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The Health and Safety Recognition Program is a monthly awards program that recognizes and honors those individuals, businesses, or groups who have demonstrated leadership in the field of health and safety issues or made a contribution to the mission of the Health and Safety Commission.
January 2018: Teen Line
For the month of January, Vice Chair Gary Ross nominated Teen Line, a hot line run by mental health professionals out of Cedars Sinai and manned by volunteer teen listeners. Teen callers share topics dealing with a wide range of emotional issues. Teen listeners provide a comforting ear to their peers.
December 2017: BHUSD Crossing Guards
For the month of December, Commissioner Lisa Kay Schwartz nominated All City Management Services - BHUSD Crossing Guards. The crossing guards were recognized for their support and dedication in ensuring students, staff, and residents are safe while crossing City streets.
November 2017: Music Mends Minds
For the month of November, Commissioner Myra Lurie nominated Music Mends Minds, a nonprofit organization that seeks to improve the lives of patients with dementia, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, traumatic brain injury, stroke and PTSD through the healing power of music.
October 2017: Dr. Louis Ignarro
For the month of October, Vice Chair Demeter nominated Dr. Louis Ignarro. His wife, Dr. Sharon Ignarro, accepted a certificate on his behalf awarded in recognition for his discovery that nitric oxide is an important signaling compound that helps the body regulate key functions such as blood pressure and preventing blood clots that could cause strokes. Dr. Louis Ignarro was awarded the Nobel Prize for medicine in 1998 for this contribution.
September 2017: USC Hillel
For the month of September, Chair Daniel Nazarian nominated the USC Hillel Center. Bailey London, Executive Director of USC Hillel Center, along with members of the Board of Directors for the Wellness Center, Deborah Kallick and Sharona Nazarian, were presented with a certificate of recognition in honor of their work to engage and support all Jewish students at USC who are away from home for the first time in their lives making independent decisions.
June 2017: Leon's Beverly Hills
For the month of June, Commissioner Lisa Kay Schwartz nominated Leon Haytayan of Leon’s Beverly Hills for his annual donation of three prize watches to the Vahagn Setian Memorial 5K Run/Walk. Leon’s Beverly Hills has been established in the City for sixteen years and is a supportive and integral member of the business community.
June 2017: Silverado Memory Care Community
In honor of June as Alzheimer’s Awareness month, Commissioner Lisa Kay Schwartz and James Latta, Human Services Administrator, nominated Valerie Lehrer of the Silverado Memory Care Community. As the Family Ambassador of the Care Community, Ms. Lehrer educates families on how structured therapy, activities, and trained caregivers can help Alzheimer’s patients create new lives and new memories.
April 2017: Tower Cancer Research Foundation
For the month of April, Commissioner Myra Lurie nominated Tower Cancer Research Foundation with a recognition certificate in honor of their work in cancer research and cancer patient support classes. LA Can Survive, one of the Foundation’s programs, is dedicated to providing free wellness classes to cancer survivors and their loved ones. Classes help participants develop an emotional and physical toolkit to manage the challenges of the disease. Present to receive the certificate were Linda David, Executive Director, and Nancy Mishkin, Board Chair.
March 2017: Gary S. Greene, Esq.
For the month of March, Vice Chair Myra Demeter nominated Gary S. Greene, Esq. with a recognition certificate commending his musical accomplishments and honoring his work as a founder of Legal Voices of the Los Angeles Lawyers Philharmonic, a 100-voice chorus composed of lawyers, judges, law students, and legal staff. As a testament to the health benefits of musical expression, Mr. Greene says, “My colleagues in law find that playing in the orchestra and big band and singing in the chorus relax and revitalize them, especially after a stressful day in the office or in court. It’s enjoyable and a healthy way to spend an evening.”
February 2017: Hatzolah of Los Angeles
For the month of February, Chair Daniel Nazarian nominated Hatzolah of Los Angeles for their life saving work. In the event of a disaster or emergency, Hatzolah LA works in partnership with the City of Beverly Hills, under the direction of the Fire Department, with first aid, basic life support and triage support to those who are ill, injured and wounded.
December 2016: Officer Christophe LeLong
For the month of December, Commissioner Gary Ross nominated Officer Christophe LeLong for his successful efforts in saving a life by using the Heimlich Maneuver.
