The City of Long Beach and Molina, Wu, Network (MWN) LLC today signed a long-term lease agreement for the operation of Community Hospital Long Beach, which has been closed since mid-2018 after its former operator stepped down due to extensive costs required to retrofit the facility. The agreement, which spans 45 years with the option of two 10-year extensions, was approved by the city council on October 15.

Per the contract, MWN – a partnership between Pacific 6 Enterprises, AHMC healthcare, Inc. and Network Medical Management – will assume the costs to seismically retrofit and reopen the hospital. The city will reimburse up to 50% of these costs in annual payments over 15 years, “committing up to a total of $25 million,” according to an announcement from the city.

The agreement also stipulates that MWN will “make a good faith effort” to provide services critical to addressing homelessness, as identified by the city’s Everyone Home task force. These include sobering center beds, medical detox beds, recuperative care and psychiatric beds.

“We made reopening Community Hospital a top priority and are committed to an accessible and safe emergency room for all residents of Long Beach,” Mayor Robert Garcia stated. “Signing the long-term agreement brings us one step closer to outstanding medical care and health services citywide.” Fourth District Councilmember Daryl Supernaw stated that reopening the hospital improves the quality of life for everyone and “helps us address many different citywide public health and safety challenges.”

John Molina, partner in MWN, reflected: “MWN is grateful for the support of our partners at the City of Long Beach as we navigate this complex regulatory process to acquire the hospital’s state license. . . . We’re optimistic in our pursuit and look forward to our continued work in the new year.”

On December 4, MWN announced that it completed the state’s medical laboratory department inspection as well as the submission of the hospital’s pharmacy department license application. After department licenses are approved, the company will begin hiring staff to prepare for a final inspection by the California Department of Public Health, which is expected to occur early next year. Lab and pharmacy managers have already been hired, and the purchasing of laboratory equipment has begun, according to the city’s statement.