Bits 'n' Pieces

New ER Provider at SMMC

Vituity, a physician-led and -owned multispecialty partnership, announced that Dignity Health – St. Mary Medical Center in Long Beach, California awarded the organization the contract for Emergency Medicine services. Vituity will begin providing acute care services in its Emergency Department beginning July 1, 2020.

The new service contract expands Vituity’s more than 40-year relationship of jointly caring for Dignity Health patients, as Vituity’s earliest emergency services were located in Dignity Health facilities. Today, Vituity works in 24 of its facilities, encompassing eight acute care specialties and 20 emergency medicine sites across three states.

“St. Mary Medical Center has served Long Beach for close to 100 years, and we’re committed to providing our community with the high quality of care they deserve,” said Carolyn Caldwell, president, St. Mary Medical Center. “The infrastructure, programs and established expertise Vituity brings will help us continue to offer innovative emergency care to those who need it most.”

For nearly 50 years, Vituity has been developing best practices to ensure hospitals are able to care for patients effectively. Through a physician-led and collaborative approach, Vituity’s acute care services engage providers and deliver an integrated care experience for patients through robust quality programs that emphasize local physician leadership, communication, and accountability.

As a democratic partnership owned equitably by its practicing physicians, Vituity’s unique structure allows for an atmosphere of collaboration, transparency, and innovation – where knowledge and ideas are shared across all practice lines, practice sites, and geographies.

To learn more about Vituity’s acute care services, visit or email

Murder Charge Filed in Fatal DUI Crash

A Bellflower man has been charged with murder for a fatal crash in Long Beach, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office recently announced.

David Michael Garrison, 38,  faces one count each of murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving under the influence of alcohol causing injury within 10 years of another DUI offense, driving with a .08% blood alcohol content causing injury within 10 years of another DUI offense and driving under the influence of a drug causing injury with an allegation of causing great bodily injury.

On March 23, Garrison allegedly crashed into a car while driving at a high rate of speed on Pacific Coast Highway and Anaheim Street, prosecutors said. The driver of the other vehicle, Dennis Van Nguyen, 64, died as a result of the injuries, prosecutors added.

The defendant faces a possible maximum sentence of 15 years to life in state prison if convicted as charged. Bail is set at $2 million.

Time to Get Back to Work

The Executives Association of Long Beach (EALB) has created a new membership category to assist small businesses seeking to regain work opportunities lost in recent months due to the pandemic.

An “affiliate member” category has been approved by the EALB board of directors on a trial basis that offers quarterly dues less than half of what current executive members pay as well as a departure from the 50 percent attendance requirement.

Founded in 1922, EALB is a business networking group that normally meets Monday noon at The Grand but in recent weeks those meetings are now temporarily held as Zoom sessions. EALB members serve as a sales team for other members by sharing leads on new business opportunities.

Persons interested in an affiliate membership can check out the organization via its Zoom meetings by contacting the EALB Executive Director, Steven Caudillo, at (562) 663-6416 or by sending an email to

Examples of current, open classifications are: Alarm Co., Appliances, Architect, Auto Repair, Auto Sales, Auto Tires, Business Attorney, Charity, Chiropractor , Commercial Real Estate, Day Spa, Exterminator, Flooring, Furniture, Graphic Design, Handyman, Hotel/Motel, Health Insurance, Human Resources, Marijuana Dispensary, Mortuary, Massage Therapist, Optometrist, Painter, Photographer, Physician, Public Relations, Real Estate Loans, Restaurant, Retail Businesses, Retirement Planning, Roofer, Skin Care, Solar Systems, Veterinarian, Weight Control, Windows, Wines & Spirits.

A complete list of open classifications, listing of current members and more details about EALB are available at

Cats and Dogs Find Homes During Pandemic

Rufus is a happy, handsome 8-year-old Pit Bull-Shar Pei mix who loves to give high fives with his paws. After over eight months at Long Beach Animal Care Services (ACS), Rufus is now one of 69 other dogs and 103 cats recently adopted or fostered into homes from ACS since March 13, during an unprecedented show of support from the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of Friday, April 3, only six dogs and eight cats were in the shelter. The remaining animals are being readied for foster homes or are under medical or behavioral care or observation.

People who foster an animal agree to take them into their home and give them love, care and attention, either for a predetermined period of time or until the animal is adopted. Fostering animals gives them more time they might need to be adopted, helps socialize them to a home environment, and helps to understand them better so they are placed in the best forever home possible. Fostering is especially beneficial during the pandemic because the ACS currently has few volunteers on site.

“With Long Beach residents following the ‘Safer at Home’ order to stem the spread of the COVID-19 virus, we recognized a greater opportunity for residents to foster shelter animals,” said Staycee Dains, manager of Long Beach Animal Care Services. “The community is continuing to do a great job by not bringing animals to us unless the animal is seriously sick or seriously injured or is attacking. The fact that our kennels are empty is unprecedented and we owe that to our hardworking and tireless staff, and rescue partners and our community.”

Rufus came to the shelter in August 2019. He suffered from a skin condition that rendered his skin dry and flaky. The ACS medical team treated his condition and Rufus soon became a shelter favorite among staff and volunteers with his gentle and kind spirit. On March 20, Rufus was placed into foster care and five days later found his forever home with a family from Stockton in northern California. They felt compelled to come down and adopt him after seeing his picture on the website of Live Love Animal Rescue.

