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US Rep Maxine Waters Embraces County’s Recommended Plan

July 15, 2009
Press Release

U.S. Representative Maxine Waters (CA-35) issued the following statement today in response to the recommended plan that Dr. Bruce A. Chernof,  Director and Chief Medical Officer for Los Angeles County Health Services, presented to the County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday to save King/Drew Hospital.  The recommended plan provides preliminary suggestions that include bringing in Harbor UCLA Hospital to provide new management for King/Drew and to take over some of its services.  The recommendation also calls for the relocation of a number of the King/Drew employees to other County hospitals.  It also suggests that King/Drew maintain some of its core functions.  Rep. Waters has endorsed the recommended plan presented by Dr. Chernof and said the following:

"The L.A. County Board of Supervisors should be applauded for moving so quickly to prevent King/Drew Hospital from being closed.  No one disputes the fact that there were deficiencies at the hospital, but now it's time to work together to support the leadership that has been demonstrated by the board as it remains focused on developing the details of a comprehensive, viable plan to keep King/Drew open."

"Dr. Chernof's recommended plan would allow King/Drew to retain the ability to provide core services to the community like routine surgery, general medicine, and basic emergency room procedures.  Other services would be transferred to Harbor UCLA.  Some King/Drew employees will be sent to other county hospitals, and there would also be a reduction in the number of beds."  

"Monday night, I held a town hall meeting where the community overwhelmingly favored keeping King/Drew open.  We left the meeting after reaching a consensus that we would work together to support the efforts being made by the board and then to do whatever is necessary to keep this process on the right track and moving forward.  And the board is on the right track."
"Although the Commission on Medicare and Medicaid Services' decision to terminate funding for King/Drew has presented us with a difficult challenge, I am encouraged by Dr. Chernof's recommended plan.   He appears to have taken the Commission's comments into consideration and has provided a framework that it can potentially accept."

"Ultimately, King/Drew must remain open, and I will work with the community to support every effort the Board of Supervisors makes toward this goal and toward eventually restoring full, comprehensive services at the hospital, which must include a fully functional trauma center."