CARE Program executive director, Ace Robinson, fired

Ace Robinson, who was executive director less than a year with the CARE Program at St. Mary Medical Center, was fired today. Photo: Q Voice News staff photo.

LONG BEACH — Ace Robinson, who was executive director less than a year with the CARE Program at St. Mary Medical Center, was fired today, Q Voice News has confirmed.

St. Mary Medical Center didn’t comment on the dismissal and referred a media inquiry to a spokeswoman with Dignity Health, the San Francisco-based nonprofit health care provider that owns and operates the hospital, who responded with a one sentence email.

Q Voice News verified the information with three sources who did not want to be quoted because they were not approved to speak publicly.

“Dignity Health does not comment on Human Resource matters but we wish him the best in his future career endeavors,” Christina Zicklin said.

No information was available on who would take over as executive director or when a replacement would be named. 

Robinson could not be reached for comment.

Robinson, 38, was appointed executive director June 16, 2016. He came to Long Beach with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Duke University and a master’s degree of Public Health from the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

Robinson had served posts as the AIDS prevention director at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine and vice president of public policy and legal advocacy at the Gay Men’s Health Crisis in New York City.

On Sunday, Robinson appeared at a CARE Program fundraiser at a private residence in Long Beach.

The CARE Program, which was formed in 1986, is the region’s largest and most comprehensive HIV/AIDS treatment program.

In a follow-up email, Zicklin said Dignity Health is committed to the CARE Program.

Dignity Health and St. Mary Medical Center are fully committed to the CARE Center and the population it serves,” the statement said. “It is a vital community resource, and Dignity Health is committed to ensuring that CARE remains a vibrant long-term asset to the region.”

In 2014, more than 1,600 clients were in the program, according to the CARE website.

Of that number, 85 percent maintained their medical care,  a vital component to stabilizing the virus, compared to the Los Angeles County average of 59 percent, according to the website.

Editor’s note: This story was updated to clarify how the information was confirmed.

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About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBT community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBT students.