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County hospital system reports unexpected budget surplus

August 30, 2011 |  1:38 pm

Dr. Mitchell Katz reports budget surplus for health services department

The financially plagued Los Angeles County public hospital system reported a bit of good news Tuesday: a surplus for its most recent fiscal year.

Dr. Mitchell Katz, the new director of the county Department of Health Services, told supervisors that there was a $13.2-million surplus for the 12 months ended June 30.

Katz, who began his job this year after heading the health department in San Francisco, said successful negotiations with the federal and state governments for financial aid, holding back on hiring and reducing the use of consultants helped bring the agency into the black.

Supervisors, who have regularly expressed frustration with the agency, were delighted at Tuesday's report, and it appeared that Katz's honeymoon with the supervisors was continuing.

"I've never had a budget like this report at all," said Supervisor Gloria Molina. "We can't even begin to thank you."


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-- Rong-Gong Lin II at the Los Angeles County Hall of Administration

Photo: Dr. Mitchell Katz, who took over this year as director of the L.A. County Department of Health Services, with his former staff in San Francisco. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times