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Kristina Hernandez, Media and Public Relations Strategist, Marketing Department
(909) 552-0509,



Annual walk to spotlight suicide prevention, raise funds

Inland Empire Health Plan to host Inland Empire Out of the Darkness Walk for 2023

Rancho Cucamonga, CA, October 4, 2023 — A chance to walk alongside those impacted by suicide is set for Saturday, Oct. 21, at Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) for the second year in a row.

Teams and individuals can now register for the Inland Empire Out of the Darkness Walk, an annual event planned in cities nationwide to raise awareness of suicide prevention through available resources from the likes of IEHP and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). Walk proceeds support the AFSP’s mission to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide.

Losing someone to suicide, explained Garret Lopez, an IT Specialist I with IEHP, is a “different kind of mourning. It’s a different type of death, a death that always has a stigma behind it and is still difficult for my mom to even talk about.”

Lopez began participating in the walk in 2017 following the death of his sister, Melanie. Brining the walk to IEHP has significant meaning behind it because for Lopez, it shows the not-for-profit health organization is living up to its mission of healing and inspiring the human spirit, he shared.

“Last year, I shared my story with everybody (in attendance) on the stairs of IEHP. That was a significant moment for me because I didn’t think I could ever bring the walk to where I work, let alone share my story of hope and resilience,” he continued. “That moment made it a lot more special for me because I spoke in memory of my sister and in a way was able to speak to her directly and say, ‘Look what we’re doing in your memory.’

“To have this event come to IEHP, where we have a large behavioral health team, makes it even more special because we have so many resources available to communities IEHP supports in both San Bernardino and Riverside counties. In a way, it seems like it has come full circle,” Lopez said.

The 2023 Inland Empire Out of the Darkness Walk will take participants around IEHP’s Rancho Cucamonga headquarters at 10801 Sixth St. the day of the event. Check-in begins at 9 a.m. and is followed by the walk at 10:30 a.m. Walkers are welcome to bring trinkets, signs and don T-shirts featuring quotable sayings and tributes to their loved ones.

Participants can register as a team or individually online at Contact Walk Chair Jay Jester at or 760-899-5406 for support or to learn more.

Established in 1987, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is a voluntary health organization that provides support for those affected by suicide through community engagement, research, education and advocacy. AFSP is headquartered in New York but has local chapters in all 50 states.

Inland Empire Health Plan is a top 10 largest Medicaid health plan and the largest not-for-profit Medicare-Medicaid public health plan in the country. Now in its 27th year, IEHP’s community of team members and providers supports more than 1.6 million members in San Bernardino and Riverside counties. Behavioral Health resources through IEHP are offered 24/7 through its website at or by calling Member Services at 800-440-4347 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, or from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide or self-harm, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at by dialing 988 or by visiting and selecting the “988 Chat” option.



WHAT: 2023 Inland Empire Out of the Darkness Walk

WHEN: 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 21

WHERE: Inland Empire Health Plan, 10801 Sixth St., Rancho Cucamonga 91730

COST: Free

INFO: Jay Jester, 760-899-5406 or


The 2023 Inland Empire Out of Darkness Walk is set for Saturday, Oct. 21, at Inland Empire Health Plan's headquarters in Rancho Cucamonga. The event is planned annually to raise awareness of suicide prevention, with proceeds from the event benefiting the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.


IEHP makes Fortune’s Best Workplaces in Health Care for second year in a row

Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) is one of Fortune’s 2023 Best Workplaces in Health Care™ for the second year in a row, ranking 14th on the list.

The Rancho Cucamonga-based, not-for-profit health organization joins other national companies on the list like Humana, Cleveland Clinic and Elevance Health.

This is the third time IEHP has been recognized in 2023 for effective practices to ensure its team members and providers work in a positive, uplifting environment with personal and career growth benefits available year-round. In June, IEHP was designated a Great Place To Work™; then in July, PEOPLE named the organization one of its 100 Companies That Care©, ranking in at No. 87.

“We are incredibly proud to be recognized again as one of the country’s best workplaces in health care,” said Jarrod McNaughton, IEHP’s chief executive officer. “This achievement reflects our organization’s strong team culture and deep commitment to serving our community and one another.”

IEHP’s Chief People Officer Supriya Sood agreed.

“Our entire team is a vital component in the work we do to support our nearly 1.7 million IEHP members living and working in both San Bernardino and Riverside counties,” she said. “From cultivating a strong culture of communication and recognition to offering employees a myriad of growth opportunities, IEHP strives to be the prime example of how to shape a positive workplace environment in one of the fastest growing areas in the state.”

The Best Workplaces in Health Care list is highly competitive. Great Place To Work, the global authority on workplace culture, determines its list using its proprietary For All™ Methodology to evaluate and certify thousands of organizations in America’s largest ongoing annual workforce study, based on over 1.3 million survey responses and data from companies representing more than 7.5 million employees this year alone.

Survey responses reflect a comprehensive picture of the workplace experience. Honorees were selected based on their ability to offer positive outcomes for employees regardless of job role, race, gender, sexual orientation, work status or other demographic identifier.

According to IEHP employees surveyed:

  • 92% said IEHP is a great place to work compared to 57% of employees at a typical U.S.-based company.
  • 96% say they felt good about the ways IEHP contributes to the community.
  • 95% said IEHP has special and unique benefits and believed the company made them feel welcome upon employment.
  • 94% said IEHP’s facilities contribute to a good working environment, and they are proud to tell others they work for the organization.

“Congratulations to the Best Workplaces in Health Care,” said Michael C. Bush, CEO of Great Place To Work. “These companies know that it isn’t the industry but the company that determines the employee experience. By putting people first, they are reaping the rewards: lower labor costs, higher standards of care, and happier employees.”

“Fortune congratulates the Best Workplaces in Health Care,” added Fortune Editor-in-Chief Alyson Shontell. “Creating a vibrant workplace culture that draws the best talent in health care is vital for the success of leaders in this highly competitive industry. It is also what’s needed to ignite the innovation and deliver best-in-class performance.”


IEHP welcomes Healthcare Scholarship Fund recipients

When Mina Botros immigrated to the U.S. from Egypt at age 10, he became an Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) member. Now the 25-year-old Riverside resident is preparing to give back to the community he loves by becoming a doctor in the very place he calls home – the Inland Empire.

And in a full-circle moment, Botros once again has the heart of IEHP watching over him — this time in the form of a scholarship through the not-for-profit health organization’s Healthcare Scholarship Fund. Known as HSF, the fund addresses two critical needs: providing financial support to physicians-in-training and closing the gap on the shortage of health care providers in the region.

“[IEHP] was a big source of support for me to seek health care and everything I needed to start a new life here,” recalled Botros, a second-year med student at Loma Linda University. “I got a lot of support out of IEHP, but I know there’s a lot of people who didn’t have that same support. And later on, I saw some family members and friends falling through the gaps and suffering from it; that’s when my passion toward serving the Inland Empire community through health care was solidified.”

IEHP launched its HSF in 2020 in partnership with three local medical schools – Loma Linda University School of Medicine, University of California, Riverside, and California University of Science and Medicine in Colton. Since its inception, HSF has invested millions of dollars in the future of health care through full-ride scholarships intended to help offset costs associated with attending medical school. Along with Botros, this year’s awardees join more than 100 scholarship recipients already in their respective career field studies.

To welcome the 2023 Scholars to the HSF family, IEHP hosted a special luncheon for the students and their supporters on Aug. 19 at the company’s headquarters in Rancho Cucamonga. Each scholar received messages of encouragement and tips of the trade from IEHP leaders, including IEHP Chief Executive Officer Jarrod McNaughton.

“The Inland Empire is actually at the bottom of the list when it comes to the provider-to-population ratios in the state of California,” McNaughton explained. “And so, the goal with this program is to have 50 full-ride medical school scholarships per year at the three medical schools in an attempt to go upstream and make sure you are well taken care of in the process … and you can really focus on [becoming] an incredible provider.”

The HSF program is just one way IEHP is working to address the critical need of health care within the areas it serves throughout San Bernardino and Riverside counties. The organization launched a Network Expansion Fund (NEF) Program – with a 73 percent retention rate – which serves as a subsidy to offset costs associated with hiring physicians. All NEF recipients must commit to three years of practicing within the IEHP network and with no restrictions. Since its launch, NEF has supported more than 450 physicians and advanced practitioners.

To be considered as an HSF Scholar, med students must meet certain criteria based on their institution’s respective eligibility requirements, and all must agree to practice in the region for five years with a contracted IEHP provider.

In the meantime, IEHP will support HSF recipients throughout their academic journey by providing a helping hand whenever the need arises.

“You’ll be hearing a lot from us,” McNaughton explained. “This is not a ‘one-time wonder.’ We really want to be engaged and support you through your journey.”


Meet Supriya Sood: Inland Empire Health Plan’s new chief people officer

Inland Empire Health Plan’s (IEHP) investment in its team members continues to be an integral part of the not-for-profit’s mission with the appointment of a new chief people officer: Supriya Sood.

In her new role, Sood will lead the organization’s human resources department through the development of best practices and strategies focused on maintaining a skilled, engaged and diverse workforce, explained IEHP’s Chief Executive Officer Jarrod McNaughton.

“Supriya brings a wealth of experience to the executive leadership team and believes in the profound impact our team members have on driving our mission to improve the health of our communities,” he said. “She has a passion for serving in mission-based companies with over 15 years in the health care industry.”

Sood has served in various human resources leadership roles for Elevance Health (formerly Anthem, Inc.) and Molina Healthcare. She holds a master’s degree in business administration from University of California, Irvine, and is a member of the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) and Professional Human Resources Association (PIHRA). 

Most recently, Sood served as chief people officer for Orange County-based Alignment Healthcare, where she was responsible for evolving the organization, including the clinical, consumer, technology and market areas in support of growth, scalability and diversification of business.

Sood switching gears to IEHP lands at an exciting time for the organization with the announcement of several projects and initiatives in the works, such as joining the Covered California exchange – pending state approval – and the addition of programs dedicated to addressing the lack of health care access in marginalized communities, like IEHP’s Community Health Worker Residency Program.

For IEHP, some of Sood’s responsibilities will include supporting people programs, including talent acquisition, compensation administration and benefits. She will also oversee all human resources operations and learning and development opportunities for IEHP team members.

Sood looks forward to working for an organization with such strong ties to the people it serves.

“IEHP is a shining example of what makes the Inland Empire special, and I’m excited to become part of this hard-working team whose efforts have transformed the lives of so many,” she said. 

“My hope is to continue to create avenues for these team members to shine as they strive to make a difference in the community through IEHP’s mission of healing and inspiring the human spirit.”


Inland Empire Health Plan honored in PEOPLE’s 100 Companies That Care® list

Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) has been recognized as one of the 100 Companies That Care® by PEOPLE Magazine and Great Place To Work®, ranking No. 87 on the national list – a first for the managed care health plan.

The national publication made the announcement on Wednesday, with the Rancho Cucamonga-based health organization listed among the likes of Comcast, NBC Universal, Target Corporation and CarMax.

“We are incredibly honored to be among these top organizations who are leading the way in creating work environments where employee growth and wellness are vital components to their success,” said IEHP’s Chief Executive Officer Jarrod McNaughton. “At IEHP, we strive to ensure our mission, vision and values not only reflect the 1.6 million members we serve, but our thousands of team members and providers who work daily to move our company forward.”  

PEOPLE’s annual list spotlights companies that go above and beyond to “honor their employees, uplift their communities and make the world a better place.” Earning this spot means IEHP has surpassed rigorous benchmarks, establishing itself as one of the best companies to work for in the country, the publication said.

“Being part of PEOPLE’s Companies That Care® list is the reflection of the hard work our 3,000-plus team member family brings to the table each and every day, and we are excited to continue highlighting their successes through recognitions such as this one,” said IEHP’s Chief People Officer Supriya Sood.

The PEOPLE Companies That Care® list is highly competitive. Great Place To Work®, considered a global authority on workplace culture, selected the list based on over 1.3 million confidential employee survey responses and data from companies representing the experience of more than 7.5 million employees. Of those surveys, 1.1 million came from employees at companies eligible for this year’s list and these rankings are based on that feedback.

Survey responses reflect a comprehensive picture of the workplace experience. Honorees were selected based on their ability to offer positive outcomes for employees regardless of job role, race, gender, sexual orientation, work status or other demographic identifier.

Companies also submit essays which are validated by employee survey data to give a complete picture of the way an organization cares for its employees, its community and the planet. To be considered for the list, companies must first be Great Places To Work Certified™  and have at least 10 U.S. employees. IEHP became certified in June for the third year in a row.

“This was the first year where we saw if companies meant it when they promised to put employees first,” said Michael C. Bush, CEO of Great Place To Work®. “Caring for people isn’t a byproduct or afterthought for the very best companies – it’s a core part of how they create value for their customers and communities.”

PEOPLE Magazine Editor-in-Chief Wendy Naugle added, “Never before have we seen the way we all work shift so dramatically. The companies on this list keep their employees and their communities front and center, while thinking about how we can work together better – and do better for our neighbors and our planet.”


New IEHP Health Career Academy to address critical health care needs

Rancho Cucamonga, CA, August 11, 2023 — To address the growing need for health care professionals in the region, Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) and University of La Verne are collaborating to create a brand-new resource: the IEHP Health Career Academy.

The not-for-profit health plan has committed $1.5 million to launch the academy under the University of La Verne Randall Lewis Center for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Social Impact — a pillar of the university’s emerging education and innovation corridor located off D Street, between North Sultana and North Plum avenues in Ontario.

The academy’s goal is to fill critical workforce needs and retain talent to address health disparities within one of the fastest-growing population regions in the country. Funding will support the creation of certification for three critical frontline career fields: nursing assistants, medical assistants and central service technicians. The first program cohorts are expected to launch late spring 2024.

“This seed funding will support and enhance the great work University of La Verne is already doing to educate the next generation of frontline health care workers,” said Jarrod McNaughton, IEHP’s chief executive officer. “The new IEHP Health Career Academy will help to bolster the emerging workforce for the future of health care in the Inland Empire.”

The academy complements and aligns with the vision for the corridor, which will include programs that focus on entrepreneurship, law, public service, health equity, community well-being and educational advancement in historically underserved communities, according to the university.

“The new IEHP Health Career Academy will help address the critical shortage of frontline health care workers and accelerate professional training and certification in new and emerging subdisciplines requiring technological and interdisciplinary expertise in addressing patient and community challenges,” said University of La Verne President Devorah Lieberman.

One highlight of the new academy will be the Earn-to-Learn program, which provides students the opportunity to pursue necessary field certification while working in related entry-level positions and earning experience and pay. This model is a “practical way of alleviating a burden by providing a more financially inclusive and accessible education,” according to both entities. Participants can also receive entrepreneurial skills in the healthcare industry to support related start-up businesses, officials said.


University of La Verne and IEHP Logo together


IEHP Foundation Announces Inland Empire Nonprofit Leader Lisa Wright as Interim President

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif.August 10, 2023 -- IEHP Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of Lisa Wright as its new interim president. 


Wright brings a wealth of experience and expertise, having recently served as President and CEO of Inland So Cal United Way and Inland So Cal 211+. 


"We are pleased to have Lisa join us to help the Foundation through the transition as we complete a search for a new CEO/president," said Board Vice Chair Karen Scott, who led the search for this position.  


"I am grateful and honored to serve as the IEHP Foundation interim president," said Wright. "As a proud community member of the Inland Empire and longtime local nonprofit leader, I am excited to embark on this journey and work collaboratively with the board and staff to help advance the Foundation's mission – to inspire and ignite the health of the IE." 


The search for the new president has begun using a national search firm, which is expected to take six months to complete.


IEHP Foundation Interim President Lisa Wright

About IEHP Foundation 


IEHP Foundation is on a mission to inspire and ignite the health of the Inland Empire. It was created by Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) in 2021 as a separate 501c3 public charity.  


The Foundation will provide more information regarding its strategy and community engagement over the next few months. 


To learn more as the organization moves forward, please visit and follow IEHP Foundation on Instagram and LinkedIn.





Press Contact

Deanna Hendrick

Marketing and Communications Manager, IEHP Foundation



IEHP invests in reducing barriers in underserved communities through Community Health Worker cohort graduation

Rancho Cucamonga, CA, August 9, 2023 — Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) recently celebrated the inaugural graduating class of its Community Health Worker (CHW) Residency Program during a special celebration at its Rancho Cucamonga-based headquarters.

The spotlight was placed on eight CHWs who completed the weeks-long program focused on the mission of reducing barriers to health care services in marginalized and underserved communities.

“I know [going through the program] was a journey and you’ve learned a lot and brought your experience, your wisdom and your connections to the community and really helped shape our program going forward,” said Dr. Takashi Wada, IEHP’s chief medical officer, during the ceremony on July 27. “We’ve been learning along with you in how to deliver a meaningful program that’s going to provide value to our communities and give you the experience and tools that you’ll need to be successful in any role as a community health worker.”

IEHP’s CHW program launched in March, with the first cohort beginning their studies on May 6. CHWs participated in six weeks of in-person training, followed by three weeks of field practicum training, explained IEHP Community Behavioral Health Manager Belinda Hernandez.

“We developed training around the community health worker core competencies and enhanced training by including an introduction to health care services,” she said. “Topics covered focused on foundational skills with enhanced training on specific areas such as quality measures, health outcomes and evidence-based approaches and techniques.”

CHWs will receive ongoing training to ensure they stay up to date on any new resources. They also will be paired with a provider in the community to address chronic conditions, preventative health care needs and health-related social needs throughout Riverside and San Bernardino counties. 

Estrella Garcia, among the eight graduates, summed up the CHW program as an “eye-opening journey filled with growth, empathy and empowerment that has not only opened my perspective but also has equipped me with invaluable skills in challenging situations.”

“My team has been so supportive and have inspired me to embrace who I am and love myself the way I am,” she continued. “They are truly, truly community health workers at heart.”

In addition to Garcia, IEHP’s inaugural CHW cohort included Astin Medina Carranza, April Watkins, Serena Hong, Jackiie Tovar-Sandoval, Princess Egiebor, Dre Graves and Lizette Olmedo. The next cohort is expected to begin their studies on Aug. 21.


For more information on the CHW benefit, go to

CHW Graduates group photo

Inland Empire Health Plan celebrated the first graduating class of its Community Health Worker Residency Program. Students began their studies earlier this year to reduce barriers to health care services in marginalized and underserved communities. Eight CHWs were part of the inaugural group.


CHW Graduate speaking on stage

Estrella Garcia speaks at a graduation ceremony on July 27 to celebrate Inland Empire Health Plan’s inaugural Community Health Worker Residency Program cohort. Garcia was one of eight CHWs to complete the program focused on the mission of reducing barriers to health care services in marginalized and underserved communities.


Inland Empire Health Plan launches collaboration with Riverside muralist Juan Navarro

Juan Navarro wants to create art for everyone.

Inspired by his Mexican-American roots, the Riverside-based muralist leaves his mark on communities and organizations serving diverse populations with each swipe of his paint brush.

One of those groups includes Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP), a Rancho Cucamonga-based not-for-profit health organization serving 1.6 million members in San Bernardino and Riverside counties through its mission of healing and inspiring the human spirit.

Navarro hopes to do the same with his art, partnering with IEHP to create multiple full-scale murals that celebrate the tapestry that makes the Inland Empire special. The first is underway in a central part of IEHP’s headquarters – its atrium – where hundreds of people travel through daily. 

