Community News

Southwest Requests LGB Available Flight Slots

Southwest Airlines has requested each of the 17 flight slots recently made available at Long Beach Airport (LGB). The permanent flight slots were relinquished when JetBlue announced it would cease operating from LGB as of Oct. 6.

On July 28, LGB reached out to air carriers, inviting them to add their names to the waiting list by the close of business on Aug. 28; some carriers expressed interest, but indicated the timing was not ideal. Delta Air Lines and Hawaiian Airlines, already on the permanent waiting list, declined to take additional slots at this time. As a result, based on the procedures and protocol outlined in Section 4 of City Council Resolution No. RES-18-0176, Southwest Airlines was awarded all 17 permanent flight slots.

No announcements have yet been made regarding new destinations, but it is expected that the airline will increase its current offering of nonstop destinations from LGB. In late May, Southwest announced new nonstop service to Austin and Phoenix, initially set to begin in November, but service to Phoenix will now begin in September.

Southwest began service at LGB in 2016 and has steadily increased service as flight slots have become available. With one of the strictest noise-controlled airports in the nation, LGB offers a total of 53 flight slots, 41 of which are permanent and 12 of which are supplemental and subject to review of the annual noise budget.

Children’s Hospital Offers Robotic Technology

MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach is the only children’s hospital in California and one of only a few hospitals in the U.S. to offer ExcelsiusGPS – robotic navigation technology – for pediatric patients.

The ExcelsiusGPS system creates a surgical plan based on a child’s unique anatomy, guiding the robotic arm to a specific region of the spine, like a planned pathway on GPS. The pediatric spine surgeon uses this pathway to accurately conduct spine surgery with the utmost precision.

Pediatric orthopedic surgeons who are trained to use the technology can now perform back and spine procedures that may result in faster recovery with less blood loss and less muscle damage. ExcelsiusGPS is designed to improve accuracy and optimize patient care by using robotics and navigation.

ExcelsiusGPS provides improved visualization of patient anatomy through the procedure to help optimize patient treatment. This revolutionary robotic navigation platform created by Globus Medical, Inc., is the world’s first technology to combine a rigid robotic arm and full navigation capabilities into one adaptable platform for accurate trajectory alignment in spine surgery.

Miller Children’s & Women’s also is one of the only area hospitals to have the EOS Imaging System, which uses two to three times less radiation than a standard X-ray to provide extremely detailed, high-quality images of patients in a standing position.

EOS can be used for children with hip, knee or spine conditions. Because of the lower dose of radiation, it is ideal for children who require multiple X-rays during the course of their treatment, such as patients with scoliosis and other spine disorders.

Assistance with Insurance Enrollment Offered

The Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services (Health Department) is providing enrollment assistance to those who may be eligible for Medi-Cal and Covered California. Both state-operated insurance programs offer access to primary care, emergency treatment and mental health services to all who qualify.

Covered California recently announced new paths to coverage that will run through the end of 2020. Residents who have been affected by the wildfires or lost employment or income due to the pandemic and resulting recession could be eligible to sign up for coverage.

Help is available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays at (562) 570-7979. Certified Enrollment Counselors speak English, Spanish and Khmer and have access to Tagalog and several other languages. Questions may be directed to coveredlb@longbeach.gov.

St. Mary Receives Ongoing Meal Donations

When COVID-19 made its way across Southern California back in early spring, the Long Beach community did what it does best, it came together to help those in need. Healthcare workers and first responders were facing an unprecedented time in our industry.

As cases started to appear in Long Beach, one local longshoreman, Al Galuppo, knew he needed to help the hospital that had always been there for him, his family and his teammates in the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 94.

“St. Mary is the nearest Trauma Center to the Port of Long Beach and the staff has helped so many longshoremen over the years, including critical injuries, chemical exposures, heart attacks and other conditions. They even cared for my dad when he was hurt, and that’s something I’ll never forget,” said Galuppo. “It seemed natural to give back to the healthcare heroes on the frontlines of the COVID-19 virus. They suit up and show up every day to help others. This is the least I could do.”

In April, Galuppo and Local 94 delivered the first set of meals to Dignity Health – St. Mary Medical Center and they haven’t stopped giving, recently reaching a milestone of 650 meals. The longshoremen started taking up a collection for meals, and in partnership with San Pedro Fish Market, they have a goal to deliver food to every hospital in the area.

