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LOS ANGELES, CA-Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital has broken ground on a 40,000-sf outpatient center for children at its downtown Los Angeles campus.

Officials say the two-story structure, built by Matt Construction, will enable the hospital to double its service capacity from 40,000 to 80,000 outpatient visits annually.

The $12 million center was designed by architect Rebecca L. Binder of Binder Architects; and is scheduled to be completed in July 2003. The first floor will include a lobby with admitting and administrative services, while the second will accommodate outpatient clinics and patient care services.

Hospital officials say the new outpatient center is needed to meet the rising demand for services to children. Officials say the number of patient visits has increased from about 29,000 in 1997 to 32,000 in 1999, and 40,000 in 2001, making it, by far the largest children’s orthopaedic program in the United States.

Dr.James V. Luck, Jr., president and CEO of the hospital, says the hospital’s outpatient clinics, administrative functions and patient care services are currently scattered throughout the five-story Lowman Building on its downtown campus. The new center will enable it to provide services more efficiently on a single floor, he says.

Officials say the Orthopaedic Hospital facility serves many of the nearly 700,000 children in Los Angeles County who lack health insurance and come to Orthopaedic’s facilities for treatment. They estimate that by 2010, the number of outpatient visits to the hospital will increase to 72,000 per year.

In addition to the outpatient center, Orthopaedic Hospital’s Downtown campus expansion includes a pediatric dental clinic in conjunction with St. John’s Well Child Center and a medical magnet high school in partnership with Los Angeles Unified School District. The hospital and UCLA broke ground last year on a $231 million, 95,000-sf research center that is under construction in Santa Monica in an alliance between the hospital and the university.

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