Hospitals Unveil ‘Carmeggedon’ Housing Plan For Westside Medical Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Hospital officials on Friday said there is a plan in place to ensure thousands of Westside medical personnel will be able to get to work during the upcoming 405 freeway shutdown later this month.

The so-called “Carmeggedon” event will see the Santa Monica freeway shut down between the 10 freeway and the 101 freeway between 7 p.m. on Friday, July 15 and 6 a.m. on Monday, July 18.

But despite fears that the closure would impact hospitals and other emergency facilities, KNX 1070’s investigative reporter Charles Feldman reports on a plan that seeks to accommodate up to 5,000 staff members.

“We’ve asked staff who live on the Westside to open their homes to their colleagues, and we’ve secured quite a bit of housing on the UCLA campus,” said Posie Carpenter, Chief Administrative Officer at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center.

Carpenter, who serves as the spokeswoman for several UCLA hospitals, the VA medical center in West L.A. and St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, said a replacement hospital set to open in January 2012 will open its doors early to house personnel.

As for patient access to local emergency rooms, Carpenter said that was never expected to be an issue.

“The unified command really had quite a robust plan in place to get people to the area hospitals,” said Carpenter, noting several ambulance sites and helipads have been set up throughout the city.

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