In an effort to relieve pressure on overflowing local hospitals, the former St. Vincent’s Hospital has opened its doors again as the Los Angeles Surge Hospital (LASH). 

The hospital is a partnership between the state of California, Los Angeles County, and Dignity Health and Kaiser Permanente, two of the state’s largest nonprofit healthcare systems. They will oversee day-to-day operations and management of the surge hospital. 

“What we are opening is a COVID only hospital, which is unique in LA,” said acting CEO and president of Dignity Health’s Southwest Division Julie Sprengel. The 266-bed hospital has no emergency room and will not accept walk-in patients. 

LASH will receive patients from hospitals around the community who have reached surge capacity. Through coordination efforts with the Los Angeles County Medical Alert Center, physicians will discuss patient conditions and care before arranging a safe transfer to LASH.  

LASH staff has received electronic health record, equipment, and procedural training to ensure safety for their patients and for themselves, as concerns about medical workers contracting the virus continue to rise. “Everybody knows that healthcare workers are being pushed to their limits,” said Sprengel. “Anything that they think of, we’re going to try to meet their needs.

“The reason that all of our healthcare heroes signed up to be a part of this is that the coronavirus has touched the world, the coronavirus has touched our communities, the coronavirus has touched all of us personally,” Sprengel said. “As healthcare providers, we want to be there, and we want to be a part of helping people heal and helping our communities move forward.”