Many medical centers are not financially or physically healthy. The Pacific Alliance Medical Center which operates the historic French Hospital in Los Angeles has announced that it will lay off all of the hospital’s 638 employees as it winds down the facilities 150-year history. PAMC, which suffered a first fiscal quarter operating loss of only $12.2 million, cannot afford the earthquake seismic retrofits mandated by the State of California. The real issue is the land underlying the facility which is not owned by the hospital. PAMC is unwilling to invest approximately $100 million to tear-down and re-build a medical center on land it does not own. And, the property owner seems reluctant to sell. Considering that Los Angeles is home to a number of world-class hospitals (UCLA, Cedars Sinai, St. Johns, USC Keck) and their multitudinous clinic outposts and labs, the community is not at further risk and most employees may be able to secure employment in the local area.
A little history from the Hospital’s website …
PAMC has a rich history that dates back to the days when Los Angeles was no more than a small dusty agricultural community with a population of 1,500. In 1860, The French Society was founded as a pre-paid health plan for newly arrived French citizens. The Society soon realized that the growing French community needed a hospital. In 1869, it constructed the French Hospital at the corner of College and Hill Street, making it Los Angeles’ first hospital. That hospital is now known as Pacific Alliance Medical Center. The landmark Joan of Arc statue still stands today on our front lawn as a proud reminder of this period in our city's history.
By the 1900s, the once predominate French community welcomed Chinese immigrants working in the railroads and agriculture. The area became known as Chinatown. In 1989, the founding board members of PAMC took a substantial risk and purchased the French Hospital from the French Benevolent Association as part of their commitment to maintaining a full-service hospital in the Chinatown community. Their vision and generosity has allowed PAMC to flourish and serve local residents that now number close to 2 million.