beachcomber through email, “We continue to work with CDPH to license the hospital. We cannot reopen until the state gives their final approval but appreciate their due diligence in the name of patient safety.”

Dowling added that California Department of Public Health (CDPH) inspectors need to give the final okay.

“They have been working with Virg [Narbutas] (our CEO) and his team, including physical inspection of the site,” he said Dec. 28. “CDPH toured the facility last week and we’re scheduling a follow-up visit.”

Regarding the recent increase in the number of COVID-19 patients, Community Hospital will not take in patients diagnosed with the highly contagious disease.

“We will not be accepting COVID-19 patients,” he said.

However, it is suspected that reopening Community Hospital will lessen the burden on area hospitals so that they can better care for coronavirus patients.

Former operator MemorialCare closed Community Hospital on July 3, 2018.

The City of Long Beach owns the land and hospital buildings and an agreement between the city and new operator MWN was reached in March 2019.


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