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Latest News - Inland Empire Health Plan Recognized for Healthcare Innovation

ices (DHCS) for their innovative Medi-Cal Primary Care Physician Auto-Assignment Redesign. On an annual basis, DHCS’s Innovation Award recognizes Medi-Cal Managed Care Health Plans (MCPs) that have excelled in improving the quality of health care for the millions of beneficiaries receiving Medi-Cal services through managed care.  This marks the fifth time IEHP has been honored by DHCS—more times than any other health plan in California. Prior recognitions for its forward-thinking efforts include utilizing location intelligence to reach Members (2020), creating the IEHP Housing Initiative (2018), developing Behavioral Health Integration Complex Care Initiative (2017), and organizing the Transitional Care Project (2015). “We are honored to be recognized for our efforts and unwavering commitment to serving our Members, Providers and communities,” said Jarrod McNaughton, IEHP Chief Executive Officer. “These efforts support the work we are doing as we recommit to our Mission to heal and inspire the human spirit.” This year’s recognition shines light on IEHP’s PCP auto-assignment process, which focuses on directing health plan Members to Providers with high quality scores, ensuring Members receive optimal care and incentivizing Providers’ great work. To do so, IEHP created an assignment algorithm incorporating over a dozen weighted provider attributes related to their quality scores.     “Innovation allows us to see beyond our present circumstances and barriers and expand our thinking to what is possible for our Members and Providers,” added McNaughton. “In every connection, we have the ability to inspire and empower them to achieve their fullest potential.”

Latest News - IEHP Hosts Out of Darkness Community Walk event

red location, the Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) team member knew he had to act. “For five years, my family and I have walked in memory of my sister Melanie and to advocate for suicide prevention and education,” said Lopez about the annual American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) event. “We had been registered for months to take part in the walk and were deeply saddened to hear the walk wouldn’t be happening in the Inland Empire. I thought, ‘I know where the walk could be held.’” Lopez, an information technology specialist at IEHP, shared the event cancellation news with the company’s leadership team, who moved quickly to offer IEHP’s Rancho Cucamonga campus as the site for this year’s event. With a few signatures and approvals, the walk’s new location at IEHP was official.  So, in addition to sponsoring the event, IEHP was also a proud host of AFSP’s Inland Empire Out of Darkness Community Walk.  More than 500 Inland Empire community residents gathered on Oct. 29 and walked on IEHP’s Sixth Street campus in remembrance, hope and support of those impacted and lost by suicide. Together, the group walked 2 miles and raised more than $30,000 to fund research for suicide prevention, create and distribute education programs, advocate for public policy and support people affected by suicide.  “I take pride in working for IEHP, an organization that truly lives up to their mission,” added Lopez. “This event helps families find closure, support and hope. Helping others in our community was a large proponent of who my sister was, and I know how happy she would be to know we’re continuing to push forward to erase the stigma behind suicide and mental health, especially for those in underserved communities.” To learn more about AFSP and future events and walks, visit afsp.org.  

Latest News - IEHP Members Receive Free Autism and ADHD Screenings

ers to consider assessments and support for their children. This includes evaluations to detect conditions such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).   IEHP Medi-Cal members can receive a free autism screening at centers like the Inland Empire Autism Assessment Center of Excellence (IEAACE) or from any IEHP network provider before the member reaches age 21. “Rapidly changing environments, like the COVID-19 pandemic and the social isolation tied to it, brought significant disruptions to the lives of our youth,” said IEHP Behavioral Health and Care Management Manager Heather Waters. “Given the circumstances, it’s completely normal for children to need additional support. What’s important is ensuring they receive the right care at the right time.” Waters highlighted that early treatment and recognition of symptoms, as early as 1 year of age and before a child enters school, can result in better health outcomes. Signs and symptoms vary and can range from obsessive or compulsive behaviors to poor social skills, delayed milestones and more.  What to Expect at IEAACE “Accurate assessment, diagnoses and subsequent treatment are critical to improving the lives of children and their families within the Inland Empire and beyond. The comprehensive diagnostic evaluation process at IEAACE results in more accurate diagnoses and the creation of effective treatment recommendations, which is critical to avoiding missed diagnoses, delays in intervention and misdiagnoses with inappropriate treatments,” said IEAACE Executive Director Zachary Ginder, MD. During the initial assessment appointment, caregivers/parents and their children will meet with an evaluation coordinator for interviews and observations. Information gathered during the appointment will be processed and reviewed by the IEAACE transdisciplinary team for next steps and follow up.  “IEAACE looks at the whole child from multiple clinical perspectives to ensure we give the child and their family the greatest opportunity for long-term health and prosperity,” added Dr. Ginder. “With IEHP as our primary managed care partner, children and their families now have greater access to these services, which will ideally result in reducing health disparities within our communities.”  To receive an evaluation or additional services, members are encouraged to call IEHP Member Services at 1-800-440-4347 and ask for the Behavioral Health Department. Members can also learn more about IEAACE by visiting autismassessment4ie.org.  

