By: Eye On Inglewood Staff Writer
Centinela Hospital Medical Center's labor and delivery ward will officially close today, October 25, 2023, following the unfortunate death of April Valentine, an African-American woman who tragically passed away while giving birth at the hospital. The cause of her death, as determined by the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner, was a blood clot.
With the closure of the ward, both current and future patients will be redirected to seek maternity care at either Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center - Torrance Maternity Center or St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood, Maternity Center.
Shortly after the incident, April Valentine's family and her partner, Nigha Robertson, took legal action by filing a wrongful death lawsuit on August 29 in Los Angeles County Superior Court. They allege that the hospital and its staff's negligence contributed to her untimely demise.
To address concerns surrounding healthcare access, an organization called Black Women for Wellness organized a town hall meeting titled "Voices for Quality Healthcare" in Inglewood. During the discussion, Onyemma Obiekea, the policy director for the non-profit, emphasized that accountability should focus on improving the quality of healthcare rather than removing essential healthcare access.