Category Archives: Healthcare

Eastside To Reap Healthy Eating From Crop Box Program

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Suzanne Hurt and published in The Press Enterprise on September 10, 2015.)

Photo Credit: David Bauman
Photo Credit: David Bauman

Pomegranates, peaches, peppers and tomatoes could be among the fresh-picked local produce that makes its way into local harvest boxes for Eastside residents through a new healthy living program.

Individuals and families living on the Eastside can apply for a pilot program that will deliver weekly boxes of fruits and vegetables from neighboring farms and offer workshops on nutrition, gardening and cooking.

The fledgling Riverside Food Cooperative is managing the Community Supported Agriculture Crop Box program, brought to the neighborhood as part of the Kaiser Permanente-sponsored Eastside HEAL Zone initiative. Kaiser’s effort to improve the health of the communities they serve, is a great example of Seizing Our Destiny’s unified city pillar.

The co-op will launch the program with produce from four farms, most within a few miles of downtown Riverside, and a community garden in Ontario. Unity Farm is certified organic and the others grow food with reduced or no pesticides and other toxins, said co-op member Nick Melquiades.

The program’s educational side is based on participants’ needs and could include workshops about simple cooking on a budget, container gardening and how to find produce at nearby farms.

The city’s Community & Economic Development Department, Riverside County Public Health Department and the Community Health Foundation are administering the three-year initiative to boost healthy living among Eastside residents by encouraging people to eat healthier foods and exercise more.

The neighborhood is among 17 California communities chosen for the Healthy Eating, Active Living initiative because of the neighborhood’s high obesity rate and limited access to affordable healthy food. The initiative ends in March.

To read the full article, click here.

Kaiser Permanente Approves $599,464 In Community Benefit Grants In Riverside County In 2015

(This article contains excerpts from the Kaiser Permanente press release published on August 12, 2015.)

Photo Credit: Kaiser Permanente
Photo Credit: Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente, Riverside and Moreno Valley announced that it has approved 31 community benefit grants and donations totaling $599,464 in 2015. The not-for-profit organization is committed to supporting programs that enhance education and strengthen the quality of health care to underserved communities.

Kaiser Permanente’s mission is to improve the health of their members and the communities they serve. It is through our work in Community Benefit that provides community-based organizations with funding through grants, partnerships and dissemination of knowledge. Kaiser’s effort to improve the health of the communities they serve, is a great example of Seizing Our Destiny’s unified city pillar.

Key grants in each of the Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit health priorities include the following.

Improve access to primary health care services
MFI Recovery was awarded a grant for $25,000 for the Women’s Residential program. Designed to meet the specialized needs of at-risk women during pregnacy and for well-baby checks for children in the program.

A $20,000 grant was awarded to Jewish Family Services of the Desert for the Kids First Counseling program. A partnership with Palm Springs Unified School District to provide healthy life substance abuse prevention and counseling services for at-risk youth.

Obesity and overweight
Feeding America was awarded $20,000 for the Senior Nutrition Program. A program that provides fresh, affordable and nutritious produce at targeted senior community settings throughout Riverside County to increase access to healthy eating for residents living in food deserts.

100 Mile Club was awarded $20,000 to increase the physical activity/walking incentive program to students who would otherwise be unable to participate in the following Riverside County school districts: Alvord, Corona, Moreno Valley, Riverside and San Jacinto.

A $30,000 grant was awarded to Riverside Community Health Foundation for the Riverside Community Diabetes Collaborative, a multi-agency collaborative aimed at programs for diabetes prevention, management and support in community settings.

The American Diabetes Association received a grant for $12,000 to conduct Por Tu Familia (For Your Family) programs in Perris, Murrieta and Temecula. A diabetes prevention, education and management program in Spanish.

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Geriatric Care In Underserved Riverside County To Benefit From Major Funding

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Kathy Barton and published in UCR Today on August 12, 2015.)

Photo Credit: Carlos Puma
Photo Credit: Carlos Puma

A new partnership between the UC Riverside School of Medicine, UCLA, Riverside County Regional Medical Center and the Riverside County Department of Public Social Services has just received a $2.5 million grant to enhance geriatric education, training and workforce development in Riverside County. The Health Resources and Services Administration gave the three-year grant to the UCLA division of geriatrics.`

Called the Program for Improving Care of Aging adults through Training and Education, or PICATE, the project is a collaboration among primary care clinics, community-based organizations and educational institutions throughout Riverside County.

In addition to UC Riverside School of Medicine, local education partners in this project include the schools of nursing at California Baptist University and Riverside City College.

PICATE will integrate geriatrics into three primary care teaching clinics at Riverside County Regional Medical Center, which serves as the primary teaching hospital of the UC Riverside School of Medicine. The project will track outcomes for patients and their caregivers, including fall frequency and severity and dementia-related behavioral problems in patients, and stress and depression in caregivers.

The program will encourage patient and family engagement through online education and partnerships with community organizations. Caregiver training will be provided through In Home Supportive Services, particularly for people caring for seniors with dementia. In the second and third years, part of the work will be extended to the county’s Indian Health Service.

