The Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California has launched a bilingual online community resource website devoted exclusively to the health needs of residents in Northeast Los Angeles, including Eagle Rock.
Called "NortheastLAHealth!," the website offers comprehensive information in English and Spanish about free or inexpensive healthcare providers and resources across Northeast Los Angeles. The idea behind the initiative is to enable residents who don't have urgent medical issues to get the care they need without waiting for long periods of time in hospital emergency rooms.
The website was launched sometime early August in a collaboration between the Keck School of Medicine and the Dean’s Community Leadership Council, which was established in 2010 to explore ways of improving health services in Northeast LA.
The Council, presided over by Keck School of Medicine Dean Carmen A. Puliafito, consists of 13 Northeast and East LA community leaders—from Father Gregory Boyle of Homeboy Industries fame to Rudy Torres, chairman and CEO of the Greater El Sereno Chamber of Commerce.
"The plan was to start in a three-to-five-mile radius of the USC campus and the [Los Angeles] County Hospital before deciding whether or not to expand" the area covered by the online resource, Leslie Ridgeway, a spokesperson for the Keck School of Medicine, told Eagle Rock Patch.
It's not clear if the website is the first resource of its kind launched by Keck School, Ridgeway said, adding: "It's probably among a few."
“Many in the community go to local emergency rooms for services that can be provided more conveniently in outpatient clinic settings,” Glenn Ault, associate dean for clinical administration at the Los Angeles County USC Medical Center, said in a prepared statement.
“With the persistent overcrowding that we see in our local emergency rooms, this online resource serves as a hub for information on free and inexpensive health care providers in the area, so community members can see all the options available to them.”