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Latest News - IEHP Offers Vaccine Clinic During International Tamale Festival

Indio, Calif., on Dec. 4 and 5.  A long-time supporter of the festival, IEHP will provide health education resources and host a free vaccine clinic near the festival. In partnership with Kaiser Permanente, IEHP’s vaccine clinic will be located just two blocks away from the festival at 45720 Smurr St. in Indio and will offer free COVID-19 and flu vaccines to adults and children from 12-6 p.m. Appointments are not required. Indio’s International Tamale Festival began in 1992 and welcomes diverse crowds to enjoy handmade tamales from around the world. In addition to world-famous tamales, this year’s festival will feature live musical performances, entry to the World’s Biggest Bounce House, a roller rink, carnival rides and hundreds of booths. “Supporting the Indio Tamale Festival has become a tradition for IEHP for more than 15 years,” said Marci Coffey, IEHP’s Community Partnerships Director. “The festival provides fun, family-centered time for our community, and we’re always eager to provide benefit information and connections to resources. This year, we’re especially eager to get back to the festival and offer vaccines to the community.” Historically, hundreds of IEHP Team Members and their family members volunteered for the annual event and were bussed from the health plan’s corporate headquarters in Rancho Cucamonga to Indio. This year, IEHP’s community health teams will be spread throughout the region to support Indio’s Tamale Festival and additional community events in Rialto, Victorville and Needles.  “We want our members and communities to enjoy all the fun during the holidays in the safest way possible,” said Cesar Armendariz, IEHP’s Senior Director of Community Health. “We’re grateful to have the resources and strategic partnerships in place to make vaccines accessible to those who need them and look forward to continuing to encourage optimal care and vibrant health in our region.”  

Latest News - Medi-Cal families receive discounted internet services

al services are to our well-being in this modern world. More than a dozen Inland Empire residents are now connected to the internet at discounted rates, thanks to Get Connected California! and the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) events recently held at Inland Empire Health Plan’s (IEHP) Riverside and San Bernardino Community Resource Centers.     The Affordable Connectivity Program is a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) benefit to help ensure households can afford internet services they need for work, school, health care and more.  The benefit provides up to $30 per month toward internet access and offers discounts on laptops, desktop computers or tablets for eligible households.     To participate, eligible households must be enrolled in Medi-Cal or other government assistance programs like CalFresh, Lifeline or Supplemental Security Income. In addition, households must have four people with an annual income of less than $53,000.    “The internet is so much more than connectivity, it’s a tool that can move entire communities forward,” said IEHP Community Resource Center Manager Maria Gallegos. “We’re so proud of this partnership and look forward to doing all we can to inspire future events like these.”   To learn more about the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program and to apply, visit affordableconnectivity.gov.    

Latest News - Meet Maria: 92-Year-Old Finds Wellness and Renewal at IEHP Community Resource Center

Maria found herself experiencing depression and longing for a purpose in life. Her home was missing the family bustle, boundless energy and joyful sounds from years past. “I would cry and cry there,” said Maria, 92, in Spanish about her modest, but empty, longtime San Bernardino home. As if an answer to her prayers, Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) opened their San Bernardino Community Resource Center in 2015 — just steps away from Maria’s too-quiet space. “Thank God they put this center here,” expressed Maria. “I said to myself, ‘Oh, they couldn’t have put it in a better location. I’ve got to go, I can go walking, I don’t need someone to take me.’ It was practically at my front door.” IEHP’S WHY So, every day for the last seven years, Maria puts on her workout attire – complete with a spiffy pair of Skechers sneakers – and takes the short stroll from her house to the Community Resource Center, where she’s become a “crowd favorite” of sorts. “Maria is definitely a beautiful example of IEHP’s core value of placing our members at the center of our universe,” said Cesar Armendariz, IEHP’s senior director of community health.   Fully embracing the center’s wide-ranging offerings – all free of charge to anyone in the Inland Empire – Maria has taken a variety of fitness classes including Zumba®, aerobic boxing, Latin dance and yoga. She’s also spent time in health education classes, learning about asthma, diabetes and nutrition.  The staff at IEHP’s San Bernardino Community Resource Center look to Maria as their inspiration and motivation of their “why.” “She fully embodies the reason we provide these services,” said Armendariz. “Knowing we provided connection and heartfelt space for Maria to enjoy her golden years, instead of suffering through them alone in a spiral of isolation, fuels our own purpose. This is what healing and inspiring the human spirit looks like!” As an added bonus, Maria brings smiles to everyone she encounters, always engaging with IEHP team members and fellow community residents.  “Eventually, she was very involved with whoever walked through the door,” said IEHP San Bernardino Community Resource Center Team Member Marjorie Chavez. “It’s been amazing to see how everyone welcomes Maria and how she embraces everyone who walks through the center.” PLACE & PURPOSE To watch Maria stepping, turning and moving to the spicy sounds of the latest Zumba® routine – never missing a beat – you’d never know she’s 92. To witness Maria’s current-day, happy interactions with other people at the center, you’d also never know about the sadness that once filled her heart. For Maria, the emptiness she felt before IEHP entered her life is gone – and so are the tears. She now knows IEHP’s San Bernardino Community Resource Center is the place and the purpose she craved all along. “My whole life has changed here. I feel renewed,” said Maria, then adding an encouraging invitation to other San Bernardino residents. “Come to the center, because there’s help here for everyone – for our bodies and our minds.”  Click here to learn more about IEHP’s three Community Resource Centers. 

