Patrick Soon-Shiong Announces $100 Million Underwriting Guarantee to Help L.A. County Re-Open Martin Luther King, Jr. Hospital

Thu Oct 29, 2009 8:22pm EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

LOS ANGELES--(Business Wire)--
The Chan Soon-Shiong Family Foundation announced today that it would provide a
$100 million underwriting guarantee to help Los Angeles County and the
University of California reopen Martin Luther King, Jr. Hospital (MLK) for
in-patient care by 2012. 

The announcement was made in a press conference at the UCLA campus by Dr.
Patrick Soon-Shiong, a former UCLA Medical Center surgeon, who, with his wife
Michele Chan, created the foundation. Also on hand were California Assembly
Speaker Karen Bass, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and Chief
Economist Jack Kyser from the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation. MLK
closed to in-patient care in 2007, although out-patient clinics and urgent care
facilities continue to operate. 

"When Martin Luther King, Jr. Hospital closed, it left an already underserved
community without access to adequate health care," said Dr. Soon-Shiong, who is
chairman of the Foundation. "The prospect of catalyzing the reopening of MLK is
wonderfully exciting and consistent with the mission my wife and I set out for
our foundation." 

Dr. Soon-Shiong expressed hope that MLK would become a center of medical
excellence through the use of advanced, next-generation technology. He said the
mission of the Foundation is to transform U.S. healthcare by improving the
quality of care and addressing disparities of care in underserved communities,
while reducing medical costs with new technology. 

Dr. Soon-Shiong and Michele have previously donated $35 million to renovate St.
John`s Health Center in Santa Monica and made a further award of $100 million to
improve staffing and research efforts. 

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has committed $353.8 million to
renovate, reopen and operate MLK as a 120-bed hospital. They are seeking a
partnership with the University of California in which UC would provide
physician staffing and services. The regents met last month and requested that
the county seek further financial support to bolster its financial viability by
establishing a public-private partnership. Pursuant to that request Supervisor
Mark Ridley-Thomas sought the assistance of the Chan Soon-Shiong Family
Foundation to provide a $100 million guarantee. The UC Regents are expected to
vote on whether to approve the commitment for UC to provide physicians,
including residents, to work in the facility at a board meeting November 19th. 

The Foundation`s guarantee is intended to improve the ability of Los Angeles
County to obtain a $100 million irrevocable letter of credit from a nationally
recognized financial institution to help fund the renovation, reopening and
staffing of the hospital. 

"We hope that together we can fill this unjust void in the Los Angeles community
and provide all members of our community with equal access to appropriate
medical care of the highest quality," Dr. Soon-Shiong said.

Sitrick And Company
Tammy Taylor, 310-788-2850 

Copyright Business Wire 2009