Latest News - IEHP Honors Plan’s First Social Worker

rst social worker Dennis Kaney, who served residents of the Inland Empire for 16 years before his passing earlier this month. In speaking with Kaney earlier this year to learn more about his experience as an IEHP Team Member, he described his role as "doing what he loved most”—providing individualized, quality care and support to the region’s most vulnerable Members through his work as an IEHP Case Manager.  In January, Kaney met an IEHP Member who had sustained life-threatening injuries in a car accident, leaving the Member with paralysis in their limbs (known as a quadriplegia).   Kaney, who was wheelchair-bound himself, understood the need for multi-level support and wasted no time connecting the Member to resources to aid in the massive life transition. “I believe through my work at IEHP, I am able to do exactly what I am meant to do and use my personal experiences to help someone navigate their new beginning,” Kaney said. Through this connection, Kaney helped the Member discover new ways to manage daily life, including how to travel with a chair, how to write, talk, and how to best utilize available resources and tools. This ultimately provided the Member with hope and a reminder that their life was in no way over. “A heartfelt connection provides more care to the human spirit than we realize,” said Jarrod McNaughton, IEHP’s Chief Executive Officer. “As we honor Dennis and observe Social Work Month, we celebrate the spirit of all social workers who bring courage and empathy to a world that desperately needs their light and love.”  

Latest News - IEHP and MALO ring in holiday cheer during resource fair

in their upcoming event, MALO ‘E OFA Christmas 2022 Extravaganza Resource Fair and Vaccine Clinic, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 17, at First United Methodist Church of Ontario, in Ontario, Calif. The event will provide attendees with free vaccines, groceries, children’s toys and gifts, afternoon Zumba and lots of holiday cheer. Vaccines will include Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines and boosters. Pediatric Moderna vaccines and boosters for children 6 months through 11 years old will also be available. Those who would like to receive a free COVID-19 vaccine are encouraged to make an appointment online here. MALO, a non-profit organization established in 2017, serves more than 2,000 Tongan Americans in the Inland Empire through youth mentorship, job readiness, resource literacy and cultural gathering events. “Our community has been under-resourced for decades – these partnerships are a sign of hope that our beautiful and deserving community will get the resources needed to live a life with good health and accessible health care,” said Lolofi Soakai, MALO founder and executive director. “Having partners in health care gives a peace of mind knowing that current health concerns are addressed, and preventive care is accessible” Through their years of partnership, MALO and IEHP have collaborated to distribute back-to-school backpacks, hosted various vaccine clinics, and provided personal protective equipment and household items during the COVID-19 pandemic. IEHP has also assisted MALO by providing information on health and wellness benefits. “Meeting our communities where they are and ensuring their access to vaccines and health and wellness resources is a cornerstone of who IEHP is,” said LuAnna Jauregui, IEHP community partnerships manager. “Partnering with organizations like MALO allows us to deliver on our promise to ‘heal and inspire the human spirit’ and support health equity in our region.” To learn more about MALO and their important work in the Inland Empire, visit malotongaie.org

