The Martin Luther King, Jr. Outpatient Center is named after Dr. King, a champion of equality for all people and an advocate for health care. Following the 1965 Watts Riots, a commission reported lack of access to health services as one of the contributing factors to the civil unrest, leading to a task force that laid the groundwork for a County-run, full-service hospital serving South Los Angeles.
MLK Hospital opened its doors in 1972 and served as a teaching institution for medical students completing their graduate medical education. In 2007, the hospital was transitioned to a Multi-Service Ambulatory Care Center offering a full spectrum of primary and specialty services. In 2014, services were relocated to a new Outpatient Center building. Clinic leaders and staff are committed to providing compassionate, high-quality care that improves the health of patients and their families.
Chief Executive Officer
Yolanda Vera is responsible for the administrative direction, planning, organization, fiscal oversight and coordination of all programs and services. Ms. Vera served as the Chief Counsel, Senior Policy Advisor and Senior Health Deputy for Los Angeles County Board Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and played a significant leadership role in the opening of the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Outpatient Center and Community Hospital. She has an extensive background in civil rights with a dedicated focus on health-related matters. Ms. Vera graduated from UCLA School of Law in 1987, from Loyola Marymount University in 1983.
Ellen Lerner Rothman, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer
Ellen Rothman, M.D. oversees the delivery of clinical services and works alongside the executive team to develop dynamic new programs. She brings a deep commitment to improving the health of the residents of South Los Angeles. Dr. Rothman has spent her career working with underserved communities both in South Los Angeles and on the Navajo Nation during her six years spent with the Indian Health Service. Dr. Rothman completed her medical training at Harvard and her Pediatric Residency at the Boston Children’s Hospital.
Lessie Barber, RN
Lessie Barber has dedicated her career to the County of Los Angeles. She is responsible for all areas of nursing services and provides direct support to the Central Sterile Unit, Urgent Care, Referral Center and several clinics. Ms. Barber received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from the University of Southern Mississippi and a Master Degree in Public Administration from the University of California, Dominguez Hills. Prior to her role as the Nursing Director, she began as a Supervising Staff Nurse in Ambulatory Care and was promoted to Nurse Manager. She served in Nurse Staffing Operations, later as the Patient Flow Manager and excelled in Patient Flow/Bed Management, Nursing Informatics and Patient Classification Systems.