“I did want to create something that people gazed at and felt, ‘Yeah, this a great place for art,’” Navarro said. “We went through a lot of different versions of topics … but this one [an homage to a tree-lined street in Riverside] was the best that fit for this space, and we decided to focus on the regions IEHP serves across Riverside and San Bernardino counties.”

This collaboration is part of a company re-branding project that has been in the works and planning stages since 2022. IEHP launched a public procurement process to seek bids and potential artists, who were asked to submit a proposal of potential artwork. Navarro’s passion for the area and his reputation as a well-respected, young Latino leader in the community were among the many attributes that placed him at the top of the list, and there are discussions to incorporate Navarro’s art in other IEHP-branded materials suitable for future use.

“There’s just something incredibly inspiring about having art in one’s surroundings,” said Yahya Dawood, director of brand design and experience at IEHP. “And in many ways, our rebranding journey culminates with these beautiful murals in IEHP’s atrium space. Now our team members and visitors will be greeted – and hopefully, inspired – by these colorful scenes of the places we know and the people who we serve wholeheartedly in the Inland Empire.”

Navarro is looking to do a lot more with his art, like encouraging the next generation of artists to share their own stories through a medium of their choosing. He hopes to especially reach those living a similar story to his – because like them, Navarro grew up with little to his name as the child of an immigrant mother who moved to the U.S. from Mexico to create a better life.

“Coming from a space where there’s not a lot of hope to calling myself a ‘full-time artist’ brings me a lot of joy. To have that chance, this type of opportunity that is not available to everyone, I am so grateful,” he said. “I want to inspire others that were born with less to remember there’s always a way to grow if you dedicate your heart to something.

“Art is a luxury that adds to the human experience.”

Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) and Riverside-based artist Juan Navarro have partnered to create new murals for IEHP as part of its re-branding campaign. Navarro and his team from Eastside Arthouse in Riverside will complete multiple murals for the not-for-profit health care organization and the community as part of the agreement.


Tech Startups and Innovators: Inland Empire Health Plan, ScaleHealth To Launch Innovative Design Challenge

Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) and ScaleHealth have partnered to host a new quality-focused innovation design challenge aimed at providing optimal care and vibrant health in the Inland Empire.

The partnership begins Tuesday, July 11, and asks startups, technology companies, and innovators to address key areas, including:

  • Member Redetermination & Retention
  • Child & Adolescent Well Care Visits
  • Quality Management Best Practices
  • Family Unit Care

“This design challenge will be an opportunity to innovatively address Quality opportunities in our region,” said Dr. Edward Juhn, IEHP’s chief quality officer. “We are excited to discover new ideas focused on transforming care in our communities.”

Challenge participation is free and will be hosted on the ScaleHealth platform with the goal of engaging industry experts, health care professionals and innovators to develop creative solutions in the aforementioned areas. Participating innovators will be reviewed based on criteria, including, but not limited to, understanding of IEHP’s goals, market validation, business traction and compliance.

Through an assessment process, innovative solutions will be scored and ranked by ScaleHealth’s platform. The highest scoring solutions will be invited to participate in a final design showcase in front of a panel of IEHP leadership for pilot consideration.  

“IEHP’s vision to never rest until their communities enjoy optimal care aligns perfectly with ScaleHealth’s vision to ensure that everyone has access to the innovative health solutions that they need,” explained Taylor McPartland, ScaleHealth’s chief executive officer. “Sharing this common goal puts our partnership on such strong footing, we can’t wait to get started in supporting IEHP and the communities that they serve.”

For more information about the partnership, as well as the ability to sign up for the challenge, go to the ScaleHealth Portal.


Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) to join Covered California health care exchange

Inland Empire residents looking for health insurance through Covered California will see a trusted name on the list — Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP).

The Rancho Cucamonga-based not-for-profit organization will be among the list of options available on the exchange for those seeking coverage in 2024, Covered California officials announced yesterday. With four levels of coverage available to consumers, IEHP will offer the lowest-cost silver plan in Region  17. Open enrollment begins Nov. 1 and continues through Jan. 31, 2024.

IEHP Chief Executive Officer Jarrod McNaughton shared the company is excited to join Covered California pending additional state approval from the California Department of Managed Health Care. “IEHP will be only the second public managed care plan to go into the exchange,” he said. “Joining Covered California is an important step to ensuring our members and others in the community can continue to access the quality health care services they need.” 

IEHP officials estimate every year approximately 15,000 to 20,000 of its members in Riverside and San Bernardino counties could lose their Medi-Cal coverage due to an increase in income through the current eligibility renewal process. According to new state guidelines, these individuals will be automatically enrolled into their region’s lowest-cost silver plan.

Covered California is the only place Californians can go to receive financial help to make their coverage more affordable. Right now, 90% of Covered California's 1.6 million enrollees receive financial help, with many people paying $10 or less per month for their health insurance. Based on pre-pandemic trends, nearly half of the consumers who transition from Medi-Cal to Covered California will be able to get quality coverage at little to no cost.

“We’re thrilled that Inland Empire Health Plan will be joining Covered California in 2024, giving consumers and our over 155,000 enrollees in Riverside and San Bernardino counties another great option for their health care coverage,” said Jessica Altman, executive director of Covered California. “IEHP is joining the marketplace at a perfect time, giving more consumers transitioning from Medi-Cal the option to keep the same plan.”

To learn more about Covered California, visit or call 800-300-1506.

Since its founding in 1996, IEHP has grown into one of the top 10 largest Medicaid health plans and the largest not-for-profit Medicare-Medicaid plan in the country. Today, IEHP serves more than 1.6 million members in San Bernardino and Riverside counties, with 7,000 providers and 3,000 team members addressing crucial health needs daily. More information on IEHP and its benefits can be found online at or by phone at 800-440-IEHP (4347).


From the valley to the mountaintop: IEHP member climbs way to healthier life

Turning 50 years old was a milestone that Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) member, Chanel W. thought she might never make. But, with a lot of personal hard work and the help of the "health plan with a heart,” today, she has reason to celebrate that special birthday and so much more.

It was just a few years ago that Chanel reached the lowest valley of her life. Pummeled by a series of health challenges, she faced a long list of setbacks, including: 

  • Back and neck injuries, causing a lack of exercise/movement
  • Weight gain to 330 pounds
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Diverticulitis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Mental health struggles

With her health deteriorating, Chanel eventually lost her job. Then, in 2021, she became homeless and had to give up her best friend - a Chihuahua named Pedro. As her health issues compounded and spiraled beyond control, Chanel was in dire need of medical attention. Without a permanent address or health insurance, however, she worried she’d be left out in the cold. 


With the help of IEHP, Chanel was enrolled into Medi-Cal and connected to life-changing services, such as: 

  •  Primary care and specialist care
  • Transportation
  • IEHP's 24/7 Nurse Advice Line

IEHP representatives reached out to Chanel regularly to ensure she took her medications as prescribed. She was also connected with a support group, counseling and spiritual care.

“IEHP social workers saved my life,” Chanel emphasized. “They cared about me – they really did. And that made me not want to disappoint them, too.” 

Flash forward two years to today (2023), Chanel has accomplished some amazing feats. She went from:

  • Weighing 330 pounds to 205 pounds.
  • Visiting the Emergency Room 22 times/year to 2 times/year.
  • Walking 0 miles/day to 5-6 miles/day.

Best of all, Chanel is off the streets and living in stable housing. In fact, she and Pedro – her furry walking partner – were just reunited in April!


Mountain climbing! While some people may think of 50 years old as more the middle of life’s path, for Chanel, it’s only the beginning. Her next milestone is to take the beautiful hike up to the top of Riverside’s Mount Rubidoux.

She even keeps a photo of the mountain on her phone for motivation, as tangible proof that – like overcoming homelessness, runaway weight gain and life-threatening health issues – she can accomplish anything. 

“I’m going to do it,” she said, smiling. “I know I can.” 

-To learn how IEHP can help you, visit or speak with an IEHP Enrollment Advisor at (866) 294-4347, Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm. TTY users should call (800) 720-4347. 


More than just a ride: Inland Empire Health Plan welcomes Call The Car as its transportation broker

Imagine you need to get to an important medical appointment. Now imagine you have no way of getting from Point A to Point B.

For many Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) members, lack of transportation may prevent them from receiving essential services.

To improve members’ experience, IEHP’s Transportation Services department has added a fleet of newly branded vehicles through a recently launched vendor partnership with Call the Car, a Pasadena-based, non-emergency medical transportation company.

“IEHP’s top priority is ensuring our members have access to quality health care – which means removing barriers to access whenever and wherever we can,” said Jarrod McNaughton, IEHP’s chief executive officer. “We are proud to offer transportation services 24/7 so our members never have to worry about missing their doctor appointments or treatments.”

Transportation is a covered Medi-Cal benefit, with services available for medical, dental, mental health or substance use disorder appointments, and to pick up prescriptions and medical supplies. There are two types of transportation available: Nonemergency medical transportation – or NEMT – and nonmedical transportation (NMT). NEMT is transportation by ambulance, wheelchair van or little van for those who cannot use public or private transportation, while NMT consists of transportation by private or public vehicle for those with no other way to get to-and-from their appointments.

IEHP’s Transportation Services is comprised of 90 team members covering 27,000 square miles in both Riverside and San Bernardino counties. For context, that’s an area larger than 11 states in our nation. Each year, the team handles 1 million trips – the equivalent of 4,000 to 5,000 trips a day.

In response to member dissatisfaction over its transportation services, the department launched a task force in May 2022 to improve the member experience. Since the launch of this task force, IEHP has:

  •  Reduced grievances by 48%
  • Stabilized its call center to meet service levels
  • Implemented robust daily, weekly and monthly reporting methods

Call the Car provides services without limits from health care transportation to case management coordination and community-based partnerships. Its team of professionals are trained to ensure patient safety, and vehicles are housed with technologies to better serve driver and patient, including state-of-the-art GPS tracking, ADA accessibilities and AI technology that can detect accidents and if a driver needs a break. Vehicles can accommodate wheelchair and gurney needs, and drivers are trained to adapt to what every trip and passenger needs.

Call the Car Chief Financial Officer Paul Muench endorsed the partnership between the two entities as a great fit.

“The mission that IEHP works with is very similar to the mission that we are focused on, and we see it as a great opportunity to fill the need for members who have trouble accessing health care and we know a big part of that is transportation,” he said.

Dr. Michelle Tyson, the organization’s chief executive officer, agreed.

“Transportation is an integral part of ensuring that those who need it most have access to quality health care services,” she said. “Call the Car is excited to partner with Inland Empire Health Plan and wants to express our gratitude to the IEHP team for allowing us to continue our mission of providing reliable and safe transportation services to their members within the Inland Empire. 

“Our CTC staff diligently work to ensure that all members are treated compassionately and are provided with the best possible resources to maintain crucial access to their IEHP health benefits, and we look forward to our continued collaboration with IEHP and their members for years to come,” she continued.

Both organizations plan to evolve their services in an ever-changing world of health care moving forward. For IEHP, next steps include:

  • Improving vendor oversight and partnerships within the community
  • Evaluating dispatch software and systems to ensure efficient practices and efficient status updates to members
  • Understanding root causes of issues and reducing transportation-related grievances by 20% by the end of 2023


An award with merit: Loma Linda University recognizes IEHP's Jarrod McNaughton for stellar service

Inland Empire Health Plan’s (IEHP) Chief Executive Officer Jarrod McNaughton is Loma Linda University’s 2023 Meritorious Service Award recipient.

McNaughton – who has served as CEO since 2019 – formally accepted the award during the university’s School of Public Health commencement ceremony held Friday, June 9.

McNaughton earned the award for his commitment to lead with integrity in fulfilling IEHP’s mission “to heal and inspire the human spirit,” university officials stated.

“I am thrilled to receive Loma Linda’s prestigious Meritorious Service Award,” McNaughton said. “I am honored to be part of an organization that puts its members at the center of its universe by ensuring they have access to the quality health care services they need. I share this award with my remarkable team. Everything we achieve together is because of their incredible passion for serving our community.”

In his role, McNaughton is responsible for establishing a strategic vision and providing executive leadership for the Rancho Cucamonga-based organization. Today, IEHP is one of the top 10 largest Medicaid health plans and the largest not-for-profit Medicare-Medicaid plan in the country, serving 1.6 million members in both Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

The Meritorious Service Award is given annually to individuals who align with the university’s mission of providing world-class health care and services to patients and their families, especially in underserved communities, through a commitment to excellence. 

“Jarrod McNaughton’s understanding of the complex issues facing health care today is key to IEHP’s mission to providing individuals needing care the best possible outcomes,” said Richard H. Hart, MD, DrPH, president of Loma Linda University. “His innovative approaches to creating care networks has enhanced healthcare in the Inland Empire’s marginalized neighborhoods.”


Great News: IEHP Named Great Place To Work® for Third Year in a Row

Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) is proud to be Certified™ by Great Place To Work® for the third year in a row. The prestigious award is based entirely on what current team members say about their experience working at IEHP. This year, 92% of employees said IEHP is a Great Place To Work® – 35 points higher than the average U.S. company.

Great Place To Work® is the global authority on workplace culture, employee experience and leadership behaviors proven to deliver market-leading revenue, employee retention and increased innovation.

“At IEHP, our team members are at the heart of everything we do,” said IEHP’s Chief Executive Officer Jarrod McNaughton. “Their effort and engagement are what makes us truly a Great Place to Work. We will continue to strive for excellence and ensure that IEHP remains a place where all people feel valued, supported and empowered to achieve their full potential.”

IEHP’s mission is to “heal and inspire the human spirit,” and its team members are vital to that mission, serving 1.6 million members residing in Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Life at IEHP includes a wide range of benefits and resources for employees to assist with health and wellness and job growth, including on-site or remote fitness classes, a computer lab, on-site partner agencies connecting people with vital social services and career coaching.

Of IEHP’s 3,184 employees, 90% completed the survey that covered a variety of workplace quality-related experiences, including pride in the organization’s impact on the community, its reputation within areas served and the level of camaraderie created within the company. Highlights from the survey showed:

  • 96% feel good about ways the organization contributes to its community.
  • 95% report having special and unique company benefits.
  • 94% are proud to tell others their place of employment.

"Great Place To Work® Certification is a highly coveted achievement that requires consistent and intentional dedication to the overall employee experience," says Sarah Lewis-Kulin, vice president of global recognition at Great Place To Work®. She emphasizes that certification is the sole official recognition earned by the real-time feedback of employees regarding their company culture. “By successfully earning this recognition, it is evident that IEHP stands out as one of the top companies to work for, providing a great workplace environment for its employees.”

Later this year, IEHP will know if the organization made the list of the Top 100 Best Workplaces in Healthcare for a second year in a row.

According to Great Place To Work research, job seekers are 4.5 times more likely to find a great boss at a Certified great workplace. Additionally, employees at Certified workplaces are 93% more likely to look forward to coming to work, and are twice as likely to be paid fairly, earn a fair share of the company’s profits and have a fair chance at promotion.


Looking to grow your career at a company that puts its people first? Visit our careers page at


Trona Strong: Small town, big heart

A common sight in the small town of Trona, California: boarded-up windows.

After a pair of devastating earthquakes rocked the rural desert community nearly four years ago, many of the residents couldn’t recover, shuttered their homes and simply walked away. Others who stayed just haven’t been able to replace the broken glass.

But make no mistake – the Trona citizens who remain love their town. They’re Trona Strong.

Despite the damaged windows, the door to welcome partners like Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) – and the help and resources it can offer – is wide open.


“We’re isolated out here in a lot of different ways and it’s a struggle to get many services,” said Trona resident Julia Pitman, who recently attended a special in-person meeting with IEHP CEO Jarrod McNaughton at the Trona Community Senior Center. “I was pleased to hear that we had a visit from your team (to) bring new hope to the community.”

IEHP was eager to show up for Trona.

“The questions that came up, the suggestions that came up today – none of that, I don’t believe, we would have received if we had done some kind of a virtual call or something,” said McNaughton later that day. “I think you have to come in person to really feel what folks are going through, to feel their passion for their community as well.”

Even before the 6.4, then 7.1 temblors that hit the town just one day apart, July 4 and 5, 2019, Trona struggled with the changing landscape of its dwindling population (now less than 2,000) and employment opportunities. 

Searles Valley Minerals is still the largest employer in Trona.

Trona was “born” a company town – literally. In 1914, the American Trona Company established its namesake for the mineral found in the Searles dry lakebed. The community and its residents flourished for the next 60 years, until a series of unfortunate events including factory buy-outs, production cuts and massive layoffs. Thousands of people left Trona.

Then, in 2019, the double-whammy of the double quakes, followed by the COVID-19 pandemic less than a year later. Then more residents moved away.


Along Trona’s timeline, there are bright spots.

Football is still a big draw, including games at Trona High School’s all-dirt gridiron – known as the “Pit” –home to the Tornadoes’ eight-man football team. The unique surface mix of sand, grit and rocks is famous: It’s been featured in national media outlets.

Future athletes are only a short pass away at the neighboring elementary school whose mascot is the Twisters and where students and teachers alike occasionally dress up as their favorite character for Disney Days.

The nearby Trona Pinnacles and surrounding areas – with their otherworldly look and feel – appear as unusual scenic landscapes in various TV shows and Hollywood films, mostly of the sci-fi variety. And sometimes, news crews and photographers pass through town to document Trona’s struggles and steadfast devotion.

Much to diners’ delight, Trona’s only eatery – Esparza’s Family Restaurant – recently reopened in a new location, but still serving everyone’s favorite Mexican fare. Its previous spot remains red-tagged from the earthquakes.


Nowadays, Trona residents say it’s time to look forward and find solutions for current gaps like health care access and potential career development for its young people.

On Dec. 14, IEHP hosted Winter Wonderland, a large resource fair with dental services, vaccines and other health information. The well-attended event also featured a regular bi-weekly fresh produce distribution, established after ongoing feedback sessions with residents. This collaboration started in 2021, before IEHP officially expanded its health plan coverage area to rural areas, including outlying areas along the borders of San Bernardino County, in January 2022.

At the community meeting with IEHP’s CEO McNaughton – which included a lunch catered by Esparza’s – Trona residents were asked to share their town’s top needs.

“The biggest thing is how can we get health services in Trona,” said Priscilla Benadom, a longtime Trona resident and recent retiree as the senior center’s program coordinator.

Following the meeting, McNaughton wanted to see the area and some of its logistical challenges firsthand, so he took a tour of the city. McNaughton also stopped for a brief visit with those Twisters at the elementary school, distributing IEHP swag bags and chocolate chip cookies.

And because it was Disney Day, he even broke out into a booming rendition of the theme song, “Let It Go” from the mega hit movie “Frozen” for one of several Elsas in the classroom.

“It’s an honor for IEHP to be connected now – finally – into this community where we can do some pretty cool things together with them,” McNaughton said.

300,000 Inland Empire residents at risk of losing Medi-Cal benefits

This month, an overlooked piece of mail could have disastrous consequences for hundreds of thousands of Riverside and San Bernardino families that rely on Medi-Cal benefits.

To avoid a public health crisis after the annual redetermination process of Medi-Cal resumed this week, Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) and Riverside County’s Department of Public Social Services and San Bernardino County’s Transitional Assistance Department are coordinating a first-of-its-kind partnership. California warns that approximately 2-3 million Medi-Cal enrollees statewide could lose or see interruptions in their health care coverage during the process.