Latest News - IEHP Hosts Mission Conference for Health Care Leaders

rence on May 6. Held at its company headquarters in Rancho Cucamonga, the conference featured educational and networking opportunities and a keynote presentation from New York Times best-selling author and Reality-Based Leadership CEO Cy Wakeman.  The Mission Conference was first held in 2019 but took a hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic. “The gatherings may have been paused, but the work certainly was not,” said IEHP CEO Jarrod McNaughton. “It was important for us as health care leaders to come back together to reflect on the challenges and successes of the past two years, strengthen our connections, claim our collective courage, and find opportunities to better meet the needs of those we serve in the Inland Empire.” Like the inaugural event, this year’s conference brought together health care CEOs, hospital board members and other industry leaders from across the state to share in collectively preparing for the future in a post-pandemic world.  This year’s event also honored the very first recipients of IEHP’s Living the Mission INSPIRE Award, which honors providers, community organizations and partners for their commitment to the health plan’s mission to “heal and inspire the human spirit.” This year awards recognized Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino County for their dedication to eliminating effects of poverty and SAC Health System for its tireless support and service to residents in both Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Sharing her insight on what the pandemic can teach us about post-traumatic growth, Wakeman highlighted how experiences of the past year can be leveraged to build sustainable resilience and reduce burnout and exhaustion. “If you’re in health care, you need to do two things. You need to love people up and call people up. Remind people that what we do here is sacred,” Wakeman shared with conference attendees.  “What makes the IEHP Mission Conference unique is its ability to celebrate courage and truly inspire the future of health and wellness in the Inland Empire,” said IEHP Governing Board Chair and San Bernardino County Third District Supervisor Dawn Rowe. “Putting all of that under one roof cultivates a type of collaboration that will sculpt and define Inland Empire Public Health Systems for generations.” To learn more about how IEHP is charting a collaborative path forward, visit iehp.org or follow IEHP on social media.   

Latest News - Local Health Plan Named a Model in California’s Master Plan for Aging

up a quarter of the state’s population. Focusing on building a “California for All Ages” that supports older residents, the state published a Master Plan for Aging (MPA), referencing Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) as a model for “Healthcare Reimagined” in the MPA’s Local Playbook.  Outlining IEHP’s current work supporting seniors through multidisciplinary care coordinators, exercise programs for seniors at IEHP Community Resource Centers, and individual care plans offering Alzheimer’s and Dementia screenings, California’s MPA Local Playbook details seven “plays” local governments and communities can reference in their own efforts to promote age and disability-friendly communities. “Accessible communities, regardless of age, are critical to sustaining vibrant health,” said Shelly LaMaster, IEHP Director of Integrated Care. “We’re thrilled that our work to support our local  65-and-over population over the last 25 years has benefitted seniors across California, and we are happy to share and support the initiatives any way we can. We are especially grateful to implement our MPA efforts even further, alongside a committed group of partners, here in the Inland Empire.” IEHP is also taking an active role in implementing a localized MPA effort, partnering and collaborating with the Inland Empire Long-Term Services and Supports (IELTSS) Coalition. The health plan has partnered with the coalition for a virtual meeting to engage and educate local elected officials and service providers on the MPA and select MPA initiatives to implement.  “Building sustainable, strong and healthy communities requires consistent effort from our local leaders,” said Dr. Takashi Wada, IEHP Interim Chief Medical Officer, who spoke at the IELTSS Coalition virtual meeting earlier this week. “Working together, we’re able to identify the unique needs of our older residents in the I.E. and build effective solutions that will benefit generations to come.” In addition to “Healthcare Reimagined,” the MPA outlines four additional goals including: housing for all, inclusion & equity not isolation, caregiving that works, and affordable aging. “The COVID-19 Pandemic is a tragic reminder of how vulnerable our older populations are and how critical a Master Plan for Aging is,” said Jeanna Kendrick, IEHP Senior Director of Care Integration. “Working together to make health and well-being priorities for our senior population is truly a benefit for all Californians, who deserve to age in the healthiest way possible. We’re looking forward to continuing and sharing our work in the I.E. and across the state to help make this a reality.” To learn more about the MPA, visit mpa.aging.ca.gov.  

