St. Mary Medical Center last week appointed five new community board members with an eclectic mix of backgrounds and experiences to “further strengthen the hospital’s commitment to fostering a collaborative environment,” the hospital announced.

Ali Jamehdor, Chris Steinhauser, David Haberbush, Lisa Lighthall Haubert and Sharifa Batts will join 13 other board members.

Jamehdor is medical director of St. Mary’s emergency department. He completed his residency at Arrowhead regional Medical Center in 2007 and is board certified in emergency medicine with over 15 years in the field.

Steinhauser served as Long Beach Unified School District superintendent for 18 years before retiring in 2020. “With more than 39 years of experience, Steinhauser has earned a national reputation for improving student achievement and closing achievement gaps,” the hospital statement reads.

Principal of Haberbush LLC, a Long Beach-based law office, Haberbush has over 40 years of experience in bankruptcy, insolvency and business litigation, according to the hospital. Haberbush also sits on the hospital foundation’s board of trustees as treasurer, as secretary of the Salvation Army Advisory Board and the Board of Governors for the Long Beach Bar Association.

With more than 20 years experience, Lighthall Haubert is a board-certified kinesiologic electromyographer, spinal cord injury model systems research co-director and senior research physical therapist. She oversees a multidisciplinary team treating patients with “life-altering injuries and health conditions” at the Pathokinesiology Laboratory at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehab Center.

Batts is a longtime Long Beach resident, community leader and currently serves on the city’s Equity and Human Relations Commission. Batts, who has years of experience working for Ports America, the largest terminal operator and stevedore in the U.S., also has served on a variety of boards for other organizations, including Long Beach City College Foundation and American Association of University Women.

“We are delighted to welcome these accomplished individuals to our Hospital Community Board,” St. Mary President and CEO Carolyn Caldwell said in a statement. “Their extensive experience and deep commitment to healthcare excellence will undoubtedly enrich our discussions and decisions, helping us drive positive outcomes for our patients and the Greater Long Beach community.”

New appointees will serve alongside the current board members, including Felton Williams, chair, Gloria Willingham, vice chair, Secretary Vattana Peong, Caldwell, Chester Choi, Cynthia Chao, Gina Maguire, Gloria Cordero, John Arens, John Javien, Katherine Cofield, Sandy Cajas and Mary Kieffer.

The new appointments come as the hospital celebrates its 100-year anniversary. The hospital opened on August 26, 1923 as a 70-bed community hospital by the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word.

Aug. 23, meanwhile, is the memorial day for Sister Dennis, who died after serving as a pediatric nurse at the hospital for 39 years.

Last week, on Sept. 19, the hospital held mass in honor of Sister Dennis with the Medical Sisters of St. Joseph from India. During mass, Archbishop of Los Angeles José H. Gomez blessed the hospital’s nurses, doctors and staff in honor of the centennial celebration.

“St. Mary Medical Center has a history of serving the poor, disenfranchised, and the most vulnerable individuals in our community, and was proud to receive this mission from Archbishop Cantwell in 1923,” Caldwell said. “Now, 100 years later, we are dedicating ourselves once again to this mission in front of the presence of His Excellency, Archbishop Gomez, and all our guests.”