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Downey in The News

Kaiser Permanente Downey Medical Center Reaches Milestone in Construction of Watts Medical Offices and Watts Counseling and Learning Center

DOWNEY, Calif., October 7, 2022 — Kaiser Permanente Downey Medical Center recently celebrated a construction milestone—the official topping out of the soon-to-be Watts Medical Offices and Watts Counseling and Learning Center, which is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2024.

On September 29 during a small ceremony attended by Kaiser Permanente leaders, the construction team and members of the community, the final steel beam was placed on the building’s frame completing the framework of the facility.

The facility is the first of its kind. The approximately 60,000-square-foot, 3-story building will offer a range of amenities to the residents of Watts and surrounding communities, including new medical services, expansion of counseling, education and preschool services, an open-air play yard, community rooms, and a plaza. The new building replaces the previous Watts Counseling and Learning Center building, a 9,000-square-foot facility that opened in 1967, and provides counseling, outreach, and educational services to local families.

“[Building] this new facility in Watts gives me great pride because it provides a concrete example—literally and figuratively—of Kaiser Permanente’s commitment to our members and the communities we serve,” said Gregg Durkee, interim vice president and area manager, Kaiser Permanente Downey Medical Center.

Maria Aguirre, director, Watts Counseling and Learning Center, spoke about the legacy of Kaiser Permanente in Watts and how this construction project is more than a building, it represents the kind of impact Kaiser Permanente can make in communities. “Since 1967 the Center has been here, and [now] we are doubling down on our community by bringing the best that Permanente medicine has to offer,” she said.

When it opens, the Watts Medical Offices will be a full-service medical office. “We will provide adult primary care, pediatrics, Ob-Gyn, and mental health services. It will also have a nurse clinic, lab, imaging, and pharmacy services,” said JT Lee, MD, area medical director, Kaiser Permanente Downey Medical Center. “We are continuing to partner with the Watts Counseling and Learning Center to help invest in our communities.”

The facility will combine a new medical office and the Watts Counseling and Learning Center on a single campus, which will improve access to quality care, early childhood education, educational therapy, and social health for the Watts community.

“This building is going to have such an impact on Kaiser Permanente’s vision for total health,” said Michelle Gaskill-Hames, chief operating officer/senior vice president and chief strategy, growth and experience officer, Kaiser Permanente SCAL and Hawaii Region. “Certainly, total health is physical, but it’s [also] mental, it’s spiritual, it’s emotional—it’s the full picture. And now members won’t have to travel to multiple places to try to get that total health.”

Kaiser Permanente Downey’s Chief Administrative Officer, Lisa López, RN, addressed the crowd by talking about her connection to the community. “My mother grew up right across the alley on 102nd street. To be part of this project is incredibly amazing to me, and I cannot tell you how much I look forward to being able to bring Kaiser Permanente to this community,” she said.

Pictured above: The Kaiser Permanente Watts Counseling and Learning Center staff (from left to right: Alice Holt, administrative services supervisor; Tanasa Davis, associate director; Alina Sgattoni, clinical program manager; Bill Coggins, founding director; Ruth E. Villaneda, psychiatric social worker, Martha Gonzalez, administrative services coordinator; Maria Aguirre, director; and, Alfred McCloud, psychiatric social worker.) stand in front of the future site of the new Kaiser Permanente Watts Medical Offices and Watts Counseling and Learning Center, which will improve access to quality care, early childhood education, educational therapy, and social health for the Watts community.

Kaiser Permanente Downey Medical Center Breaks Ground on New Radiation Oncology Treatment Center

DOWNEY, CA, July 7, 2022 —Kaiser Permanente Downey Medical Center recently held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new Radiation Oncology Treatment Center on its Bellflower Medical Offices campus. The facility will be the fourth radiation therapy site in Kaiser Permanente’s Southern California region – making radiation therapy much closer to home for members undergoing treatment for cancer in Southeast Los Angeles.

