People Malibu Loves: Helene Eisenberg
President of the Friends of Malibu Urgent Care, Helene Eisenberg is extremely passionate about the health industry and charity. She has worked for various non-profit organizations throughout her life and has been working as the president of Friends of Malibu Urgent Care for over 15 years. We sat down with Eisenberg talking all about the importance of Friends of Malibu Urgent Care, her passion for charity work and how Malibu has changed throughout the years.
How long have you been president of Friends of Malibu Urgent Care and how did it begin?
When I first came to Malibu I had been with City of Hope for 30 years, and I wanted to get involved with something in Malibu. One day I was asked to help with getting people registered to vote in Point Dume. I was then asked by Jeff Jennings to run his political campaign for his second time running for city council. I was in charge of getting all the precincts in Malibu. That time he won, so we had a big party and I was then introduced to Dr. Furgurson from the Malibu Urgent Clinic, and she was talking about how in trouble the clinic was and I knew right there that I wanted to help and I wanted to get them a 501(c) 3, which helps to get a deduction for charities.
After a lot of work with the IRS, and help from our attorney Richard Scott, we got it! We then started Friends of Urgent Care Malibu and I have been president for over 15 years now. If Friends of Urgent Care Malibu wasn’t there, neither would be Urgent Care Malibu. It’s very important that we keep raising money, and we decided that we need to remodel the building. We’re going to have handicapped doors for the first time.
I didn’t realize that, really?
Nope, we never had handicapped doors. We’re going to redo the building and get all new equipment. The most important thing is that we have raised a lot of money from the help of Roy March and Lou Adler, because of them we are able to do this. I love doing charity work, I absolutely love it.
Urgent Care has all emergency room doctors, Dr. Frankle and Dr. Furgurson are partners from Colony Care. Urgent Care is open 365 days and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. during the summer and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the winter.
Tell us a little more about your previous work with City of Hope?
I worked with City of Hope for over 30 years, they started in 1913 and they take care mainly of cancer as a cancer hospital. They are amazing.
You seem to have always been involved in the healthcare field then.
Yes I always have, you know Red Cross I worked with as well.
What do you think draws you to the health industry?
I think it’s a very important industry, there’s a need. Just like the City of Hope needed it, the city needs Urgent Care. I would say that besides the kids, besides the fire department, I would say it’s the most important thing needed here.
What does your day to day look like?
Well I do play tennis three times a week! It’s a very good life.
What would you say you are most passionate about?
Charity work. When you do charity work, it makes you feel good so in a way you do it for yourself and you do it for others. I just love to do it, I love raising money and I love knowing I can do it and am still healthy enough to do it. I feel very fortunate in my life. I also work for another charity my daughter introduced me to called Beit T’Shuvah on Venice Boulevard, and they take care of addicts and they are amazing.
You mention your daughter, do you have any other family?
I have two boys, a daughter, 7 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren. And I was an only child!
Well you sure made up for it! Are they all in the area?
No my grandson is a rabbi in Florida and he has 5 kids. My other granddaughter lives in Agoura and she has three children and then my daughter lives in the Palisades with her two sons. A lot of presents get bought.
How would you describe yourself in three words?
I’m basically a happy person. I mean we all have our moods but I would say I am basically a happy person. I think you are just born a certain way, and I think I just got lucky.
What are your plans for the next year?
To raise more money!
Just one last question, what does Malibu mean to you?
I have been here since 1984, unfortunately I think it has changed a lot. This used to be a small little town with mom and pop stores, but now no one can afford to be here. I really have had some wonderful friends who live here. I am very lucky and feel lucky to have these people in my life. It has really helped me survive, having the Friends of Malibu Urgent Care and working to get donations. I love it, no matter the amount of donation it all makes a difference.