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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 - 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 - 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 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 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 - 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.

Latest News - Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino County Earns IEHP’s Mission INSPIRE AWARD

’s (IEHP) Mission INSPIRE Award at the health plan’s second annual Mission Conference on May 6. The award recognized CAPSBC’s dedication to eliminating the effects of poverty through advocacy for community members to obtain knowledge and skills for self-reliance and economic stability.  In just one year, CAPSBC has supported over 800,000 individuals, distributed over 16.3 million pounds of food, served 214,415 meals through soup kitchen partners, provided 541 individuals with new rental and eviction prevention assistance, supported 389 individuals with housing placements, assisted 9,826 individuals with utility assistance, and more.  “Our agency is all about helping people and changing lives and we want to acknowledge that IEHP is a valuable partner to the Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino County, and we could not do our work without that partnership,” said Patricia Nickols-Butler, CAPSBC President and CEO.   In collaboration with IEHP, CAPSBC also created drive-thrus to distribute food and household items at the health plan’s three Community Resource Centers and shared logistics and best practices for food distribution with IEHP teams to support the ongoing Member needs.  “We know the needs in our county are daunting and that in order to make our communities stronger and more resilient, it takes individuals and organizations that understand those needs and IEHP does that every day. They show up for the community and they support the work that’s being done to make this community a better place to live,” said Nickols-Butler. “Thank you IEHP for this recognition; we are humbled and deeply grateful.” CAPSBC is one of the first recipients of the IEHP Mission INSPIRE Award. The award honors providers, community organizations and partners for their commitment to the health plan’s mission to “heal and inspire the human spirit.”  “It takes a village to support our Members,” said Jarrod McNaughton, IEHP Chief Executive Officer. “Even amidst a global pandemic, our friends at Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino County stopped at nothing to continue serving their communities and organizations like IEHP. Their knowledge, support and partnership are critical to our mission, and we are grateful for it.” To learn more about the IEHP Mission Conference and how the health plan is charting a collaborative path forward, visit iehp.org.

Latest News - Collaborative Group Releases Inland Empire Community Health Assessment

ural areas are disproportionately impacted by negative health outcomes, according to a newly released Community Health Assessment focusing on the Inland Empire region.  The 2022 Inland Empire Community Health Assessment Stakeholder Committee, comprised of over 40 representatives across 25 community organizations, united over the past year to collect and analyze the region’s health and wellness data. The collaborative group identified four at-risk population groups in need of additional support, as well as six priority areas of focus: Basic Needs for Health and Safety, Humane Housing, Meaningful Work and Wealth, Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes, Maternal and Infant Health and Mental and Behavioral Health. The committee shared the findings in a regional Community Health Assessment report. The report is uniquely positioned for its cross-sector involvement and multiple sources of data collection, including focus groups.   “We all know that health happens across zip codes,” said Jarrod McNaughton, chief executive officer at Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP), which sponsored the Inland Empire Community Health Assessment. “Sickness and disease don't care where you live, but it is clear that certain geographic communities and subpopulations experience significant disparities when it comes to influences on health and health outcomes. This community health assessment is the first step in learning how we as health care providers, community partners and advocates can work better together to address the true health needs of our connected communities.” In addition to health and hospital data, the Community Health Assessment also included interviews with 10 community leaders and focus groups in nine communities.  “Every Inland Empire community member deserves the opportunity to live their best life, and many local organizations are already working to make that possible” added Michelle Decker, president of the Inland Empire Community Foundation, one of the involved organizations. “We are now magnifying that work by uniting our efforts toward key priorities and populations.” To view the Inland Empire Community Health Assessment, visit  VibrantInlandEmpire.org. To raise awareness of community work in the region, organizations are invited to share information about their projects in the Inland Empire through a form on the website. Projects will then be shared with others through the website.  

