Longtime IEHP member is all hearts over ‘health plan with a heart’

Anaite M. needed health care from someone who cared, someone who wouldn’t treat her like a number. She was looking for compassion.


Perhaps most importantly, when her debilitating kidney pain persisted, Anaite was on a search for healing.


So, just as she’s done for more than 20 years, Anaite reached out to Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) Member Services.  


An IEHP member since 2000, Anaite had grown accustomed to calling IEHP when she needed help. She has appreciated the ability to choose her provider within the vast network available to IEHP members.


“I relied on the IEHP Nurse Hotline when my son was little. I never liked using urgent care but was also afraid of being a hypochondriac,” Anaite said. “They gave me the confidence to know when something was a medical emergency or not, which was especially helpful as a single parent. They were always so nice and welcoming; I never felt afraid to call.”


Throughout the years, Anaite also called IEHP when she needed to find a new doctor, whether she was unhappy with a provider or needed direction based on certain health concerns.


She recalled the first time she sought help for her then- 6-year-old son, who was experiencing depression and anxiety related to his ADHD.  

IEHP Member Services directed Anaite and her son to Dr. Nancy Botros, a pediatrician.


“She is still his doctor today,” Anaite said of Dr. Botros. “He is 22 years old, and he doesn’t want to change doctors.”


In fact, Anaite’s experiences with other IEHP providers have also been positive.


“Overall, most of the doctors we’ve had through IEHP in the last 15 years or so have been excellent, including Dr. Ewa Konca (diabetes specialist), Dr. Stephanie Cropper (obstetrics/gynecologist) and Dr. Michael Consolo (urologist),” she said.    


While Anaite is very happy and incredibly grateful to have found great providers through IEHP, there were some challenges over the years. The most crucial of which occurred in 2019, when she began experiencing crippling pain in her kidneys.


After a couple unpleasant health care experiences that left her feeling mistreated, unheard and alone, Anaite picked up the phone to call the only place she knew would listen to her and do all they could to help: IEHP Member Services.


And that’s how she met Dr. Consolo.  


“I remember he looked so young; I called him Doogie Howser the first time we met,” Anaite said, laughing. “I told him to treat me like his daughter or his wife or mother, someone he cared about. He said he was going to take good care of me. And he did.”


Soon after seeing Dr. Consolo for the first time, the COVID-19 global pandemic shut everything down. Because Anaite’s health issues classified her as high-risk to COVID-19, Dr. Consolo immediately pulled her from in-person office work, which not only provided immense relief to Anaite, but potentially saved her life.


Just a couple days later, one of her close colleagues at work contracted COVID-19 and passed it to another staff member. 


After several examinations and tests, Dr. Consolo developed a theory for the cause of Anaite’s chronic kidney pain. Because she had endometriosis, it was possible the scar tissue had entered her ureter – the duct by which urine passes from the kidney to the bladder – and was clogging it.


The urologist ordered an outpatient procedure to address the problem – and sure enough, it worked.


“I wouldn’t be here today – with a good kidney – without Dr. Consolo,” Anaite said. “He was so caring and open-minded that he was able to figure out the problem. He healed me. I am so thankful to have him as a doctor and for having IEHP.”


For Anaite, the compassion and care she’s received as a longtime IEHP member proves “the health plan with a heart” is more than just a motto. And she sings IEHP’s praises whenever she gets the chance, hopeful she can remain under IEHP’s care.


“I may not be able to qualify for Medi-Cal … and I am so afraid to lose all the great doctors I have,” Anaite said. “I tell everyone, if they have a choice of health plans, choose IEHP.”


Need to find a doctor who accepts Medi-Cal or IEHP DualChoice (HMO D-SNP)? Check out our Doctor Search feature at iehp.org. Then let the wholehearted care begin!