FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release # CM: 012517
Newest Park in Long Beach Named after Dr. David Molina; Public Invited to Ground-Breaking Ceremony on January 28
On Saturday, January 28, at 9:30 am, the public is invited to a ground-breaking ceremony for the City’s newest park, a 3.3-acre site named after Dr. David Molina, who passed away in 1996 at the age of 70. C. David Molina Park is located at 4951 Oregon Avenue, and features a turf soccer field, playground, restroom facility, walking path, parking and landscaping.
As an emergency room physician in Long Beach, Dr. Molina treated many low-income, uninsured and non-English speaking residents who didn’t have a family doctor. Beginning in 1980 with a single clinic, he and his family built Molina Healthcare into a Fortune 500 company that today serves more than 5 million people across the country.
“Dr. Molina showed compassion to people who needed it the most,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “He cared for every patient like they were family, and I’m very proud that this park will add to his legacy as a champion of the community.”
The park will have energy efficient lighting to provide additional hours of play for Long Beach sports groups. The walking path and the series of fitness stations will provide an opportunity for healthy outdoor exercise. The playground will feature dynamic universally-accessible play structures designated for youth 2 to 5 years old and 5 to 12 years old, as well as a climbing structure, safety surfacing and colorful shade structures. There will also be benches, bike racks, picnic tables, landscaping and parking.
“Dr. Molina left his mark on Long Beach and the United States like few people have,” said Councilman Al Austin, who introduced the item for City Council approval recommending naming the park after Dr. Molina. “His job was to save lives, and his mission in life was to alleviate the suffering of some of our most vulnerable neighbors. This park honors his commitment to humanity.”
Councilmembers Lena Gonzalez, Dee Andrews and Roberto Urango co-sponsored the item, which passed unanimously.
C. David Molina Park is adjacent to land that was once home to the Will J. Reid Boy Scout Camp and is becoming a private residential development. The developer funded the public park, which will be operated by the Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine.
Dr. Molina’s service in Long Beach runs deep. After working as a teacher, he started the City's first intensive care unit at Pacific Hospital in 1962, where he also served as the Director of the Emergency Department for 21 years. He also earned a grant to develop and train Firefighters to become the City's first Paramedics.
Molina Healthcare is still headquartered in Long Beach, and the Molina children now run the company and are active in the community.