Wave Wire Service
BOY LE HEIGHTS — Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center was officially renamed Los Angeles General Medical Center during a ceremony held May 3 in the shadow of the landmark structure.
It’s a new beginning for the county’s most distinctive and busiest health care facility, which has been in operation for 55 years. The newly named hospital will also have a new motto: “Exceptional Care, Healthy Communities,” and a new mission to build healthy communities by being a trusted provider of excellent, whole-person care to all, according to a statement from Los Angeles County Health Services.
“Today marks a new beginning for us, but it’s also a continuation of our mission to provide exceptional care and building healthy communities,” Jorge Orozco, the hospital CEO, said during the renaming ceremony. “Our new motto, Exceptional Care, Healthy Communities, reflects this north star and we are excited to live up to this standard every day.”
The county Board of Supervisors officially voted May 2 to change the name. According to the motion by Supervisor Hilda Solis, whose First District includes the hospital, “the center is now charting a new path forward,” and the county is seeking to rename the facility “to reflect the hospital’s rich history and strong connection to the community accurately while maintaining its commitment to world class and culturally world-class care.”
“Los Angeles General Medical Center is Los Angeles County’s flagship hospital, and to that end, I am thrilled to see our community take ownership of its new name and brand,” Solis said in a statement. “For years, I have heard from residents and stakeholders that they wanted to see a name that speaks to the campus’ history, resonates with our residents, and can be easily understood in Spanish and other languages. As the campus moves into the next step of expanding its world-class care by creating supportive housing and a comprehensive continuum of care, Los Angeles General Medical Center will recognize our storied past while also launching us into a very bright future.”
In the motion, Solis cited widespread confusion between County-USC and “the nearby Keck Hospital of USC.”
She said research indicated “there is no consistent name or brand” by which the general public or even the patients and staff know the establishment, which was long known simply as General Hospital. Its image is still used in exterior shots for the long-running TV soap opera of that name.
The motion cited a naming process “of multiple surveys, focus groups and listening with patients, staff and community members. It was important to ensure that the name be accessible across different languages.”
The original landmark Art Deco General Hospital structure, opened in 1933, was replaced by more than a billion dollars worth of new construction in 2010, although the old building still houses a wellness center.
The medical center is one of America’s busiest hospitals, annually serving roughly 1 million in-patients and almost 40,000 out-patients. More than 1,000 medical residents are trained per year by doctors from USC’s Keck School of Medicine.
“As someone who used to work in this medical center, I am so proud to join community members, nurses, staff, and physicians to unveil the new name of this extraordinary facility, Los Angeles General Medical Center,” Mayor Karen Bass, formerly a physician assistant at the medical center, said in a statement. “This announcement captures the medical center’s past, while emphasizing its ongoing commitment to providing exceptional care and building healthy communities.
“I’ve seen it since I was a physician assistant here, and I am so proud to see that the focus on whole-person care is the priority for every member of the L.A. General community. Today, we are all Los Angeles General.”