Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Friday, August 6, 2010


Page 3


Attorney Abascal Nominated to New MLK Hospital Board


By a MetNews Staff Writer


The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will consider Latham and Watkins partner Manuel A. Abascal and six others to serve as the first board of directors of the new independent private, non-profit Martin Luther King, Jr. Hospital, a county spokesperson said yesterday.

The spokesperson said Abascal and the others were jointly recommended by Los Angeles County Chief Executive Officer William T Fujioka and Dr. John D. Stobo, University of California senior vice president for health sciences and services.

If appointed by the Board of Supervisors and UC, the nominees will serve as the independent governing body that will oversee operations of the hospital, which is expected to open in 2013.

Abascal is a member of the Litigation Department in Latham and Watkins’ Los Angeles office, and joined the State Bar in 1994 after graduating from Claremont McKenna College and Yale Law School.

He told the MetNews he was “honored and privileged” to have been approached for the position, commenting: “Every community deserves high-quality, accessible health care.”

Abascal added that, if appointed, he hoped “to work to build a great and premiere hospital.”

The other nominees include Elaine Batchlor, chief medical officer of L.A. Care Health Plan; Linda Griego, president and chief executive officer of Griego Enterprises; Paul King, president and chief executive officer of Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles Medical Group; Michael Madden, former chief executive officer of Providence Healthcare of Southern California; Robert Margolis, managing partner and chief executive officer of HealthCare Partners; and James Yoshioka, former president and chief executive officer of Citrus Valley Health Partners.

Both Fujioka and Stobo praised the nominees yesterday.

“Not only do the board members bring great experience in serving large organizations, but they also understand the unique mission of MLK and its importance to the health needs of the community it serves,” Stobo said. “We are fortunate to have them as inaugural board members.”

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in a statement yesterday called the announcement “another vital step toward the reopening of Martin Luther King Jr. Hospital,” adding that those selected “are experienced individuals who are highly qualified to oversee hospital operations.”

The new board will be an autonomous governing body, and will have full authority over the hospital independent of the county. It will be vested with full accountability for operations at the new 120-bed medical facility, which will have an emergency room and an estimated capacity to provide more than 30,000 annual patient visits, 10,000 annual outpatient visits and follow-up care.

All health and medical services to be provided at the new hospital will be coordinated with outpatient services provided by county Department of Health Services; MLK Multi-Service Ambulatory Care Center, which is located on the same campus as the new hospital; and the nearby Hubert H. Humphrey Comprehensive Care Center, the county spokesperson said.


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