LOS ANGELES, CA — Governor Gavin Newsom announced yesterday the establishment of the Los Angeles Surge Hospital, a temporary facility in Los Angeles that will expand access to additional beds and expand ICU capacity for patients who contract COVID-19. Dignity Health and Kaiser Permanente will partner with the State of California and the County of Los Angeles to open the facility, which will be located on the campus of the former St. Vincent Medical Center in central Los Angeles.
Last month, under his Declaration of State Emergency and Executive Order, Governor Newsom authorized the leasing of facilities to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the recently closed St. Vincent Medical Center. The hospital will create additional inpatient capacity in the community to treat the expected surge of patients with COVID-19 in the coming weeks. The facility will operate as a dedicated referral hospital and will not have an emergency room or accept walk-in patients. The County of Los Angeles’ Department of Health Services will play a critical role in coordinating intake and transfer requests from hospitals across the County.
The Los Angeles Surge Hospital is expected to open April 13. It will open in phases, ramping up to accept more patients as physicians and staff are hired and supplies and equipment are secured, up to a projected capacity of 266 beds when fully operational.
The State of California will fund the hospital and its operations and will be responsible for obtaining all federal and state permits, licenses, and waivers to operate. The State is also responsible for procuring critical equipment and supplies, such as personal protective equipment and ventilators.
Dignity Health and Kaiser Permanente, two of California’s largest not-for-profit healthcare systems, are providing expertise in establishing the Los Angeles Surge Hospital and will oversee management at the facility. Operational support will not diminish either healthcare system’s existing frontline capacity.
“LA County has the largest concentration of confirmed COVID-19 cases in California. A time like this demands leadership, partnership, and collaboration—and I applaud my fellow leaders and our community partners who have risen to that challenge with aplomb,” said L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger. “Gov. Newsom’s swift effort to utilize the space at St. Vincent’s, and the collaboration of our private partners to operationalize this along with the Department of Health Services, is a true testament to the strength of our community here in Los Angeles County. The Los Angeles Surge Hospital is one component of our county’s comprehensive effort to respond to the need for surge capacity as we come together to serve our community.”
“I applaud Gov. Newsom’s bold and decisive action to temporarily transform the St. Vincent Medical Center into a surge hospital that will help individuals exposed to COVID-19,” said L.A. County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis. “Under my direction, the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services will provide transportation, referrals and other support in tandem with Kaiser Permanente and Dignity Health to expedite the opening of this temporary hospital on the St. Vincent campus. Once operational, the facility will serve the region with the primary mission of increasing hospital capacity to care for patients with COVID-19 and helping slow the spread of this pandemic. This facility, located in the heart of my Supervisorial First District, will address our urgent health care needs through this unique public-private partnership among the State of California, LA County, Kaiser Permanente, and Dignity Health. No one stands alone in this critical moment, and I thank each partner for coming together to treat COVID-19 patients and for ensuring our communities remain safe and healthy.”
“The opening of this COVID treatment facility speaks to the power of partnership at a critical moment, united in our shared mission of service to our communities as we confront this pandemic,” said Dr. Christina Ghaly, Director for the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (DHS). “We are grateful for the vision and support of the State of California, and the ingenuity and commitment of Kaiser Permanente and Dignity Health to open this medical facility at lighting speed, bolstering the resilience of our County’s healthcare system and our ability to meet the medical needs of those impacted by this terrible virus.”
“As we confront an unprecedented public health crisis, we are honored to be able to continue our legacy of service as part of this unique public-private partnership to expand access to additional beds as the COVID-19 threat continues to evolve,” said Lloyd H. Dean – CEO of CommonSpirit Health, which includes Dignity Health hospitals. “More than ever, this is the time for our communities to come together to care for people affected by this disease. We have worked with each of these partners over time, and this groundbreaking collaboration will help meet the urgent demand for health care services in California.”
“Beating this pandemic requires all of us to work together, nimbly and creatively, and there is no better proof of that than our collective work to stand up this surge hospital in a matter of days,” said Greg Adams, Kaiser Permanente’s chairman and CEO. “This temporary hospital will add much needed resources to help us safely meet the needs of an expected surge of patients affected by this pandemic. We are proud to be able to help launch it, and appreciate California’s leadership and collaboration as we look to leverage every resource available to fight COVID-19.”
Julie Sprengel, President of Dignity Health’s Southwest Division, will serve as acting CEO. David Quam, MD, who served in multiple leadership roles for Kaiser Permanente, will be the Chief Medical Officer. Jason Black, RN, formerly of Dignity Health, will be the Chief Nursing Executive. Additional leaders will be selected in the coming days.
