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Commentary
September 01, 2004

Harbor–University of California at Los Angeles Medical Center

Arch Surg. 2004;139(9):931-932. doi:10.1001/archsurg.139.9.931

Located near the port area in southwestern Los Angeles County, Harbor–University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Medical Center is the southern campus of the UCLA School of Medicine. The original facility was constructed by the US Army in 1943 as the Los Angeles Port of Embarkation Hospital for the processing of Army personnel preparing to ship overseas during World War II. In addition to serving as a military medical facility, the expansive grounds were also used as a detention center for prisoners of war. At the conclusion of the war, the Army no longer needed the facility, and Los Angeles County was offered the entire 72-acre property and its collection of more than 40 barracks for the sum of $48,271. The medical buildings became Los Angeles County Harbor General Hospital, and in 1946 the hospital was dedicated to serve the indigent and the emergency medical care needs of the county's exploding postwar population. In 1951, an affiliation between Harbor General Hospital and the newly founded UCLA School of Medicine was realized, predating by several years the opening of the UCLA Medical Center on the Westwood campus. Financed by a $15.4 million bond measure overwhelmingly passed by Los Angeles County voters, construction of a new acute care facility was begun in 1960 and completed in 1963 as a 553-bed hospital that in 1978 was renamed Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. A major addition to the building was completed in 1994. Today, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center serves a catchment area of approximately 2 million citizens and offers a full spectrum of tertiary care in all medical and surgical specialties.

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