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5199 E. Pacific Coast Hwy. #608
Post Office Box 15679
Long Beach California, 90815-0679
Phone: (562) 597-8000
Fax: (562) 597-9410
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From Issue: Volume XXI - Number 1

By Jay Beeler

Very impressive. Those words came to mind on Monday afternoon as I toured the new MemorialCare Medical Group facility that opened for patients on Wednesday.

The 30,000 square foot facility replaced the old Borders bookstore at 2110 Bellflower Blvd. in the Los Altos MarketCenter. Beside the same exterior, the only interior vestige is the wide, contemporary stairway that encircles the elevator.

The core group of doctors who will staff the facility told me their mission was to provide a continuity of care from birth to the end of life, with emphasis on patient education and wellness. The new medical director is David Kim, MD, who specializes in family medicine.

Although East Long Beach has several smaller clusters of medical offices, this new, large complex operating under the parent MemorialCare Health System offers urgent care,
laboratory, radiology and physician specialists in primary care, cardiology, rheumatology and pediatrics within a modern setting that is easily accessible. There’s even a CVS Pharmacy conveniently located next door.

With my medical marketing background it was easy to see the potential for serving the 36,279 students at California State University, Long Beach, plus staff and educators, who constitute 91 patients per day at the campus medical facility.

The MemorialCare doctors said that they will serve 200-300 patients per day and as a triage center for more serious cases that will get transported to local hospitals according to their availability and capability. Patient visits are expected to be seasonal, such as respiratory problems in winter months.

And on the opposite side of the parking lot we have Sears, not quite the same specimen of ingenuity and modern technology. Its net loss this quarter is projected to be $280 million and its CEO, Louis D’Ambrosio, is stepping down Feb. 2 because of “family health matters.”

I think the patient got sick when they looked at their new Los Altos store several years ago and proclaimed that it would be a perfect fit for the “large Asian population” in this area. Huh? Maybe their marketing geniuses should have gotten off their Hoffman Estates derrieres and checked out our city personally.

Of course their biggest blunder was letting Amazon take control of the Internet marketing of practically every product that Sears carried, had access to or was capable of distributing through its own existing network.

On the positive side I was impressed that the local store has brought all of their shoe stock from out of the back room where customers can see for themselves what sizes, colors and styles are available. They used to keep 3-4 employees shuttling back and forth for that function.

We’ve already received commitments from more than a dozen sponsors for our 12th Annual Best of Long Beach contest. This year we are doubling the number of business categories and having one contest in February for service-oriented businesses and another in July for product-oriented businesses.

So we anticipate that there will be more prizes to be won and there certainly will be more businesses competing for the gold, silver and bronze certificates.

This month we’ll be finalizing the ballot categories and welcome your suggestions. Remember that each category must have multiple businesses eligible and must appeal to a broad audience. A monkey wrench distributor for left-handed plumbers is not quite broad enough. Email suggestions to

Businesses interested in becoming a sponsor should contact me ASAP.