Latest News - Top Health Care Leaders Gather at IEHP’s Inaugural Future of Health Summit

th care visionaries and thought leaders at the health plan’s headquarters on Oct. 13, to share supportive acceleration strategies for a more integrated and sustainable health system. The one-day event featured keynote conversations from industry leaders on trends and changes that are impacting the health care environment in the state and region.  Featured speakers included: Author and Health Care Futurist Ian Morrison; California Health & Human Services Agency Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly; University California Los Angeles Hospital and Clinic System Chief of Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Dr. Medell Briggs-Malonson; IEHP Chief Quality Officer Dr. Edward Juhn; President and Founder of MEDIS, LLC Dr. Michael Barr; and President of HC2 Strategies and Co-Chair of Stakeholder Health Dora Barilla.   “The idea that this isn’t the summit of health care is really key. It’s the future of health. Health is more than health care,” shared Dr. Ghaly in his talk about California Health & Human Services’ vision and efforts. “There is an opportunity to constantly push ourselves and push our partners to think differently about how public and private partnerships can advance this concept of deep community health. It starts with conversations like this and bringing people together.” IEHP Chief Executive Officer Jarrod McNaughton said he hoped the day’s discussions will lead to real reflection and specific action plans. “We’re very serious about moving this community, in partnership with our providers, forward and moving the quality needle,” McNaughton added. “This kind of work can’t happen alone, and we are grateful for the tremendous showing of support and collaboration to ensure vibrant health in our communities for generations to come.”  

Latest News - IEHP Earns Anti-Bullying HERO Business of the Year Award

iverside Medical Clinic Charitable Foundation’s (RMCCF) 2022 HERO Business of the Year Award at its annual fundraiser Aug. 18. RMCCF also recognized IEHP Community Partnerships Manager LuAnna Jauregui with a HERO Award for outstanding cooperation and capturing the spirit of being a true hero.  The HERO Program annual awards recognize organizations and individuals who demonstrate leadership and exceptional efforts in supporting and promoting kindness, empathy and inclusion within the community. For the last four years, IEHP has partnered with the RMCCF and its Anti-Bullying Institute’s programs that help children, parents, schools and youth organizations deal with bullying. “IEHP has been a foundation community partner for many years. They are receiving our 2022 HERO Business of the Year Award because of their generous support for our growing programs,” said RMCCF’s Executive Director Lynda Bailey. “They continue to reach out to us with open communication to assist us in meeting the needs in our community. They make our ‘small but mighty non-profit’ feel heard and supported.” For over 25 years, IEHP has worked tirelessly to “do the right thing” for the Inland Empire community it serves, fostering collaborations that emphasize goodwill and inclusivity.  “IEHP is committed to helping foster a culture where kindness, empathy and inclusion are the rule, not the exception,” said IEHP Chief Executive Officer Jarrod McNaughton. “We are honored to receive this award and also proudly congratulate team member, LuAnna Jauregui on the well-deserved recognition of her tireless efforts to make a difference in our communities.” Connecting the dots and helping to facilitate the partnership on behalf of IEHP, LuAnna Jauregui has been heavily involved with RMCCF’s bullying prevention efforts, as it holds a special place in her heart.  “Supporting kindness and inclusion in the Inland Empire means more of my neighbors, friends, family and their children have the opportunity to live joyfully,” said Jauregui. “Receiving this recognition from RMCCF is truly an honor and I look forward to our continued work, bringing even more compassion to our region.”    