Julie Sprengel, MBA, RN, Chief Executive Officer
Julie Sprengel, MBA, RN, will serve as Chief Executive Officer of the Los Angeles Surge Hospital. Julie currently oversees Dignity Health’s Southwest Division, which encompasses nine acute care hospitals in Southern California and Nevada: California Hospital Medical Center, Community Hospital of San Bernardino, Glendale Memorial Hospital and Health Center, Northridge Hospital Medical Center, St. Bernardine Medical Center, and St. Mary Medical Center in Long Beach, and three St. Rose Dominican facilities in Nevada. With nearly 20 years of progressive health care management, Julie’s experience includes operations, strategic planning, financial analysis, and clinical integration. She holds a nursing degree from LAC+USC School of Nursing, a bachelor’s degree in management, and an MBA from Pepperdine University.
David Quam, MD, Chief Medical Officer
David A. Quam, MD, has accepted the role of chief medical officer for the Los Angeles Surge Hospital. The former medical director and chief of staff of Kaiser Permanente San Bernardino County, Dr. Quam most recently served as an assistant executive medical director overseeing the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Laboratory System and the Regional Genetics and Pathology Departments. In addition, he was instrumental in the planning of the Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine and participated in Kaiser Permanente’s program-wide Precision Medicine/Genomics efforts. During his career, he has planned and opened multiple medical office buildings and two large hospitals.
Jason Black, RN, DNP, MBA, Chief Nursing Executive
Dr. Black has been named chief nursing executive for the Los Angeles Surge Hospital. Most recently, Dr. Black served as Chief Operating Officer at Dignity Health Glendale Memorial Hospital, where he was accountable for day-to-day operations of the 334-bed facility. Dr. Black’s breadth of experience spans acute care, sub-acute care, and ambulatory care in community medical centers and public hospitals. Previous experience includes serving as chief nursing officer at the West Anaheim Medical Center and as senior director of clinical operations and performance improvement at San Diego-based Scripps Health. Dr. Black holds a doctor of nursing practice from Case Western Reserve University, a master of business administration and a master’s in nursing leadership from the University of Southern California, and a bachelor’s in nursing from Loma Linda University.
About Los Angeles County Department of Health Services
The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (DHS) is the second largest municipal health system in the nation. DHS operates as an integrated health system, operating 26 health centers and four acute care hospitals, in addition to providing health care to youth in the juvenile justice system and inmates in the LA County jails. Across the network of DHS’ directly operated clinical sites and through partnerships with community-based clinics, DHS cares for about 750,000 unique patients each year, employs over 22,000 staff, and has an annual operating budget of $6.2 billion.
Through academic affiliations with the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), the University of Southern California (USC), and the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU), DHS hospitals are training sites for physicians completing their Graduate Medical Education in nearly every medical specialty and subspecialty. In addition to its direct clinical services, DHS also runs the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Agency and the County’s 911 emergency response system, as well as Housing for Health and the Office of Diversion and Re-entry, each with a critical role in connecting vulnerable populations, including those released from correctional and institutional settings, to supportive housing.
About Dignity Health
Dignity Health is a multi-state nonprofit network of 10,000 physicians, more than 60,000 employees, 41 acute care hospitals, and 400-plus care-centers, including community hospitals, urgent care, surgery and imaging centers, home health, and primary care clinics in Arizona, California, and Nevada. Dignity Health is dedicated to providing compassionate, high-quality, and affordable patient-centered care with special attention to the poor and underserved. Dignity Health is a part of CommonSpirit Health, a nonprofit health system committed to advancing health for all people and dedicated to serving the common good. For more information, please visit our website at www.DignityHealth.org.
About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care and is recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of its members and the communities its serves. Kaiser Permanente currently serve 12.3 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Its experts and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. https://about.kaiserpermanente.org.
About CommonSpirit Health
CommonSpirit Health is a nonprofit, Catholic health system dedicated to advancing health for all people. It was created in February 2019 through the alignment of Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health. CommonSpirit Health is committed to creating healthier communities, delivering exceptional patient care, and ensuring every person has access to quality health care. With its national office in Chicago and a team of approximately 150,000 employees and 25,000 physicians and advanced practice clinicians, CommonSpirit Health operates 137 hospitals and more than 1000 care sites across 21 states. In FY 2019, Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health had combined revenues of nearly $29 billion and provided $4.45 billion in charity care, community benefit, and unreimbursed government programs. Learn more at commonspirit.org