Los Angeles/ Transportation & Infrastructure
AI Assisted Icon
Published on February 28, 2024
Harbor-UCLA Medical Center's $1.7 Billion Overhaul Begins in Los Angeles, Boosting Care for Underserved CommunitiesSource: Los Angeles County Public Works

Los Angeles County health officials have officially kicked off a massive construction project at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center—a $1.7 billion initiative aimed to directly impact underserved communities and the capacity of the area's sole Level I Trauma Center. The Los Angeles County Public Works announcement came with much fanfare during a Wednesday groundbreaking, where LA County Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell, alongside the County CEO Fesia Davenport, and other officials, marked the expansion's commencement.

Holly J. Mitchell was quoted in the initial press release saying, "The Harbor-UCLA Replacement Program is a $1.7 billion investment that will improve access and equity to underserved communities." Notably, the project looks to bring major upgrades—including six new buildings—to the Harbor-UCLA campus by 2027. The medical center, made famous in the 70's hit show 'Emergency!', will operate throughout the renovation period, promising minimal disruption to the critical care provided there.

In the six months following the groundbreaking ceremony, we're now catching a glimpse of the first construction fruits. According to Urbanize LA, the new clinic building is gradually coming to life beside the main hospital, sporting six stories that'll house outpatient clinics, educational spaces, and offices for staff. Moreover, the build has been designed with patient convenience in mind; those who face mobility challenges will find critical services easily accessible on the lower levels.

The revamp, motivated in part by California's SB 1953 which mandates seismic safety updates by 2030, will also feature a new inpatient tower to host 346 beds, a helipad, parking structures, and additional facilities. All of this is to fully retrofit or rebuild the aging hospital within the given state safety regulations timeframe. The design-build team for the clinic, including Hensel Phelps, HMC Architects, and CO Architects, aims to wrap up the first phase by Fall 2026.

As Los Angeles County looks towards a future of sustainable and equitable healthcare infrastructure, Harbor-UCLA's overhaul exemplifies a broader movement within the region. Similar upgrades are underway across the county at medical mainstays like Cedars-Sinai and Kaiser Permanente, anticipating more resilient and advanced care facilities that stand ready to serve their communities—even in the shakeup of a Californian earthquake.