Two Hospitals Are Bringing Superior Patient Care to their Neighbors
Avanti Hospitals is an innovative hospital management group that is committed to supporting good health and well being in underserved areas of its community in Southern California. There are currently four hospitals in the Southeast Los Angeles region under Avanti’s management: East Los Angeles Doctors Hospital, Community Hospital of Huntington Park, Memorial Hospital of Gardena, and Coast Plaza Hospital.
Avanti and its hospitals play a critical role in providing quality health services in an environment where the delivery of care is challenging.
“After the Affordable Care Act, we really had to figure out how we could deliver high-quality integrated care to this region,” said Joel Freedman, co-owner of Avanti Hospitals. “We have the opportunity to reach out and empower those in the community who may not even know how their health care works.”
Freedman, along with Araceli Lonergan, CEO of both East Los Angeles Doctors Hospital and Community Hospital of Huntington Park, have worked continuously to establish the hospitals as a trustworthy, important part of the community.
In January of 2013 Community Hospital of Huntington Park upgraded its emergency department in order to become a “paramedic receiving facility”. Avanti invested over $2 million to address the growing healthcare demand of the community. Since its opening to present it has seen over 90,000 visits, and its staff is dedicated to continually streamlining care to ensure efficiencies to meet patients and families’ needs.
“We’ve really taken a grassroots approach to raising awareness about health care in the community,” Lonergan said. “I think that’s why we’ve been successful and seen these kinds of positive results.”
These grassroots efforts are gaining steam, and with the help from both local and other prestigious university health policy departments, Avanti Hospitals is paving the way for better health awareness in the communities they serve.
Community Not Competition
Part of Freedman and Lonergan’s drive towards promoting wellness in the community includes encouraging a sense of community among the institutions as well as the people in Southeast LA.
The four hospitals under Avanti’s management are community hospitals, not big private hospitals that tend to pull more public support. That hasn’t slowed these places of care down any though. Instead of trying to compete with other institutions Avanti is encouraging synergy between its hospitals and larger facilities, as well as with other community providers.
“It’s a new way of thinking in the industry,” Freedman shared. “Instead of viewing each other as competitors, we work together to form a coordinated network that can enable patients to receive the right care from the right provider in the right facility all of the time. Most of health care has a silo mentality. For it to be successful in the future—and provide the best care to the people who need it—the whole industry needs to move in this direction.”
Instead of viewing each other as competitors, we work together to form a coordinated network that can enable patients to receive the right care from the right provider in the right facility all of the time. Most of health care has a silo mentality. For it to be successful in the future—and provide the best care to the people who need it—the whole industry needs to move in this direction.
– Joel Freedman, co-owner of Avanti Hospitals
Freedman and Lonergan—whom Freedman credits with driving the philosophy at their own company—believe that with this approach, institutions can deliver the best possible care and engage patients that are currently detached from the system. As hospitals begin to work with other hospitals, assisted living, and post-care providers more frequently, we could see a change in people’s quality of life and help close the loop in their healthcare continuum.
“We have a bit of a jump on the industry in this respect, as Araceli (Lonergan) was quick to embrace the philosophy. I hope everyone embraces this model. We’re far from perfect, however, were ahead of the curve and will continue to learn from others as we work toward delivering the best possible care in communities which have generally lacked access to a comprehensive healthcare delivery system, resulting in poor health outcomes”.
A “Baby-Friendly” Organization
With Lonergan’s commitment to grassroots promotion of hospital and health care practices came a great award. Recently her hospital was determined to be a “Baby Friendly” award winner by the World Health Organization, the public health arm of the United Nations.
The hospital’s initiative to spread awareness about the benefits of breastfeeding was recognized as part of this award, and as a result the hospital and its staff is sharing best practices with other facilities.
“It’s been a two-year project that the whole hospital has been involved with, not just the OB department,” Lonergan shared. “Numbers skyrocketed as more and more people came to the realization that breast feeding is a good thing for the mom and the baby.”
Now Avanti Hospitals is assisting other hospitals to develop similar initiatives—proving Lonergan’s philosophy of “community not competition” benefits all.
How Avanti’s Sub-Acute Unit Becomes Home
The Sub-Acute Unit at ELADH provides excellent care and residence to a special patient population that has suffered major injuries as a result of a stroke, motor vehicle accidents, trauma, or major injury. These patients who reside in the Sub-acute unit at East Los Angeles Doctors Hospital will be receiving some of the best care in the city, thanks to the hospital’s dedicated medical staff and employees. Their commitment and extraordinary compassion has placed the unit above its competitors.
Sub-acute care is necessary for patients that have an acute illness, injury or exacerbation of a disease process. Generally, the individual’s condition is such that the care does not depend heavily on high-tech monitoring or complex diagnostic procedures. Sub-acute care requires the coordinated services of an interdisciplinary team who are trained and knowledgeable to assess and manage these specific conditions and perform the necessary procedures.
Sub-Acute services at East Los Angeles Doctors Hospital include: advanced wound care, intravenous antibiotic therapy, post-surgical care, comprehensive rehabilitation program (physical, occupational and speech therapies) and pulmonary and respiratory care.
“Our Sub-Acute Unit, which opened in 1990, has maintained a 4-Star to 5-Star rating average, which we are especially proud of,” said Doctor Carlos Haro, Medical Director for the Sub-Acute Unit at East Los Angeles Doctors Hospital. “Our interdisciplinary, patient-centered team approach to providing comprehensive care allows for improved outcomes. We are able to get patients better and if possible, ready for home and on the road to recovery.”
The hospital’s track record is well-founded since the unit’s inception and its indicators tell a clear story of quality patient care. Accredited by the Joint Commission, this restraint-free facility for more than 15 years has been heralded for its lower than expected Healthcare Associated Infections (HAI). Additionally, the unit’s statistics point to a low prevalence of undesired weight gain or loss for patients, again supporting the East Los Angeles’ community.
“We are proud to share the news about one of our many quality units in the facility,” said Araceli Lonergan, CEO of East Los Angeles Doctors Hospital. “By setting high standards for our departments, such as our outstanding Sub-Acute team, the hospital is able to provide quality care for our patients and families who enter our doors seeking medical care.
Avanti Hospitals is focused on providing innovative cost effective, quality healthcare services in underserved communities. With more than 2,000 employees, we currently own and operate four acute care hospitals in Los Angeles: Memorial Hospital of Gardena, East Lost Angeles Doctors Hospital, Coast Plaza Hospital, and Community Hospital of Huntington Park. We are committed to providing affordable, quality healthcare services to our communities. Our team of healthcare professionals and medical staff are equally dedicated to serving our patients and improving their overall health.