“The annual redetermination process is one of the biggest efforts taking place in the history of the Medi-Cal program,” said IEHP Chief Executive Officer Jarrod McNaughton. “The partnership with the two counties demonstrates our commitment to making sure Inland Empire residents have continued coverage.”

All three entities are working in tandem to share data and coordinate strategic outreach efforts to ensure residents undergoing the Medi-Cal renewal process complete and submit requested information.

“The county and partner agencies are ready to help residents impacted through the redetermination process to keep these essential benefits,” said Riverside County Executive Officer Jeff Van Wagenen. “We are reaching out to the 37,000 residents by mail and phone whose redeterminations are due in June. We’ve also alerted local hospitals, clinics, and health care providers. We will be reaching out to our impacted residents directly each month as their redeterminations come due.”

Beginning this month, residents who receive Medi-Cal renewal packets in the mail must complete and send back the requested information included in the yellow renewal packets within 60 days or lose their Medi-Cal benefits. Members could start losing coverage as early as July 1, impacting current treatment of severe illnesses or chronic conditions and increasing out-of-pocket medical costs.

“The County is committed to ensuring the health and well-being of those who depend on Medi-Cal benefits,” said San Bernardino County’s Transitional Assistance Department Director Gilbert Ramos. “With the end of the federal Public Health Emergency, collaborating with IEHP and Riverside County will help raise awareness of the actions beneficiaries must take to maintain their health care coverage and in many cases their quality of life.”  

In December 2022, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2023 (CAA) – which stipulated the continuous coverage provision that prohibited states from disenrolling members from Medicaid since 2020, due to the COVID-19 public health emergency would expire at the end of March 2023.

To prepare, IEHP has hired an eligibility team fully dedicated to helping IEHP members complete the Medi-Cal redetermination process. Each month after receiving lists of members coming up for renewal and updated and verified contact information from both counties, the IEHP team will reach out to members via text and/or phone to alert them this important packet is coming in the mail.

“The County’s partnership will help beneficiaries stay informed of these next crucial steps to complete the requested information within the 60 days and ensure continuity of health care coverage,” said San Bernardino County’s Chief Executive Officer Leonard X. Hernandez.

Once the packet is received, IEHP will assist the member in completing and submitting the required information, whether by phone or with one-on-one assistance at a community resource center. The IEHP team will continue checking in until the member has submitted the information by mail, phone, online, or at a local county Medi-Cal office.

Medi-Cal members may also receive assistance through the county Medi-Cal office.

The good news is Medi-Cal members whose household income now exceeds eligibility requirements won’t fall through the system. These members will be automatically enrolled into Covered California, the state health insurance marketplace established by the Affordable Care Act. There, they may be eligible for a federally subsidized health plan.

For more information or assistance, IEHP members may call the IEHP eligibility team at 1-888-860-1296. Non-IEHP members should visit


Meet Leslie: Finding hope in life’s uncertainties

Leslie K. loves animals, sparkly nail polish and her home state of Texas.

None of those things have changed. 

But after a tragic accident in October 2021, much of Leslie’s life will never be the same again. 

“I was on my way to LA, and I stopped because there was an accident in my lane,” said Leslie from her Jurupa Valley home. “I had gotten out and evidently, somebody got inpatient and went around us and … took me for a little drag down the road.”

The car that hit Leslie ended up on top of her, causing severe injuries to her lower body. Throughout the entire ordeal, a police officer on the scene stayed with Leslie – even lying on the pavement with her – until the vehicle was removed and she was transported to a hospital.

When Leslie woke up after an emergency eight-hour surgery, she discovered the devasting results of that fateful day.

“I just lifted the sheets and went, ‘Oh, I have no legs,’” said the Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) member.


Once Leslie was discharged from the hospital, some immediate needs became apparent quite quickly, including:

  • Learning to operate an electric wheelchair
  • Fitting through narrow doorways at home 
  • Using the bathroom safely

It was a time of uncertainty and worry for Leslie and her husband, Robert.

“I was scared, I didn’t know what to do – I didn’t know what I was supposed to do,” said Robert B., wiping away tears at the memory of those first days as his wife’s primary caregiver. “I didn’t know about having this house ready … how do I feed her, how do I bathe her?

“… You don’t know. It’s just all trial and error.”

As they navigated their new world, the couple had to find ways to adapt to a completely different lifestyle.

“Because you can’t just go out and get in my truck and go do something,” said Leslie, a cowgirl who grew up on a ranch, routinely riding horses. She still proudly wears a Texas-shaped gold charm Texas around her neck.

Leslie also used to raise chickens and sell their eggs to neighbors, but she can’t maneuver her wheelchair in the coop. And Robert gave up his truck driver job to be available for his wife. He has now taken over the chicken coop duties as well as laundry tasks since the couple’s washer and dryer are in their home’s basement.


Leslie and Robert soon learned – thanks to the community partnership among Inland Housing Solutions (IHS), CalAIM and IEHP – help was available.

In August 2022, Leslie and Robert received an authorization from IEHP for the CalAIM Community Supports Home Modifications (Environmental Accessibility Adaptations), which started the remodel process. With this program, individuals receive access to specialized care – whether that means changes to the inside or outside of their homes – ensuring the best quality of life.

“We were doing so much on our own because we didn’t know what to ask for, who to ask for help – and that all kind of just started falling into place when Ron (Estrada of IHS) found us and he stepped up,” said Leslie.

In many ways, Leslie and Robert simply needed their same home to function differently, but with things most people take for granted in their own homes.

“They need those accessibility renovations to be able to use their space the way they used to,” said Kate Nazareno, director of client services at IHS.

The renovations, which were completed for free in November 2022, focused on the couple’s only bathroom and included:

  • Widening/adjusting doors
  • Installing grab bars
  • Modifying flooring to tile for electric wheelchair access
  • Repositioning/rewiring of electrical outlets and switches
  •  Adding a wheelchair-accessible vanity, medicine cabinet and towel bars

The vanity may be Leslie’s favorite update.

“So I can blow dry my hair, put my make-up on and all that girly stuff,” she said.

According to Robert, the modifications to their bathroom represent something much bigger for his wife than just the actual construction work.

“She wants to be as independent as she can and having that bathroom finished in there was a huge burden taken off of us – big,” he said.

And that’s exactly what this kind of multi-agency collaborative effort intends to do: help Inland Empire residents experiencing life-changing circumstances.

“Through this program with CalAIM and IEHP, we are able to provide the home modifications and other services to help people like Robert and Leslie return to their homes, recover and be healthy and stable in their homes,” Nazareno said.

For Leslie and Robert, receiving the accessibility modifications with no out-of-pocket costs is a welcomed positive change.

“When things like that happen, it gives you hope that hey, it’s gonna get better,” Robert said.

Leslie agreed.

“That remodel has been a God’s gift – it’s made a big difference,” she added.

See an inspiring video about Leslie and Robert. 


Student Health Reimagined at 2023 SBHIP Event

Reimagining care for students in the Inland Empire is an all-hands-on-deck effort as reaffirmed at the Student Behavioral Health Incentive Program (SBHIP) event held Feb. 27 at Inland Empire Health Plan’s (IEHP) headquarters. 

IEHP, Molina Healthcare of California, Riverside University Health System Behavioral Health, San Bernardino Department of Behavioral Health, the Offices of Education in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, local school districts and charter schools gathered to acknowledge their collaboration and planning efforts over the last year.

These efforts are in response to the California Department of Health Care Services' (DHCS) goal to expand prevention and early intervention behavioral health services in and around schools. The initiative provides financial incentives to partnering school districts and charter schools.

To move beyond planning and gear up for the implementation phase of the initiative, the group shared experiences and insight and raised awareness about their plans. Event speakers included Dr. Amy Young-Snodgrass, chief of the division of forensic pediatrics at LLU Children’s Hospital, Dr. Edwin Gomez, Riverside County Office of Education superintendent, Ted Alejandre, San Bernardino County Office of Education superintendent, Jarrod McNaughton, IEHP chief executive officer, Abbie Totten, plan president of Molina Healthcare of California and others.  

“Molina Healthcare of California is committed to improving access to behavioral health care services in our local schools,” said Totten. “We are grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with organizations that share in this mission as we move forward to implement innovative solutions addressing this critical issue.”

The initiative’s implementation phase will include key interventions that focus on behavioral health wellness programs, care teams, expansion of the behavioral health workforce, substance use disorders and culturally appropriate and targeted populations. In addition, IEHP will be supporting SBHIP interventions through their Health Plan Navigators, stationed on local school campuses. 

“The relationships, processes and infrastructure we build together will redefine how we care for our children, and have a positive impact for generations to come,” said Amrita Rai, IEHP’s clinical director of community behavioral health. “Having the opportunity to reimagine our systems of care takes intention and it takes work.  I’m so thankful for organizations that share that vision and are willing to make that future a reality.”


Meet Jose: Living the sweet life

“Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.” - Forrest Gump

During a stay at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles, Jose Solarzano met actor Tom Hanks, the Oscar-winning celebrity famous for that “box of chocolates” movie line.
And yes, Hanks even uttered the well-known quote when visiting Jose, who has an intellectual developmental disability: cerebral palsy.
In some ways, Jose’s life mirrors that of the fictional Forrest Gump.

“I grew up with (leg) braces and when I got my first pair of braces, that movie ‘Forrest Gump’ came out and his mom in the movie reminded me of my mom,” said Jose, a physical accessibility review survey specialist at Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP). “And I used to be very, very sad … I wasn’t like the other kids. I would fall or trip; sometimes I would even have to use a wheelchair to move.”

Like the fictional Forrest, Jose’s story is filled with hope and inspiration.

  • In 2006, Jose completed his bachelor’s degree in Health and Human Services at California State University, Los Angeles.
  • In 2020, he was appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom to the California State Independent Living Council. He also serves on the support team for the Inland Empire Disabilities Collaborative.
  • And on June 12, 2022, Jose was asked to deliver a commencement speech at Loma Linda University (LLU), where he earned a Community Health Worker certification. He was also the first individual with an intellectual developmental disability to graduate from the San Manuel Gateway College/LLU program.  

Admittedly, Jose, 39, experienced nerves about speaking in front of 500 people. Leading up to the big day, he prepared through meditation, taking deep breaths and listening to the same classical music he used to enjoy with his mother, who died on Jan. 20, 2022.

Jose remembers thinking about his mother when he was called up to the podium, asking her: “Be in my heart and tell me what to say.”

As if his mother may have heard that plea, Jose’s speech turned out wonderfully.

“I was excited and thrilled about giving a speech,” he said. “I focused on the importance of reflecting how important it is to improve the quality of life for others working in the field of community health.”


Today, Jose is a valued member of IEHP’s community health team – where he’s worked since 2017 – interacting with IEHP Members at public events throughout the Inland Empire.

But Jose knows firsthand the kinds of challenges the disabled population faces. After all, he’s personally faced a series of health issues related to his cerebral palsy: learning to walk with leg braces at the age of 3, seizures resulting from epilepsy and negative reactions to medications. Not to mention multiple hospital stays and the bullying in school.

“People with disabilities like myself … we’re seen as people that really can’t be progressive and basically, our only options are to be institutionalized or being imprisoned or not having equal resources like everyone else,” said Jose, whose determination helped overcome his challenges and his leg braces, which he stopped needing in 1997.

As a member of IEHP’s community health team, Jose shares his common experiences with other disabled people.

“The beautiful part of him being out in the community is the connection that he is able to have with the Members,” said Carmen Ramirez, manager IEHP Community Behavioral Health and Social Supports.

For Jose, a highlight of those connections centered on IEHP’s community efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through IEHP’s partnership with the Inland Empire Disabilities Collaborative, IEHP formed a COVID-19 response program to help Inland Empire residents meet the basic needs of food and access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at a time when those items were so scarce.

“When I was able to make a difference in a family, it impacted me because I’m not a person with a disability – I’m just like everybody else,” said Jose, his voice quivering with emotion. “And I want to help people.”

Jose is committed to IEHP’s Mission, Vision and Values, always putting the Member at the center of his universe, according to Carmen.

“It always goes back to passion – and with Jose, you see it in his work, you see it in his words, you see it in his connections that he has within the community,” she said.

For Jose, it’s all about “doing the right thing,” which he says is built on trust.

“We have to make sure that we are doing everything in our power to do what we have to do to improve the quality for that specific Member,” he said. “Trust is always a big thing … you have to demonstrate that you’re keeping your word at all times.”


After his mother passed away, Jose set a goal to one day return to school and gain more professional work skills. Then, thanks to IEHP’s sponsorship, along came the chance to enter LLU-San Manuel Gateway College’s Community Health Care Worker certificate program.

At first, Jose wasn’t sure he could achieve his goal.

“I remember Jose sitting down with me … he’s like: ‘I don’t know if I can do it; I’ve heard that it’s very intensive,’” Carmen recalled. “And I said, ‘You’re not alone, it’s OK, we got you – we have your back, we’re going to help you get through these nine weeks.’”

During his commencement speech, Jose shared what that moment was like for him.

“When they called me in at IEHP and they said, ‘Hey, there’s an opportunity to go to Loma Linda University,’ that opened my heart,” he said.

So, Jose entered the program, putting trust in himself and the IEHP Team Members supporting his journey.

He credited Carmen for teaching him time management, so he could succeed at his regular, full-time job duties while adding more tasks as a student.

Standing before that captive audience in his cap and gown that summer day, Jose told them what completing this certification meant to him:

“I have the opportunity to do what I love to do and that is to serve people, help people, empower them, show them the right way.”

When he finished his speech at LLU, there was a huge round of applause and even a standing ovation.

As for the people who told Jose he would never have a so-called “normal life,” well, he gets the last line in that script.

“Growing up, they told me I wasn’t going to be able to have kids or I wasn’t going to get married – and now, I have three beautiful daughters and my wife,” said the proud husband of Adriana and father to Hilda, 15; Viviana, 13; and Fatima, 11. “Wow – that’s why life is always a box of chocolates … because you never know what you’re going to get.”

-View an inspirational video about Jose’s journey.


IEHP Maintains 99th Percentile National Ranking for Provider Satisfaction

For the third year in a row, Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) has maintained its 99th percentile national ranking for provider satisfaction.

Administered in July 2022 to the health plan’s provider network by mail and email 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 the health plan’s primary care physicians, specialists and behavioral health providers.

The survey focused on key drivers of provider satisfaction, including: overall satisfaction with IEHP’s call center service, access to knowledgeable staff, and procedures for obtaining pre-certification/referral/authorization information.

“Every response we receive from our providers directly impacts our collaborative and continued work forward,” said Susie White, IEHP’s chief operating officer. “We truly value our providers’ feedback as it help us identify areas to better serve and improve, so they can offer the best care possible with the confidence and support they need.”

Consistent with 2021’s survey results, 98.2% of providers shared they would recommend IEHP to other physician practices. Broken down by category, IEHP ranked within the 99th percentile for pharmacy and call center support and saw great improvements in the telehealth category of the survey.

In addition to outlining improvements, the survey also highlighted new opportunities for growth. “Like our providers, we never want to stay stagnant in our service quality,” said White. “Together, we’ve identified new areas to focus on, like provider relations and timely access to support, and look forward to implementing new processes, strategies and touchpoints to meet providers where they are.”


IEHP Welcomes Lorena Rodriguez Chandler as first Chief Health Equity Officer

Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) is proud to announce Lorena Rodriguez Chandler has joined the health plan as its first chief health equity officer.   

In this role, Chandler will serve the Inland Empire by further developing and implementing policies, procedures and programs aimed at improving health equity.  

This will include using race/ethnicity, language, gender identity/sexual orientation, and geographic data to identify disparities in access to care and health outcomes. IEHP will then work with community partners to improve the provision of culturally appropriate services and develop new initiatives to address these disparities. 

“Lorena has a heart for the communities we serve and is deeply committed to ensuring access to optimal care and vibrant health for everyone in the Inland Empire,” said Dr. Takashi Wada, IEHP’s chief medical officer. “We look forward to working with Lorena and learning from the vast experience she brings to IEHP.” 

Chandler joins IEHP with a strong background in Medicaid, Medicare, non-profit and government sponsored health programs. Prior to IEHP, she served as Blue Shield of California’s director of Medicare Growth Strategy and associate vice president of Strategic Planning and Performance and was responsible for the development of a Medicare Advantage Plan for Latino Seniors in Los Angeles County. She was also a lead in the integration of Care 1st Health Plan Medi-Cal line of business into Blue Shield of CA, giving her a broad and deep knowledge of health plan operations.  

In addition, Chandler brings experience from her work with Molina Healthcare Inc. as an associate vice president of Business Process Improvement and Member Engagement and LA Care Health Plan, where she worked closely with Latino and African American communities to launch and develop their inaugural community resource centers and programs.  

She has also worked for the country’s largest Hispanic civil rights organization, Unidos US, as their director for the Center for Latino Community Health, leading and evaluating their community health worker programs, and as a senior project manager for United Healthcare where she developed their Latino Health Solutions Initiative.  

Chandler graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Care Administration and the University of California, Los Angeles, where she earned a master’s in Public Health with an emphasis in Community Health Sciences.   

“Lorena’s experience and passion for health equity will help IEHP excel in its mission and will truly make the Inland Empire a healthier place for all,” said Jarrod McNaughton, IEHP chief executive officer.



Riverside County Fifth District Supervisor Yxstian Gutierrez Joins IEHP Governing Board

Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) is proud to announce Riverside County Fifth District Supervisor Yxstian Gutierrez (pronounced “IX-tian,” like Christian) has joined the health plan's governing board and will serve alongside the dedicated members who represent both Riverside and San Bernardino counties. 

On Jan. 10, Supervisor Gutierrez was appointed to the IEHP Governing Board; he was elected to the Riverside County Board of Supervisors in November 2022. He is the second Latino ever elected supervisor for Riverside County. Prior to this appointment, Gutierrez served as the first directly elected Moreno Valley Mayor for seven years and was a professor at National University, served on Moreno Valley’s City Council, owned and operated the Berrybean Café, taught in the Moreno Valley Unified School District, and worked as a reading instructor at Moreno Valley College.

In addition to his supervisor duties, Gutierrez is a professor at California State University, San Bernardino, and serves as a board member for Western Riverside Council of Governments (WRCOG), Riverside Transit Agency, Riverside County Transportation Commission, Riverside County University Medical System, Flood Control, Renu Hope Foundation, the U.S. Selective Service and several other regional boards. He is also a 1st Lieutenant (CA) with the 163rd Support Group stationed at March Air Reserve Base.

“On behalf of the IEHP Governing Board, I welcome fellow Riverside County Supervisor Yxstian Gutierrez to the Board and look forward to his input on providing quality healthcare to our Members,” said Karen Spiegel, Riverside County Second District Supervisor and IEHP Governing Board Chair.

Representing the 10th largest county in the United States with more than 2.5 million residents, Supervisor Gutierrez is dedicated to improving and protecting the things that make Riverside County so unique. 

“I am thrilled to join the IEHP Governing Board of Directors and honored to be a part of an inspiring group of Board Members and more than 3,000 employees - all with a singular vision to heal and inspire the human spirit to make the Inland Empire a healthier place for all,” said Supervisor Gutierrez. “Within this role, I look forward to ensuring IEHP continues to provide access to quality and affordable health coverage to our working families across the region.”

Gutierrez joins the health plan's governing board, which is comprised of four elected county supervisors and three appointed members of the public.

