More than 300 people were on hand to celebrate the groundbreaking for a new $20 million outpatient health center in Watts that is expected to create 10,000 jobs and provide area residents with badly needed health services such as immunizations and treatment of conditions including sexually transmitted diseases, tuberculosis and communicable diseases.

“We are standing at the epicenter of a great opportunity to address the healthcare crisis, not just South Los Angeles, but the entire nation. Rather than throwing up our hands at the challenges presented to us, we are planting our shovels today to create a new reality,” Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas told the audience.

Helping kick-off the project are from left to right–Lonnie Hinton, South Health Center phlebotomist, Dr. Jan Kind, Department of Public Health (DPH) area health officer; Dr. Jonathan Fielding, DPH director; Ridley-Thomas; Alicia Flores, South Health Center community worker; Robert Peirce, Abraxis BioScience Inc. senior vice president; and Jacob Williams, Deoartment of Public Works assistant director.

The South Health Center is located at the northwest corner of 120th Street and Wilmington Avenue.