Latest News - New Pilot Program Supports I.E. Residents with Heart Failure

with heart failure the tools to manage their health condition by offering personalized care and support in a new and exciting way. In collaboration with Purfoods, LLC (DBA Mom’s Meals), participating Members will receive healthy food and meals, nutrition education and digital weight scales. The program will run from June to December.  Adding a personal touch, IEHP’s Health Navigators will also visit each Member in their home to help connect them to Care Management Nurses, set up their digital weight scales, provide Heart Failure Management Plans, and conduct Health Risk Assessments. “The goal is to empower our Members to be their healthiest selves,” said Anna Edwards, IEHP’s care management clinical director. “This program is innovative and practical. We help provide the tools so that Members can make informed decisions about their health, reducing the likelihood of emergency situations and the need for hospitalization.” After a sixth-month assessment of the results, the program has the potential to be expanded, offering support to even more Members.  IEHP’s Health Navigators are also participating in a Healthy School Initiative Pilot Program, partnering with San Bernardino County School District and Colton Joint Unified School District to provide outreach and support to students. The team has also partnered with HumanGood to serve senior residents at Mt. Rubidoux Manor in Riverside.  “Coordinating personalized care starts with getting to know the individual needs of each Member,” said Carmen Ramirez, IEHP’s health navigator program manager. “Through in-home visits, Health Navigators are able to connect with the Member, assess their needs and work with Care Management to coordinate effective and individualized care, maximizing positive health outcomes.”  

Latest News - Local Health Care Providers to Receive Free Accessible Exam Tables

le with disabilities in the Inland Empire (I.E.). After applying and participating in the California Department of Health Care Services Physical Accessibility Review Survey (PARS), providers were selected by Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) and scheduled for table distribution by the fall. Receiving clinic locations include: Palm Desert, Corona, Hemet, Pomona, Rancho Cucamonga, and Indio with clinic types ranging from Adult Day Care Centers, OB/GYN clinics to Urgent Care Centers.  Studies indicate fewer than 10% of Primary Care Clinics in California reported having accessible exam tables, despite one in seven adults having a disability. “Being able to comfortably visit and be examined by your physician is critical to receiving optimal and complete care,” said Carmen Ramirez, IEHP’s disability program manager. “These exam tables provide patients with mobility challenges an opportunity to connect with their physician—with dignity.” The UpScale accessible exam tables, created by Medical Accessibility LLC, are ADA Compliant and ergonomically designed to enable a full-body exam with both height and weight measurements, important in-office visit elements that are often difficult for persons with disabilities.  “As an Internal Medicine-based clinic, our providers see some of the sickest patients with co-morbidities that challenge many of them in their fullest potential and quality of life,” said Denise E. Grant, ARMC Clinic Operations Supervisor. “Having an accessible exam table in our practice will allow us to better serve our patients who are challenged with obesity, are a fall risk, and/or have conditions that prevent them from standing on a regular scale. It would allow us to provide accessibility that enhances not only quality of care impacting the health of our patients but also contributing to our care team’s ability to collect key population health metrics.” To further support health equity and the need for accessible, comprehensive exams for residents with disabilities, IEHP also plans to provide comprehensive feedback based on each provider’s PARS response and conduct Culture Competency Trainings for providers who receive accessible exam tables.  The health plan will conduct accessible table distributions annually to increase the number of I.E. clinics that can offer accessible exams, increase access for residents with disabilities, and increase opportunities for better health outcomes. “Everyone is entitled to a safe and comprehensive medical exam,” said Dr. Takashi Wada, IEHP interim chief medical officer. “These exam tables and the pledge to continue this effort make that a reality for so many in our communities.  They also serve as an active reminder of the importance of health care equity and meeting our neighbors where they are to deliver optimal and vibrant care that benefits them as individuals.”  