Current members include: Chair Karen Spiegel, Riverside County Second District Supervisor; Vice-Chair Curt Hagman, San Bernardino County Fourth District Supervisor; Dawn Rowe, Chair of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors and Third District Supervisor; Daniel P. Anderson, President and CEO of Riverside Community Health Foundation; Andrew Williams, Joint County Public Member; and Eileen Zorn, former health care clinician and educator.

Since the establishment of IEHP's Governing Board, the body has greatly supported and influenced the development and implementation of CalAIM, the Housing Initiative, Behavioral Health Integration and more.

"We are very excited to welcome Supervisor Gutierrez to our Governing Board and look forward to his insight in our ongoing commitment to meet our members where they are to provide Optimal Care and Vibrant Health," said Jarrod McNaughton, IEHP Chief Executive Officer.


IEHP Hosts Listening Session with DHCS and Community Partners

It takes a village to deliver quality care and optimal health, no matter what region you serve.

That’s why the California Department of Healthcare Services (DHCS) initiated a series of Listening Sessions throughout the state, with the most recent event held at the headquarters of Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) in Rancho Cucamonga on Jan. 27. 

The roundtable discussion focused on how the CalAIM state policy is being implemented in the Inland Empire and outlined improvement opportunities with DHCS Director Michelle Baass, Chief Deputy Director of Health Care Programs Jacey Cooper, Deputy Director Susan Philip, Assistant Director Tracy Arnold, and Health Program Specialist Brian Hansen.

“Health is no longer just about a doctor’s office, a hospital or clinic. It’s about public health, behavioral health; things that are really going to influence a person’s life,” said Baass, who acknowledged the need and appreciation for the wide variety of care partners in attendance. 

The group of DHCS representatives were met by IEHP leadership and nearly 70 Inland Empire partners including Molina Health Care and Kaiser Permanente to discuss priority issues, best practices and the experience of Medi-Cal programs for beneficiaries in our counties. 

“I’m grateful to be sitting at the table, not only with our hospital folks, [but] along with housing and workforce solutions,” said Sayori Baldwin, Riverside County’s assistant executive officer of human services, who shared her team’s experience with child welfare and her colleague’s struggle to maximize and leverage funding for child welfare patients who have complex needs. 

This meeting was the second in a larger series supporting DHCS’s ongoing effort to actively meet with and learn from various partners about the state’s Medi-Cal program. 

“This discussion was a great opportunity to share details about the work being done, where the gaps lie and how DHCS can help us deliver quality and equitable care to the communities we serve,” said Jarrod McNaughton, IEHP’s chief executive officer. “We appreciated the time and really look forward to continued collaboration and the inspired action to come out of these conversations.”

Top row, from left: Brian Hansen, DHCS health program specialist; Michelle Baass, DHCS director; Jacey Cooper, DHCS chief deputy director of health care programs; Jennifer Cruikshank, Riverside University Health System chief executive officer; William Gilbert, Arrowhead Regional Medical Center chief executive officer.
Bottom row, from left: Jarrod McNaughton, IEHP chief executive officer; Amanda Flaum, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. vice president; Susan Philip, DHCS deputy director; Tracy Arnold, DHCS assistant director.


IEHP Community Resource Centers invite you on a virtual tour

“Everyone is welcome!” Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) Team Members remind the community in a new virtual tour video of the health plan’s Victorville Community Resource Center. 

“Everyone who walks through our door is family,” said Delia Orosco, IEHP’s Victorville Community Resource Center manager. “Regardless if you’re an IEHP Member or not, your care and your health matter to us, and we can’t wait to welcome you into our centers soon!”

With locations also in Riverside and San Bernardino, Calif., the virtual tour highlights some of the centers’ most popular offerings, including free fitness classes, cooking demonstrations and computer labs. 

“The centers conduct education classes on a variety of health and wellness topics,” shared Carmen Ramirez, IEHP’s Community Behavioral Health and Social Supports manager, as she further explained the range of free course topics, from nutrition, diabetes control, managing asthma and stress to general benefit information for Members. 

The tour also features an in-depth look at cooking demonstrations and a peek into the computer labs, which can be used for job searches, various educational courses and to further access to no-cost resources like legal support and housing. 

“There are people here who will help with resumes, job searches, interviews and placement. And the best part is, it won’t cost anything,” said IEHP’s Health Educator Allita Watkins. 

For locations, class schedules and more information about IEHP’s Community Resource Center, visit 


IEHP encourages residents to follow the wonderful road to wellness

Flu and COVID and RSV, oh my! Staying on the road – yellow-bricked or not – to good health this year doesn’t have to be a scary adventure. 

Through a new print and digital media campaign, Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) encourages residents to take their best shot at health and wellness this season by getting their annual flu vaccine.

The campaign will reach Inland Empire residents through commercials on local television stations, radio spots, community outreach and social media posts, directing them to IEHP’s website for vaccine information and details. 

“No one wants to be slowed down in 2023,” said IEHP Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Takashi Wada. “This campaign is to serve as a reminder that staying healthy and well can be as easy as stopping by a vaccine clinic or checking in with your primary care physician.”

The campaign began in winter 2022 and will run through spring 2023. “The flu isn’t isolated to a particular time and the flu vaccine can protect you throughout the year. Like the COVID-19 vaccine, it can also significantly reduce symptoms in case you do contract it.” 

To receive a free flu vaccine, no visit to a wizard or good witch is required! Residents in Riverside County can visit Residents in San Bernardino County can visit to find free local clinics. Flu vaccines are always free for IEHP members. To learn more, visit


Celebrity connection: ‘Boris and Nicole’ encourage health and wellness in I.E.

Celebrity couple Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker are reaching out to Inland Empire’s African American 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.


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

For millions of new moms, like Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) Member Gerti, motherhood – and all the 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:

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.

IEHP brings Winter Wonderland to Trona residents

There’s something magical happening just three hours north of Los Angeles.  

The small, unincorporated 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



Sometimes, not all is merry and bright: tips for managing holiday stress

The holidays may look merry and bright on TV specials and social media feeds – however, for many Americans, this can be an incredibly stressful time. 

Especially for people already struggling, the holiday season can heighten feelings of grief, loneliness and other emotional pain.
Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) Clinical Director of Community Behavioral Health Amrita Rai says holidays can elevate emotional highs and lows.

“This time of year can add additional stress in our lives, and stress can possibly trigger conditions such as depression and anxiety,” said Rai. “Not everyone experiences the holidays the same; it’s OK to experience your feelings.”

Rai offers the following tips for managing potential stress during the holidays:

  1. Breathe. 
  2. Set realistic expectations.
  3. Let yourself say no to new obligations.
  4. Set boundaries with others.
  5. Reach out for help.

In addition, Rai recommends checking in often with those close to you, ensuring they are doing OK, especially when you notice a change in their mood or behavior.

“It can be as simple as a text, a phone call or handwritten note,” added Rai. “Reach out and remind someone you love them, and you are there for them.” 

If you or someone you love is feeling overwhelmed, Riverside and San Bernardino counties encourage use of the local crisis numbers below for help:

(951) 686-HELP (4357) 
1-877-727-4747 and Crisis text line: 741-741.

24-Hour Crisis Line: (760) 365-6558
East Valley: (909) 421-9233
West Valley: (909) 458-9628
High Desert: (760) 956-2345
Morongo Basin: (760) 365-6558
San Bernardino: 1-877-727-4747

988 also offers 24/7 access to trained crisis counselors who can help people experiencing mental health-related distress no matter where you live in the United States.

For non-emergency support, IEHP Members can also call IEHP Member Services at 1-800-440-IEHP (4347), Monday–Friday, 7 a.m.–7 p.m., and Saturday–Sunday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. TTY users should call 1-800-718-4347 and ask to speak with the Behavioral Health department.


Team IEHP sparks end-of-year cheer with community giving in the Inland Empire

Some may say Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) team members never stop, but their vision is clear: We will not rest until our communities enjoy Optimal Care and Vibrant Health. 

So year after year, #TeamIEHP does what they do best – heal and inspire the human spirit by giving back to the Inland Empire community. Between turkey distributions, vaccine clinics and senior citizen holiday gift drives, 2022 is no different. 

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, IEHP distributed 200 free turkeys through its community resource centers, while the remaining holiday season of giving will include a company toy drive for the city of Trona, handwritten cards to local children in the foster system, and community vaccine clinics at holiday events, including Motivating Action Leadership Opportunity’s (MALO) Christmas Extravaganza.

IEHP is also hosting an internal holiday gift drive to support senior citizens who have been identified as isolated, neglected or abused.

Last year, IEHP team members provided cash donations and filled several boxes with items like blankets, socks, home décor, hygiene products and slippers. All donations were given to the Office on Aging.

This year, IEHP team members are looking forward to exceeding last year’s contributions.

“It’s the right thing to do,” said IEHP Behavioral Health and Care Management Support Services Manager Ben Jauregui. “Each year, our teams look forward to giving back in this way and reminding our local seniors they are cared for and loved.”

For seniors who are isolated, vulnerable or medically at-risk, the holiday season can be challenging – even lonely – according to Jewel Lee, director of the Riverside County Office on Aging. 

“This is an opportunity for us to highlight to everyone that even short moments of joy are very valuable to those who have no family or live alone,” Lee added. “We are fortunate to have community partners – like IEHP – who help us touch the lives of people in need of hope and positivity at this time of year.”





IEHP and MALO ring in holiday cheer during resource fair

Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) is partnering with Motivating Action Leadership Opportunity (MALO) 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


Collaborative Group Releases Inland Empire Community Health Assessment

Uniquely positioned for its cross-sector involvement and data collection approach

Senior citizens, communities of color, individuals with low incomes and those living in remote and rural 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 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.


Nominations Now Open: IEHP Living the Mission Awards

Do you know an organization or a physician who strives to make the Inland Empire a healthy and happier place for all? 

Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) is currently collecting nominations for its 2023 Living the Mission Awards, which will be announced next spring. Nominations can be made until Feb. 15, 2023, by visiting

Categories for the awards include Creativity and Innovation, Vibrant Health, Optimal Care and Inspire.
The Creativity and Innovation Award will honor a provider, entity or community partner that exemplifies the courage to “break the mold” in pursuit of innovative ways to address health concerns for Inland Empire residents. IEHP’s Vibrant Health Award will recognize a provider, entity or community partner that exemplifies engagement with the well-being and joyful life of residents in the Inland Empire. 

The health plan’s Optimal Care Award will celebrate a provider or entity that exemplifies world-class care and outcomes in preventive care, chronic care or hospital care. In addition, the Inspire Award will acknowledge a provider, an entity or community partner that exemplifies IEHP’s mission, “We heal and inspire the human spirit.”

Earlier this year, Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino County (CAPSB) and SAC Health System earned IEHP’s first Living the Mission Awards. This recognition highlighted CAPSB’s dedication to eliminate effects of poverty and SAC Health System’s tireless support and service to residents in both Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

“The work we do each and every day to fulfill our mission to heal and inspire the human spirit is made possible through the innovative and courageous contributions of our providers and partners,” said IEHP Chief Executive Officer Jarrod McNaughton. “We look forward to honoring these groups and continuing our collaborative work to make the Inland Empire a healthier place for all.”  

Awards will be announced at IEHP’s annual Mission Conference scheduled for May 5, 2023. 

To learn more, visit



IEHP supports new moms with mental health events

Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) is serious about improving maternal health outcomes in the I.E. 

New moms and moms-to-be are invited to visit IEHP’s Community Resource Centers in December for free maternal mental health events, which will offer health and wellness resources and connections to prenatal and postpartum care.

Events will be hosted by IEHP’s Maternal Mental Health Team at all three of the health plan’s Community Resource Centers:

  • Thursday, Dec. 1, 9 a.m.- 1 p.m. at IEHP’s Victorville center, 12353 Mariposa Road, Suites C-2 & C-3, Victorville, Calif., 92395
  • Saturday, Dec. 3, 9 a.m.- noon at IEHP’s San Bernardino center, 805 W. Second St., Suite C, San Bernardino, Calif., 92410
  • Friday, Dec. 9, 2- 5 p.m. at IEHP’s Riverside center, 3590 Tyler St., Suite 101, Riverside, Calif., 92503

Registration is encouraged by visiting Connect I.E. or IEHP’s Events page on Facebook.

In addition to information on community resources for prenatal and postpartum care, attendees will receive baby items and will be eligible for raffle prizes. Members will also learn more about their maternal health benefits and the services they can access. 

“The pregnancy process doesn’t end once the baby is born,” said IEHP Manager Heather Waters, LCSW. “Postpartum care is just as important as prenatal care. Our team at IEHP can assist you with linkage to your postpartum appointment and any additional services, such as transportation and behavioral health.” 

A recent report from the CDC also highlights this need, citing that more than 80% of pregnancy-related deaths between 2017-2019 were preventable and 53% of deaths occurred between seven days and one year after delivery. The report also notes the leading underlying causes of pregnancy-related deaths include mental health conditions. 

“Our Maternal Mental Health team at IEHP is serious about improving maternal health outcomes in our communities, and we look forward to equipping our members with the necessary tools, benefit information and resources they need to deliver healthy babies and remain well after delivery,” added Waters. 


For its 26th Anniversary, IEHP Honors ‘Original’ Team Members

It was the year Nintendo 64 was released and President Bill Clinton had won a second term. In 1996, Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) had officially opened its doors. 

Twenty-six years later, a small cohort of team members hired during the health plan’s opening year – self-proclaimed, “The Originals” – continue to serve their community as IEHP team members. 

Comprised of team members from various departments across the health plan, the Originals have contributed to some of IEHP’s most critical projects, supporting the health plan’s innovative spirit and providing optimal care for more than 1.6 million members. 

“Our IEHP Originals continue to push us forward through their deep commitment and understanding of what it means to be an IEHP team member,” said IEHP Chief Executive Officer Jarrod McNaughton. “This group reminds us each and every day of where we’ve been, and why we must continue to move forward.”

As IEHP celebrates and reflects on the organization’s 26th anniversary this year, the health plan is also honoring its Originals to share more about their commitment and their unique place in IEHP’s history. 

“If we worked late or on the weekends, you’d often find our kids at work – they’d play in the open spaces or at the desks while we kept working,” recalled IEHP IT Test Governance and Coordination Manager Imelda Ramirez. “My son used to play under my desk with his Matchbox cars. I still have them at my desk. It was a family adventure getting ready for go-live in 1996 and those first few years.”  

To learn more about IEHP’s Originals and their stories, visit IEHP on LinkedIn.


Together with EASE: IEHP Partners to Promote Awareness and Early Childhood Detection of Diabetes

In honor of National Diabetes Month, Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) and EASE T1D have partnered to spread awareness about Type 1 diabetes and the detection of the chronic health condition in children. Together, the two organizations will actively distribute and promote educational material and work to connect the community with supportive resources.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the frequency of both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes in young people is a growing clinical and public health concern. While Type 2 diabetes is preventable, Type 1 diabetes is not.

Type 1 diabetes is characterized by deficient insulin production and requires daily doses of the key hormone that converts glucose into energy. Diabetes has the potential to damage the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves, according to the World Health Organization.

EASE T1D is the joint effort of two mothers, Debbie George and Michelle Thornburg, who have children with Type 1 (T1D) diabetes. Through their more than 25 years of combined experience, they have come to recognize areas of significant need and have joined forces to apply their knowledge as parents of young diabetics through Education, Awareness, Support and Empowerment (EASE).

“The goal of EASE T1D is to raise public awareness of what Type 1 diabetes is and the onset symptoms,” said Debbie George, who co-founded EASE T1D. “So many times, children go undiagnosed because a parent thought it was a simple virus.”

“Excessive thirst, frequent urination, weakness and weight loss are the top four symptoms,” added George. “And because there are so many illnesses these symptoms could be attributed to, awareness is critical.”
The non-profit group is also active in shaping state law, recently partnering with Poison lead singer and reality TV star Bret Michaels – diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 6 years old – in support of California’s Senate Bill 97, which requires Type 1 diabetes information to be available on the California Department of Education’s website and to be distributed to parents and guardians of K-12 students.

The bill was signed into law in October 2021 as a part of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s $123.9 billion K-12 package.  

“Empowering parents and guardians with this information is a great step in extending preventive health care services to our community,” said Dr. Wada, IEHP’s chief medical officer. “This partnership will help us to fill in the gaps and truly meet our members where they are.”

To learn more about EASE T1D, visit

IEHP Hosts Out of Darkness Community Walk event

When Garret Lopez heard the 2022 Out of Darkness Community Walk would be canceled because of no secured 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

University of La Verne Names IEHP’s Chief Executive Officer its Leopard of the Year

Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) Chief Executive Officer Jarrod McNaughton has earned the Ann and Steve Morgan Leopard of the Year award, University of La Verne’s (ULV) most prestigious alumni recognition. 

“We consider this our Lifetime Achievement award, given to an alumnx who not only has achieved extraordinary career success, but maybe more importantly, has also greatly impacted and improved lives in their community,” shared University of La Verne President Dr. Devorah Lieberman.

Selected by a committee comprised of leaders from ULV’s Alumni Advisory Board, the Office of Alumni Engagement and University Administration, recipients of the award are alumni who demonstrate a deep-seated commitment to their community and support the university with their time, talent and resources. 

“Jarrod has been a transformational partner with us over the past several years in the creation of our new College of Health and Community Well-Being,” added Lieberman. “His intimate knowledge of the health care needs of the Inland Empire and his personal passion to help guide our students – many of them first-generation college graduates, like himself – into productive, worthwhile career paths was a visionary contribution to help guide our planning. As our programs grow and our students succeed, we will forever credit his foresight and support in helping form this college.”

McNaughton, who earned a Master of Business Administration at ULV, has remained engaged with the university since graduation, serving students through guest lectures, commencement speeches and more. 

“Maintaining a strong connection with your alma mater is an important part in supporting the next generation, especially those living in the Inland Empire,” said McNaughton. “I am incredibly humbled by this recognition and look forward to my continued collaboration with ULV in bridging gaps for current and future students.”


IEHP hosts job fairs in Inland Empire

In collaboration with Goodwill of Southern California, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties and the Department of Child Support Services, Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) Community Resource Centers will host Roadshow Recruitment job fairs. 

Events will be held at all three IEHP Community Resource Centers at the following dates and times: 

  • Tuesday, Nov. 8, from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. at IEHP’s Riverside center, 3590 Tyler St., Suite 101, Riverside, Calif., 92503
  • Wednesday, Nov. 9, from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. at IEHP’s Victorville center, 12353 Mariposa Road, Suites C-2 & C-3, Victorville, Calif., 92395
  • Thursday, Nov. 10, from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. at IEHP’s San Bernardino center, 805 W. Second St., Suite C, San Bernardino, Calif., 92410

Each event will have about eight employers on site, all accepting applications and conducting interviews for various roles. Industry positions include jobs in retail, education, transportation, manufacturing, logistics, hospitality, law enforcement, U.S. armed forces, administrative and more. Registration is required by filling out this form

“With so many in need and right before the holidays, this job fair is greatly needed,” said IEHP Community Resource Center Manager Maria Gallegos. “We’re thrilled to connect our members and neighbors to trusted employers, who are actively looking to hire within our communities.”

Attendees are encouraged to dress professionally and to bring several copies of their resumes. Workshops for resume building will also be offered by Goodwill of Southern California. 

“Our centers are an invaluable resource for our region because of our community partners and their willingness to consistently collaborate with us to support our most vulnerable residents,” said IEHP Community Resource Center Manager Delia Orosco. “We are eager to help facilitate these connections and foster growth in our neighborhoods because of events like these.” 