Latest News - IEHP Supports Local Trunk-Or-Treat for Children with Disabilities

loween this year with a special Trunk-Or-Treat in San Bernardino. The second annual Trunk-Or-Treat event is the result of a partnership between Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) and Southern California Resource Services for Independent Living (SCRS-IL) and will be held on Saturday, Oct. 15, from 5-8 p.m. at the SCRS-IL’s San Bernardino office at 1950 S. Sunwest Lane. “This is the only Inland Empire event serving our disabled community in the month of October,” said SCRS-IL Chief Executive Officer Rudy Contreras, who organized the inaugural Trunk-Or-Treat in just 30 days last year after learning the community needed a Halloween activity for children with disabilities during the pandemic.  The Trunk-Or-Treat will feature carnival games, candy, accessible spooky mazes, snacks, refreshments, community resources and a vaccine clinic.  “Last year’s event was a reopening of inclusivity, and this year, we’re building on that with more sponsors, games, prizes, booths and even more community,” added Contreras. “With partners like IEHP, we’re able to make that happen and create safe, inclusive spaces that celebrate the diversity of our community.” Attendees who receive a vaccine at the event will receive a free cooler or beach chair, and IEHP members ages 6 and older who receive their first vaccine will be given a $50 gift card. Grocery boxes will also be provided to the first 150 families in attendance. “When community partners and organizations come together and support the needs of our neighbors and communities, we move one step closer to ensuring vibrant health to those we serve,” said IEHP Independent Living and Diversity Services Community Health Representative Jose Solorzano. “It doesn’t get any better than that.” For more information, visit https://www.scrs-ilc.org/trunkortreat.  

Latest News - IEHP Announces Angelica Baltazar as New Foundation President

it Medicare-Medicaid plan in the country, today announced that Angelica Baltazar, MSW, has been named as president of the newly created IEHP Foundation. The Foundation is the philanthropic arm of IEHP and is uniquely positioned to increase philanthropy and generosity in the region, helping to fill the void for those most vulnerable and keeping dollars in the community.  The Foundation’s work is centered around achieving what IEHP calls Vibrant Health for the Inland Empire. Vibrant Health means that IEHP’s Members and the residents of the Inland Empire will have access to a better, more joyful life through programs that address the root causes of illness, health equity, and the core needs of the community.  Baltazar has more than 20 years of experience in the public health and human services sectors. She joins IEHP from San Antonio Regional Hospital where she most recently served as the Executive Lead for Health Equity and the Executive Director of the Lewis-San Antonio Healthy Communities Institute.  Baltazar holds a bachelor’s in social work from Cal Poly Pomona and master’s in policy planning and administration from Loma Linda University. She is a community advisory member for Inland SoCal United Way, and a board member of Partners for Better Health and Promise Scholars.  “Finding the right person to lead the IEHP Foundation was a critical first step in its development,” said IEHP Chief Executive Officer Jarrod McNaughton. “Angelica’s expertise in this field will support our efforts to improve the health of the IE for decades into the future.”

Latest News - IEHP Partners with Community Organizations to Vaccinate 38,000+ I.E. Residents

es through an IEHP sponsored or supported clinic. Clinics are made possible through partnerships with community-based organizations like Loma Linda University Health, SAC Health System, St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church, Inland Regional Center, and San Bernardino County and are expected to continue to combat the surging rates of COVID-19 cases. Approximately 36,900 vaccines have been administered through San Bernardino County’s super vaccination site, held at the health plan’s corporate headquarters in Rancho Cucamonga. In addition, more than 1,500 vaccines have been distributed at community events, like Que Buena’s 2021 Fiestas Patrias community event, and church or organization-hosted clinics over the past six months. “We do everything we can to meet residents where they are,” said Marci Coffey, IEHP’s Director of Community Partnerships. “For some, it comes down to convenience and accessibility. For others, it’s all about education and awareness. We’re thrilled to offer these services and resources to residents in the I.E. and are actively working to develop additional opportunities for our teams to connect with and support the community!” With funding from the state’s Medi-Cal COVID-19 Vaccination Incentive Program, IEHP plans on expanding partnerships to ensure continued vaccine clinics. The health plan is also developing provider incentive programs to encourage physician intervention among patients, increasing vaccination rates. “The facts are crystal clear. Everyone is safer when everyone is vaccinated,” said Jarrod McNaughton, IEHP Chief Executive Officer. “While we are proud of the number of vaccines we’ve helped to administer, we still have plenty of work ahead to ensure our communities can enjoy optimal care and vibrant health. We understand receiving a vaccine is a personal choice, however the community impacts are astounding. Just as this pandemic began through community spread, it must end through community collaboration and response.” For COVID-19 vaccine sites near you, visit myturn.ca.gov.