Latest News - AfroNoon in White Park Commemorates New I.E. Museum and Cultural Center, Celebrates Diversity and Inclusion

community residents for its first AfroNoon celebration and mini-museum exhibition launch in White Park earlier this month. Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) was thrilled to join the city of Riverside as a sponsor, supporting The Bibbs and its mission to cultivate, collect and showcase expressions of African American arts and culture in the region. AfroNoon served the community as a Black arts festival, highlighting local talent from various artistic elements: music, traditional arts, food, live performances, and craft vendors.  Also featured, pieces by the center’s namesake Charles A. Bibbs, an internationally renowned contemporary visual artist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist whose work is found in museums, galleries, organizations and homes of many collectors, including Riverside City Hall.  “The AfroNoon in White Park was successful!” said Bibbs. “The highly attended event was strongly indicative of the interest and cultural impact the Charles A. Bibbs African American Museum and Cultural Center will have on the community. Many people participated in the event to learn more about the upcoming museum and others came with excitement and support.” “Our presentation of our mini-museum exhibit, featuring the art of local award-winning artists Maurice Howard, Diana Shannon and Charles Bibbs provided a small taste of what is to come when The Bibbs finds a gallery space of its own,” added Bibbs. For IEHP, partnering with The Bibbs represents an opportunity to enhance cultural connections. “Inclusivity is just as critical as medicine is to healing and inspiring the human spirit,” said Michael Deering, IEHP vice president of Innovation Acceleration and Diversity. “The Bibbs is a beacon to our community’s ongoing dedication to diversity, equity and inclusion and also provides space to actively facilitate, honor and celebrate that commitment on the level it deserves.” In addition to sponsorship, the health plan served on the AfroNoon planning committee, provided giveaways and volunteers to support various booths.  Once a permanent location is secured, The Bibbs plans to continue their work to promote permanent and revolving world-class collections from Mr. Bibbs and other African American artists, providing inclusive spaces for community expression. “The Bibbs will be a cultural destination in Riverside.  It will be a ‘voice of empowerment’ wherein established, emerging and youth African American artists will be able to showcase their work in every discipline. For the community it will be a place for individuals and families to collaborate and connect with others in an enjoyable, inclusive environment of creativity and culture,” said Bibbs.  The Bibbs is currently working on a collaboration with Riverside’s Mission Inn Foundation to install a fine arts exhibition before November’s Festival of Lights, in addition to beginning a capital campaign to build its permanent home.  To learn more about The Bibbs, visit thebibbs.org 

Latest News - IEHP’s Women in Leadership Engage with Local Students

articipated in Chaffey College’s Center for Culture and Social Justice Panel titled, “Celebrating Women in Healthcare Leadership,” which educated students of the current roles and contributions made to healthcare by women in the Inland Empire. The panel, conducted over Zoom, included several IEHP leaders, including Susie White, Chief Operating Officer; Dr. Priya Batra, Senior Medical Director for Family and Community Health; Shelly LaMaster, Director of Integrated Care; and Anna Wang, General Counsel.  “The event was wonderful and hearing from IEHP’s women leaders was impactful for all who attended,” said Dr. Leticia Romo, Chaffey College’s Director of Student Equity and Engagement. “We had the opportunity to hear real and authentic stories, wisdom, and encouragement.  Our students learned about mentorship, management responsibilities, leadership development, and overcoming imposter syndrome.  We definitely look forward to connecting with the IEHP leaders in the future.” The panel also provided students with stories about their own educational journey and career background and offered advice for future healthcare leaders. “Our work as a community-based health plan goes well beyond traditional health services,” said White. “It also includes making sure the next generation of leaders are equipped with the necessary support, tools and information to make even greater contributions to the healthcare space in the future.” In 2020, the health plan launched a Healthcare Scholarship Fund, partnering with Loma Linda University Medical School, University of California Riverside, and California University of Science and Medicine, to help remove the barrier of debt for local medical students and develop a growing workforce for healthcare professionals to care for the Inland Empire’s growing Medi-Cal population. In addition, amid the pandemic, IEHP provided internships to local public health students at Claremont Graduate University and Western University of Health Sciences to assist in developing program curricula at the plan’s Community Resource Centers.   “Sharing knowledge and guidance with Inland Empire learners just entering the health care workforce is another way we can positively impact health and wellness,” said Dr. Priya Batra, IEHP’s Senior Medical Director for Family and Community Health. “Supporting the advancement of diverse health care professionals will help us achieve vibrant health in our region.”  