Medi-Cal families receive discounted internet services

If the global pandemic taught us anything, it highlighted how important access to internet and digital 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




IEHP Quality Leaders Share the Power Behind Data

Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) quality professionals understand how leveraging the right data in the right way makes all the difference in providing quality health care services.

Illustrating the significance of data management with industry peers and professionals, IEHP is sharing their experience mitigating bias in data algorithms and insight on how data can be used to enhance care quality at the Local Health Plans of California (LHPC) Moving the Needle: Advancing Health Equity Seminar in Sacramento Oct. 27 and the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Innovation Summit in Washington, D.C. Oct. 31.

Both events target strategic collaboration and sharing of ideas to accelerate the delivery of quality care and reduce gaps in health care among disadvantaged and vulnerable populations. 

In their LHPC presentation, IEHP Chief Quality Officer Dr. Edward Juhn and Vice President of Quality Genia Fick will explain how data can be used to identify health disparities, define health equity issues and lay the groundwork for effective interventions to improve health outcomes. 

“We are committed to leveraging new data to help inform health equity,” said Fick. “This will ensure we are funding and prioritizing the appropriate resources for those who need it most.”

Dr. Juhn will also be joining ideas42 Managing Director Ted Robertson at NCQA’s Health Innovation Summit to present their collaborative work in addressing algorithmic bias to advance quality and equity outcomes.

Their presentation will focus on the importance of addressing disparities unintentionally produced by algorithms and how health care organizations can mitigate it in practice. 

“It is critical to be better stewards of our data to impactfully serve our community,” said Juhn. “Our goal and focus of leveraging data should be to improve health outcomes.”

To learn more about IEHP, visit

IEHP Partners with Young Visionaries to Teach Life Skills in High Desert

The vision is clear. Catch the attention of young people through creative activities and an infusion of fun into life skills training classes, then watch the positivity ensue.

High Desert children and teens are well on their way to success, thanks to Young Visionaries Youth Leadership Academy (YVYLA) and its Creative Arts and Cognitive Life Skills program, which is offered at Inland Empire Health Plan’s (IEHP) Victorville Community Resource Center.

A regular on-site partner at IEHP’s Victorville center, YVYLA works tirelessly to empower and enrich the lives of young people (ages 10-19) through life-building activities and instruction in the areas of education, employment and mentoring. To achieve this, YVYLA offers various programs as well as family and social resources. 

“Three days a week, we bring creative arts classes, cooking and support groups for teens in Victorville,” said Terrance Stone, YVYLA chief executive officer. “Each class is intentionally designed and provides a positive environment where students learn cultural awareness, life skills and much more.”

In addition to the IEHP partnership, YVYLA collaborates with school districts across the High Desert and IEHP agency partners, like Desert Mountain Children’s Center, which provides weekly teen support groups. 

“Like all our on-site partners, YVYLA is committed to the health and wellness of IEHP’s members and the communities we serve,” said IEHP Community Resource Center Manager Delia Orosco. “YVYLA pours an immense amount of love, support and resources into our youths and we are so grateful and excited about our future collaborations.”

Currently, IEHP’s Victorville Community Resource Center hosts five on-site partners: Goodwill, Housing Authority of County San Bernardino, TODEC Legal Center, Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino County and YVYLA. 

To learn more about YVYLA, visit or stop by IEHP’s Victorville Community Resource Center at 12353 Mariposa Road, Suites C-2 & C-3, in Victorville.


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

Inland Empire Health Plan’s (IEHP) Inaugural Future of Health Summit convened more than 100 top health 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.”


IEHP Members Receive Free Autism and ADHD Screenings

Amid a national youth behavioral health crisis, Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) is encouraging members 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

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

Local children with disabilities will have a safe, inclusive and accessible environment to enjoy Halloween 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


From heart failure to heartfelt success: IEHP Program Sustains Life for I.E. Woman

After treatment and discharge from the emergency room (ER) for congestive heart failure complications, Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) member Lavinia experienced panic and anxiety attacks that compounded her heart issues and led to more hospital visits. 

IEHP team members identified Lavinia’s specialized needs and connected her to a pilot program with focused support coordination for patients with congestive heart failure. 

By participating in the program, Lavinia received free, medically tailored meals; regular check-ins from IEHP case management representatives; and tools like a glucometer, blood pressure cuff and weight scale to encourage her health. The program also connected Lavinia to IEHP’s Health Navigator team, who conducted in-home visits. 

“Being able to be that person that they can socialize with, laugh with – even for just, maybe 30 minutes that we were there, it made a whole difference in their life, knowing that they had that support,” said IEHP Health Navigator Lucia Reyes.

IEHP Care Manager Jonathan Lee called Lavinia for weekly check-ins, receiving inspiring progress reports about following her diet of no salt/no sodium and partnering with her Providers on her road back to health.

“IEHP was calling … ‘Lavinia, what can we do to help you?’ … And that’s what helped me because I realized there were people that cared,” said Lavinia.

Today, more than 18 months after being discharged from the ER, Lavinia feels better and stronger and has learned how to control her weight, losing 44 pounds so far, crediting the tasty and healthy meals provided to her.

“IEHP helped me be a better person – because if it wasn’t being part of that program, I don’t think I would be here,” Lavinia said. “They saved my life – thank you. You guys did more than what you know.”
IEHP members who would like to learn more about medically tailored meals and community support services can reach out to their care managers to see if they qualify. 

For more details and information on Lavinia’s story, follow IEHP on LinkedIn.



Breast Cancer Survivor and Author Visits IEHP Community Resource Centers

Laura Franklin, a two-time breast cancer survivor and author of “I Stuff My Bra … So What?”, will join Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) Community Resource Centers this month for free readings and conversations about breast cancer awareness, including the importance of screenings. Bonus: The first 100 session attendees will receive a free signed copy of Franklin’s book!

“If I can help just one woman, or one man, understand that even though a breast cancer diagnosis is scary, it doesn't have to be a life sentence nor equal death,” shared Franklin. “It is, however, a lifelong journey that one does not take alone, but with a village of survivors.”

Franklin will be visiting the health plan’s community resource centers at the following dates and times: 

  • Saturday, Oct. 8, from 10-11:30 a.m. at IEHP’s Riverside Center, 3590 Tyler St., Suite 101, Riverside, CA 92503
  • Saturday, Oct. 15, from 10-11:30 a.m. at IEHP’s Victorville Center, 12353 Mariposa Road, Suites C-2 & C-3, Victorville, CA 92395
  • Saturday, Oct. 22, from 10-11:30 a.m. at IEHP’s San Bernardino Center, 805 W. Second St., Suite C, San Bernardino, CA 92410

“Mammograms and breast exams save lives,” added Franklin. “Women should educate themselves thoroughly about their bodies and medical history and should never be afraid to ask questions during doctor’s visits or get a second opinion. Early detection and knowledge are key.”

In addition to Franklin’s visit, IEHP Community Resource Centers will also host breast and cervical health classes, food demonstrations, and provide pink T-shirts and ribbons (while supplies last) for visitors to support or commemorate loved ones in the fight against breast cancer.

“Laura’s story is an honest account of her vulnerability and how she found hope in her faith through her breast cancer journey,” said IEHP Community Resource Center Manager Maria Gallegos. “We are so excited to have Laura share her story with our communities and inspire women in our community to engage in their own wellness.”

Registration for Franklin’s book reading and talk is not required and community resource center events are always free and open to the public. Additional information about the centers and their class offerings is available on IEHP’s Facebook page

“Our community resource centers serve as a wellness hub for all who visit us,” said IEHP Community Resource Center Manager Delia Orosco. “We’re thrilled to welcome Laura to our centers and connect her to our members and communities to inspire even more health and wellness.”


IEHP Extends Mental Health Awareness and Support

Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) believes suicide prevention and awareness should be top of mind throughout the year and is doing something about it. 

“A behavioral health crisis can occur in someone’s life at any given moment,” said IEHP Clinical Director of Community Behavioral Health Amrita Rai. “Each person carries and responds to a crisis in a very personal way, which is why it is critical to meet the needs of our community and our members, ensuring they have the right resources at the right time.” 

Extending the conversation beyond September’s National Suicide Prevention observance, IEHP will continue to proactively encourage mental and behavioral wellness conversations throughout the year through the plan’s website and LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and TikTok accounts. 

Sharing existing resources with the community, information will include supporting awareness of the 9-8-8 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, post-partum maternal health resources, student behavioral health programs, grief and depression management and wellness programming through the health plan’s community resource centers. 

Spreading awareness further with industry peers and decision-makers from across the health care community, Rai will also join a panel at The Future of Mental Healthcare West 2022 Conference in November to share insights about engaging youth in their mental health. 

“Your mental health and wellness are just as important as your physical health, and there is absolutely no shame in asking for help,” said Rai. “We want to encourage our members and communities to take that courageous step and reach out.”

Help is available for anyone at any time by dialing 9-8-8. IEHP members can also confidentially call Member Services at (800) 440-4347.

For more information, visit

IEHP Promotes Balance with Youth Activities

To help balance the social and academic stressors youth and young adults face while navigating school, family and friends, Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) offers a regular schedule of fun – and free – classes at its community resource centers. 

“Extracurricular activities decrease the potential for risky behaviors in children and young adults and provide an increased sense of connectedness and belonging,” said IEHP Community Behavioral Health Clinical Director Amrita Rai. “Any kind of opportunity to engage in activities supporting healthy emotional development can increase self-esteem and the ability to interact with peers, which offers benefits well into adulthood.”

IEHP’s community resource centers can help nurture and improve mental health for young Inland Empire residents. The centers offer classes and activities including Zumba, creative arts, cooking and gardening across its three locations in Riverside, San Bernardino and Victorville. Sessions are held Monday through Saturday and can be found on

The U.S Surgeon General’s 2021 Advisory  further highlights COVID-19’s impact to the ongoing youth mental health crisis, citing the urgent need to address these challenges head-on through coordinated action by community and federal organizations and by recognizing mental health as an essential part of overall health.

This concept is not new to IEHP, which is currently partnering with several community organizations and Local Education Agencies to expand behavioral health services in and near schools (Student Behavioral Health Incentive Program). 

The health plan is also exploring opportunities to add even more free classes and activities for teens and young adults to their centers through a partnership with Young Visionaries Youth Leadership Academy.  

“We’re looking forward to adding more fun to our center schedules in the weeks and months to come,” said IEHP Victorville Community Resource Center Manager Delia Orosco. “Our centers serve as a safe space for all who enter, regardless of age, to truly express themselves and we take that very seriously.”

To learn more about IEHP Community Resource Centers and class schedules, visit


IEHP Foundation Launches to Serve Most Vulnerable Communities

Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) is proud to announce the launch of IEHP Foundation. IEHP Foundation is a nonprofit organization that was established to ensure access to quality and innovative health care by supporting objectives that focus on community health and clinical excellence, with an emphasis on housing insecurity, mental health, substance abuse, and food insecurity.

IEHP Foundation will partner with IEHP to support its mission, vision and values through their own creative and innovative efforts. This work will serve the community in its entirety, beyond traditional health care services and reach the region’s most vulnerable populations, regardless of Medi-Cal membership. 

Efforts will include supporting pilot programs, identifying innovative solutions that improve health outcomes, acting as a convener, collaborator and partner with community and faith-based communities, and much more. 

“IEHP Foundation will be a grant maker and not a grant seeking organization so we can support our community-based groups and not compete with them for limited funds,” said IEHP Foundation President Angelica Baltazar. “Our work will focus on connecting our community with access to a better, more joyful life through programs and initiatives aimed at resolving the root causes of illness, health equity and core needs, including things like food, shelter and safety.” 

But these goals cannot be accomplished alone.

IEHP Foundation will collaborate with other organizations and community groups whose work aligns with the health plan’s mission, vision and values, according to Baltazar.

“By helping to fill the void for the most vulnerable and keeping dollars in the Inland Empire, we feel we can make the most significant positive impact,” she said. “Our creative and innovative efforts will serve as an extension of IEHP’s support to the people of the Inland Empire.”

IEHP is one of the top 10 largest Medicaid health plans and the largest not-for-profit Medicare-Medicaid plan in the country. In its 26th year, IEHP supports more than 1.5 million residents in Riverside and San Bernardino counties who are enrolled in Medicaid or Cal MediConnect Plans.

IEHP Foundation’s work will serve the community in its entirety, beyond traditional health care services and reach the region’s most vulnerable populations, regardless of Medi-Cal membership. These efforts could include supporting pilot programs, investing in innovative technology that improves health outcomes and acting as a convener, collaborator and partner with community groups and faith-based organizations, Baltazar added. 

The Journey Ahead
To start this journey and set a successful path, IEHP Foundation leaders wanted to learn from others, so they traveled to Houston, New Orleans and Atlanta, observing various non-profits, bringing back best practices and innovative ways to improve care and foster community collaboration. 

Additionally, the Foundation’s representatives have met with local community stakeholders and organizations to discuss increasing access to vibrant health for all residents across the Inland Empire. 

IEHP Foundation held its first board meeting in late July, where its directors set to define the group’s vision and strategy. 

“I am so pleased not only with the caliber of our IEHP Foundation Board, but the sincere and heartfelt desire to make a difference for our communities.  They are committed to long term sustainable change for overall community health improvement,” said Baltazar.

Board Members include: Dr. Conrado Bárzaga, Desert Healthcare District & Foundation Chief Executive Officer; Dr. Geoffrey Leung, County of Riverside Public Health Officer; Josh Candelaria, Viewpoint Advocacy Principal; Karen Scott, First 5 San Bernardino Executive Director; Regina Weatherspoon-Bell, DVL Project/A Better Way/Victor Valley Domestic, Inc. Founder; Stephen Bennett, Caravanserai Project Board Chair and Co-Founder; Dr. Edward Juhn IEHP Chief Quality Officer; and Jarrod McNaughton, IEHP Chief Executive Officer. 

“IEHP Foundation is a direct step toward vibrant health, quality of care and will move in support of impactful solutions addressing some of our region’s most critical needs,” said IEHP Foundation Board Member and IEHP Chief Quality Officer Dr. Edward Juhn. “I look forward to serving in this capacity and furthering IEHP’s mission, vision and values in the Inland Empire.”



IEHP Named One of the 2022 Best Workplaces in Health Care™, Ranking #15

Inland Empire Health Plan, one of the top 10 largest Medicaid health plans and the largest not-for-profit Medicare-Medicaid plan in the nation, announced its designation as a 2022 Best Workplaces in Health Care™.  The Great Place to Work® and Fortune magazine designation reaffirms what the company’s annual survey revealed: 92% of the employee respondents believe IEHP is a great place to work, a statistic 35% higher than the average U.S. company.

“Our strong team culture fuels our commitment to heal and inspire the human spirit,” says IEHP Chief Organizational Development Officer Janet Nix. “Working together, we’ve cultivated a strong, collaborative working environment where our team members take pride in doing the right thing for all we serve, including each other.”

The Best Workplaces in Health Care award is based on analysis of survey responses from over 161,000 current employees from Great Place to Work® certified companies. Of IEHP’s 2,817 employees, 87% completed the survey that covered a variety of workplace quality experiences, including pride in the organization’s community impact, belief that their work makes a difference and feeling their work has special meaning. Highlights from the survey of IEHP’s employees include:
  • 96% feel good about ways the organization contributes to its community
  • 95% report having special and unique company benefits
  • 94% are proud to tell others their place of employment 

Great Place to Work is the only company culture award in America to select winners based on employees’ experiences, no matter who they are or what they do. The survey also provides team members the opportunity to give personal feedback regarding what they feel the company can do to improve even further.

“The feedback delivered in these surveys is critical to moving IEHP forward and continuing to uphold our mission to heal and inspire the human spirit,” said IEHP Chief Executive Officer Jarrod McNaughton. “Our team members inspire the work we do every day and their innovative feedback has driven many of the initiatives we’ve implemented.”

The Best Workplaces in Health Care list is highly competitive. Great Place to Work, the global authority on workplace culture, selected the list using rigorous analytics and confidential employee feedback. Companies were only considered if they are a Great Place to Work-Certified™ organization. 

“It is our honor to spotlight the Best Workplaces in Health Care,” says Michael C. Bush, chief executive officer of Great Place to Work. “Health care heroes have been on the front lines saving lives, and these organizations dug deep to tailor their support to the rapidly changing demands from the pandemic. We applaud their commitment to inclusive, high-trust cultures.”

When asked if there was anything unusual or unique about IEHP that makes it a great place to work, team members responded with personal insights, highlighting the organization’s positive impact. 

“IEHP is unique in that they ‘walk their talk.’ In the 20 years of experience as a nurse, I have never been employed by an organization such as IEHP,” shared an IEHP team member in the anonymous survey. “They truly care for our community just as much as they care for their employees. It is a blessing to be part of such an amazing organization that exudes its mission, vision and values. I look forward to completing my mission as a nurse at IEHP.”

To learn more about IEHP and career opportunities, visit


IEHP Earns Anti-Bullying HERO Business of the Year Award

A little kindness and inclusion can go a long way. 

Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) received the Riverside 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.”


Community Gardens Nourish with Food, Fish and Fellowship

Grown by the community, for the community, eight gardens across the Inland Empire – including one that involves fish – are providing access to fresh fruits and vegetables for neighbors facing food insecurity.

For the last year, Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) has worked closely with community partners to support these gardens, including an inspiring collaboration with Music Changing Lives (MCL) Chief Executive Officer Josiah Bruny, to bring a new community garden to San Bernardino. 

Located on the corner of Electric Avenue and North 40th Street in San Bernardino – once one of the largest dumping sites in the city – the land has been transformed into MCL’s Urban Garden. In addition to addressing food insecurity, the garden aims to provide a safe space where neighbors can come together to learn, exercise, eat, explore, relax and have fun.

Home to Soulful Sunday events every fourth Sunday of the month, local residents are invited to visit the garden for gardening workshops and various volunteer opportunities, while enjoying music, food and more. Information on Soulful Sunday events can be found on MCL’s Facebook page. 

“The best part about this project is that it’s all led by the community,” said Bruny. “Working together, we can bring more love to the region and those who need it most. We look forward to leveling up in our efforts to make the Inland Empire a better place for us all.”

In addition to sponsorship, IEHP supports the garden by providing volunteers through the company’s team member Helping Hearts program and Health Education team. Volunteers work alongside program leaders pulling weeds, planting trees, spreading mulch, building garden beds and irrigating crops. 

“Through the right partnerships, compassion and drive to heal and inspire the human spirit, these gardens are thriving and bringing a diversity of wellness opportunities to our neighbors,” said IEHP Senior Community Health Director Cesar Armendariz. “We appreciate the love Music Changing Lives has for the Inland Empire and the people who live here and look forward to continuing to plant and harvest more gardens for a healthier community.”

The health plan also provided sponsorship to “Jardín Comunitario de la Salud” – Spanish for “Community Garden of Health” – to help support a large aquaponics garden at the Loma Linda University Health SACHS clinic in San Bernardino. 

The first of its kind in the Inland Empire, the garden is home to a large quantity of fish that work symbiotically, nourishing garden beds and working to create food that can be harvested and consumed by the community. 

Gardens are located in Rancho Cucamonga, Ontario, Jurupa, Perris and San Bernardino. For more information on local community gardens, visit: 


IEHP Responds to the Department of Health Care Services

July 28, 2022

Michelle Retke, Chief, Managed Care Operations Division
Department of Health Care Services
PO Box 997413
Sacramento, CA 95899-7413

RE: Inland Empire Health Plan – Contractor and Grantee Report on Compliance with Economic Sanctions in Response to Russia’s Actions in Ukraine

Dear Michelle,

We have taken the following actions in response to Executive Order N-6-22 (EO) regarding sanctions in response to Russian aggression in Ukraine.

