USC Keck Sschool Of Medicine
LAC+USC Replacement Hospital Transition Project
Leveraging Change For Social Good

Outdated and overburdened, LAC+USC Medical Center in East Los Angeles will soon be replaced by a more modern but smaller hospital. The move into the new hospital presents the hospital administration and USC’s Keck School of Medicine with many challenges, not the least of which is maintaining the accreditation of its diverse residency training programs, each of which has specific requirements. LAC+USC trains one-third of all medical residents in Los Angeles County. These high quality residency training programs are essential to the County’s capacity to meet its mandate to serve a medically and economically fragile population. A three-year grant from UniHealth Foundation is providing resources to the Keck School of Medicine and Los Angeles County to help ensure the accrediting requirements of each residency program can be met in the new hospital.

“Support from UniHealth Foundation is helping us prepare the next generation of physicians for Los Angeles, for California and for the nation,” says Dr. Lawrence Opas, Associate Dean and Director of Graduate Medical Education at USC’s Keck School of Medicine. “Although the number of inpatient beds will decrease with the new hospital, we must align with administration to maintain high quality care and efficient care of our patients. Our residents will be required to see the same number of patients in a smaller facility, resulting in the need to be 20 percent more efficient.”

Dr. Chi Lee, a fourth-year emergency medicine resident and president of the resident union, personifies the commitment and compassion of LAC+USC residents. “In the emergency room, I see all kinds of patients, especially those who are socially challenged,” says Dr. Lee. “Every day, I am faced with the challenge of being more efficient while ensuring the correct diagnoses and positive outcomes for my patients in a very short amount of time.” Under Dr. Lee’s leadership, residents are actively involved in planning for the move to the new facility, participating on multiple teams that are assessing space allocations, communications and patient care. “Having residents involved throughout the process helps us ensure that there are systems in place that will help us better serve the patients more efficiently and effectively,” she concludes.