White Memorial Medical Center Announces Grand Opening of New Specialty Care Tower

L.A.'s Best Kept Secret Now Offering Expanded Services in New State-of-the-Art Facility

Los Angeles, California, UNITED STATES

LOS ANGELES, April 7, 2006 (PRIMEZONE) -- White Memorial Medical Center, located near Downtown Los Angeles in Boyle Heights, is pleased to announce the opening of its new Specialty Care Tower on April 26, 2006. The Tower is part of White Memorial Medical Center's campus construction project now underway at the hospital. The project includes construction of a new main hospital building with additional beds, a new main entrance and lobby, retrofitting/remodeling of existing hospital buildings and equipment upgrades.

White Memorial Medical Center's multi-year structural upgrading project will meet strict new earthquake standards by 2008.

The new Specialty Care tower is a 348,000-square-foot, eight-story building with state-of the-art technology, such as new anesthesia, MRI, CT Scan, ultrasound, diagnostic mammography, nuclear medicine and fluoroscopy equipment. The building was designed with patients in mind to optimize healing and comfort. It has 167 beds and larger patient rooms. All patient rooms have three distinct areas, one for staff, one for the patient and the other for family. All rooms have windows with views of the Los Angeles skyline or the San Gabriel Mountains, as well as sitting areas for visitors that can convert to a bed for family members who wish to spend the night. The new tower also offers easier access for patient services. Patient registration, laboratory services, imaging, and surgical services are now centrally located on the first floor.

Many departments, including Emergency, Cardiac Catheterization Lab, Labor and Delivery, Maternity, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Critical Care Unit (CCU), and Intensive Care Unit, will also be housed in the new Specialty Care Tower.

"Our patients remain our number-one priority. We will be providing a new and fresh atmosphere, but our mission to provide excellent healthcare services and community outreach will not change," said Beth Zachary, President White Memorial Medical Center.

Some features of the new facility include the following:

The Emergency Department will have 22 beds, including 4 trauma rooms, 6 pediatric observation rooms, 1 pelvic exam room, 2 seclusion rooms and 8 treatment bays. An adjacent urgent care area has an additional 2 rooms and 4 treatment bays. It will also have its own CT scanner and X-ray room, reducing the need to transport patients and greatly improving both comfort and efficiency.

In the ICU, mini nurses' stations between every two rooms allow the skilled staff to attentively care for patients as they recover. All images taken in the Radiology Department are now stored digitally, enabling retrieval from anywhere in the hospital or from a physician's office.

Healing Garden and Landscaping -- The 6,500-square-foot garden is completely surrounded by buildings. Taking advantage of our mild environment, this garden is accessible 24/7 from the main lobby, patient intake, diagnostic imagining and surgery waiting rooms. The garden contains plants that have been used traditionally by the Mexican/American culture to soothe many aliments. There are walkways and benches for people to enjoy the beauty of nature. Around the main entrances, exits and exterior walkways are orange trees. A symbol of Southern California, the Orange tree provides a beautiful aroma in the Spring, followed by green fruit and, finally, the beautiful golden fruit. It is important to have a landscape that shows life and regeneration. One of the best examples of this is the Orange tree.

The look/design of the building -- The Design Advisory Group, made up of many people for our diverse culture, looked for a design that would be timeless and fit into the Southern California landscape. After much study it was determined that L.A. Union Station, L.A. City Hall and the Huntington contained those timeless, Southern California elements: the tower element, the hipped roof, the punched openings for windows, doors and walkways, and the colors used.

White Memorial Medical Center was established in 1913. Today, it is one of the region's leading not-for-profit hospitals, known for outstanding women's, children's, emergency, rehabilitation, cancer, cardiac, outpatient and community outreach services. As a major teaching hospital, White Memorial also plays an important role in training physicians, nurses and other medical professionals. With 369 beds, 1,700 employees and more than 400 physicians on its medical staff, White Memorial is committed to improving health by providing high quality, affordable health care with compassion, respect and a personal touch.


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