We have reviewed our investments and contracts and confirmed they comply with economic sanctions imposed by the U.S. government in response to Russia's actions in Ukraine, as well
as any sanctions imposed under state law.

We have requested our contractors with agreements for commodities, services, and technology to comply with existing economic sanctions.

We have notified all contractors and grantees of their obligations to comply with economic sanctions.

We have directed grantees, and contractors with agreements valued at $5 million or more, to report to the agency or department regarding their compliance with economic sanctions.

We have directed all grantees, and contractors with agreements valued at $5 million or more, to report on steps they have taken in response to Russia's actions in Ukraine, including, but not limited to, desisting from making new investments in, or engaging in financial transactions with, Russian entities, not transferring technology to Russia or Russian entities, and directly providing support to the government and people of Ukraine.


Jarrod McNaughton, MBA, FACHE
Chief Executive Officer


‘Hope is Alive’ Community Partnership Video PSA Earns 22 Health Care Advertising Awards

“Hope is Alive,” a digital media campaign inspired by the partnership between Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP), SAC Health (SACHS), Loma Linda University Health (LLUH), Ezra Productions and St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church (St. Paul AME) in San Bernardino has earned a total of 22 health care advertising awards. 

Awards range from Merit, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Best of Show across organizations, including Healthcare AdAwards, Aster Awards, the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (Viddy Awards), American Advertising Federation’s Inland Empire Chapter and Telly Awards. 

Aimed to provide education and resources to the region’s Black and Hispanic populations – who have the lowest COVID-19 vaccination rates and the highest virus and hospitalization rates – the partnership began in 2021 as a way for IEHP to reach and inform these community members. 

“COVID hit Black and Brown communities like ours the hardest,” said St. Paul African American Methodist Episcopal Church (St. Paul AME) Pastor Steven D. Shepard Sr. “We often get looked over because we don’t have the assets or the finances that others have in their community.”

With limited health care access and historical fears of modern medicine, community organizations knew that to save lives, they’d need to meet their residents where they were and provide them with trusted information, support and encouragement to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

United With A Purpose
The collaboration included gathering resources across IEHP, LLUH and SACH to organize COVID-19 vaccine clinics, grocery distribution events and community outreach in a familiar place: St. Paul AME Church. This work represented the shared goals for IEHP’s community partnerships with outreach and health services teams – all in support of the organization’s Mission: “We heal and inspire the human spirit.”

Ezra Productions – through close collaboration with IEHP’s marketing-communication team for this inspiring story – captured the joint efforts, producing “Hope is Alive.” The public service announcement video served as a platform for the community and members of St. Paul AME Church to share their experiences about COVID-19, including acknowledging fears associated with the vaccine and the need for continued community collaboration.

“We grew up not trusting anything the government wanted to give us,” said a St. Paul AME Church member, who sat next to her daughter during the interview. “I was born blind; I’m the product of the Tuskegee Experiment.”

“I turned to her and said, ‘You know, it’s [the vaccine clinic] at the church and it’s with IEHP?’ and that’s when she said, ‘Sign me up,’” said the member’s daughter. 

“To drive change forward, people need to be met right where they are,” said IEHP Chief Medical Officer Dr. Takashi Wada. “Heartfelt outreach, listening and partnering with trusted organizations in our community are key to making that happen. We’re grateful to continue developing and pouring into award-winning collaborations that enable us to care and support our Members in a way that makes sense to who they are as individuals.”

Documenting the power of empathy, outreach and community support, “Hope is Alive” was judged by national panels who scored thousands of entries based on creativity, quality, message effectiveness, consumer appeal, graphic design and impact. 

To learn more about IEHP, visit Click here to watch the “Hope is Alive” video,


Poverty Symposium Hosted at IEHP Headquarters

Facilitating ongoing conversations to benefit the health and wellness of its most vulnerable members, Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) hosted Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino County’s (CAPSBC) fourth annual 2022 Poverty Symposium Friday, July 29 at its headquarters. 

The event gathered elected officials, policy makers and community leaders to share innovative solutions that tackle poverty-related issues in the county. The symposium also included a keynote address from University of California Riverside’s Professor of Public Policy, David Brady, and panel presentations comprised of experts from the housing industry, youth providers and more. 

“We are so grateful for the IEHP team’s hospitality in allowing us to host this year’s Poverty Symposium at their facilities,” said Xiomara Henriquez-Ortega, Administrative Support Manager.  
“Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino County values our long-term partnership with IEHP, and we appreciate their continued support to help us further our mission of helping people and changing lives. This event was an important component of our advocacy efforts to impact change in our communities, and it is a collective effort we are working on with our key partners.” 

IEHP’s 400,000-square-foot Atrium building is no stranger to hosting positive, impactful events.

In addition to being a home base for more than 2,800 IEHP employees, the ENERGY STAR® certified facility has served internal team members, industry professionals and the community for celebrations and in great times of need. 

Past events at the Atrium have included the health plan’s annual Mission Conference, innovative health information technology showcases, COVID-19 personal protective equipment distributions, super vaccine clinics and more. 

“Events like the CAPSBC Poverty Symposium stimulate critical discussions and connections that move our communities forward,” said IEHP Senior Director of Community Health Cesar Armendariz. “We are extremely grateful for our strong partnership with CAPSBC and the great work they do and look forward to hosting future collaborations with our many community partners at our beautiful Atrium site as we work together to heal and inspire the human spirit.” 


San Bernardino Housing Authority to Host Free Workshops in Victorville

The Housing Authority of San Bernardino County (HACSB), an Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) Victorville Community Resource Center on-site partner, is hosting housing support workshops for county residents. 

These free workshops will offer residents a wide range of information on housing assistance resources, including how to sign up for rental assistance and learn more about the county’s housing voucher program.

Each workshop is open to the public and will be held at the Victorville Community Resource Center located at 12353 Mariposa Road, Suites C-2 & C-3. 

The workshops are scheduled from 9-10 a.m. on the following Wednesdays:

  • Aug. 3
  • Aug. 17
  • Sept. 7
  • Sept. 21

By providing housing resources workshops at the Victorville Community Center, customers can learn about affordable housing services offered by HACSB and access supportive services from other community partners in one location,” said HACSB Director of Policy and Public Relations, Nicole Beydler. “Our hope is that this partnership helps to connect affordable housing and related services, and that customers will be able to leverage these services toward achieving their goals.”

HACSB focuses on providing housing assistance through resources authorized and funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Through this work, HACSB is one of the most progressive housing authorities in the country and the largest provider of affordable housing in San Bernardino County.

Currently, HACSB assists about 26,000 people, most of whom are seniors, individuals with disabilities, veterans and children.

“We are proud to partner with IEHP to bring these housing resource workshops to the community. Safe and stable housing is fundamental, but it takes more than housing to achieve an enriched quality of life,” added Beydler.

Through IEHP and HACSB’s collaboration, the health plan’s Victorville Community Resource center was also designated as a United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) EnVision Center last year. This highlights the center's ability and commitment to empower households with resources and support needed to become self-sufficient. Resources pertain to economic empowerment, educational advancement, health and wellness and character leadership. 

“Knowledge and information are power,” said IEHP Victorville Community Resource Center Manager Delia Orosco. “In collaboration with HACSB and our other center partners, we can empower our communities with information needed to truly inspire positive change in their own lives.”

In addition to HACSB, IEHP’s Victorville center currently hosts five, on-site partners to support community residents. Partners include Young Visionaries Youth Leadership Academy, TODEC Legal Center, Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino County and the Goodwill of Southern California. 

Click here for more information on IEHP’s Community Resource Centers. 


Meet Maria: 92-Year-Old Finds Wellness and Renewal at IEHP Community Resource Center

With her children grown and raising families of their own, then losing her beloved husband in 2014, 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.”


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.”


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. 


IEHP Sponsors Inland Empire Disabilities Collaborative Scholarships and Awards

Supporting local students with disabilities, Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) provided a $10,000 sponsorship 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.’” 




Celebrity Chef Provides Healthy Cooking Demos to I.E. Residents

In partnership with Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP), celebrity chef Mario Christerna has brought healthy 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


Escape the I.E. Heat for FREE: Visit an IEHP Community Resource Center!

Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) invites the public to escape the summer heat and visit one of three community resource centers for free fitness and wellness classes, health resources and more! 

Air-conditioned and open to the public, IEHP’s community resource centers in Riverside, San Bernardino and Victorville are open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday. They follow all Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines and have implemented rigorous cleaning and sanitation routines to safely welcome visitors.  

The health plan will also schedule supportive community events, like COVID-19 vaccine clinics and a “Family Day,” to help families prepare for their children’s back-to-school needs. 

“We understand how tough supporting a family can be and the importance of making sure your children have what they need to go out in the world and be successful. We have your back,” said Delia Orosco, manager of the IEHP Victorville Community Resource Center. 

Family Day will take place at all three community resource centers on the following dates and times: 

Saturday, July 9 10 a.m.- 1 p.m. 805 W. Second St., Suite C, San Bernardino, CA 92410
Saturday, July 16 9 a.m.- noon 3590 Tyler St., Suite 101, Riverside, CA 92503
Saturday July 29 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. 12353 Mariposa Road, Suites C-2 & C-3, Victorville, CA 92395

“We’re looking forward to providing families with children’s backpacks, school supplies and household items at our upcoming Family Day events in July,” said Maria Gallegos, manager of the centers in Riverside and San Bernardino. “It’s truly an honor to meet our Members and neighbors in this way, and we hope you’ll visit us this summer and join in on all the fun.”

Throughout the summer, the centers’ course offerings will include food demonstrations, Zumba, yoga for seniors and people with disabilities, aerobic boxing, meditation and more.

“Our community resource centers provide a safe space for healthy self-expression through recreational activities, mental stimulation and sense of community,” said IEHP Chief Executive Officer Jarrod McNaughton. “Our teams work incredibly hard to provide our visitors with a variety of classes, including benefit or resource navigation, to ensure they receive the services they need, when they need them.”

To learn more about IEHP’s community resource centers, course offerings and events visit or follow IEHP on Facebook! 

IEHP Leaders Honored with LLU Alumnus of the Year Awards

Inland Empire Health Plan’s (IEHP) Vice President of Strategy Thomas Pham and Clinical Director of Community Behavioral Health Amrita Rai were each named Alumnus of the Year by their respective departments at Loma Linda University (LLU) for their promotion of the vision and purposes of their alma mater along with their contributions to the community. 

Pham earned his master’s degree with an emphasis in healthcare administration from LLU’s School of Public Health. At IEHP, Pham develops and executes IEHP’s strategy system to advance the health plan’s mission and achieve its bold 2030 vision: we will not rest until our communities enjoy optimal care and vibrant health. In this work, Pham constantly seeks new ways for IEHP to better serve the community and its most vulnerable residents.

“We were pleased to honor Mr. Thomas Pham with the SPH Alumnus of the Year Award at our 2022 commencement ceremony. His notable contributions as part of IEHP to the health and well-being of the Inland Empire communities reflect our vision for healthy people living in resilient communities supported by equitable systems of health,” said Dr. Helen Hopp Marshak, LLU Dean, School of Public Health.

Honored by LLU’s School of Behavioral Health, Rai graduated with a master’s degree in social work. In her current role at IEHP, Rai actively leads both community and statewide initiatives in improving access to mental health services, including the Student Behavioral Health Incentive Program. 

“Amrita Rai received the 2022 Alumni of the Year award at the graduation services of the Loma Linda University School of Behavioral Health for her unwavering commitment to servant leadership and the delivery of equitable behavioral health services for the most vulnerable populations throughout the Inland Empire,” said Dr. Beverly Buckles, LLU Dean, School of Behavioral Health. 

Rai also shares her expertise and passion at various speaking engagements throughout the year, inspiring awareness and continued improvement of the development and delivery of behavioral health services. 

“The transformational work Thomas and Amrita have done in their respective areas is a true testament to their love for the Inland Empire community. Active contributions and engagement from team members like Thomas and Amrita make IEHP’s commitment to heal and inspire the human spirit possible, and we are grateful for their service,” said Jarrod McNaughton, IEHP Chief Executive Officer. 


AfroNoon in White Park Commemorates New I.E. Museum and Cultural Center, Celebrates Diversity and Inclusion

The Charles A. Bibbs African American Museum and Cultural Center (The Bibbs) welcomed more than 500 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 


IEHP Earns Industry CORE Certification for Data Security

Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) has earned the Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare’s (CAQH®) Operating Rules for Information Exchange (CORE®) Eligibility, Claim Status, and Payment & Remittance Certification Seals.

This means IEHP successfully completed an extensive testing process and review of national operating standards, enabling health plans and providers to electronically share large quantities of administrative data quickly and accurately. These rules and guidelines aim to improve the efficiency and improve national health care system costs.

“Exceeding these standards is critical to ensuring our providers have the necessary information to provide the very best care to our members,” said Vinil Devabhaktuni, IEHP’s Chief Information Officer. “Our teams work tirelessly to build sustainable systems and processes to support this effort and will continue to find innovative solutions to support the ongoing needs of our members and providers.”

Widely viewed as the industry “gold standard,” the CORE Certification illustrates IEHP’s commitment to the secure exchange of member data and timely provisions of health care services. The certification also demonstrates IEHP’s ongoing work effort adhering to the operating rules and their underlying standards, plus going above and beyond what is required.

“Inland Empire Health Plan is demonstrating industry leadership,” said Robin J. Thomashauer, CAQH president. “Operating rules are most effective when everyone follows them, and today, thanks to IEHP, our nation’s health care system has taken another important step forward.”

CAQH CORE is a collaboration of more than 130 participating organizations that work together to develop operating rules. Participants represent health care providers, health plans, vendors, associations, government entities and the organizations that set standards for health care and data exchange. CORE Certification is currently available for all currently published Operating Rule Sets.

To learn more about IEHP visit For more information about CAQH CORE, visit 


Statewide Initiative Supports Behavioral Health of I.E. Youth

Amidst a national youth behavioral health crisis, Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) is partnering with Molina Healthcare, County Behavioral Health, the Offices of Education in Riverside and San Bernardino counties, and select local school districts and charter schools to implement the Student Behavioral Health Incentive Program (SBHIP). 

The three-year program is in accordance with the California Department of Health Care Services’ (DHCS) goal to expand prevention and early intervention behavioral health services in schools and provides financial incentives to partnering school districts and charter schools. A total of $389 million has been allocated for California. Between both IEHP and Molina Healthcare, up to $50,845,334 can be utilized to support this program.

According to the American Psychological Association, one in five young women and one in ten young men experience a major depressive episode before the age of 25. The COVID Collaborative also notes one in 330 California children have lost either a parent or caregiver in the last two years, adding significant stress and trauma to the lives of California’s youth, along with stay-at-home orders and remote learning. 

“If the past few years have taught us anything, it’s that we need to be proactive in addressing mental health and wellness needs early on, before traumas have a chance to manifest later in life,” said Amrita Rai, IEHP’s clinical director of community behavioral health. 

Through SBHIP efforts, existing mental health initiatives will be bolstered, and coordination between schools, managed care plans, county behavioral health and community partners aim to address the equity gap and improve access to mental health prevention and treatment for students.  Resources will be directed to fill gaps in these areas throughout the participating schools and their respective communities. Services will be limited to schools who are participating in SBHIP and who receive funding.  

“We are well into a crisis when it comes to the mental health and wellness of our youth. Now is the time to be bold and work tirelessly for our children because what we do now will affect generations to come,” said Rai. “Why not focus our resources, our passion, and our commitment back into the community and schools? Our children spend most of their lives in school, which makes this multi-organizational partnership so worthwhile.”

Partnerships with local education agencies and school sites include San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools (SBCSS); Riverside County of Education; Palm Springs Unified School District; Hemet Unified School District; San Bernardino City Unified School District; Rialto Unified School District; Victor Valley Union High School; Ontario-Montclair School District; Leadership Military Academy; Nuview Union School District; Provisional Accelerated Learning Academy; and Riverside County Office of Education Alternative Education Program.  While the initiative will begin at these partner sites, it is anticipated that learnings would benefit other schools and districts interested in implementing similar programs in the future.  

“San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools recognizes the growing mental health crisis among our youth and supports this joint effort to address this critical issue,” said County Superintendent Ted Alejandre. “SBCSS seeks to build capacity within countywide systems and increase access to much needed support to ensure every child receives the services they need when they need them.” 

“Educators at the Riverside County Office of Education and within all Local Educational Agencies (LEA) in Riverside County, are vitally interested in addressing the needs of the whole student beyond the classroom. Linking arms with partners across the county via the Student Behavioral Health Incentive Program (SBHIP) will equitably provide mental health services to those who might not otherwise have access to this level of support,” said Riverside County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Edwin Gomez.

Selection of school districts and charter schools was dependent on DHCS guidelines and considered specific criteria, such as the number of students who received Medi-Cal, were foster youth or English learners, received free or reduced priced meals, were interested in participating in the program and other factors. 

“It’s the right thing to do. This program gives us a great opportunity to extend both heart and hand to children in our community,” said Dr. Takashi Wada, IEHP’s chief medical officer. “Working together, we can equip them with necessary skills, habits and care they can use today and through adulthood, setting them up for a healthier and happier tomorrow.” 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated and elevated behavioral health needs in our communities, including in young people. Mental and emotional wellbeing make up a significant portion of overall health and healthy youth lead to improved community wellness. We are proud to partner with IEHP, local offices of education and mental health professionals to address the youth behavioral health crisis in tangible, preventative ways.” said Dr. Sayeed Khan, chief medical officer at Molina Healthcare.

Program preparation began this year and will support a January 2023 launch at all 10 participating local education agencies. Through careful planning and implementation, the program will aim to build and support a sustainable system beyond the life of the program, which will end in December 2024.


SAC Health Receives IEHP’s Mission INSPIRE AWARD

SAC Health, the nation’s largest specialty-based and teaching Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), received Inland Empire Health Plan’s (IEHP) Mission INSPIRE Award this month at the health plan’s second Annual Mission Conference. The award recognized SAC Health’s ongoing support and service to residents in Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

SAC Health’s roots reach back as far as the 1960s, which have led to 35 specialties offered today at 10 locations, including a mobile unit that supports more than 144,000 patient visits each year. SAC Health is also one of IEHP’s most prominent partners, providing care to more than 50,000 of the Inland Empire’s most vulnerable residents and educating future physicians in the region. 

In collaboration with SAC Health, new health care clinics were developed in brand new service areas, supporting thousands of residents in Blythe and Barstow. “You can’t do this kind of work and truly impact the community and those that need the care without really strong partnerships. It takes a whole community to do that,” said Dr. Jason Lohr, CEO of SAC Health. “We are overwhelmed with gratitude and humility to be honored with this award.”

SAC Health 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.” 

“We are thrilled to honor SAC Health’s dedication and determination to consistently do the right thing for our communities and Members,” said Jarrod McNaughton, IEHP Chief Executive Officer. 

To learn more about the IEHP Mission Conference and how the health plan is charting a collaborative path forward, visit

IEHP Supports New Moms with Maternal Health Events

To improve health outcomes of pregnant members and their newborn babies, Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) will host a series of maternal health events at all three of their Community Resource Centers throughout the month of May. 

