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Wellness institute opens office in Leimert Park

Merdies Hayes | 11/8/2017, 5:01 p.m.
Prevention Institute, a California-based non-profit specializing in community access ..

Prevention Institute, a California-based non-profit specializing in community access to health care, education and employment, has purchased property in Leimert Park where it has rented space for the last two years.

The organization decided that purchasing the building at 4315 Leimert Blvd. was the best way to maintain local contact in the African American community.

“As someone who has lived and worked in South Los Angeles for nearly 20 years, I’m thrilled that we’re able to make this significant investment in a neighborhood that is so important to the history and to the future of L.A.,” said Manal J. Aboelata, managing director of Prevention Institute.

“Prevention Institute has been a welcome addition to Leimert Park’s already impressive tapestry of community activism, artistic expression, and social exchange,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas (Second District). “Prevention Institute has served an important role in advocating for priorities in my district such as violence prevention, responsible land use, and health equity and we expect to see even more from them in the future.”

The offices are three blocks east of the Crenshaw Corridor where the Crenshaw / LAX light rail is scheduled for completion in 2019. Officials with Prevention Institute said they want to ensure that community-level investments like the light rail extension benefit current residents and local businesses.

The institute released a report, “Healthy Development Without Displacement: Realizing the Vision of Healthy Communities for All,” which described its mission to encourage health and planning organizations to proactively avoid displacing long-time residents and local businesses.

"I am overjoyed that Prevention Institute, a leading nonprofit organization, will make its forever home in the tenth council district," said Los Angeles City Council President Herb J. Wesson, Jr. "Prevention Institute directly serves local residents with cutting-edge research, practice, and analysis on health and safety issues facing the community."

Prevention Institute attributes its success to strong partnerships with government agencies, foundations, and community organizations all across the county. “The bonds we’ve formed over the years with hundreds of institutions and groups serving the L.A. region are at the core of our work,” Aboelata said.

"This is a win-win for the community and Prevention Institute,” said City Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson, who represents the nearby eighth district. “I look forward to continuing my work with the organization to prevent illness and injury, foster health and equity, and build momentum for community prevention as an integral component of community health and well-being.”

Now entering its 20th year, officials at Prevention Institute said that laying down deeper roots in Los Angeles is a fitting way to demonstrate its ongoing commitment to creating healthier neighborhoods in one of the nation’s most diverse and dynamic metropolitan regions.

“Prevention Institute has been a close, long-term partner in community efforts to advance health, safety, and equity, and we’ve worked together for many years to prevent community violence and to define it as a public health issue,” said Deborah Prothrow-Stith, dean and professor of medicine for the College of Medicine at Charles R. Drew University in Watts. “The organization’s investment in Los Angeles is a welcomed opportunity to further align efforts with the Charles R. Drew College of Medicine. I look forward to continuing my close work with them and am thrilled that they will have a permanent base in South L.A.”

Prevention Institute operates two additional offices in Oakland and in Washington, D.C.