When we held a family celebration of our new hospital's opening, there was no better leader to propose the toast than Dr. Robert Tranquada. His passing is mourned by us all—his leadership and love for our community will endure.
Bob Tranquada was a young associate dean at USC's School of Medicine during the Watts uprising in South Los Angeles. Agreeing to serve as Commander of the Medical Corps for Watts, he spent long hours listening to community members, engaging elected officials and civic leaders, and working to help found the Watts Health Clinic. He developed initial programming for what eventually became Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. As Dean of USC's School of Medicine, Bob helped to found South LA's Community Health Council.
But it was in his role as a founding member of the Board of Directors for Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital that we remember Bob with greatest admiration. He brought courage and purpose to our challenges, thoughtfulness and a welcome sense of humor to our most difficult deliberations. His commitment to quality healthcare, to access and services for the communities of South Los Angeles, was steadfast. MLK Community Healthcare will forever benefit from his leadership.
Bob Tranquada never stopped responding to the voices of so many in need.
We honor his life, his wisdom, compassion and grace, as we follow the path he began with us.