Until further notice, ACS is open by appointment only. Animal Control Officers continue to accommodate the most emergent health and public safety issues in the community. Pet licensing can be done via mail by sending payment to 7700 E. Spring St. Long Beach, CA 90815, over the phone by calling (562) 570-3081, or online at

For adoption services, the public can email For emergency surrender of sick or injured animals, or to reunite an animal with its owner, call (562) 570-7387. For questions, email

LBUSD Board Names Jill Baker Superintendent

The Long Beach Unified School District Board of Education unanimously selected Jill Baker as superintendent of schools this week. She will succeed Christopher J. Steinhauser, who is retiring after 18 years as superintendent.

Baker, a Long Beach resident, will start as superintendent on Aug. 1. She has worked for the school district for nearly 28 years, first as a teacher, then as a principal and central office administrator. She is currently deputy superintendent of schools, overseeing leadership development, curriculum and instruction, early learning, and supervision and support of schools. She is well known by community members and employees for her encouraging presence and her longtime commitment to systematically improving achievement for all students.

“Dr. Baker is a key reason why our school system is considered nationally, and even internationally, to be a high-functioning organization,” Board of Education President Felton Williams said. “She is a thoughtful, strategic planner who has served our schools extremely well. On behalf of the school board, I congratulate Jill and thank her for accepting this challenging assignment.”

The school board will consider a formal contract for the new superintendent at a future board meeting.

Baker, 50, is the first woman selected as superintendent in the school district’s 135-year history. She was chosen after a statewide search that included several community forums, advisory committee meetings, multiple interviews of candidates, and electronic surveying of constituents to determine which qualities they would like to see in their next superintendent.

“I am deeply honored to be selected as superintendent of such a high quality organization,” Baker said. “Thank you to the Board of Education and to everyone in our communities who provided their input during the superintendent selection process. We’re facing unprecedented challenges because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but I so appreciate everyone who continues to support our students and their families. Please be assured that I am working closely with Superintendent Steinhauser to ensure a smooth transition of leadership so that we can best support our school communities in the weeks and months ahead.”

Steinhauser’s retirement was announced in December. His last official day on the job will be July 31.

Take the Census Online

April 1 was Census Day, and with shelter at home orders in place for 25 percent of the country and social isolation recommended for the rest, it was a reminder that Americans can still complete the 2020 U.S. Census online – fulfilling a crucial civic duty.

Completing the census safely at home online, or through the mail and phone-in options, reduces the amount of in-person follow-up required and relieves a significant burden on U.S. Census operations already over-stressed due to COVID-19 considerations.

Census count estimations made even before COVID-19 showed that in some counties, including Los Angeles, the likely impact of a census under count is especially high, which could lead to a disproportionate and unfair distribution of resources and representation.

Unlike many events, the 2020 Census cannot be postponed in response to this pandemic. As mandated by the U.S. Constitution, the Census must take place every ten years, and it is critical, in spite of the COVID-19 outbreak, that the 2020 count is as accurate as possible. Online, mail and phone-in self response options are key not only for increasing this accuracy, but also for maintaining public health during the duration of the 2020 Census, which takes place now through July 31.

LeBaron Named Police Chief in Hermosa Beach

Long Beach Police Department Commander Paul LeBaron, who has more than 27 years of law enforcement experience, will serve as Hermosa Beach’s new police chief beginning April 16, City Manager Suja Lowenthal announced today.

LeBaron started his law enforcement career at the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) in 1993 and rose through the ranks to become a commander in 2012. Since 2018, he has been the commander of the port police division, which oversees the security of Long Beach’s coastline, beaches and marinas and the management of federal grants dedicated to the security of critical infrastructure, including the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.

In his current position, he supervises 57 employees assigned to the port police division. These include non-sworn employees and sworn officers assigned to the Port of Long Beach, the marine patrol section and the civic center security team. He also supervises the LBPD public safety dive team and LBPD’s boat operations.

Previously, LeBaron served as commander of the LBPD’s detectives division and its east patrol division, as well as chief of staff to the LBPD’s chief. He has several years of experience working in drug investigations, community relations, field training, vice and internal affairs. He also is fluent in Spanish.

Lowenthal said LeBaron’s experience and leadership skills made him the clear choice for the chief’s job.

“We are thrilled to have Paul join the city’s team,” said the city manager. “He is a strong leader with a commitment to excellence and accountability who will further strengthen the Hermosa Beach Police Department and its relationship with the community.”

Foundations Give $20,000 to Coronavirus Relief Fund

Long Beach Rotary Charitable Foundation (LBRCF) President Gail Schwandner announced that the LBRCF Board voted to donate $10,000 to the Long Beach Coronavirus Relief Fund administered by the Long Beach Community Foundation (LBCF). She also announced the addition of a $10,000 matched gift by an anonymous private foundation.

Long Beach Community Foundation President & CEO Marcelle Epley said of the donations, “We are grateful for the generosity of Long Beach Rotarians and the associated private foundation match. The combined amount of $20,000 will help Long Beach organizations that are on the frontline providing relief for families and businesses impacted by this pandemic.”

In the short time since the LBCF established the Relief Fund, it has already provided assistance to local children, seniors, low-income families, and people suffering job loss caused by Covid-19 through several Long Beach organizations such as Centro CHA, Precious Lamb Preschool, Urban Community Outreach, Food Finders, and Interval House.


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