Latest News - IEHP Ranks 99th Percentile in Nation for Provider Satisfaction

the health plan in the 99th percentile for provider satisfaction nationwide.  Administered to the health plan’s provider network by phone through a third party vendor, the annual survey measures provider satisfaction with the services and support received directly from IEHP. The survey included responses from primary care physicians, specialists and behavioral health providers.  “To deliver the best care to our members, our providers need ongoing support from their health plan partner,” said Susie White, IEHP Chief Operating Officer. “Survey responses alert us to what areas we need to improve upon and where gaps lie so we can be effective in applying strategic solutions to support our providers. Ultimately we want to ensure our Providers are feeling secure and confident in the work and services they provide to our members. This survey provides great insight into that.” To gain actionable feedback from the plan’s provider network, the survey focused on key drivers of provider satisfaction. Top drivers included: access to case and care managers, timeliness of claims processing, and number of specialists in the network.  A notable 98.1% of providers shared they would recommend IEHP to other physician practices. Broken down by category, IEHP ranked within the 99th percentile for provider relations, health plan call center staff, pharmacy, utilization and quality management, and coordination of care. The health plan also scored in the 99th percentile in the financial category, highlighting the health plan’s ability to resolve questions or discrepancies of payment.  The survey provided additional insight for ways to improve support activities. “Our provider feedback pointed us to a really great opportunity to enhance access to resources and information supporting telehealth services,” said White. “As we continue to navigate our way through this pandemic together, reinforcing efforts in this area will be critical for our communities.” “The last two years have been an extraordinarily difficult time for our Providers as healthcare professionals and as human beings,” said Jarrod McNaughton, IEHP Chief Executive Officer. “I can’t begin to say how grateful we are for their work in our community and IEHP is committed to make every effort to support our Providers so our Members and Communities can enjoy the optimal care they deserve.”  

Latest News - 683 Free COVID-19 Test Kits Distributed to Inland Empire Residents

helping to enhance access to testing in the region. Distributions were organized through the health plan’s Community Resource Centers in Riverside, San Bernardino and Victorville. In addition to the state’s on-going effort to provide tests to Medi-Cal Members through Medi-Cal enrolled pharmacies, IEHP was eager to provide additional testing access by purchasing and distributing tests directly to their Membership. Members received two test kits per family, which includes a total of four antigen tests. Earlier this year, at the height of the Omicron variant’s surge, rapid COVID-19 testing opportunities were in high demand while the supply was very limited.  “Access to testing is essential to community health,” said Dr. Gabriel Uribe, IEHP’s Community Health Director. “Having access to COVID-19 testing reduces transmission in our region by helping residents make informed decisions about their health. Knowing whether or not you are positive for COVID-19 can make all the difference in the lives of your friends and family.” Tests distributed by the health plan are not PCR tests and are not acceptable for travel or events, but can be used for quick results. While only IEHP Members were eligible to receive COVID-19 tests through the health plan, Non-Members are encouraged to visit Riverside or San Bernardino County’s websites for test kit distribution locations.   IEHP is also reminding Members that in-home COVID-19 test kits purchased between 3/11/21 and 1/31/22 can be reimbursed with a receipt using the DHCS claims process. “Providing our Members access to quality tests, care and support remains our largest priority,” said Dr. Takashi Wada, IEHP’s Chief Medical Officer. “As a community-based health plan, we are actively looking for new and innovative ways to fulfill our mission to heal and inspire spirit and will continue to do so, even in the face of this uncertain pandemic.”   Upcoming distributions are scheduled for Tuesday, February 15 at all IEHP Community Resource Centers from 1:00pm to 5:00pm. Visit IEHP’s Facebook page for details.  

Latest News - IEHP brings Winter Wonderland to Trona residents

ted town of Trona, California, is gearing up for much more than the holidays this year, making way for a healthier future.  With community partners and a team of volunteers, Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) met Trona residents in the heart of their community to provide fresh produce, dental services, vaccines and other health resources at a Winter Wonderland event on Dec. 14.  This is not the first, second or even third time IEHP has visited Trona – and it definitely won’t be the last, IEHP’s Senior Community Health Director Cesar Armendariz shared.    Even before officially expanding its coverage to rural areas in January 2022, the health plan has worked closely with Trona residents. In fact, IEHP started regular feedback sessions in 2021 to listen and learn more about the area’s overall needs and care gaps.  Through these engagements, IEHP helped establish bi-weekly fresh produce distributions in the area. Next up: connecting Trona residents to telehealth services and regular wellness programing.  “As the leading health plan serving the Inland Empire, our goal is to help establish access to much needed resources and empower residents to advocate for their own health and well-being,” said Armendariz. “We do that by making connections between providers and communities and helping to create affinity between the two.”  One of these new collaborations to support the Trona community is with Omni Family Health, which will provide residents with telehealth services and pharmacy needs.   “In addition to providing services, vaccines and groceries at our Winter Wonderland event, we really wanted to take the time and teach the community how they can use their IEHP benefits to receive care from partners like Omni Family Health,” said LuAnna Jauregui, IEHP community partnerships manager.   “Health is personal and being physically present to teach, share and guide the development of sustainable wellness in Trona is incredibly important to IEHP and the future of our care system,” added Jauregui.   “To me, IEHP means stability,” said Rene, a Trona Resident and Senior Center volunteer.  “It [IEHP] makes my foundation stronger. It helps me offer things to people that they’ve never heard they could apply for or even come and get. So as far as IEHP goes for me, it brings my stance, my foundation, my feet together in a really strong, thankful way,” added Rene.  To learn more about IEHP, visit iehp.org.  