“Since 1965, our Bellflower facility has done an outstanding job in serving the needs of the community in southeast Los Angeles County and I’m pleased that we’re expanding that commitment,” said Payman Roshan, senior vice president and area manager, Kaiser Permanente Downey Medical Center. “We are thrilled to be breaking ground on this treatment center, which will be a complement and expansion on the existing life-saving hematology/oncology services we’ve provided at the Bellflower Medical Offices for decades.”

Nationally, more than 500,000 cancer patients are cared for each year by Kaiser Permanente physicians. "With more than 75 years of knowledge and experience in cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, our integrated model partners our cancer patient’s primary care physician with sub-specialists in every aspect of care tailored to their unique needs”, said JT Lee, MD, area medical director, Kaiser Permanente Downey Medical Center. “This brings true hope and optimism to those who need it most.”

The Radiation Oncology Treatment Center is set to open in early 2024. Once completed, the 32,000 square foot facility will include the latest cancer-fighting technology. It also will house nine provider offices and nine exam rooms, with expanded imaging services available to members. Future plans also include pursuing membership in the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) for treating the youngest cancer fighters.

Pictured above: Members of Kaiser Permanente Downey Medical Center’s Administrative Team (from left to right: Gregg Durkee, chief operating officer; Payman Roshan, senior vice president and area manager; JT Lee, MD, area medical director; and Lisa López RN, chief administrative officer) at the groundbreaking ceremony for the future site of a Radiation Oncology Treatment Center at the Kaiser Permanente Bellflower Medical Offices.

Kaiser Permanente Downey Adds 72 Beds, Becoming One of the Largest Hospitals in Southeast Los Angeles

The hospital expansion brings the total bed count to 424 beds, with new patient rooms, technology, operating rooms – total square footage is now over 823,000 sq. ft. 

Downey, Calif. – June 1, 2022—Kaiser Permanente leaders, elected officials, Chamber of Commerce leaders and community partners celebrated the opening of Kaiser Permanente Downey Medical Center‘s new North Tower recently. The North Tower expansion adds 72 telemetry beds, two operating rooms, interventional radiology, and a dedicated Emergency Department entrance to the existing 352-bed hospital, which opened in 2009.  This brings Kaiser Permanente Downey Medical Center’s bed count to 424 beds and 16 operating rooms.  This expansion also brings the total square footage of the hospital to more than 823,000 sq. ft.—making Kaiser Permanente Downey Medical Center one of the largest hospitals in Southeast Los Angeles County and within Kaiser Permanente Southern California.

A North Tower Open House event on May 23 included a ribbon cutting ceremony, tours of the new patient rooms, post-recovery rooms, and the new garden and open spaces for patients and families.  More than 90 people were in attendance to commemorate this monumental occasion.

“For the past two years, I’ve seen and heard how much the pandemic impacted Downey and the community, and this opening marks an important milestone in our mission to care for our patients and the communities we serve,” said Payman Roshan, senior vice president and area manager, Kaiser Permanente Downey Medical Center. “Opening the North Tower enriches the excellent care and experience our physicians and staff provide to our patients every day.”

“I am proud to be part of an organization where physician-led medicine puts patients first and at the center of their care,” said J. T. Lee, MD, area medical director, Southern California Permanente Medical Group - Downey. “We are thrilled to be opening this tower and soon admitting our first patients because we know it will be an asset to the Downey community and beyond.”  Many of the spaces in the new North Tower are focused on enhancing the patient’s health care experience. The rooms have 75-inch televisions that provide entertainment and allow the patient and their family to communicate with the care team from their room.  The nursing stations are right outside the patient rooms so that the care team is close by. Outdoor terraces bring in natural light and fresh air to encourage healing and serenity. Further, the healing garden and its water feature offer a sense of calm to patients and visitors.

Kaiser Permanente Downey Medical Center began admitting patients on the 4th floor of the North Tower on June 1.

For more information, click here to view the virtual tour of the new facility.

Prevention & wellness

Prevention is about staying healthy, and preventing or delaying disease. Wellness is living your best life.  Kaiser Permanente Downey is here to help you stay healthy and live your best life. There are many things you can do to take an active role in your prevention plan to stay healthy and thrive through all stages of life.