Around & About February 2023 Peninsula

photo by Danielle Boujikian


+ Volunteer Auxiliary Donates $182,707 to Torrance Memorial

Participating in a check presentation last month to the Torrance Memorial Foundation were  (left to right) Laura Schenasi, Keith Hobbs, Mark Lurie, MD, Betty Broughton, Helen Metzler. The funds were raised by the Volunteer Auxiliary, whose members also contributed nearly 100,000 volunteer hours to the Torrance Memorial Medical Center and its patients. 

photo by Annie Macaller

+ Finn top finalist in the America’s Favorite Competition

Karen Sarmast’s horse Finn was a top five finalist in the America’s Favorite Competition in 2022. Sarmast adopted the horse after its owner’s barn was destroyed in last year’s Northern California fires. Sarmast brought Finn to the Peter Weber Equestrian Center, in Rolling Hills Estates, where she and the staff worked to help Finn overcome his trauma from the fire. 

Tim Aldrete, Chair of St. Mary Medical Center Foundation’s Board of Trustees, and Dr. Lugliani, holding the Spirit of St. Mary Award, which he presented to Dr. Robert Lugiani. Photo by Ryan Giron (Visual Prospect)

+ Dr. Robert Lugliani receives Spirit of St. Mary Award

Longtime Palos Verdes Estates resident Dr. Robert Lugliani was presented with the inaugural Spirit of St. Mary Award by the St. Mary Medical Center, of Long Beach, on Friday, December 9.

Carolyn Caldwell, St. Mary Medical Center CEO/President, made the presentation in front of an audience of more than 200 people, many of them fellow physicians, at the Hyatt Regency, Long Beach.

Dr. Lugliani recently retired after 56 years of service with St. Mary Medical Center. 

“Dr. Robert Lugliani, tonight we are presenting you with The Spirit of St. Mary award, in gratitude for your devotion to your patients; for your service to St. Mary; for your generosity as a donor; for embodying the highest ideals of your calling as a physician; and for so wonderfully fulfilling our mission,” Caldwell said.

Dr. Tanya Stewart, one of Dr. Lugliani’s seven children, described her father as a devoted father, and loving husband. She said her career as a physician started as a young girl, on rounds with her father at St. Mary, seeing first-hand that medicine was not just a science, but also an art and, above all, an act of love.

Speaking for the medical staff of St. Mary, former Chief of Staff Dr. Greg Vanley, described Dr. Lugliani as a role model for younger physicians and a great teacher. Fellow doctors referred to Dr. Lugiani as the “Energizer Bunny,” up at the crack of dawn, and often at the hospital until the wee hours of the night, tending to patients, assisting colleagues, training young physicians and settling complex administrative issues.

Dr. Lugliani is a native of Tuscany in Italy. As a little boy, he was wounded by shrapnel near the end of World War II. The care he received from medics in the U.S. Army inspired him to become a physician. He is a graduate of Tufts School of Medicine, with a specialty in pulmonology. More than a decade ago, the hospital named its  G.I. Lab in his honor. The St. Mary Medical Center Foundation Board of Trustees has previously presented him with a Life Achievement Award, and named him a Trustee Emeritus.

Dignity St. Mary will be observing its centennial year in 2023. Dignity Health hospitals in Southern California are part of CommonSpirit Health, a nonprofit Catholic health system dedicated to advancing health for all people. Pen


comments so far. Comments posted to may be reprinted in the Easy Reader print edition, which is published each Thursday.