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CHLB officials say team finalizing licensing applications, awaiting word from OSHPD

OSHPD’s review, approval of plans could take either weeks or months to receive

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CHLB officials say team finalizing licensing applications, awaiting word from OSHPD

City of Long Beach Economic Development Director John Keisler explained the next steps to reopen Community Hospital Long Beach during a meeting April 3 at the Recreation Park 18 Golf Course

City of Long Beach Economic Development Director John Keisler explained the next steps to reopen Community Hospital Long Beach during a meeting April 3 at the Recreation Park 18 Golf Course

Photos by Denny Cristales | Signal Tribune

City of Long Beach Economic Development Director John Keisler explained the next steps to reopen Community Hospital Long Beach during a meeting April 3 at the Recreation Park 18 Golf Course

Photos by Denny Cristales | Signal Tribune

Photos by Denny Cristales | Signal Tribune

City of Long Beach Economic Development Director John Keisler explained the next steps to reopen Community Hospital Long Beach during a meeting April 3 at the Recreation Park 18 Golf Course

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After submitting their compliance plans to state officials, Community Hospital Long Beach (CHLB) members must wait weeks or months to receive official approval for a seismic-retrofit extension, according to a meeting Wednesday, April 3, at the Recreation Park 18 Golf Course, 5001 Deukmejian Dr.

Six months ago, Community Hospital Long Beach officials admitted it seemed like an impossible task to submit the various plans and outlines needed for such an extension request to the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD), per requirements by Assembly Bill 2190 (AB 2190).

About two dozen hospitals in the state have applied for a similar extension, which allows officials more time to plan and implement changes to medical facilities that are constructed on active fault lines, said John Keisler, the City’s director of Economic and Property Development.

“And, so, those documents have now all been submitted,” he said Wednesday. “[…] We have submitted all of that work, and it’s just a matter of getting the OSHPD review and approval for those plans. That should happen over the next couple weeks, maybe even in the next couple months.”

Keisler said the compliance plan involves rebuilding a power plant, which would connect to buildings on-site, “bringing them up to code,” he added.

Developing the engineering and construction plans– by working with architecture firm Perkins and Will– will cost more than $1 million.

“We’ve been able to sign these agreements, and that helps us for the California Department of Public Health to move forward with finalizing the hospital license,” Keisler said.

Employment agency Pacific Gateway has also maintained a list of displaced workers, as a result of CHLB’s closure last year, and communicated with them for rehiring when the facility is projected to open later this year.

The team developed a database of former workers and asked attendees to contact those who may be interested in work, said Lucius Martin, manager in business engagement with Pacific Gateway.

“Some of the most important things for us as far as the workforce-development strategy part of it is […] making sure that we have updated contact information, that we know where people are,” he said. “We have several lists of the 360-plus folks that were still at Community when the doors closed. We’re reaching out to those folks on a bi-monthly basis to do check-ins. We know first-hand that, unfortunately, some people had to move on, because of time or they found something that was a better fit.”

During a meeting April 3, Virg Narbutas, CEO of Community Hospital Long Beach, said officials will begin hiring staff in a full-time capacity in May, as well as a regular workforce in June.

During the meeting, computers were lined up in the back corner of the room to access said databases.

Virg Narbutas, CHLB CEO, said that in May, the facility will begin hiring folks in a full-time capacity, as well as hiring “regular workforce” in June.

“Now, with the lease agreement, we have the glue, and we’re going to start putting those pieces together,” he added. “So, as we speak, we’re already purchasing equipment, we’re executing agreements with contract services, on-site vendors, housekeeping […]. We’re working with medical staff.”

CHLB Foundation Chair Ray Burton said a reopening fund has opened for the hospital. The foundation has committed $1 million to the City of Long Beach to get the facility reopened, Burton said.

Matthew Faulkner, executive director of the CHLB Foundation, clarified that the foundation can provide donations to the City because it is a public-private partnership.

“The City, as a nonprofit entity, is the owner of every estate.,” Faulkner said. “[Molina, Wu, Network, LLC.] is a for-profit entity that will be operating. And we are legally allowed to gift to the City as a qualified recipient. And it is a public building that we’re improving, and we’re providing public benefit, so we’re actually gifting the facility that’s owned by the City to provide those public-benefit services. And saving your life in an emergency department couldn’t be a greater public benefit in my opinion.”

Fourth District Long Beach Councilmember Daryl Supernaw, pictured during a Community Hospital Long Beach meeting Wednesday, April 3, at the Recreation Park 18 Golf Course

Added Faulkner: “We’re here to stay. We are on the case until we get this hospital reopened and up and running.”

Also in attendance at the meeting were: Long Beach councilmembers Suzie Price and Daryl Supernaw; John Molina, founder of Pacific 6 Enterprises and partner of hospital operator Molina, Wu, Network, LLC.; and other officials and supporters. Visit chlbfoundation.org for more information about Community Hospital Long Beach.

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CHLB officials say team finalizing licensing applications, awaiting word from OSHPD