Latest News - IEHP and Victor Valley College Continue Food Distribution in the High Desert

curity in the high desert. Community residents can receive a free food box at VVC’s Lower Campus every Monday from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. While residents are encouraged to register online at tinyurl.com/vvcfoodboxreg, non-registered walk-ups are welcome at 12:30 p.m., while supplies last. Recipients must be 18 years or older, and boxes are limited to one per household. Prior to partnering with VVC, the health plan hosted weekly food box drive-thru distribution events at their Victorville Community Resource Center (CRC), totaling more than $5M in food from June 2020 to July 2021. “Food insecurity is one of the greatest needs in our region. We knew the distribution efforts had to continue,” said Delia Orosco, IEHP Victorville CRC Manager. “We are so grateful to VVC, a key community partner, for continuing to serve the community so our resource centers can prepare to reopen and serve again in the future.” To support high desert residents, food is ordered weekly through Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino, picked up each Monday morning by High Desert Second Chance, and delivered to VVC. IEHP Team Members, VVC students and faculty, and volunteers from God’s Hand Extended operate the event and work to distribute food directly to residents. “It is truly our pleasure to partner with such amazing organizations like IEHP and God’s Hand Extended. This is a collaborative effort and great example of how education, healthcare, and community organizations can come together with a common goal and purpose to serve,” said Amber Allen, VVC Special Grant Programs Director. “By bringing our community to the college to provide food, we are opening the doors to people who may not be aware of available opportunities at VVC. This effort helps us to meet people where they are, so they have the ability to focus on their goals, beyond just meeting their basic needs.” In addition to food distribution efforts, IEHP and VVC will launch on-campus health and wellness programs to support VVC students. Programs will include personalized wellness support for students, fitness classes and more. “These resources are brought to the community, by the community,” said Jarrod McNaughton, IEHP Chief Executive Officer. “These partnerships place life-changing resources within reach for so many of our most vulnerable residents. Times may be tough, and resources may be sparse, but partnerships and collaborations allow for hope and progress to be continuously made.” VVC hopes to continue the distribution effort for as long as it is needed. To learn more about the food box drive-thru, visit vvc.edu/events/free-weekly-food-box-drive-thru.

Latest News - IEHP Pilot Program Published in Journal of Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy

anagement (CMM) Pilot Program, utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) to manage medication use among Members was recently published in the Journal of Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy. Using an advanced AI platform, health plan data, and clinical pharmacists, trained in disease management and CMM, were able to engage with Members via telephone and enhance care coordination, reducing serious drug interactions by 15.2%, emergency room visits by 15%, hospital admissions by 9%, and more.   Noting the pilot program’s ability to significantly improve Member health outcomes and reduce utilization, the Journal of Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy estimates that California’s Medicaid (Medi-Cal) program could save more than $1B annually by applying the program’s measures to a similar group of patients. “This study affirms that Medication Therapy Management for Medicaid patients is essential for optimizing patient care,” said Dr. Michael Blatt, IEHP Clinical Director of Pharmacy and Product Strategy. Pilot program participants included 2,150 IEHP Members between 40 to 60 years old with an average of 25 medications prescribed to manage chronic conditions. “This comprehensive medication management program, created by pharmacists and aided by novel decision technology, enables us to engage a team of support around individual Members by connecting the right Members to the right resources at the right time,” said Dr. Edward Jai, IEHP Senior Director of Pharmaceutical Services. To share additional learnings from this effort and to support other health plans looking to leverage AI in a CMM program, Dr. Jai will be presenting program results and lessons at the 2021 Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy Nexus Conference on October 18. His presentation will also include details from IEHP’s Medication Reconciliation Program, which also decreased readmissions and hospitalizations. For more information about this study, visit jmcp.org.

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

AN AND IEHP HEALTH ACCESS. Date of Meeting: March 14, 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 - 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 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.