The events will celebrate new moms and moms-to-be and will provide resources including postpartum care and access to community partner support including CalFresh. Medi-Cal enrollment support and guidance on how and when to access care will also be offered.

In addition, events will focus on the behavioral health of pregnant and postpartum members. According to California Department of Public Health’s latest Maternal and Infant Health Assessment, 21% of pregnant and postpartum Californians report depressive symptoms which negatively impact the health and wellness outcomes of newborns and their parents.

“We know these statistics heavily impact our members in the Inland Empire. Some studies have found troubling racial and ethnic disparities in receiving mental health care for postpartum depression,” said Ruth Villalpando Albarran, IEHP Licensed Behavioral Health Care Manager. “These events are designed to guide and assist members at every stage of their pregnancy and postpartum journey. Working together, we can help ensure optimal care and inspire vibrant health for them and their little ones.”

The health plan hosted its first event on May 18 at its Riverside Community Resource Center. Additional events will be hosted at IEHP’s San Bernardino and Victorville Community Resource Centers at 805 West 2nd Street, suite C in San Bernardino on Wednesday, May 25 and at 12353 Mariposa Road, Suites C-2 & C-3 in Victorville on Thursday, May 26. Both events will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Members can register by visiting

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

Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino County (CAPSBC) was awarded Inland Empire Health Plan’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 recognized as Great Place to Work® on Certification Nation Day

Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) is proud to celebrate Certification Nation Day on May 17, along with the community of Great Place to Work-Certified™ companies across the country. 

IEHP earned its certification this year after 92% of IEHP’s 2,817 Team Members shared the health plan was a great place to work in the organization’s annual Engagement Survey. “We have a wonderful learning center, a gym and great benefits that is afforded to us. I'm proud to be a part of the IEHP family and motivated to contribute to its success in any way that I can,” expressed an IEHP Team Member in the anonymous survey.

Great Place to Work Certification™ is recognized worldwide by employees and employers alike and is a global benchmark for identifying outstanding employee experiences.

“IEHP’s strong culture and values have established a work environment Team Members are genuinely excited about,” said Janet Nix, Ed.D., IEHP Chief Organizational Development Officer. “Our team culture is centered around doing the right thing and is built upon strong relationships, trust, appreciation, and commitment to continually moving forward. Our annual Engagement Survey illustrates the impact our culture has on our Team Members and the joy their work brings to them.”

IEHP’s annual Engagement Survey results show 96% of Team Members feel good about ways the organization contributes to its community; 95% reported having special and unique company benefits; 95% reported Team Members are made to feel welcome when joining the company; 94% claimed facilities contributed to a good working environment; and 94% were proud to tell others their place of employment. 

“Great Place to Work Certification™ isn’t something that comes easily,” says Sarah Lewis-Kulin, Vice President of Global Recognition at Great Place to Work. “It takes ongoing dedication to the employee experience.”

Even through the COVID-19 pandemic, IEHP’s leadership remained connected to Team Members by hosting virtual monthly company meetings, regular email updates and even delivering holiday gifts by mail to Team Member homes. IEHP employees consistently report high job satisfaction, earning the Inland Empire Top Workplaces 2020 Award and placing second in the United States Healthcare Industry.

“These survey results show that our Team Members are engaged, dedicated and truly care about the work they do every day to serve the most vulnerable in our region,” said Jarrod McNaughton, IEHP Chief Executive Officer. “I am so proud to partner with them and look forward to finding even more new and innovative ways to support their continuing efforts to make a difference in our community.”


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Medi-Cal Expands Services to 185,000 More Adults

For the first time in history, approximately 185,000 low-income Californians aged 50 and up are eligible for full-scope Medi-Cal benefits, regardless of their immigration status. Under California Assembly Bill 133, health plans like Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) are now able to provide these adults access to services like preventive healthcare, behavioral health services, vision care and more.

In 2019, the state made its first historic move to provide full-scope Medi-Cal services to all California residents 0-26 years old. AB 133 is now the state’s boldest move toward health equity and provides the most inclusive health care policy for low-income persons in the nation.

“Everyone deserves access to health and wellness services they can trust,” said Dr. Takashi Wada, IEHP Chief Medical Officer. “We’ve seen the impacts of community health firsthand over the last two years. When more residents have access to coordinated care and preventive services, health and wellness improves, and communities thrive. All communities, regardless of immigration status, deserve the opportunity to achieve vibrant health.” 

IEHP understands the fears associated with applying for Medi-Cal as an undocumented resident and is making every effort to connect residents to trusted information, resources and support to aid in making the best decision for them. These efforts include community events, partnerships with legal organizations like TODEC and more. 

“IEHP is eager to do all we can to support these older adults so that they may receive the care and benefits they need to live fruitful lives as residents of the Inland Empire,” said Jarrod McNaughton, IEHP Chief Executive Officer.

For more information and to enroll into Medi-Cal, residents can call IEHP’s Enrollment Advisors at 1-866-294-4347 (1-800-720-4347 TTY) or visit


IEHP Hosts Mission Conference for Health Care Leaders

Inland Empire Health Plan welcomed nearly 200 health care leaders to its second annual Mission Conference 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 or follow IEHP on social media. 


From Medi-Cal to Med School: An IEHP Member’s Quest to Serve the Inland Empire

Jordan Hough could have never predicted the health plan that managed her health care benefits as a child would be paying her medical school bills today. And yet, that’s exactly what Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) has done for the past two years—and counting.   

IEHP awarded Hough with their innovative Healthcare Scholarship Fund award in 2020, bringing Hough’s journey from Medi-Cal member to medical school student to fruition.

A Victorville native and now third-year medical student at California University of Science and Medicine (CUSM), Hough was one of 50 students to receive the inaugural award from IEHP. The health plan has sustained the program with annual scholarship awards ranging from full to partial tuition at three medical schools: CUSM, Loma Linda University and University of California, Riverside.

“This scholarship means the world to me,” said Hough. “Growing up in a family who struggled financially, the dream of being able to go to medical school seemed so farfetched for so long.”

IEHP created the scholarship fund to help address the provider shortage in Riverside and San Bernardino counties. “By supporting local medical students, we are able to secure their service to the Inland Empire after graduation and create a pipeline of health care professionals who are committed to serving our communities with compassion and empathy,” said Jarrod McNaughton, IEHP Chief Executive Officer.

Hough discovered her passion for medicine while taking human science classes at California State University Fullerton and spending countless hours volunteering at Children’s Health Orange County.

Encouraged by these experiences and several physician mentors, she decided to pursue a career as a doctor. Hough intentionally applied to only local schools so she could remain connected to her Inland Empire roots. “Most people apply very broadly—to as many schools as they want,” Hough said. “But I felt it was really important to be in this area, so I only applied to three medical schools. It was very risky, but it worked out.”

Hough remembers not having much guidance or role models related to her dream of medicine growing up, so becoming a doctor didn’t seem possible. “When I got that acceptance letter,” she said, “it was really a moment of shock.”
Through the medical school admissions process, Hough learned about IEHP’s Healthcare Scholarship Fund and its goal to support local students who wished to remain in the Inland Empire.

Hough remembered IEHP was the health plan she had as a child and appreciated how they promoted a mission she resonated with. She applied and earned a four-year award.  

“After receiving the scholarship, a huge weight was lifted off of my shoulders,” said Hough. “Thank you so much IEHP, from the bottom of my heart. I don’t think words could ever explain how grateful I am.”

The cost for medical school in California has been on an upward trend since 2013, increasing about $1,500 annually and currently averaging a total of $218,792. This puts the dream of being a physician even further out of reach for many IE students, and deeply impacts the ongoing provider shortage in the region.

“Bridging the gap between aspiring IE medical professionals and local medical schools to serve the region’s most vulnerable populations is what this scholarship program was designed to do,” said McNaughton. “We are absolutely elated to support Jordan and our HSF award recipients on their path to becoming physicians and are especially eager to connect their desire and ability to provide optimal care and vibrant health to the communities they love so very much.”

The health plan will be hosting networking and supportive events for medical students throughout their medical school journey, including a dinner at IEHP headquarters on May 3. To learn more about IEHP’s Healthcare Scholarship Fund, visit


Inland Empire Health Plan Promotes Autism Awareness

Celebrating Autism Awareness Month, Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) wants to inspire Members and parents of Members to feel confident in advocating for themselves, their children, and family members to access the behavioral healthcare they need. The health plan supports more than 7,500 Members who are utilizing behavioral health treatment services for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and related conditions. Such services may include: applied behavioral analysis, speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, psychiatry services and more.

“Having Autism or being on the spectrum is nothing to be afraid of,” said Heather Waters, IEHP’s Manager of Behavioral Health and Care Management. “As a health plan, we want to take the stigma out of asking or seeking behavioral healthcare and encourage our Members or parents of Members to trust their gut and ask for support as soon as they spot any signs or symptoms of possible developmental delays.”

Waters shared that early treatment and recognition of symptoms, as early as one year of age and before a child enters school, can result in better health outcomes, especially for children. Signs and symptoms vary and can range from obsessive or compulsive behaviors to poor social skills, delayed milestones, and more.

IEHP Medi-Cal Members can be referred to services and treatment for ASD symptoms by a Medical Doctor or a Licensed Psychologist. This allows Members under 21 years of age to access critically important behavioral and developmental therapies immediately, while they undergo the autism evaluation process.  

IEHP’s Internal Behavioral Health Team helps Members and their families navigate an ASD diagnosis through actively coordinating services and additional resources through partnerships with several provider groups and local agencies across the region.

Recently, IEHP collaborated with the Inland Empire Autism Assessment Center of Excellence (AAC) to provide a Member in Indio with a complete Autism Diagnostic Evaluation through telehealth appointments.

“Even with care coordination challenges like location and Member condition, the situation wasn’t impossible,” said Waters. “As the Member and their family connected with the AAC, our team checked in regularly to make sure the services were effective and to remind the family and Member that they were not alone in this journey.”

To receive an evaluation or additional services, Members are encouraged to call IEHP’s Member Services at 1-800-440-4347 and ask for the Behavioral Health Department.


IEHP Launches Early Childhood Wellness Program

To support the healthy development of children in the Inland Empire, Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP), 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 or by participating in a Circle Time class with their child. For more information, visit or call IEHP Member Service at (800) 440-4347 or (800) 718-4347 (TTY).


IEHP Partners to Continue Decreasing COVID-19 Infection Rates in IE

Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) is excited to sponsor several spring events that include COVID-19 vaccine clinics to remind community residents that it’s not too late to receive their COVID-19 vaccines. Events are scheduled throughout the week and include partnerships with Music Changing Lives and Never Stop Grinding Impact.  

To date, approximately 43% of San Bernardino County residents are not fully vaccinated, contributing to the importance of on-going clinics and support. “One of the most effective steps we can take to keep COVID-19 rates low is to be fully-vaccinated,” said IEHP Chief Medical Officer Dr. Takashi Wada. “We’re thrilled that COVID-19 infection rates have decreased in recent weeks, and we’d love to keep it that way so we can continue to enjoy the community and public events we love so much.”

The health plan will be kicking off the month of April by sponsoring a walk-in vaccine clinic at the 2nd Annual Community Easter Event, hosted by IE Survive and Sista’s Making A Difference, on Sunday, April 10, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Music Changing Lives Urban Garden (261 W. 40th Street in San Bernardino). The event is in partnership with So Cal Trash Army and Just Plant It, and will include food, music, raffles, arts and crafts and an easter egg hunt. Information on this event can be found on the official event Facebook page. 

IEHP will also support Never Stop Grinding Impact’s Spring Easter Event in partnership with the City of Rialto on Saturday, April 16, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 150 South Palm Ave. in Rialto. This free event will include a vaccine clinic, game booths, prizes, inflatable jumpers, gifts for kids and adults, snacks, and more. Registration is required and can be completed by visiting the Never Stop Grinding Impact’s Facebook page. 

“Collaborating with our community partners is one of the best ways we can actively engage with our communities and meet our Members where they are,” said Marci Coffey, IEHP’s Director of Partnerships. “We’re grateful for all the opportunities to work together with the community organizations and vaccine partners, like the County of San Bernardino’s Public Health Department and Rite Aid, which support our vaccine efforts in the region.”

In addition to these events, the health plan continues to sponsor community clinics and events throughout the year to ensure Inland Empire residents have needed access to COVID-19 vaccines. For more information on events and clinics, visit 


IEHP Announces Angelica Baltazar as New Foundation President

Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP), a top 10 largest Medicaid health plan and the largest not-for-profit 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.”


IEHP’s Women in Leadership Engage with Local Students

Supporting women’s inclusivity in healthcare leadership, Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) recently participated in Chaffey College’s Center for Culture and Social Justice Panel titled, “Celebrating Women in Healthcare Leadership,” which educated students of the current roles and contributions made to healthcare by women in the Inland Empire.

The panel, conducted over Zoom, included several IEHP leaders, including Susie White, Chief Operating Officer; Dr. Priya Batra, Senior Medical Director for Family and Community Health; Shelly LaMaster, Director of Integrated Care; and Anna Wang, General Counsel. 

“The event was wonderful and hearing from IEHP’s women leaders was impactful for all who attended,” said Dr. Leticia Romo, Chaffey College’s Director of Student Equity and Engagement. “We had the opportunity to hear real and authentic stories, wisdom, and encouragement.  Our students learned about mentorship, management responsibilities, leadership development, and overcoming imposter syndrome.  We definitely look forward to connecting with the IEHP leaders in the future.”

The panel also provided students with stories about their own educational journey and career background and offered advice for future healthcare leaders. “Our work as a community-based health plan goes well beyond traditional health services,” said White. “It also includes making sure the next generation of leaders are equipped with the necessary support, tools and information to make even greater contributions to the healthcare space in the future.”

In 2020, the health plan launched a Healthcare Scholarship Fund, partnering with Loma Linda University Medical School, University of California Riverside, and California University of Science and Medicine, to help remove the barrier of debt for local medical students and develop a growing workforce for healthcare professionals to care for the Inland Empire’s growing Medi-Cal population.

In addition, amid the pandemic, IEHP provided internships to local public health students at Claremont Graduate University and Western University of Health Sciences to assist in developing program curricula at the plan’s Community Resource Centers.  

“Sharing knowledge and guidance with Inland Empire learners just entering the health care workforce is another way we can positively impact health and wellness,” said Dr. Priya Batra, IEHP’s Senior Medical Director for Family and Community Health. “Supporting the advancement of diverse health care professionals will help us achieve vibrant health in our region.”



IEHP Expands Healthcare Services to Entire Inland Empire

As of January 1, Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) is now responsible for ensuring access to health care services for more than 11,000 residents in Needles, Big River, Red Mountain, Blythe, Trona and surrounding areas in California. 

The expanded coverage, directed through the CalAIM initiative, will transition traditional services to managed care plans like IEHP and provide a new coordinated care service offering supporting all 27,408 miles of the Inland Empire.

Prior to the expansion, residents in these rural areas received health coverage through Medi-Cal’s traditional fee-for-service model but did not have access to services like health education programs, telephone advice nurses, and coordinated care support. 

IEHP is currently in the process of contracting and credentialing available Providers in these areas to ensure Members are assigned to the Primary Care Providers nearest to their areas.  

“Just like the rest of our Membership, these new Members deserve the best care possible and should have access to a solid network of Providers and community supports,” said Susie White, IEHP Chief Operating Officer. “We’re thrilled some of our trusted Provider partners have made their way into our new service area and opened clinics to welcome our new Members. Teams across our organization continue to work on building a sustainable network for our entire community.” 

To help new Members become familiar with the health plan and the resources they now have access to, IEHP’s Community Health Teams have attended and hosted various events in the community, with the commitment to continue the support efforts moving forward. Earlier this year, IEHP joined community partners Young Visionaries, the Family & Kids Foundation, and Food Forward, to provide food, toys, household items, fresh produce, and vaccine opportunities for more than 300 residents in Trona. 

“As an IEHP Member, you can absolutely trust that we will do the right thing for you and your family and get you connected to the care you need,” said Jarrod McNaughton, IEHP Chief Executive Officer. “We are so excited to welcome our neighbors in these rural areas and support them in a way that complements and enhances their quality of life for years to come.”

New IEHP Program Combats Loneliness and Depression

Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) has partnered with Pyx Health in a new program to support Members experiencing loneliness, anxiety or depression. The partnership connects 70,000 Members to support services for mental health screenings.  

The program began in March and will run through the fall of 2022.

Members who elected to participate were invited to download the Pyx App on their smart phones or tablets, which immediately connects to Pyx-ir, an interactive robot. Pyx-ir will regularly converse, ask wellness questions and connect Members to IEHP services and call centers, depending on need.

The program’s services rolled out to English and Spanish speaking Members who receive both Medicare and Medi-Cal benefits (Cal MediConnect Members), as well as Medi-Cal Members who are seniors with a disability or have been identified as unable to leave their homes and are at a greater risk for loneliness.  

“Isolation and stay-at-home orders have tremendously impacted these populations in the last two years,” said Anna Edwards, IEHP’s Care Management Clinical Director. “Our partnership with Pyx Health will extend care beyond the health plan’s usual business hours and truly meet the Members where they are.”

For continuity of care, Pyx Health will provide the health plan with comprehensive reports based on Member screenings to connect Members with additional resources at the plan level. If needed, Members will also have the option to connect with Pyx Health’s Compassionate Call Center representatives who will be able to route information and reports to IEHP’s Care Management Team. 

“In addition to usual health plan services, we believe our partnership with Pyx Health will provide Members a unique aspect of personalized care,” said Dr. Takashi Wada, IEHP’s Chief Medical Officer. “We’re eager to learn how this pilot program and type of service can engage Members in their own health and how it will positively impact their overall wellness.” 

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

This Notice shall confirm the REGULAR MEETING of the Joint Powers Agencies - INLAND EMPIRE HEALTH PLAN AND IEHP HEALTH ACCESS.

Date of Meeting:
April 11, 2022

Time of Meeting:
9:00 AM

Location of Meeting: 

Inland Empire Health Plan
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.)


Copies of the Packet may be obtained here.


IEHP Honors Plan’s First Social Worker

Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) is celebrating National Social Work Month by honoring their very first 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.”

IEHP Leads First Cross-County Community Health Assessment

To support vibrant health in the region, Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) is leading the Inland Empire’s first cross-county and cross-sector Community Health Assessment (CHA) this year. The assessment will shed light on the region’s most pressing health and social needs: mental health, homelessness, health equity and more.  

Using a collaborative approach, IEHP is convening network hospitals, county public health departments, academic institutions, and community-based organizations to better coordinate ongoing regional health assessment efforts. The health plan will also provide sponsorship and recourses to ensure the collaborative assessment meets the needs of partners.  Historically, CHAs have paved the way for broad-based policy and system changes to promote community health.

“The initiative will better align current Member and community assessments, including those conducted by our public health and hospital partners,” said Dr. Priya Batra, IEHP’s Senior Medical Director for Family and Community Health. “Working together, we can identify gaps and efforts needed to contribute to and move the region forward on a shared pathway towards vibrant health.”

IEHP’s collaborative Community Health Assessment is currently underway and is expected to be completed in late 2022.

“As a community-based health plan, it is our duty to connect Members to the care they need, as well as connect our partners to needed resources, all to ensure our Members and communities have the opportunity to improve their health and well-being,” said Dr. Takashi Wada. “We look forward to collaborating with stakeholders in our region to identify the most significant priorities for our communities.”


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

This Notice shall confirm the REGULAR MEETING of the Joint Powers Agencies - INLAND EMPIRE HEALTH PLAN AND IEHP HEALTH ACCESS.

