IEHP-sponsored art contest adds colorful display to Coachella Valley bus line

Health Care and Community News

For Immediate Release 

Source: IEHP


Contact: Inland Empire Health Plan 

Kristina Hernandez, Media & Public Relations Strategist

909-552-0509 | kristina.hernandez@iehp.org

SunLine Transit Agency buses received a pop of color, thanks to the imagination of four Coachella Valley area students.


Artwork on the theme, “Your Sustainable Ride to the Future,” now wraps several SunLine buses as part of the company’s eighth annual Student Art Contest, co-sponsored by Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP).


This is the sixth year the Rancho Cucamonga-based not-for-profit health plan sponsored the contest, which is “all about inspiring art to reflect clean air and beautiful scenery, which aligns well with healing and inspiring the human spirit,” explained Marci Coffey, director of strategic provider partnerships. 


“Clean air is absolutely aligned with vibrant health. We need clean air for our kiddos to be able to run, play and engage in outdoor activities, so children can have healthy lives,” she said.


Coffey, along with representatives from SunLine and IEHP’s Chief Communications and Marketing Officer Michelle Rai, attended the unveiling on Nov. 21, where they also met and congratulated the student artists.


Winning artwork will be displayed on buses traveling along regular SunLine routes for a year. In addition, the work of five art contest finalists will be installed at bus stops near their respective schools. 


The 2023 1st Place Winners and Finalists are:

1st Place Winners 

Elementary School Category

  • Isabella Machado Gonzalez

Fifth grade, Benjamin Franklin Elementary

  • Antonio Coloma II 

Third grade, Benjamin Franklin Elementary

Middle School Category

  • Gabrielle Lou Mercedeine Coloma

Sixth grade, La Quinta Middle School

High School Category

  • Chanhwee Park 

Ninth grade, Palm Desert High School


Elementary School Category

  • Maya Noelle U. Perez

Third grade, George Washington Charter School

  • Dya Valentina Flores Arambula

Fifth grade, Mountain Vista Elementary

Middle School Category

  • Farah Reagan 

Seventh grade, La Quinta Middle School

High School Category

  • Lauren Cruz De Armas 

10th grade, La Quinta High School

  • Lily Jones 

10th grade, Palm Valley School


“Nurturing young artists can provide long-term benefits for our communities,” said Rai. “These students will be better equipped to communicate their ideas visually and creatively in future workplaces.”


SunLine Marketing and Events Manager Carmen Cubero agreed.

“This is one of SunLine’s most treasured projects, one of my personal favorites. It is amazing seeing the talent that local students have in our Coachella Valley communities,” she said. “At SunLine, we are always looking for opportunities to engage students and educate them about the new technologies that drive the improvement of alternative fuels and how important clean air is for our community and beyond that.”


In addition to IEHP, SunLine’s annual contest was sponsored in part by the cities of LaQuinta and Palm Desert and First Bank. Students in elementary, middle and high school are eligible to submit artwork to the contest each year. To learn more, go to sunline.org/studentart.

About IEHP

With a mission to heal and inspire the human spirit, Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) is one of the top 10 largest Medicaid health plans, the largest not-for-profit Medicare-Medicaid public health plan in the country, and for the third year in a row, certified as A Great Place To Work®. In its 27th year, IEHP supports more than 1.6 million Riverside and San Bernardino County residents enrolled in Medicaid or IEHP DualChoice (those with both Medi-Cal and Medicare). Today, IEHP has a growing network of nearly 6,800 providers and more than 3,000 team members who are fully committed to the vision: We will not rest until our communities enjoy optimal care and vibrant health. To learn more, go to iehp.org.