Written by Kate Miller
With more than 90 years of service to the San Pedro, Peninsula and Harbor communities, Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center San Pedro is continually investing in the growing area it serves. The medical center is currently enlarging and remodeling its emergency department, along with undertaking several other improvement projects.
Anne Lemaire, South Bay Executive Director of Operations, has been with the organization for more than 30 years and has been based at the San Pedro ministry for the past 18 years. “We take our responsibility to our community very seriously and are committed to continuing to provide high quality, compassionate care in San Pedro,” she says. Lemaire explains that the emergency department is the 24-hour-a-day front door to the medical center and a vital service to people of all ages.
San Pedro is a very tight-knit community, and part of what makes the hospital so special is that many physicians, caregivers and volunteers live in the area and have worked at the medical center for decades. Lemaire adds, “Many in fact were born here and feel a deep commitment to serving their neighbors.” Given their deep understanding of the community, it was important to the executive team to include physicians and employees in the design of the new emergency department. “Our mutual goal was to create a safe, healing environment that allows our team to provide high quality care for the diverse patient populations we serve,” she says.
Keeping pace with a growing community
That diverse clientele includes patients who are working in the Port of Los Angeles, passengers and crew members from cruise ships, international workers who come to port on cargo ships, as well as community members—from infants to seniors.
Contributing to the growth of the community is the approval of a major renovation for the LA Waterfront, which will make it a top tourist and research destination. The development will bring an abundance of new jobs to the area and an increase in the number of residents. Renovations are happening throughout the downtown, with historic buildings offering both retail and residential spaces.
Garry Olney, Chief Executive of Little Company of Mary Medical Centers, says that the medical center is growing right alongside the community and is one of the larger employers. “Through an affiliation with LA Harbor College Nursing program, we train and then hire nurses to work at their community hospital. We are also very proud of our quality and safety outcomes, having earned an A rating from Leapfrog, an organization that monitors and grades hospital safety.”
More space for personalized care
The new, larger emergency department will be critical to serving our growing population. “Today, the emergency room is too small for the volume of patients it receives. We are looking forward to expediting care and providing more privacy for each patient and their family members. These improvements are exciting for our team and for the community,” Olney states.
EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT EXPANSION
- 60% more space for patients
- 16 beds expand to 28 beds
- Enhanced privacy
- New outdoor waiting space
As of now the emergency room has 16 beds, and on busy days the team may see up to 150 patients. The $8 million expansion will result in 28 new, private treatment rooms. Adding these new rooms will increase the size of the emergency department by nearly 60%. Once completed the newly designed department will allow for distinct treatment areas, including those for critical patients, lower acuity patients and patients in mental health crisis. Each group of patients will have the healing environment they need.
The renovation also includes a beautiful outdoor space so patients and families can take advantage of the wonderful Southern California weather and be comfortable while they wait. Anne says, “This is especially nice for those who are not sick, like patients that come in due to injury or families who accompany a loved one to the hospital.”
Always putting patients first
The medical center has completed the $4 million fundraising campaign (half of the total $8 million cost) and all plans for the renovation, with the first phase of the project starting in February. Anne notes that the hospital designed the project in phases, so all of the work can be done without shutting down any part of the emergency room.
The entire project is expected to take two years to complete, but the community will be able to see benefits of the expansion after the first phase is finished. During that time they will be adding rooms to provide much-needed space for patients. These additional rooms will reduce wait times and create additional privacy.
“The people who make up the San Pedro, Peninsula and Harbor communities are invested in ensuring they will have ongoing access to this important medical facility. Their support is creating a lasting legacy of care for future generations,” Olney says.
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