Health Department Director Ron Arias Announces Retirement

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Health Department Director Ron Arias Announces Retirement

Ron Arias

Ron Arias, Director of the City of Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services (Health Department), has announced his plans to retire, effective the end of December 2012.

“Ron will be terribly missed,” said City Manager Patrick H. West “His passion for the community and his commitment to the health profession is unmatched, and we have been lucky to have such a committed health professional as our Director.”

Ron has been Director since February 2000, and prior to that time he was the Manager of the Public Health Bureau (1990 to 2000). During his tenure with the City, Long Beach has established the Miller Family Health Education Center, the Long Beach Community Health Councils, and the creation of the Community Health Research Studies (CHRS I and II). As Director, Mr. Arias helped to establish and implement the City’s first 100 percent no smoking ordinance, roll out significant chronic disease prevention programs (including the childhood obesity prevention programs), and better connect the Department with the community through targeted outreach and educational programs.

“It has been a true honor and pleasure for me to serve the community, and work with the wonderful people in the Department and the entire city,” Mr. Arias said.

Ron has received several significant recognitions, including the CSULB Distinguished Alumnus, the Roemer Public Health Leadership award from the Southern California Public Health Association, and the Crockett Memorial Award from the American Lung Association. Ron has worked in public health since the 1970’s where he worked for the Community Health Foundation of Los Angeles, the Health Systems Agency for Los Angeles County and the American Lung Association before working for the Health Department. Ron has been a resident of Long Beach for over 40 years, with his wife Phyllis, who is a professor at Long Beach City College.

Mr. Arias will continue to serve as Director until the end of the year, during which time the City will put in a place a transition plan for a new Director of Health and Human Services.

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