Latest News - IEHP team helps break mental health stigma, one new mom at a time

he challenges it brings – can be overwhelming. After the birth of her daughter, Gerti struggled with her mental health and recognized she needed help – so she turned to IEHP.  Through her connection to Katia, a behavioral health specialist on IEHP’s maternal mental health team, Gerti learned she was experiencing postpartum depression and was connected to various resources, including supportive therapy.  Although common (the CDC cites 1 in 8 women who recently gave birth suffer from it), postpartum depression is more severe and long-lasting than the “baby blues,” which can include short-lived bouts of mood swings, crying spells, anxiety and difficulty sleeping.  “I was just really looking for help, because it gets overwhelming – especially becoming a new mom,” explained Gerti. “Sometimes the depression just catches you. I just want to get through this, so I can push through for my baby, for my sanity, for my happiness.” As Katia explains, no mother with these challenges should ever feel ashamed. Feeling anxious, overwhelmed and depressed are all considered typical emotions during pregnancy and after birth.  “It’s normal [for new moms] to feel the way they do; there is nothing wrong with feeling that way,” said Katia, who also personally experienced postpartum depression. “They should be proud of themselves for reaching out for help – and that is where we come in.” IEHP’s maternal mental health team is a small, but mighty unit within the behavioral health department that connects Members with mental health services such as therapy and psychiatry.  The maternal mental health team regularly checks in with Members to ask how they are feeling, what they need and to help them make those sometimes hard, but life-altering first steps of scheduling and attending therapy appointments.  The team supports Members like Gerti through every step of their recovery and journey through motherhood – even if it’s to simply ask how they are doing.   “If I am able to take care of myself better, I will be able to take care of my baby much more,” explained Gerti. “I know that every time I am having trouble, help is just one phone call away.” To learn more about Gerti’s story, visit: https://youtu.be/8IRKPmIk2CM If you or someone you know is struggling with postpartum depression or mental health, IEHP is here for you. IEHP Members can call Member Services to connect with our behavioral health team. For a mental health emergency, please call the Mental Health and Suicide Crisis Hotline at 988.  

Latest News - IEHP Earns Rancho Cucamonga Fire District’s Business Partner of the Year Award

re District at the City’s Fire and Police Recognition Celebration on September 9. The distinguished award recognizes the health plan’s partnership with the City and County of San Bernardino to host an ongoing super vaccine clinic at the health plan’s headquarters. Located in Rancho Cucamonga, IEHP’s 400,000-square-foot headquarter building (known as the Atrium) was transformed into a super vaccination site in February 2021 where more than 36,900 COVID-19 vaccines have been administered to date. “We are incredibly humbled to receive this recognition from the Rancho Cucamonga Fire District,” said Jarrod McNaughton, IEHP Chief Executive Officer. “Hosting the vaccine clinic is very important to us. As a health plan, a partner of the city and county, we knew we needed to do our part to make these vaccines accessible.” Rancho Cucamonga Fire District’s Business Partner of the Year is traditionally awarded to a community business who assists the district as a problem solver. “This award is our humble way of expressing our gratitude for the partnership in this historic effort. We thank IEHP for opening their doors and making a difference in thousands of lives within our community during these unprecedented times,” said Ivan Rojer, Rancho Cucamonga Fire District’s Fire Chief. IEHP has been a Rancho Cucamonga Business Partner since relocating from San Bernardino in 2013. Prior to March 2020, IEHP’s ENERGY STAR® certified Atrium building supported more than 2,400 Team Members (IEHP employees), who have temporarily transitioned to full-time work-from-home schedules during the pandemic. “In addition to addressing the needs of our Members and residents throughout the Inland Empire, it means so much to us that we were able to open our building to provide more access for our friends and neighbors in Rancho Cucamonga as well,” said Dr. Takashi Wada, IEHP Chief Medical Officer. “We are incredibly grateful for the recognition and the ongoing support pouring into the vaccine clinic. And we look forward to continuing our partnerships to help increase vaccine rates in our region.” The clinic is located at 10801 Sixth Street in Rancho Cucamonga and is scheduled to run for the rest of the year. Appointments and walk-ins can be accommodated. Appointments can be made at SBCovid19.com/vaccine.

