St. Vincent Medical Center Opens Korean Pavilion To Serve Growing Korean Community’s Medical And Cultural Needs

LOS ANGELES  – March 21, 2013 – To meet the medical, cultural and communication needs of one of Los Angeles’ fastest growing demographic populations, Los Angeles’ oldest hospital, St. Vincent Medical Center (SVMC), has opened the Korean Pavilion, a dedicated 30-bed unit for Korean-American patients. The hospital invites the media to tour the facility, meet with physicians and patients on Thursday, March 21, 12-4 p.m.

Staffed with Korean-American nurses who speak fluent Korean, the new Korean Pavilion also offers Korean cuisine, Korean TV channels and Korean signage throughout the unit.  Special designers were brought in to ensure the unit was culturally sensitive to the Korean-American population, ensuring proper “feng shui.”

St. Vincent Medical Center has seen the number of Korean-American patients it treats grow commensurately as the overall Korean population in Los Angeles surged during the last decade.  The hospital currently has more than 80 Korean physicians on staff, and Korean patients today make up a significant percentage of the hospital’s patient base.

Mutual communication is the cornerstone to ensure high quality patient care, say hospital officials, a challenge of many hospitals which serve multi-ethnic patients.

“Hospitals like ours are seeing more patients with different languages, cultural sensitivities and religions that can at times overwhelm caregivers,” said Cathy Fickes, president and CEO of St. Vincent Medical Center. “As a downtown Los Angeles hospital serving a very diverse patient population, we have learned to effectively communicate in their languages and accommodate the cultural needs of our patients to make sure we provide the best possible care. The Korean Pavilion underscores how serious we take the cultural needs in caring for our patients. ”

The hospital’s Korean-American physicians championed the development of the new dedicated unit.

“The new Korean Pavilion allows us to provide integrated inpatient care for our patients with highly sensitized nurses, staff members and caregivers who understand the cultural needs and can speak their language,” said Sam Lee, M.D.  “We worked hand in hand with the hospital to create an environment that provides ease and comfort for our patients and their families during their time of healing.”

St. Vincent Medical Center is located at 2131 West Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90057.  For more information, call (213) 484-7111. To learn more about the Korean Pavilion, visit www.stvincentmedicalcenterkorean.org.