Latest News - IEHP Partners with Special Needz Coffee to Honor Diversity Awareness

h Diversity Awareness and National Disability Employment Awareness Month. SNC is a mobile coffee shop in Ontario, California, that provides work opportunities to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Nearly 95% of the staff at SNC identify as persons with disabilities. “This is the first time IEHP has partnered with SNC, but it will not be the last,” said Marisol Pilotin, IEHP Community Health Representative. “Every October, our Independent Living and Diversity Services teams organize informational workshops and trainings for our Team Members that highlight the importance of equity and inclusion. SNC is an incredible model of that, and the positive impacts on both their extraordinary employees and the community are undeniable.” The partnership includes the purchase and distribution of SNC coffee vouchers for IEHP Team Members (employees) who participate in various trainings and events throughout the month. Employees from SNC will also join the health plan as guest speakers at a virtual workshop titled, Social Inclusion for People with Disabilities. "Partnering with IEHP during Diversity Awareness Month helps us fulfill our mission of raising awareness and empowering individuals with special needs and/or mental illnesses,” said Mia Humphreys, SNC Administrative Director. “Special Needz Coffee and IEHP share the common goal of promoting acceptance of everyone's differences, whether they are based on racial, cultural, religious, or political beliefs, and, most importantly, their mental or physical abilities. We are both working toward providing individuals with special needs an equal opportunity to work at organizations that promote diversity and inclusivity.” SNC’s mobile coffee shop sets up in Ontario at 2920 Inland Empire Blvd. Suite 108 (in the parking lot near the freeway). The shop is open to the public from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. “We’re really looking forward to continuing our partnership with SNC beyond this month’s celebration,” said Jose Solorzano, IEHP Community Health Representative. “Diversity should be celebrated every day, and we really appreciate that SNC reminds adults with disabilities that, through challenges and differences, they are able to make a positive impact in this world.” To learn more about SNC, visit specialneedzcoffee.com.

Latest News - IEHP Leads First Cross-County Community Health Assessment

re’s first cross-county and cross-sector Community Health Assessment (CHA) this year. The assessment will shed light on the region’s most pressing health and social needs: mental health, homelessness, health equity and more.   Using a collaborative approach, IEHP is convening network hospitals, county public health departments, academic institutions, and community-based organizations to better coordinate ongoing regional health assessment efforts. The health plan will also provide sponsorship and recourses to ensure the collaborative assessment meets the needs of partners.  Historically, CHAs have paved the way for broad-based policy and system changes to promote community health. “The initiative will better align current Member and community assessments, including those conducted by our public health and hospital partners,” said Dr. Priya Batra, IEHP’s Senior Medical Director for Family and Community Health. “Working together, we can identify gaps and efforts needed to contribute to and move the region forward on a shared pathway towards vibrant health.” IEHP’s collaborative Community Health Assessment is currently underway and is expected to be completed in late 2022. “As a community-based health plan, it is our duty to connect Members to the care they need, as well as connect our partners to needed resources, all to ensure our Members and communities have the opportunity to improve their health and well-being,” said Dr. Takashi Wada. “We look forward to collaborating with stakeholders in our region to identify the most significant priorities for our communities.”

Latest News - Public Notice for the Regular Meeting of the Joint Powers Agencies (March)

AN AND IEHP HEALTH ACCESS. Date of Meeting: April 11, 2022 Time of Meeting: 9:00 AM Location of Meeting:  Inland Empire Health Plan Headquarters 10801 Sixth Street, Suite 120 Rancho Cucamonga, California 91730 This Notice shall confirm the REGULAR MEETING of the Joint Powers Agencies - INLAND EMPIRE HEALTH PLAN AND IEHP HEALTH ACCESS. If disability-related accommodations are needed to participate in this meeting, please contact Annette Taylor, Secretary to the IEHP Governing Board at (909) 296-3584 during regular business hours of IEHP (M-F 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) Agenda Copies of the Packet may be obtained here.

Latest News - Public Notice for the Regular Meeting of the Joint Powers Agencies (December)

AN AND IEHP HEALTH ACCESS. Date of Meeting: December 13, 2021 Time of Meeting: 9:00 AM Location of Meeting:  Inland Empire Health Plan Headquarters 10801 Sixth Street, Suite 120 Rancho Cucamonga, California 91730 This Notice shall confirm the REGULAR MEETING of the Joint Powers Agencies - INLAND EMPIRE HEALTH PLAN AND IEHP HEALTH ACCESS. If disability-related accommodations are needed to participate in this meeting, please contact Annette Taylor, Secretary to the IEHP Governing Board at (909) 296-3584 during regular business hours of IEHP (M-F 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) Agenda  Copies of the Packet may be obtained here.