Latest News - Dr. Takashi Wada Named IEHP Chief Medical Officer

a will oversee IEHP’s Health Services department and collaboratively lead the implementation of initiatives such as CalAIM, Home and Community-Based Services, the organization’s Strategic Plan, and more.  In addition, Dr. Wada will provide clinical and strategic leadership through accountable processes to improve the quality-of-care delivery with improved external quality metrics. “With innovative healthcare initiatives rolling out at state and federal levels, I’m eager to lead and support our team’s work, so that we may contribute in new and meaningful ways that will positively impact the wellness of our own members and communities,” he said.  Dr. Wada joined IEHP in 2019 as Vice President of Population Health. In this capacity, he oversaw the internal departments of Behavioral Health & Care Management, Community & Family Health, Health Education, and Practice Transformation. He also played a key role in various statewide and regional population health initiatives.   Prior to his role at IEHP, Dr. Wada served as Chief Medical Officer/ Deputy Chief Medical Officer for CenCal Health and Director/Health Officer for Santa Barbara County’s Health Department. Dr. Wada received an undergraduate degree in biomedical sciences from University of California, Riverside, and a master’s degree in public health from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He completed his medical degree from UCLA and his graduate medical education at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center. “Dr. Wada truly has a passion for this work,” said IEHP Chief Executive Officer Jarrod McNaughton.  “I couldn’t be more thrilled that he is joining our Executive Team. We are absolutely looking forward to working with Dr. Wada in his new role and continuing our mission to heal and inspire the human spirit.”  

Latest News - Celebrity Chef Provides Healthy Cooking Demos to I.E. Residents

althy cooking to the Inland Empire (I.E.) by showing Members and community residents how to cook delicious, traditional meals with a healthy and spicy twist at the health plan’s Victorville Community Resource Center.   A 2018 MasterChef Latino judge, Chef Mario is a Boyle Heights native and has expertise elevating the culinary experience of residents in and around the Los Angeles area. Chef Mario’s demonstrations highlight cooking with both new and familiar ingredients that are proven to address common health issues in the region, including diabetes and hypertension.  “Healthy eating doesn’t need to mean bland or boring food and Chef Mario knows how to make that possible,” said IEHP’s Community Health Senior Director Cesar Armendariz. “We’re thrilled to connect Chef Mario to our Members and communities to learn how to better utilize spices and well-known ingredients to better manage our health and wellness in a vibrant, delicious manner.” Chef Mario’s cooking demonstrations are open to the community and take place in July every Tuesday from 12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Classes in August will be every Thursday from 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. at the health plan’s Victorville center, located at 12353 Mariposa Road, Suites C-2 & C-3. IEHP also plans to record demonstrations for public use in the coming months.  “This partnership means so much to me on a personal level. A healthy way of life should be available to all – it’s such an important component of health care that is often ignored,” said Chef Mario. “Food is the connection to everything, from our physical well-being to our mental well-being. There has been no greater time than now to embrace healthy eating but not sacrifice the flavor. I'm so excited to partner with IEHP and have so many fun demos, recipes and other surprises coming.” In addition, IEHP will connect Chef Mario to community partners for additional cooking demonstrations and civic events. “IEHP is proud to provide education and resources to Members and community residents who want to learn how to better manage their health through cooking. We’re excited to have Chef Mario’s help as we continue to look for ways to serve our community,” said IEHP Chief Executive Officer Jarrod McNaughton. To learn more about IEHP’s Community Resource Centers or to find a nutrition class, visit the community resource page.  alt=" "="" src="-/media/dc4dca59a6f446009bdb09836af76cc9.ashx?h=400&w=300" class="" />