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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

County USC

L.A. County-USC Medical Center

Year Founded: 1878

Employees: 7,000

Licensed Beds: 1,779


Occupancy Rate: 44.4%

Births: 4,000

Deaths: Would not disclose

Emergency Room Visits: 230,839

Surgical Operations

Inpatient: 13,498

Outpatient: 3,493

County-USC Medical Center has been caring for underprivileged Angelenos for more than a century. Founded in 1878, it is the primary teaching hospital of the USC School of Medicine. The current structure in Lincoln Heights was built in 1932 and severely damaged in the 1994 Northridge earthquake.

For several ensuing years, the county Board of Supervisors fiercely debated about how large the replacement hospital should be. Finally the board over adamant objections from Eastside Supervisor Gloria Molina approved a plan to replace the existing 1,779-bed hospital with a new 600-bed facility. Molina insisted that at least 750 beds would be needed. At one point, Molina enlisted the assistance of state lawmakers from Eastside districts, who threatened to hold up state funding if anything smaller than a 750-bed replacement hospital were approved.

The compromise plan calls for a 600-bed hospital with an option to build a 150-bed annex should the need arise. The new hospital, with an estimated cost of $818 million, is targeted for a site adjacent to the existing hospital. It is scheduled to open in 2006.

The existing County-USC facility is the largest hospital in L.A. County and the only county-owned hospital east of downtown. As such, it is by far the most important health care provider for the predominantly Latino communities in East and Central Los Angeles.

The hospital is also the primary health care provider for many of the homeless living in and around downtown L.A. Although all patients are charged at least a token fee, the hospital has always been the only available option for the county’s poorest residents.

Edvard Pettersson

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