Bits 'n' Pieces

African American Festival Honors Carolyn Caldwell

Dignity Health - St. Mary Medical Center CEO and President Carolyn Caldwell received the 2022 African American Heritage Award at the Aquarium of the Pacific’s African American Festival. Carolyn was nominated by Naomi Rainey-Pierson, president of the Long Beach Branch NAACP, for her work with underrepresented populations, as well as her action-oriented plans to align corporate and business results with these communities.

This award recognizes Carolyn’s more than 30 years of dedicated service, including nearly five years as the CEO of St. Mary Medical Center in Long Beach.

“I would like to thank the Aquarium of the Pacific’s leadership and nominating committee for this honor. I am humbled to receive this prestigious award, which was previously given to two board members of St. Mary Medical Center – Dr. Minnie Douglas and Dr. Felton Williams. It is an honor to be in amazing company among these outstanding individuals,” shared Caldwell.

Caldwell earned a bachelor’s degree in zoology with a minor in chemistry from Alabama A&M University and her master’s degree in healthcare administration from Texas Woman’s University. Caldwell has a passion for working with and providing high quality healthcare to vulnerable or underrepresented populations and her efforts have earned her several awards.

She is a fellow with the American College of Healthcare Executives, a former board member of the American Hospital Association, and past chair of the AHA Institute for Diversity in Health Management. Carolyn currently serves as the chair of the board of directors of the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce.

Caldwell continued, “I would also like to thank the Aquarium of the Pacific for awarding scholarships to African American students who demonstrate a commitment to studies related to careers in the aquarium field, including ocean education, water quality, building maintenance or facilities, and business management. As an African American leader in our community with a science background, it is my hope that I can be an example for young people who are interested in pursuing these roles.”

New Red Cross Executive

Amy Papageorges has been named the new executive director of the American Red Cross serving Greater Long Beach and South Bay. The chapter serves more than two million individuals in 57 cities, including the residents of Torrance, Compton, El Segundo, Carson, Gardena, Lakewood and Rancho Palos Verdes.

Papageorges has an extensive history with the Red Cross, spanning 17 years of service in the Biomedical Services Division alongside the Greater Long Beach and South Bay Chapter Communities. Her knowledge of the community and engagement with civic leaders is extensive, and she said she hopes this gives her a great launching point into the needs of the community.

As part of its humanitarian mission, the Red Cross Greater Long Beach and South Bay Chapter provides emergency relief to residents impacted by disasters and supports our service members and their families. It strives to make all local communities and cultural groups safer and more resilient through collecting blood; installing free smoke alarms; teaching health and safety skills such as CPR, water safety and first aid; and empowering residents with emergency preparedness skills.

After-School Programs at Parks Throughout the City

The Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine (PRM) will offer its After-School Program for children ages 5 to 12 at various parks across the city through the end of the school year. The program will take place after school, at varying times per location, on weekdays beginning April 25 through June 17. Participants will receive homework assistance and enjoy enrichment activities and games. Registration for the program begins Wednesday, March 23 online and in person.

Online registration will be available beginning March 23 at 10 a.m. on the PRM website. After March 23, residents can make appointments to register in-person by calling (562) 570-3150. The after-school programs are offered free of charge.

Free Tax Preparation

College of Business students from California State University, Long Beach, are providing free in-person tax preparation assistance to families who make $58,000 or less, low-income students, elderly, non-residents and individuals with limited English proficiency. All volunteer students are certified by the IRS.

The free service is part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance clinic (VITA), an IRS-sponsored program. Last year student-volunteers filed state and federal tax returns during virtual interviews that resulted in more than $700,000 in refunds.

For more information, contact VITA coordinator Nguyet Ngo, at or (562) 726-2331.

Patients with Acute Coronary Syndrome Studied

MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute (MHVI), through its advanced research program, is participating in a CSL Behring-sponsored multi-center, Phase III clinical trial – “ApoA-I Event reducinG in Ischemic Syndromes II (AEGIS-II) – which is studying the removal of cholesterol from the arteries to reduce the risk of a second heart attack or stroke in patients. All three adult hospitals within MemorialCare’s health system are providing access to this study to their cardiac patients.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cardiovascular (CV) disease is the leading cause of death globally, with an estimated 800,000 heart attacks occurring each year in the U.S. alone. Of these, 600,000 are a first heart attack and 200,000 happen to people who have already suffered a heart attack, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The study will evaluate the efficacy and safety of CSL112 in reducing the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) in patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) diagnosed with either ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) or non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI), including those managed with percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) or medically managed. MACE is defined as heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular death.

Motorsports Walk of Fame

On Thursday, April 7, two multiple-race winners of the streets of Long Beach – Alex Zanardi and Bill Auberlen – will be inducted into the Long Beach Motorsports Walk of Fame, a collaborative celebration with the City of Long Beach and Grand Prix Association of Long Beach.

The 16th annual ceremony, open to the public, will take place at 11 a.m. on South Pine Avenue in front of the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center as part of the festivities surrounding the 2022 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.

After the ceremony, Auberlen and Vasser will sign autographs for those in attendance. The Walk of Fame medallions include renditions of the racers’ iconic cars, as well as descriptions of their major achievements in motorsports. For more information, visit

The induction ceremony kicks off the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend, which brought more than 180,000 people to Downtown Long Beach in 2021. For more information, visit, call (888) 827-7333.

In-Person City Council Meetings Resume

The City of Long Beach announced it will resume in-person City Council meetings at the Bob Foster Civic Chambers, located at 411 W. Ocean Blvd., beginning March 15. Over the next few weeks, the city will gradually transition from the virtual format back to in person.

Council meetings temporarily transitioned to the virtual format in January due to the COVID-19 Omicron variant surge. As cases continue to steadily decline, the city is reopening its Civic Chamber doors and looks forward to welcoming the public back in person once again.

Once the city fully resumes in-person meetings, Webex/Zoom will no longer be utilized for public participation. Individuals interested in providing public comment must appear physically in the Civic Chamber.

Chorus Receives Grant

The Long Beach Youth Chorus has been approved for an annual grant award to create the inaugural Family Community Arts Festival to be held later this year. This funding will create a festival hosting dozens of youth arts organizations in the city and region, to be held at a central Long Beach location to be determined.

The Long Beach Youth Chorus is among 32 grantees totaling $145,000 that were selected to receive annual grants funding this fiscal year 2022. The annual grants program is generously supported through the City of Long Beach’s allocation for the arts, Percent for Arts Program and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Long Beach Youth Chorus Executive Director Stan DeWitt said, “We have finally begun to turn the corner on the challenges our singers and organization has faced the last two years. We are excited to thank the city and its residents for their support by creating an event, one that we hope to repeat annually, that will showcase the talents and hard work of the young and budding artists in our midst.”

For more information on other projects included in the Arts Council’s grant announcement, visit


Add new comment


Copyright 2023 Beeler & Associates.

All rights reserved. Contents may not be reproduced or transmitted – by any means – without publisher's written permission.