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LA hospitals say employees won't be able to get to work during freeway closure

A top administrator at a West L.A. hospital told transportation and law enforcement officials Thursday night that there is a "serious gap" in their planning and preparation for the mid-July closure of several miles of the 405 Freeway. There hasn't been sufficient efforts to ensure hospital employees will be able to get to work in a timely or predictable fashion during the closure, a problem that could seriously endanger patients, said Posie Carpenter, CAO at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center. Carpenter said she came to the meeting to represent the UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center in Westwood, the Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center, the hospital at the Veteran's Administration and St. John's in West L.A. She estimated about 1,500 employees are working at the various medical centers during each 12-hour shift. Carpenter said she and other hospital officials have tried working with transportation and law enforcement agencies to address concerns about employees making it to work on time, but she said they've gotten nowhere. She said she wanted "to use this opportunity to point out to them, again, their stated goal of safety is not going to be met if they fail to assist the hospitals."

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