Date of Meeting:
March 14, 2022

Time of Meeting:
9:00 AM

Location of Meeting: 

Inland Empire Health Plan
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.)


Copies of the Packet may be obtained here.


The IEHP and IEHP Health Access Governing Board Meeting scheduled on February 17, 2022 has been cancelled



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

Inland Health Plan (IEHP) distributed 683 free COVID-19 test kits to health plan Members this week, 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.  


UC Riverside Athletics and IEHP Partner for Community Wellness

Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) and University of California Riverside (UCR) Athletics are joining forces this season to bring health and wellness resources, including COVID-19 education and vaccine information, to the campus community and broader audiences.

Utilizing a multi-channel approach, the organizations will serve as an access point to timely and accurate health information for students, staff and the community during the ongoing pandemic.

“We are excited to welcome IEHP as a partner to help us continue our mission of preparing our student-athletes for opportunities in life through sport,” said Wesley Mallette, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics. “In partnership with IEHP, we hope to educate and inform all Highlanders about the amazing resources IEHP provides and their positive impact on lives.”

As a corporate sponsor, IEHP will be cheering for UCR’s basketball, baseball and softball home games, and will be sponsoring a basketball game on February 17, celebrating Black History Month. At this event, Michael Deering, IEHP’s Vice President of Innovation, Acceleration and Diversity, will be announcing the UCR Highlanders’ starting lineup.

Also featured in the partnership is the health plan’s collaborative work with UCR’s Center for Healthy Communities and School of Medicine and will be aired on videoboard screens before games—appearing on ESPN+ when Highlander games are televised.

“UCR’s commitment to public health is incredibly evident in all they do,” said Jarrod McNaughton, IEHP’s Chief Executive Officer. “We’re grateful to partner with them on multiple levels and look forward to sharing resources and accurate COVID-19 information so we can put our best foot forward in living healthy lives and defeating this virus, together.”

For upcoming UCR game schedules and events, visit

IEHP and UCR logo


IEHP Physicians Encourage COVID-19 Vaccines for Youth

Inland Empire Health Plan physicians are encouraging families in the region to vaccinate their children (ages 5-11) against COVID-19 as cases continue to surge across the state. The health plan is supporting access to the vaccine for Inland Empire families through sponsorships of child-friendly vaccine clinics across Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

Members who receive their first COVID-19 vaccine are also eligible to receive a free $50 gift card at IEHP-sponsored clinics listed on the health plan’s website. IEHP is also providing fact-based information for parents and guardians on their website and across the plan’s social media accounts.

“IEHP is joining forces with several partners to ensure the community has access to vaccines and clinical information to stay healthy,” said Dr. Priya Batra, IEHP’s Senior Medical Director for Family and Community Health. “Vaccinating children who are eligible can protect unvaccinated younger siblings and family Members who are vulnerable to COVID-19. The risk of hospitalization and health complications is greatly reduced in children who are vaccinated.” 

According to the CDC, the approved complete Pfizer dose for children aged 5-11 is 20 micrograms (a third of the 60 micrograms for adults) – administered at 10 micrograms per dose 21 days apart – and has undergone rigorous testing to prove it is safe and effective. 

“It’s no secret the vaccine is effective in dramatically reducing contraction of COVID-19 and symptoms requiring hospitalization,” said Dr. Takashi Wada, IEHP’s Chief Medical Officer. “Providing our children that protection is essential, especially as our communities continue to open and try to return to normal operations. Vaccinating children will encourage and allow the safe return of all our children’s favorite sporting activities, play dates, school functions and more.” 

Click here to learn more about where to receive COVID-19 vaccines for you and your child. 

IEHP Ranks 99th Percentile in Nation for Provider Satisfaction

Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) has received a 96.4% provider satisfaction score for 2021, placing 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.”

Local Student Ambassadors Target Low Campus Vaccination Rates

IEHP is partnering with San Bernardino Valley College (SBVC) and Crafton Hills College (CHC) to increase COVID-19 vaccine awareness, education, and utilization rates among students through student-led vaccine education.

“I am participating in this COVID-19 Student Ambassador Program to educate and inform my community about COVID-19 vaccinations,” said Jasmine Mejia, CHC Student Ambassador. “Many lives have been lost and my community needs to know the truth about the importance of being vaccinated.  If I can get the facts out about the COVID 19 vaccine, then I will play a small part in saving lives in my community.”

Trained by IEHP’s Community Health Teams and the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health, the eight student ambassadors – four at each campus – aim to increase on-campus vaccine rates by distributing vaccine information at booths located in the main areas of each campus, peer presentations, pop-up clinic promotions, and helping schedule vaccine appointments.  

“With vaccine mandates on campus, we want to make sure our local college students have all they need to continue their education safely,” said Marci Coffey, IEHP Community Partnerships Director. “We’re excited to work with students in this capacity and empower them to effectively inform and engage with their peers.”

IEHP will provide students with vaccine education resources, health plan materials, and promotional items to share during the program’s duration. In addition, the health plan will provide a stipend to the students committed to participate in the program four days (16 hours) a week.

“Education is key and, if provided, I feel that each person will make an informed decision. As an ambassador, I hope to spread the word that lack of insurance, immigration status, or having permanent housing doesn't disqualify anyone from receiving vaccinations and boosters,” said Sophia Zamora, SBVC Student Ambassador.   

The project is set to run from January 4 to March 31 on both campuses.

“We understand there are concerns and fears associated with the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Dr. Takashi Wada, IEHP’s Chief Medical Officer. “Learning from a qualified, well-informed peer can help drive positive influences and healthy decision making. We hope to increase those opportunities for students by empowering student ambassadors with all they need to spark conversations that will ultimately lead to healthier students and communities.”


Ontario Fury and IEHP Partner to Improve Community Health

The Ontario Fury, Ontario’s professional indoor soccer team, and Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) are teaming up this season to connect residents to needed community health resources, including vaccine access.

Kicking the partnership into gear, the health plan’s marketing team will collaborate with Ontario Fury to organize interactive social media interviews, promote vaccine clinics, and more.

“This partnership is a dynamic step forward for promoting community health in our region,” said Cesar Armendariz, IEHP’s Community Health Senior Director. “As families begin to enjoy events and activities again, it’s important that vaccines and health information remain accessible and top of mind to keep everyone protected. This partnership allows both organizations to engage with our communities in a fun and exciting new way than ever before, and we look forward to addressing positive health messages to our IE community and avid soccer fans!”

Ontario Fury’s season began December 15 in a home opener at the Toyota Arena in Ontario, Calif., and will run through April 2022. During their season, the partnership will also honor First Responders by hosting a Heroes Night in the spring. 

“Ontario Fury is excited to partner with such an amazing organization like IEHP,” said Jimmy Nordberg, Ontario Fury Head Coach. “With common goals and vision of our managing partner Mr. Jeffery Burum, to help the community and inspire others to be champions, it was a great fit.  IEHP will truly help the community and the Ontario Fury on our mission to be #ChampionshipBound!”

To learn more about the Ontario Fury or view the season schedule, visit

Public Notice for the Regular Meeting of the Joint Powers Agencies (January)

This Notice shall confirm the REGULAR MEETING of the Joint Powers Agencies - INLAND EMPIRE HEALTH PLAN AND IEHP HEALTH ACCESS.

Date of Meeting:
January 10, 2022

Time of Meeting:
9:00 AM

Location of Meeting: 

Inland Empire Health Plan
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.)


Copies of the Packet may be obtained here.


Inland Empire Health Plan Recognized for Healthcare Innovation

Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) has been recognized by the California Department of Healthcare Services (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.”

Public Notice for the Regular Meeting of the Joint Powers Agencies (December)

This Notice shall confirm the REGULAR MEETING of the Joint Powers Agencies - INLAND EMPIRE HEALTH PLAN AND IEHP HEALTH ACCESS.

Date of Meeting:
December 13, 2021

Time of Meeting:
9:00 AM

Location of Meeting: 

Inland Empire Health Plan
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.)


Copies of the Packet may be obtained here.


IEHP Offers Vaccine Clinic During International Tamale Festival

IEHP is proud to announce their participation in the Indio International Tamale Festival in Downtown 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.”

New IEHP Program Connects Members to Needed Services

A new Health Navigation Pilot Program is underway at Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP), connecting patients in Barstow to primary care physicians, needed social services, and more. 

"Through our collaboration with Barstow Community Hospital, we realized that there was an additional benefit to our members through post-discharge calls from IEHP’s Health Services and Community Health teams." said Sylvia Lozano, IEHP's Vice President of Hospital Relations.

"A follow-up telephone call upon discharge is an essential activity to improve the transition from hospitalization to their return home," said Lozano. "This partnership with Barstow Community Hospital shows IEHP's unwavering commitment to our Members and Providers and demonstrates how the power of collaboration and dreaming of better ways to deliver care and services can ultimately lead to optimal care and vibrant health for our communities."

IEHP Health Navigators provide referrals to other health plan services based on needs expressed during the calls, including organizing doctor’s appointments for members. 

The pilot program also connects both hospital and health plan teams for weekly huddles to share insights, data trends, and discuss additional points of partnership to meet the needs of both organizations and the populations they serve. 

"Our post-discharge call from trained hospital staff allows the patient's questions and misunderstandings, including discrepancies in the discharge plan, to be identified and addressed, as well as any concerns from caregivers or family members,” Margaret Ventura, Case Management Director for Barstow Community Hospital. "Additional follow-up calls post-discharge from IEHP to their members will only further benefit their members by improving the continuum of care for patients," added Ventura.

Since the pilot program began in early October, more than 30 IEHP Members have been supported. While Member needs vary, IEHP's Health Navigators have reported cases where the need for resources and social support has been critical.

"This pilot began with a compassionate team who saw an unmet need and found an innovative way to solve it," said Jarrod McNaughton, IEHP Chief Executive Officer. "We are developing this pilot to further demonstrate our commitment to the optimal care and vibrant health of our communities." 

New Program Reduces Healthcare Barriers in the Inland Empire

This fall IEHP is partnering with Loma Linda University (LLU) and community agencies to train, place and support community health workers (CHWs) in the Inland Empire (I.E.).  The pilot program is aimed at reducing barriers to health care services in marginalized and underserved areas and encouraging diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).

In the initial stage of the program’s two-tiered approach, the health plan will professionally train a new community health workforce in an intensive nine-week program. Program curriculum encompasses CHW training provided by Loma Linda San Manuel Gateway College’s Certificated Community Health Worker Training Program and various IEHP Health Navigator courses. Continuous training opportunities will also be offered to ensure CHWs remain equipped with needed resources.

The workforce will be staffed in partnership with community agencies and their employees who may be interested in a career advancement opportunity. These agencies include Young Visionaries (High Desert), Michelle’s Place (Temecula Valley), Asian American Resource Center (San Bernardino), LGBTQ Center (Palm Springs), and the Sahaba Initiative (San Bernardino).

Internally, IEHP’s Community Health Managers Delia Orosco, Maria Gallegos and Carmen Ramirez are actively collaborating to support the needs of the program. “To truly encourage DEI in the I.E., each organization is focused on understanding and meeting the needs of a specific population. By working together to share knowledge and resources, we can better meet those needs and enhance wellness throughout the region,” said Orosco.

DEI continues to be the focus of program’s second tier. This includes IEHP’s work to lead external CHW assignments that empower residents by teaching them how to utilize health care benefits, helping them navigate benefit services, and increasing their ability to advocate for themselves in their community.

“Our hope is that we can collectively improve regional health outcomes by supporting communities that have been historically underserved and marginalized with resources and culturally relevant supports,” said Dr. Gabriel Uribe, IEHP’s Director of Community Health. “Health literacy is essential to DEI work, and no one should suffer because they are not aware of available services. This community health workforce will fill in those gaps and serve as a step forward in our effort to advance diversity, equity and inclusion in the Inland Empire.”

The pilot program will run until September 2022, with the goal of expansion soon thereafter.


Public Notice for the Regular Meeting of the Joint Powers Agencies

This Notice shall confirm the REGULAR MEETING of the Joint Powers Agencies - INLAND EMPIRE HEALTH PLAN AND IEHP HEALTH ACCESS.

Date of Meeting:
November 8, 2021

Time of Meeting:
9:00 AM

Location of Meeting: 

Inland Empire Health Plan
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.)


Copies of the Packet may be obtained here.


IEHP Welcomes New Chief Information Officer

Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) is proud to announce Vinil Devabhaktuni as their new Chief Information Officer. In this role, Vinil will provide leadership for the overall information technology architecture, as well as the design, development, implementation, and support of IEHP’s systems.

Vinil joins IEHP most recently from Health New England, where he served as the Chief Information and Technology Officer and was responsible for managing a unique portfolio and elevating the role of technology from a supportive function to a strategic partner that played a major part in the growth of the organization.  Vinil also developed and executed an end-to-end operational roadmap for sales, underwriting and accounting. In addition, he rearchitected and streamlined production support and application development operations to bring stability, predictability, and optimizations to the organization.

Prior to his role at Health New England, Vinil served as vice president, digital transformation officer at AIG in New York. While in this role, he led a $50M global digital transformation initiative, which included migration and consolidation of digital properties from 140 countries around the world.

Vinil holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Bay Path University in Longmeadow, Massachusetts and is eager to join IEHP, “I look forward to joining the team and helping fulfill the IEHP mission through collaboration, innovation, and strategic support.  There are no limits to what we can achieve for the members, providers, employees, and community when we work together”.

“Vinil will make an excellent addition to the team and we are so excited to bring him on board,” said IEHP Chief Executive Officer Jarrod McNaughton. “Vinil’s experience and expertise in the field will support our efforts to enhance the effectiveness of the remarkable work IEHP does every day in an effort to heal and inspire the human spirit.”


IEHP Partners with Special Needz Coffee to Honor Diversity Awareness

Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) is thrilled to partner with Special Needz Coffee (SNC) to honor both 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


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

In the last six months, more than 38,400 Inland Empire residents have received their COVID-19 vaccines 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


IEHP Celebrates 25 Years of “Doing the Right Thing”

Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) is celebrating 25 years of service this September. Serving 1.4 million residents, contracting with over 6,700 providers, and employing nearly 2,500 team members, the health plan is honoring this momentous milestone by continuing to embark on a strategic path forward.

“In the last 25 years, we’ve had the incredible pleasure of connecting millions in our region to whole-person healthcare services,” said Jarrod McNaughton, IEHP chief executive officer. “With large initiatives like CalAIM underway and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical that we continue to meet our members, providers and team members where they are, so that we may effectively work together to deliver optimal care and vibrant health to residents in our region.”

IEHP began its operation in 1996 with over 60,000 Medi-Cal members and worked proactively to provide coverage to uninsured children in working families who did not qualify for Medi-Cal by launching the Healthy Families program in 1998. By 2000, IEHP had become one of the first Medi-Cal only health plans in California to receive “Commendable” NCQA Accreditation and ranked the ninth largest Medicaid Plan in the United States.  

With the development of several programs supporting children (Healthy Kids), seniors (Medicaid), persons with disabilities (Medicare DualChoice), and specific health conditions (like diabetes and asthma), IEHP was able to support the influx of Inland Empire Residents who became eligible for its health services through the Affordable Care Act, increasing the health plan’s membership to 1 million members by 2015.

Recently, the health plan was mentioned as a model in California’s Master Plan for Aging and has contributed several ideas to the state’s multi-year transformational initiative to address many of the complex challenges impacting the state’s Medi-Cal population (CalAIM). Programs serving as models include the health plan’s innovating work around health and housing, like IEHP’s  Housing Initiative and Health Home programs.

In addition to supporting transformative initiatives like CalAIM, IEHP is also working towards sustainable solutions to increase positive health outcomes of residents in the region. “While we celebrate the great work done in our region, our job as a community-based health plan is far from over,” said McNaughton.

“Building and strengthening networks of providers in the I.E. to offset the on-going provider shortage and working with our partners to create an Electronic Medical Record system to better care for members, are only two of the large priorities we’re working through,” added McNaughton. “Accompanied by our mantra to always ‘do the right thing’ for our members, our mission to heal and inspire the human spirit will guide our thoughts, our decisions, and most importantly, our actions through these projects and at IEHP in the months and years to come.”


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

In partnership with Surveyor Health, Inland Empire Health Plan’s Pharmacy Comprehensive Medication Management (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


IEHP Launches Campaigns to Increase Vaccine Rates in the Inland Empire

To address the low COVID-19 vaccination rates in Riverside and San Bernardino counties, Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) has organized a series of educational campaigns, community partnerships and stakeholder collaborations to provide access and educational support to unvaccinated residents.

According to state data, Black and Hispanic communities and Medi-Cal Members rank among the lowest in vaccination rates in Riverside and San Bernardino counties. In addition, case rates for COVID-19 positive patients in the region continue to dramatically fluctuate, posing ongoing uncertainty and risk.

“The COVID-19 vaccine is the most ‘certainty’ we’ve had in fighting this virus,” said Dr. Takashi Wada, IEHP Chief Medical Officer. “While it is possible to be vaccinated and still contract the virus, data shows the vaccine has been incredibly effective in reducing the impacts of the virus, thus reducing hospitalizations and deaths. That’s why receiving the vaccine is so critical.”

Since the roll out of the vaccine, IEHP has participated in several pop-up vaccine events, including a partnership with Loma Linda University Health (LLUH) and SAC Health System (SACHS), to organize a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church (St. Paul AME) in San Bernardino, a prominent place of worship for the county’s Black Community.

With additional funding coming from the state Medi-Cal COVID-19 Vaccination Incentive Program,  IEHP will continue to develop partnerships with the counties, community-based organizations, schools and churches to get innovate and craft additional actions to improve vaccination rates.  IEHP will also be developing an incentive program to encourage IEHP network providers to increase the rates of COVID vaccination.  

“We understand the fears of those who chose to remain unvaccinated, and we want to empower these individuals by meeting them in familiar spaces, equipping them with facts, information and opportunities to receive their vaccine,” added Wada. “Familiarity and trust are a large part of making that decision, and we’re grateful to partner with community leaders and organizations to continue building that trust.”

Last month, IEHP also partnered with sister plan L.A. Care to launch an educational campaign with the help of award-winning actor Jaime Camil, known for his work on The CW’s Jane the Virgin and Disney’s Coco. The effort included Instagram Live events, PSAs and billboards that will run in the weeks to come. 

“In addition to battling the pandemic, we’re also battling a bit of an info-demic,” said Jarrod McNaughton, IEHP Chief Executive Officer. “Providing our communities with factual, honest information about the vaccine in a way that relates to them personally, can make all the difference. Health care is incredibly personal, and we’re grateful to work with such an esteemed group of partners to ensure that our most vulnerable residents are equipped with all they need to enjoy optimal care and vibrant health.”

The health plan will continue to serve San Bernardino County as a super vaccination site, hosting a clinic in their Rancho Cucamonga headquarters, with plans to expand operations with additional community health partners in the near future. To learn more, visit


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

Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) was awarded Business Partner of the Year by the Rancho Cucamonga Fire 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


Local Health Care Providers to Receive Free Accessible Exam Tables

Twenty local medical clinics will receive free UpScale accessible exam tables to better support people 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.”

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

Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) has partnered with Victor Valley College (VVC) to address food insecurity 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, 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

Dr. Takashi Wada Named IEHP Chief Medical Officer

IEHP is proud to announce Dr. Takashi Wada as their new Chief Medical Officer. In this role, Dr. Wada 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.”