Latest News - IEHP Launches Campaigns to Increase Vaccine Rates in the Inland Empire

e Health Plan (IEHP) has organized a series of educational campaigns, community partnerships and stakeholder collaborations to provide access and educational support to unvaccinated residents. According to state data, Black and Hispanic communities and Medi-Cal Members rank among the lowest in vaccination rates in Riverside and San Bernardino counties. In addition, case rates for COVID-19 positive patients in the region continue to dramatically fluctuate, posing ongoing uncertainty and risk. “The COVID-19 vaccine is the most ‘certainty’ we’ve had in fighting this virus,” said Dr. Takashi Wada, IEHP Chief Medical Officer. “While it is possible to be vaccinated and still contract the virus, data shows the vaccine has been incredibly effective in reducing the impacts of the virus, thus reducing hospitalizations and deaths. That’s why receiving the vaccine is so critical.” Since the roll out of the vaccine, IEHP has participated in several pop-up vaccine events, including a partnership with Loma Linda University Health (LLUH) and SAC Health System (SACHS), to organize a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church (St. Paul AME) in San Bernardino, a prominent place of worship for the county’s Black Community. With additional funding coming from the state Medi-Cal COVID-19 Vaccination Incentive Program,  IEHP will continue to develop partnerships with the counties, community-based organizations, schools and churches to get innovate and craft additional actions to improve vaccination rates.  IEHP will also be developing an incentive program to encourage IEHP network providers to increase the rates of COVID vaccination.   “We understand the fears of those who chose to remain unvaccinated, and we want to empower these individuals by meeting them in familiar spaces, equipping them with facts, information and opportunities to receive their vaccine,” added Wada. “Familiarity and trust are a large part of making that decision, and we’re grateful to partner with community leaders and organizations to continue building that trust.” Last month, IEHP also partnered with sister plan L.A. Care to launch an educational campaign with the help of award-winning actor Jaime Camil, known for his work on The CW’s Jane the Virgin and Disney’s Coco. The effort included Instagram Live events, PSAs and billboards that will run in the weeks to come.  “In addition to battling the pandemic, we’re also battling a bit of an info-demic,” said Jarrod McNaughton, IEHP Chief Executive Officer. “Providing our communities with factual, honest information about the vaccine in a way that relates to them personally, can make all the difference. Health care is incredibly personal, and we’re grateful to work with such an esteemed group of partners to ensure that our most vulnerable residents are equipped with all they need to enjoy optimal care and vibrant health.” The health plan will continue to serve San Bernardino County as a super vaccination site, hosting a clinic in their Rancho Cucamonga headquarters, with plans to expand operations with additional community health partners in the near future. To learn more, visit sbcovid19.com/vaccine.  

Latest News - Sometimes, not all is merry and bright: tips for managing holiday stress

ricans, this can be an incredibly stressful time.  Especially for people already struggling, the holiday season can heighten feelings of grief, loneliness and other emotional pain.   Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) Clinical Director of Community Behavioral Health Amrita Rai says holidays can elevate emotional highs and lows. “This time of year can add additional stress in our lives, and stress can possibly trigger conditions such as depression and anxiety,” said Rai. “Not everyone experiences the holidays the same; it’s OK to experience your feelings.” Rai offers the following tips for managing potential stress during the holidays: Breathe.  Set realistic expectations. Let yourself say no to new obligations. Set boundaries with others. Reach out for help. In addition, Rai recommends checking in often with those close to you, ensuring they are doing OK, especially when you notice a change in their mood or behavior. “It can be as simple as a text, a phone call or handwritten note,” added Rai. “Reach out and remind someone you love them, and you are there for them.”  If you or someone you love is feeling overwhelmed, Riverside and San Bernardino counties encourage use of the local crisis numbers below for help: RIVERSIDE: 1-800-273-TALK (951) 686-HELP (4357)  1-877-727-4747 and Crisis text line: 741-741. SAN BERNARDINO:  24-Hour Crisis Line: (760) 365-6558 East Valley: (909) 421-9233 West Valley: (909) 458-9628 High Desert: (760) 956-2345 Morongo Basin: (760) 365-6558 San Bernardino: 1-877-727-4747 988 also offers 24/7 access to trained crisis counselors who can help people experiencing mental health-related distress no matter where you live in the United States. For non-emergency support, IEHP Members can also call IEHP Member Services at 1-800-440-IEHP (4347), Monday–Friday, 7 a.m.–7 p.m., and Saturday–Sunday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. TTY users should call 1-800-718-4347 and ask to speak with the Behavioral Health department.  

