Fluent in care: San Bernardino doctor makes meaningful connections

For Dr. Romeo Jamil Samouh, a family physician in San Bernardino County, providing care in a patient’s native language is like using a stethoscope.


Both tools offer information. Both measure the very heart of a person.


“Some of the challenges of working with the underserved is working with individuals who may not speak English,” Dr. Samouh said. “My staff and I speak their native language which helps facilitate access to care and educating them on their chronic conditions.”


Going beyond mere communication is among the reasons Dr. Samouh received Inland Empire Health Plan’s (IEHP) 2024 Optimal Care Award, which “honors a provider or entity that exemplifies world-class care and outcomes in preventive care, chronic care or hospital care.”


This desire to foster meaningful and deeper understanding with his patients comes from Dr. Samouh’s early life experience.


“It hits home with me because of my personal story of being an immigrant, coming over from the Middle East when I was 6 years old,” he said. “And having to really struggle growing up.”


Today, Dr. Samouh sees his service in the IE as full circle.


“I came back to serve my community, to make a meaningful impact, and do something that’s very rewarding,” he said.