October 2016: Karen Setian and Ida Nalbandian
For the month of October, Commissioner Gary Ross nominated Karen Setian and Ida Nalbandian for their significant roles in raising awareness of distracted and drunk driving and efforts towards making the Beverly Hills community a safer place.
September 2016: Josh Gross and Isabel Hacker
For the month of September, Commissioner Dr. Myra Demeter, Ph.D. nominated Josh Gross and Isabel Hacker for their significant roles in the stem cell donor program.
There was no Health and Safety Commission meeting for the month of August.
July 2016: Fred Zaidman, Michael Blumenfeld, and Jeff Horn
For the month of July, Commissioner Myra Lurie nominated Fred Zaidman, Michael Blumenfeld, and Jeff Horn of the Cedars-Sinai Blood Donor Program for their extensive donation histories.
June 2016: Rob Karlin and Dr. Carmen Bertoni
Chair Schwartz nominated Rob Karlin, owner of Los Angeles Funeral Service, licensed Funeral Director and friends of former Health and Safety Commissioner Karen Setian. Mr. Karlin was honored for his work with Karen Setian’s family during their time of need and participation in the annual "Every 15 Minutes” program.
Vice-Chair Nazarian nominated Dr. Carmen Bertoni a geneticist, an associate Professor at UCLA, and a member of The Neuromuscular Disease Foundation (NDF)'s Scientific Advisory Committee. Dr. Bertoni was honored for her work with NDF to advance research, treatments and therapies in the quest for a cure for GNE Myopathy (HIBM).
NDF is a nonprofit public charity dedicated to funding clinical research, creating awareness, education and prevention and genetic screenings for neuromuscular diseases, including GNEM, and to serving its patient population and their families with advocacy at every level.
There were no recipients for the month of May.
April 2016: Kurt Schmalzbach
For the month of April, Chair Schwartz nominated Mr. Kurt Schmalzbach, who has worked for the Beverly Hills Unified School District since 2005 and is currently a math teacher at Beverly Hills High School. Chair Schwartz commended Mr. Schmalzbach for his role in helping save the life of a student.
March 2016: Beverly Hills Public Library Adult Literacy STAR Program
For the month of March, Commissioner Demeter nominated the Beverly Hills Public Library Adult Literacy STAR (Start Today and Read) Program, which helps adult learners (ages 18 and over) to improve their reading, writing, and comprehension skills. The services are free and learners are matched with a volunteer tutor. For more information about the program, contact the Literacy office at 310-288-2207.
February 2016: Chiron Center Crisis Response Team
Commissioner Lurie nominated the Chiron Center Crisis Response Team for the month of February. The Crisis Response Team (CRT) is a program of the non-profit Chiron Center, Inc., providing free, 24/7, 365, on-scene information, support, and referrals to those affected by a trauma or serious loss during the initial hours after an incident in the Beverly Hills community. Services are provided to survivors, witnesses, and loved ones representing all ages, cultures, spiritual traditions, and backgrounds free of charge through a generous Beverly Hills Community Assistance grant and other supporting grants and donations. Volunteers Honorable Barry Brucker, Bonnie Cacavas, Judy Spigelman, and Michelle Upchurch attended to represent the organization.
January 2016: Hon. Les Bronte, Alex Kay, Peter Landau, Pam Meadow, David Seidel
Vice-Chair Nazarian nominated CERT instructors Hon. Les Bronte, Alex Kay, Peter Landau, Pam Meadow, and David Seidel for their efforts with the CERT program. The Community Emergency Response Team Training is to prepare residents to take care of themselves, their family members, and neighbors when a disaster occurs.
The program educates people about disaster preparedness and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. After taking the training, individuals are better prepared to respond to and cope with the aftermath of a disaster. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help.
The program has been lead by the Office of Emergency Management with the support of the Fire Department and strong volunteer leadership.
November 2015: Henry Steiman, Charles McCollum, Kelly Hudson
Commissioner Ross nominated Henry Steiman, Charles McCollum, and Kelly Hudson - all crossing guards who safeguard Beverly Hills schools. Henry Steiman presides over Hawthorne Elementary School, Charles McCollum at Beverly Vista Elementary School, and Kelly Hudson is District Supervisor of the Crossing Guard Company. They contribute to the health and safety of our youth and families by showing up day in and day out, rain or shine to ensure children arrive into school safely.
