Meet the new MLK Board
August 10, 2010
A seven-member board of directors for the new facility, being created as a partnership between the county and the University of California, was approved Tuesday by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.
The board’s members, who came jointly recommended by the county’s Chief Executive Office and the UC, are Southern California leaders in the fields of medicine, health care management, business and law. (See bios below.)
One of the appointees, Paul King, the president and chief executive officer of Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles Medical Group, said the array of talent and experience on display among his new colleagues would be enough to intimidate many hospital administrators.
However, he said, this will be a board “that understands the difference between governance and management.”
The directors, who are expected to come together soon for their first meeting, will work with the project’s management team as it moves toward opening the facility in 2013. Under the agreement, the county is funding and rebuilding the facility to modern seismic standards while the UC is taking charge of all physician services there. The private, non-profit hospital will have 120 beds.
It will replace the former Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center, which closed to inpatients in 2007 after years of mismanagement and patient care lapses. The idea of joining forces with the UC to create the new hospital was first proposed by Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky.
Helping to restore a crucial health care provider to people in South Los Angeles is a strong motivator for the directors, who will serve without pay.
“I think it’s an exciting time,” said one of the new board members, Manuel A. Abascal, a partner at Latham & Watkins. “I think every community deserves great health care.”
Other new directors echoed that sentiment. “I really believe that the South Los Angeles community deserves better access to quality health care,” said Dr. Elaine Batchlor, chief medical officer of L.A. Care Health Plan.
But no one was underestimating the size of the challenge ahead.
“It’s going to be quite the task,” King said. “Most of us who’ve been approached look upon this as a community service, seeking to really return health care to that community…We’ve got a lot to do. 2013 will come faster than anybody thinks.”
Manuel A. Abascal…
is a Los Angeles attorney who often works on health care cases.
Dr. Elaine Batchlor…
is Chief Medical Officer of L.A. Care Health Plan.
is president and CEO of Griego Enterprises, Inc.
is president and CEO of Children’s Medical Group.
is the former CEO of Providence Healthcare of Southern California.
Dr. Robert Margolis…
is Managing Partner and Chief Executive Office of HealthCare Partners.
is the former president and CEO of Citrus Valley Health Partners.