Thursday, December 8, 2022
Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Hills-Crenshaw Medical Celebrates One-Year Anniversary 
By Brian W. Carter, Contributing Writer 
Published September 20, 2018

Community leader and health advocate, Avis Ridley-Thomas (left from middle) joined KP officials, staff and community members to celebrate KPBHC’s one-year anniversary serving the community. (courtesy photo)

It seemed like not too long ago, the Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Hills-Crenshaw Medical (KPBHC) facility celebrated its topping off, which was in Nov. 2016. The facility’s opening to the public came equally as fast in Sept. 2017. On Friday, Sept. 14, KP officials, staff and community members gathered to celebrate KPBHC’s one-year anniversary serving the community. 

“It’s great, it’s fantastic, we’re one-year in and we’re seeing a lot of improvements,” said Erique E. Emel, M.D., physician in-charge at KPBHC. “Patients are happy about it—they’re ecstatic about what we’re doing here. 

“The providers, the doctors have now been here a year so their used to working in this new, next generation, clinic.” 


The KPBHC facility is a cutting-edge, four-story medical office building complete with LEED Gold certification. The 100,000-square-foot building includes a conference room and outdoor event space which is available to local community groups.  

Some of the services for KPBHC include a full range of primary care and specialty services, including: Adult Primary Care, Pediatrics, Pharmacy, Diagnostic Imaging, Laboratory, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Ophthalmology, Behavioral Health, Dermatology, Nurse Clinic, Physical Therapy, Optometry, Vision Essentials (contact lens & eyeglass wear), Health education classes and more. 

“It’s amazing to think that we’ve already been here for a year,” said Summer Downing, director of operations at KPBHC. “We’re super excited to see all of the responses from the community.”  

“Very happy to be here one year later,” said Elita Fielder, director of media relations for Kaiser Permanente Southern California. “Extremely grateful and appreciative that Kaiser Permanente put this center in this community.”  

The facility is home to world class providers, technologically advanced exam rooms, equipped with the ability to conduct real time virtual consults with other Kaiser Permanente providers throughout the region. In keeping with a healthy community, the grounds have incorporated 2.5 acres of “green space,” including a contiguous, two-mile walk path. Community leader and health advocate, Avis Ridley-Thomas attended the celebration and stated that she walks the grounds for a workout. 


“Every Thursday at eleven [o’clock], I encourage our fellow retirees to walk with me,” said Ridley-Thomas. “Anybody who wants to come—I invite them, I remind them that I’m going to be here regardless.” 

She continued, “I’m so glad that Kaiser is here and I’m glad to be a part of this celebration—and I really do hope there are many, many more. 

“We will be able to celebrate a lot in using this facility—and I expect to be here, helping, in those celebrations as well.”  

Charles Slay is an electrician and was involved in the construction process of KPBHC through 2nd Call, a nonprofit community program that’s helps people rebuild their lives. He shared his thoughts on seeing his hard work one year later. 

“It feels amazing just to see the work in itself but being that I was a part of this community—I lived over here for several years and did more than my share of wrong,” said Slay. “To be in a position to, not rectify, but to turn that around and to do some of my share of rights, that is an amazing feeling.” 

“We’re here to take care of people,” said Emel. “As we transition into our second year, we’re going to have many more community activities in the building. 

“We’re going to have cooking, dance [and] educational classes here at this [facility] and you don’t need to be a Kaiser Permanente member to take advantage of those so we’re going to be able to interface and interact with the community more so than ever.” 

Some of the upcoming activities include line dancing coming in October, farm stands offering fresh produce and ready-made entrees, Zumba classes and healthy eating programs.  

“The community is grateful,” said Fielding. “I’ve talked to members that have expressed their joy of having it here, how they can receive their services locally, how they feel cared about and it’s had a great impact on the community.” 

The celebration of the one-year anniversary included a tour of the facility which included beautiful views of South L.A. from the fourth floor and local artwork, which is displayed throughout the medical facility. The celebration concluded with an impressive cake which showcased a before and after image of the KPBHC. 

“It’s so much more than us being a facility that popped up in a deserving community,” said John E. Chew, MPH, assistant medical center administrator. “It’s about the people and the connections that we can bring and the passion that we have for the community.” 

He continued, “I’m just so excited that we are following our dream of making a difference for the lives of people in this community.” 

“We’re here for you,” said Downing. 

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Categories: Crenshaw & Around | Family | Health | Local | News | News (Family)
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