October 2015: Dr. Anthony Sokol, MD and Barbara Sokol
Chair Lurie nominated Tony and Barbara Sokol. They have worked for many years with various organizations, including Operation Smile, traveling throughout the world to provide facial reconstruction surgery to children with facial deformities.
September 2015: Dream Street Foundation
Dream Street brother and sister co-founders Billy and Patty Grubman were honored at the September meeting. Dream Street provides nationwide camping programs for children with chronic and life threatening illnesses. Funded by the Dream Street Foundation, children with cancer, blood disorders and other diseases are given the opportunity to enjoy activities they would normally be restricted from due to their illness. Dream Street is a public non-profit corporation.
For those children who require medicine daily or several times a day, the usual sleep-away camp is not sufficiently sophisticated to handle their medical needs. At Dream Street, volunteer counselors and a full-time medical staff are on hand to spend endless hours with any child who needs special help and love. Over 750 children and young adults attend Dream Street’s programs each summer. The camp sessions are free of charge to the campers who attend and there are no paid salaries within the Dream Street Foundation.
For more information about Dream Street, please visit http://dreamstreetfoundation.org/
July 2015: Pets Offering Ongoing Care and Healing Program (POOCH)
Dogs and their owners in the POOCH Program provide a wide range of services throughout Cedars-Sinai Hospital. With their unconditional love and acceptance, dogs offer heartwarming and supportive experiences to patients and their family members — unlike anything experienced within human relationships. Director of Volunteer Services Barbara Leanse along with volunteers Mark and Max Friedman attended the meeting to accept the award.
The activities of POOCH volunteers include:
June 2015: The Maple Counseling Center
Executive Director, Marcy Kaplan and First VP John Jameson attended the June commission meeting to accept the award. The Maple Counseling Center offers a range of services and low cost comprehensive mental health services for individuals, couples, families, adolescents and children throughout Los Angeles County.
May 2015: "Challenger Division" of Beverly Hills Little League
The "Challenger Division" of Beverly Hills Little League is specifically designed so that mentally and physically disabled players can get some exercise, enjoy the outdoors, and play a game of baseball. They play a form of baseball called, "Buddy Baseball," in which players with disabilities are shadowed by a "buddy" who assists them by batting, fielding balls, running the bases, and cheering them on. It is something that has to be seen to be believed -PURE JOY.
The division plays on Sundays at La Cienega Park (North Field) at 3:15 p.m. They start by gathering at home plate and singing the National Anthem, followed by a couple of innings. At the seventh inning stretch, you will hear everyone singing, "Take Me Out to the Ball Game." This group allows these individuals to get some exercise in a safe environment. It is one of the most joyful and inspiring things to watch!
April 2015: Honorable Lili Bosse
As part of the Healthy City Initiatives, the Honorable Lili Bosse started weekly "Walk with the Mayor" walks on Monday mornings for community members. This event attracted 100-200 people a week. She began the program as a healthy activity for residents, community members and visitors. Also, these walks allowed interaction with local businesses, government and City staff. A few other programs and activities held as part of the Healthy City Initiative were highlighted, including seven brown bag nutritional lunch programs and an "Eat Well" healthy restaurant initiative.
March 2015: Factor's Famous Deli (Suzee, Debbie and Marvin Markowitz)
Suzee, Debbie and Marvin Markowitz of Factor's Famous Deli were nominated for their contribution to the "Every Fifteen Minutes" program held on February 26, 2015. The family, long-term residents of Beverly Hills, have contributed and donated to a variety of City activities and programs over the years. The "Every Fifteen Minutes" program is an educational experience that reminds members of the dangers associated with driving while impaired and texting. The program is conducted for teenagers and families around the world.
February 2015: Linda Berghoff
The Health and Safety Commission inaugurated their new awards program by recognizing longtime Beverly Hills resident Linda Berghoff at their meeting on February 23rd. Berghoff started a local program called Dance for Parkinson's.
Berghoff first learned of Dance for Parkinson's a few years ago, after being diagnosed with the degenerative disease. Started by the Mark Morris Dance Group, Dance for Parkinson's is a nationally recognized program that helps minimize the most debilitating symptoms of Parkinson's, which include depression, isolation, and loss of balance.
Berghoff formed a partnership with Invertigo Dance Theatre, based in Beverly Hills, to offer the program free of charge to Parkinson's patients in the Los Angeles area. Hundreds of Parkinson's patients have since then enrolled in the program. Berghoff teaches Parkinson's movement classes twice a week.