Latest News - IEHP Launches Early Childhood Wellness Program

), Loma Linda University Health (LLUH), and Help Me Grow Inland Empire (HMGIE) have joined forces to create the IEHP Early Childhood Wellness Program. The program encourages parental understanding of children’s (aged 0-5 years) developmental milestones through preventive screenings, interactive classes, helpful resources and more. Developmental milestones are helpful in gauging children’s growth and can provide early warning signs for developmental delays. “A child’s growth is more than just physical, and can be observed in how the child plays, learns, speaks and behaves,” said Jane Wang, IEHP Director of Health Education. “Parents and caregivers who know their child the best could be the first to identify any missed milestones and are an important part of the solution,” added Wang. “Bringing awareness to developmental milestones through activities and resources gives parents the opportunity to learn more about their child and how they can personally impact their growth.” Reflecting on her time in the program, Jessica Cortez, parent of Jayla (8 months) said, “By doing the activities in the program, I’ve learned different ways that can help me teach and improve her learning. If I didn’t take the classes, I wouldn’t be able to come up with the activities we’ve been doing on my own. The questionnaire gave me an idea of what to look for and what areas we need to improve.” The program utilizes the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ-3) in partnership with HMGIE. The questionnaire’s results provide parents with information about the developmental status of their child across five key areas that can be discussed with the child’s pediatrician. The five key areas include: communication, gross motor, fine motor, problem solving, and personal-social. In addition, parents are provided access to developmental screenings, early childhood education and learning material promoting healthy growth and development at home. The program also includes a virtual interactive Circle Time class for parents and their children and refers parents to supportive resources when any developmental concerns are observed. “Help Me Grow Inland Empire is proud to serve as the developmental screening partner for IEHP’s Health Educators,” said Dr. Marti Baum, Pediatrician and HMGIE Physician Champion. “HMGIE assists IEHP-referred parents and caregivers to assess their child’s development against well-established milestones. When concerns are identified, IEHP’s Health Educators immediately start working with the family to provide the child with necessary medical care and social services.  Together, IEHP and HMGIE are making a difference in the lives of young children — a successful partnership that helps our young ones be ready to learn when they start school.” The program is offered online weekly and will resume in-person interactive classes this month at IEHP’s Victorville Community Resource Center. “Preventive care and health promotion resonates at the core of our mission within Health Education at IEHP,” said Wang. “However, to truly provide wraparound care, we believe that we must continue to strengthen our partnership with our IEHP providers as well – such as leveraging technology solutions for ease of accessing screening tools and results. In the coming years, we hope to help bridge these efforts so that our young children, 0-5 years, are getting the right care at the right time, and are able to realize their full potential.” IEHP parents can participate in the program by submitting a screening request via email to screening@iehp.org or by participating in a Circle Time class with their child. For more information, visit iehp.org or call IEHP Member Service at (800) 440-4347 or (800) 718-4347 (TTY).

Latest News - IEHP encourages residents to follow the wonderful road to wellness

doesn’t have to be a scary adventure.  Through a new print and digital media campaign, Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) encourages residents to take their best shot at health and wellness this season by getting their annual flu vaccine. The campaign will reach Inland Empire residents through commercials on local television stations, radio spots, community outreach and social media posts, directing them to IEHP’s website for vaccine information and details.  “No one wants to be slowed down in 2023,” said IEHP Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Takashi Wada. “This campaign is to serve as a reminder that staying healthy and well can be as easy as stopping by a vaccine clinic or checking in with your primary care physician.” The campaign began in winter 2022 and will run through spring 2023. “The flu isn’t isolated to a particular time and the flu vaccine can protect you throughout the year. Like the COVID-19 vaccine, it can also significantly reduce symptoms in case you do contract it.”  To receive a free flu vaccine, no visit to a wizard or good witch is required! Residents in Riverside County can visit ruhealth.org/flu. Residents in San Bernardino County can visit dhp.sbcounty.gov to find free local clinics. Flu vaccines are always free for IEHP members. To learn more, visit iehp.org.

Latest News - IEHP Sponsors Inland Empire Disabilities Collaborative Scholarships and Awards

