Chan Soon-Shiong Family Foundation Announces $100 Million Underwriting Guarantee to Help Reopen Martin Luther King, Jr. Hospital

The Chan Soon-Shiong Family Foundation has announced that it will provide a $100 million underwriting guarantee to help Los Angeles County and the University of California reopen Martin Luther King, Jr. Hospital for in-patient care.

The guarantee is expected to help Los Angeles County 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 by 2012. The hospital stopped providing in-patient care in 2007, though its out-patient clinics and urgent care facilities continue to operate.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has committed $353.8 million to renovate, reopen, and operate MLK as a 120-bed hospital. The board of supervisors is seeking a partnership with the University of California through which the university would provide physician staffing and services. Last month, the regents requested that the county strengthen its financial viability by establishing a public-private partnership.

Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, a former UCLA Medical Center surgeon who went on to create Abraxis BioScience, and his wife, Michelle Chan, recently established the foundation to help transform health care in the United States by improving the quality of care and addressing health disparities in underserved communities. Soon-Shiong said he hopes that the reopened MLK will become a center of medical excellence through the use of advanced, next-generation technology

"When Martin Luther King, Jr. Hospital closed, it left an already underserved community without access to adequate health care," said Soon-Shiong. "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."