Physicians start seeing outpatients in new LAC+USC Clinic Tower

By Sara Reeve
The new Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center Clinic Tower opened its doors to a new era in health care delivery on Monday, Sept. 15.

The seven-story outpatient clinic tower will host two dozen specialty clinics, including psychiatry, ophthalmology, dentistry and neurosurgery.

“It’s beautiful,” said Pete Delgado, chief executive officer of LAC+USC Healthcare Network. “Our staff walked in with smiles on their faces. The elevators were working fast, up and down. Everyone was very excited, and most importantly, the patients loved it.”

While the official move-in dates for the tower were Sept. 12 and Sept. 13, staff, nurses and physicians had been preparing their offices and clinics for months.

“When you walk in, you feel like you’re working in a modern medical environment,” said Peter Gruen, associate clinical professor of neurosurgery in the Keck School of Medicine, who saw his first patients in the new tower on Friday, Sept. 19. “It’s wonderful for the staff, and I know it must feel the same for the patients.”

LAC+USC’s outpatient clinics recorded approximately 500,000 patient visits last year, making them some of the busiest in the United States.

Clinics at the old hospital were spread out over the campus in the old five-story clinic tower behind the hospital and in separate trailers. The new tower is now home to 24 of the clinics, while 13 will remain in the old building.

“The new clinic tower is beautiful. It’s heartwarming to be able to treat patients in this building,” said Gruen. “This is a patient-respectful environment.”

The opening of the clinic tower is the first in a series of steps to complete the move into the new facility. The move into the inpatient tower, including the opening of the new emergency room, is scheduled to take place Oct. 17-18.