nsorship to Inland Empire Disabilities Collaborative (IEDC) that will be distributed to 10 students who applied for IEDC scholarships. Scholarships were distributed June 16 at San Bernardino Valley College, where IEDC Member Denise Booker was also honored for her dedication to bring awareness of Juneteenth to the Riverside community.  “Providing opportunities, aid and continuing to advocate and honor individuals who stand for equity is critical to our mission to obtain optimal care and vibrant health in our region,” said IEHP Director of Community Health and IEDC Board President, Dr. Gabriel Uribe. “Since 2019, IEDC has distributed 33 scholarships to Inland Empire students with disabilities who are pursing undergraduate, graduate, vocational or technical degrees. It’s a tradition we hope to continue through our partnerships and community support.”  Established in 2006, IEDC is powered by a partnership between IEHP, Community Access Center and PossAbilities of Loma Linda University Health. Today the organization brings together more than 900 service providers from several organizations across the Inland Empire who serve seniors and people with disabilities.  “It's imperative we do what we can to level the playing field and advocate for underserved and marginalized communities. That’s what’s so inspiring about Mrs. Booker. She stood up, she spoke up and she sparked positive change in her community,” added Uribe.  Booker has been an IEDC member since 2017 and has been active in advocating for the Black community. Through her organization, The Black Collaborative, Booker has led advocacy efforts to inform local politicians and leaders about Juneteenth and why the day is important in our nation’s history.  “The collaboration I have with IEDC provides me the opportunity to help a section of my community that I otherwise would not be able to,” said Booker. “My relationship with IEDC brings true the African proverb, ‘If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.’”     

Latest News - New IEHP Program Connects Members to Needed Services

tients in Barstow to primary care physicians, needed social services, and more.  "Through our collaboration with Barstow Community Hospital, we realized that there was an additional benefit to our members through post-discharge calls from IEHP’s Health Services and Community Health teams." said Sylvia Lozano, IEHP's Vice President of Hospital Relations. "A follow-up telephone call upon discharge is an essential activity to improve the transition from hospitalization to their return home," said Lozano. "This partnership with Barstow Community Hospital shows IEHP's unwavering commitment to our Members and Providers and demonstrates how the power of collaboration and dreaming of better ways to deliver care and services can ultimately lead to optimal care and vibrant health for our communities." IEHP Health Navigators provide referrals to other health plan services based on needs expressed during the calls, including organizing doctor’s appointments for members.  The pilot program also connects both hospital and health plan teams for weekly huddles to share insights, data trends, and discuss additional points of partnership to meet the needs of both organizations and the populations they serve.  "Our post-discharge call from trained hospital staff allows the patient's questions and misunderstandings, including discrepancies in the discharge plan, to be identified and addressed, as well as any concerns from caregivers or family members,” Margaret Ventura, Case Management Director for Barstow Community Hospital. "Additional follow-up calls post-discharge from IEHP to their members will only further benefit their members by improving the continuum of care for patients," added Ventura. Since the pilot program began in early October, more than 30 IEHP Members have been supported. While Member needs vary, IEHP's Health Navigators have reported cases where the need for resources and social support has been critical. "This pilot began with a compassionate team who saw an unmet need and found an innovative way to solve it," said Jarrod McNaughton, IEHP Chief Executive Officer. "We are developing this pilot to further demonstrate our commitment to the optimal care and vibrant health of our communities."   

Latest News - Celebrity connection: ‘Boris and Nicole’ encourage health and wellness in I.E.

ican residents through a series of local public service announcements (PSAs) that encourage navigating family health matters, including COVID-19 vaccines. Actors/entrepreneurs Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker, currently starring on ABC’s “Station 19” and HBO Max’s “And Just Like That,” respectively, have been supporting health and wellness initiatives for years through their Kodjoe Family Foundation. Today they continue to help share fact-based health information with their community. “The truth is, our community is still being hit hardest by this virus and vaccines lower our risk of getting sick or even dying of COVID-19,” said Parker in one of the campaign segments, which were funded in partnership with San Bernardino County’s COVID Equity Grant. Nearly three years after the start of COVID-19 pandemic, the Inland Empire continues to report low vaccine rates, especially among Black residents, resulting in increased hospitalizations and deaths. “We understand the concerns our Black and minority residents have in regards to the vaccine,” said Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) Chief Medical Officer Dr. Takashi Wada. “It isn’t enough to just tell community members to get vaccinated and that the vaccines work, we’re inviting them to empower themselves through awareness and gathering information from trusted sources.” Like the celebrity couple of Boris and Nicole, Dr. Wada further encourages all Inland Empire residents to get the facts about COVID-19 vaccines and boosters directly from reliable sources such as official websites and licensed medical experts. “The best thing you can really do to support the health and wellness of your family is to read the data and ask your doctors questions, so you CAN make sound decisions regarding the health and wellness of your family,” Dr. Wada added. Topics of the “Boris and Nicole” PSAs include various messages about protecting the Inland Empire community and family health as well as encouraging residents who have doubts to visit IEHP’s COVID-19 website to gather accurate and timely information. The announcements began running on KMIR Palm Springs stations and IE Spectrum stations and will continue through summer 2023.