Community hospital reopens under new leadership to help relieve pressure from local hospitals

Long Beach, CA – The City of Long Beach announced that Community Hospital Long Beach (CHLB) has been granted a license from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and will be able to accept patient transfers as soon as Monday, Jan. 4.

“With hospitals across our city and state at capacity, this reopening is critical for the safety and care of our community,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “Community Hospital is a local institution and I’m incredibly grateful to our hospital partners and the state for getting it open. We expect the hospital reopening to have an immediate impact on local capacity and our ability to save lives.”

CHLB initially will open with 11 much-needed ICU beds and space for 40 other patients with the ability to add additional capacity later in 2021. Beds will be used for pre-arranged physician-directed transfers of patients from local hospitals and nursing facilities in order to relieve stress from overwhelmed healthcare providers operating at or near capacity. 

No walk-in patients will be accepted at the current time and CHLB will not be accepting COVID-19 patients; the additional beds at CHLB are intended to free up beds at other hospitals for the care of COVID-19 patients. 

“This has been one of my highest priorities for the 4th Council District and the entire City. We are so happy to have this important healthcare asset back in our community,” said Councilmember Daryl Supernaw.

“Community Hospital reopens today thanks to the vision of many who didn’t want to let this piece of Long Beach’s history disappear,” said John Molina, Partner at MWN Community Hospital, LLC. “We’re proud to have supported the endeavor to reopen the hospital – this is just the beginning of the renewed CHLB.”

Over the past 18 months, more than $6 million has been put toward the reopening of the hospital, including deferred maintenance, replacement of equipment, supplies, utility systems and refurbishments to both the exterior façade and interior rooms. In the coming months, CHLB will expand the services offered, including the opening of the emergency department in March of 2021.

“We’re on track to expand services within the next 90 days and this initial opening allows us to fully ramp up our essential services so that we can provide a comprehensive level of quality care at the hospital,” said Virg Narbutas, Chief Executive Officer of Community Hospital Long Beach.

“We are very pleased that our efforts to support the relicensing of Community Hospital, together with our partners MWN, LLC and the City, have enabled this reopening and we look forward to sharing plans for the future of the hospital,” said Ray Burton, Chairman of the CHLB Foundation.

CHLB’s license allows the hospital to operate up to 158-beds in the acute care facility. The building meets all current seismic requirements and MWN is currently working with state regulators to ensure compliance with the latest standards by 2025. 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 32,368 COVID-19 cases in Long Beach and 395 people have died from the virus. Approximately 23,125 individuals have recovered. The State, Southern California Region, and Long Beach-area hospitals are at 0% intensive care unit (ICU) capacity.