About 100 people gathered in Community Hospital’s courtyard last week to hear speakers extol the facility’s service to the community. Front row, from left: Art Levine, host/producer of Straight Talk; Julie Ann Sherman, D.O. (current chief of staff); Charles Morrell, M.D. (retired/former chief of staff); Lois Condit (wife of Fillmore Condit’s grandson). Back row, from left: Ray Jankowski, president and CEO of CHLB; Glenn Maddalon, executive director, CHLB Foundation; Donald Condit, Jr. (grandson of Fillmore Condit, former Long Beach mayor and original donor/founder of CHLB).
Photo and Story by NICK DIAMANTIDES
Community Hospital of Long Beach (CHLB) first opened its doors in 1924. Last week, during the facility’s 85th anniversary celebration, the hospital announced its plans for enhancing communications and expanding its community outreach programs. The facility also unveiled its new logo, which symbolizes arms reaching out to people in need.
About 100 people gathered in the hospital’s courtyard for the celebration, which featured speakers who told of the hospital’s history and recent accomplishments. Art Levine, host of the television talk show Straight Talk, served as master of ceremonies. He noted that Community Hospital enabled his program to go on the air by becoming its first major sponsor. “I would do anything for this hospital,” he said.
Glenn Maddalon, executive director of the Community Hospital Long Beach Foundation, explained that in 1922, Long Beach’s civic leaders decided that Long Beach needed a hospital on its east side. At that point, Fillmore Condit, a local resident, businessman and philanthropist, stepped forward to donate $50,000 and organize fund-raising efforts for the new hospital. “Today we honor him for his accomplishments,” Maddalon said.
Donald Condit Jr., Fillmore’s grandson, also took the microphone. “My grandfather was a true Renaissance man,” he said. “He was a businessman, an inventor, a visionary and a philanthropist. He was involved in politics and civic affairs. We are here today because of my grandfather’s greatest philanthropic endeavor– the founding of Long Beach Community Hospital.”
Charles Morrell, MD, the hospital’s former chief of staff who served at CHLB for 50 years, explained that to the present day, the facility plays an important role in the health and well-being of Long Beach residents, primarily those who live in the city’s eastern portion, He noted that the hospital’s Spanish Colonial architecture with gardens, plantings and a courtyard provide a warm, welcoming atmosphere for its patients. “It’s not just a great mass of concrete,” he said, adding that the hospital’s size– not too small and not too large– enables its staff to provide the “best personalized care possible to its patients.”
Levine agreed with that description. “It always struck me as an outsider that one of the major sources of fundraising for the hospital were patients who, after their bills were paid, voluntarily chose to donate additional money to the hospital because they felt the care was just as the doctor described,” he added.
Dr. Julie Ann Sherman, the current chief of staff, took the microphone next. She noted that she herself was a patient at CHLB last September. “I can’t say enough how wonderful my care was,” she said. “I also had my mother here in the last few months when she fell and broke her hip. When you send your own mom to a hospital, I think that says it all.”
Sherman spent about 10 minutes praising Community Hospital’s doctors, nurses and other paid and volunteer staff for working hard to make the facility better and better over the years. “There is a fierce loyalty among the staff at this hospital,” she said. “We are all so committed, and our community around us is very committed as well.”
Levine noted that the hospital was appropriately named because “it is part of the community, by the community and of the community.”
Ray Jankowski, the hospital’s president and CEO, was the last speaker. “The transition to a new logo and a new look symbolizes the strategic renewal underway,” he said. “As we celebrate our 85th anniversary, we renew our dedication to making the neighborhood stronger and healthier.”
Jankowski noted that, as it has done for 85 years, the hospital remains focused on high-quality personalized healthcare services that contribute to a greater quality of life in the Long Beach area. He explained that for the past few months, CHLB has been working with brandStrata, a consulting firm, to analyze the community’s perception of the hospital and revitalize CHLB’s communications efforts.
“The new logo represents CHLB’s connection to the diverse community it serves, with abstract shapes that suggest the iconic architectural arches of the facility, but have now been transformed into a group with arms reaching forward,” Jankowski said. “The new tagline, ‘Connect to Better Health,’ is intended to inspire interest in personal wellness, and reinforce CHLB’s commitment to high-quality personalized healthcare services.”