Public Urged to Resume Health Screenings

The COVID-19 Pandemic has impacted every aspect of our lives, from spending time with friends and family to schooling, grocery shopping and sporting events. But one thing hasn’t changed … the importance of taking care of your health and well-being.

Dr. Morgan Taylor, a gynecological oncology surgeon at Dignity Health – St. Mary Medical Center (SMMC) shares the importance of routine preventative health screenings to early detection of abnormalities. “Although we are in this pandemic, and many people are worried about contracting COVID-19, it’s important to remember that mammograms, prostate exams, colonoscopies and other annual screenings, are all critical in maintaining one’s health.”

Dr. Taylor cautions the public of the likelihood of cancer progressing while avoiding doctor’s offices or hospital settings can put you at greater risk than the virus itself.

Dignity Health encourages you to check with your primary care physician to see if you are due for a check-up, and rest assured that our hospitals and doctor’s offices are practicing all health department recommendations, including social distancing in the waiting rooms, disinfecting common areas and surfaces, and masking for all staff and patients.

“St. Mary’s health care team is working harder than ever to ensure patients are safe and provided with compassionate, high-quality care,” said Carolyn Caldwell, SMMC Hospital President. “Hospitals across the country are worried that many patients are not seeking care when they need services, and this care includes regular physician consultations and health screenings.”

Food Finders to Receive Nourishing Donations

Food Finders has been selected as a charity partner for Albertsons, Pavilions and Vons to receive donations from its annual Nourishing Neighbors campaign to ensure every child has access to a healthy breakfast. All donations made at select local Albertsons, Pavilions and Vons stores will be used to support feeding people in need, particularly children, in conjunction with the nonprofit’s ongoing Food Rescue Program.

Nourishing Neighbors, a charitable program of the Albertsons, Pavilions and Vons Foundation, is working to eradicate childhood hunger in America. With one in seven children in America not knowing where their next meal will come from, the funds raised in September will be dedicated to local efforts that ensure every child has access to a healthy breakfast.

Anyone wishing to support Food Finders through this program can simply go to the Albertson’s in Wrigley Marketplace, Pavilions on Spring Street or the Vons on East Broadway in Long Beach and make a donation to the Nourishing Neighbors program at checkout Sept. 1- 30.

Aquarium’s Moompetam Festival Goes Virtual

In celebration of local Native American cultures, the Aquarium of the Pacific will host its 16th annual Moompetam Festival for the first time as a virtual event. This celebration will celebrate California’s indigenous maritime cultures, including Tongva, Chumash, Acjachemen, Costanoan, Luiseno and Kumeyaay, and highlight their connections to the ocean, marine life and the environment.

The festival will also include appearances by the Aquarium’s Animal Ambassadors. The festival will conclude with a ceremony to present the Aquarium’s Heritage Award to honoree Dr. Stan Rodriguez, a Tribal Councilman for the Santa Ysabel Nation and director of Kumeyaay Community College.

The public can tune in for free to the festival’s activities on Saturday, Sept. 19. The aquarium will stream festival events live on its social media channels throughout the day at aquariumofpacific.org/events/info/moompetam/

LBCC Committee Seeks New Member

The Long Beach Community College District (LBCCD) Citizens’ Oversight Committee (COC), which oversees District bond projects, is seeking a new member to represent the Local Business Community. Applications are now being accepted and are due by Fri., Oct. 2.

Applicants must be at least 18 years of age and reside within the LBCCD boundary, which includes the cities of Avalon, Lakewood, Long Beach and Signal Hill. Applicants also need to be current members of a Local Business Community. This requirement includes that the applicant is a business owner, or is currently a member of a chamber of commerce or business improvement district that is active within the District boundaries.

The LBCCD Board of Trustees will be asked to approve the new member at its Oct. 28 meeting. The term of service for the new appointee will be Oct. 29, 2020 through June 30, 2022.

The COC oversees both Measure E, a $440-million bond measure approved by the voters in 2008, and Measure LB, an $850-million bond measure approved by the voters in 2016. Funds are used exclusively for the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation or replacement of LBCCD facilities, or the acquisition or lease of real property for use by the District.

Complete information about the bond measures, the COC and the application form can be found online at https://www.lbcc.edu/citizens-oversight-committee. Community members can call (562) 938-4540 with questions.

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