The Resurrection of Martin Luther King Jr…Hospital in “Los Angeles” California
By: C. Nash 4 tha People
The community of Watts/Willowbrook is undergoing a complete transformation nowadays and the most important aspect of the community is almost complete. The Martin Luther King Jr. Medical Campus has finally opened the doors of the MLK Community Hospital. “Killer King”, as it was once known throughout the community, has been closed down since 2007. August 6th and 7th 2015 Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas successfully launched two dedication ceremonies for the grand opening of the hospital. Each event provided education to the community about all of the resources offered on the medical campus located off 120th street between Wilmington Ave. and Compton Ave. The 42-acre MLK Medical Campus features the brand new MLK Outpatient Center, the MLK Center for Public Health, the MLK Mental Health Urgent Care Center, the Augustus F. Hawkins Psychiatric and Clinical Services Building, and in September 2015 the MLK Recuperative Care Center will be opening.
The two-day event began on Thursday August 6th at 9am with a Prayer Breakfast on the front lawn of the former King/Drew Medical Center grounds. The breakfast was lead by supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, KJLH Host Aundrae Russell, and the Prayer was delivered by Noel Jones, the senior pastor of the City of Refuge Church in Gardena. The delicious breakfast was catered by Shef Catering Services (@ShefServices), a minority owned company based out of Inglewood. Not only was the breakfast amazing, but the sweet familiar smell of a hearty breakfast engulfed an area covering a few hundred feet in all directions. Multiple members of the religious community in the Los Angeles area supported prayer for the hospital this morning. Bible Enrichment Fellowship International Church, Guidance Church of Religious Science, Islamic Center of Hawthorne, Higashi Hongwanji Buddhist Temple, Beth Chayim Chadashim, Churches for Action, Centro Cristiano LA, and the Band of Mission Indians and the L.A. City/County Native American Indian Commission were the other religious organizations in attendance to lend their spiritual blessings and support of this much needed community resource.
The second day of activities took place under a huge tent in the parking lot in front Charles Drew University, directly across the street from the brand new facilities of the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital. The morning ceremony for the hospital featured ABC Marc Brown as the event MC. Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas closed out the ceremony with remarks about the hard work and collaborative efforts that it took for the hospital to get to where it is today. The ceremony also saw appearances from other noteworthy individuals such as Senator Isadore Hall III, U.S. House Rep. Janice Hahn, and Mayor Eric Garcetti. Even “Sweet” Alice Harris was apart of the morning ceremony and she shared her thoughts about how important this hospital is to the Watts community. Everything was peaceful and surprisingly informative during the morning event. Lots of literature and community resources were available in a specific section of the parking lot during the event so that people walking by would feel welcome to join and receive information. The Choir from West Angeles Church of God in Christ provided the musical entertainment for the ceremony.
The event was successful and it demonstrates what can happen in the community once some good ideas and resources can come together for some consistent effort towards change. With the amount of jobs created in the area and the amount of lives that will be affected by health care, the quality of life is sure to improve in the Willowbrook area. Feel free to drive by and visit the facility to appreciate the art, the architecture, and the cleanliness of something that the people have deserved all along.