Caring for the elderly is becoming a great concern as the baby boomers become of age. This grant will help the educational institutions of Riverside cultivate and support useful and beneficial ideas and research in the field of geriatrics. This effort to provide better care to the elderly is a outstanding example of Seizing Our Destiny’s catalyst of innovation pillar.

To read the full article, click here.

UCR Receives Grant Aimed At Improving The Health Of Local Latinos

(This article contains excerpts from the article published in the The Press Enterprise on July 30, 2015.)

Dr. Greer Sullivan, director of the Center for Healthy Communities, speaks to guests at the Latino Health Riverside Project Reception July 22 at UC Riverside. Photo Credit: Ross French
Dr. Greer Sullivan, director of the Center for Healthy Communities, speaks to guests at the Latino Health Riverside Project Reception July 22 at UC Riverside. Photo Credit: Ross French

UC Riverside School of Medicine’s Center for Healthy Communities has received a $250,000 grant for a community engagement project aimed at improving the health of Latino residents of the city of Riverside through partnered research.

The grant was awarded by Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, a non-profit, non-governmental organization created by Congress in 2010 as part of the Affordable Care Act. It funds projects that encourage patients and other stakeholders to become integral members of the research process.

UCR’s project, “Latino Health Riverside,” will be conducted in partnership with community stakeholders in the Riverside neighborhoods of Arlanza, Casa Blanca and the Eastside. The expertise of residents in these communities will be tapped to learn more about health-related problems of greatest concern and ideas for solutions.

This community engagement project is a great example of Seizing Our Destiny’s unified city pillar. Riversiders are working together everday to not only address local issues, but to also have a positive impact on the region, nation, and world.

Jeanette Marantos contributed to this story.

To read the complete article, click here.

UCR Medical School Achieves Second Step In Accreditation Process

(This article contains excerpts from the article written Kathy Barton and published in UCR Today on June 26, 2015.)

UCR’s School of Medicine Education Building. Photo Credit: Ross French, UCR Today

The School of Medicine at the University of California, Riverside has been granted provisional accreditation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), the accrediting body for educational programs leading to the M.D. degree in the U.S. and Canada.

Provisional accreditation is the second of three steps that all new M.D.-granting medical schools must complete, culminating in full accreditation. The UCR medical school was granted preliminary accreditation by the LCME in October 2012, which permitted it to recruit and enroll its first class of 50 students in August 2013. This coming August, the UCR medical school will enroll its third class of medical students.

“This is tremendous news, not only for the School of Medicine and UCR, but for the entire Inland Southern California community which is served by this medical school,” said UCR Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox. “It is a credit to hard work of both the leadership of the School and the community that we have reached this milestone.”

“Achieving provisional accreditation is a major objective for the UCR School of Medicine,” said G. Richard Olds, UCR vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the medical school. “Meeting the rigorous educational and infrastructure standards of the LCME demonstrates that this medical school has built a strong foundation for expanding and diversifying the physician workforce in Inland Southern California and improving the health of people living here.”

A survey team appointed by the LCME conducted a site visit of the UCR medical school in February, and the school was notified of the LCME decision this month.

The UCR School of Medicine, one of more than 15 new medical schools established in the U.S. over the last decade, is the sixth medical school in the University of California system. Establishment of the UCR School of Medicine was approved by the University of California Board of Regents in July 2008 and Olds, the founding dean, was appointed in February 2010.

The foundation of the UCR School of Medicine is the UCR/UCLA Thomas Haider Program in Biomedical Sciences, which for more than 30 years has partnered with the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA to train physicians. The UCR medical school maintains the tradition of the former two-year program at UCR, with about half of the seats each year designated for UCR undergraduate degree holders through the Thomas Haider Program at the UCR School of Medicine.

“Achieving this second important step in the accreditation process is a testament to the dedication of the faculty and staff of the medical school in creating an optimal learning environment for our medical students,” said Paul Lyons, the school’s senior associate dean for education. LCME evaluation of the medical school for full accreditation status will be expected in 2017, the same year the UCR medical school will graduate its first class of medical students.

The medical school also offers a Ph.D. program in biomedical sciences, a long-standing graduate degree program at UCR.  The school additionally operates five residency training programs in the medical specialties of family medicine, internal medicine, general surgery and psychiatry, and partners with Loma Linda University in a primary care pediatrics residency training program.

Accreditation is one of the top priorities when students are choosing a school to attend. UCR School of Medicine provisional accreditation makes not only the school of location of choice for students, but the entire city.

Mobile Fresh Expands Deliveries Of Fresh Food To 43 Stops

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Patrick O’Neill and published in The Press Enterprise on June 5, 2015.)

Photo Credit: Terry Pierson, The Press Enterprise

The Mobile Fresh bus, covered in a 7-foot salad bowl mural and dubbed “The Mother Ship” by Family Service Association employees, has been delivering fresh fruits, vegetables, bread and cheese to low-income and senior housing facilities for a little more than a year.

Donated by the Riverside Transit Agency, the refurbished bus is lined with plastic crates and refrigerators. The only remnants of its past are a small row of seats behind the checkout counter.

Riverside resident Joy Williams, left, chats Thursday, June 4, with Mobile Fresh employee LaTonya Ferguson as she carries groceries to her apartment after shopping in a bus converted into a store with fresh fruits and vegetables. Photo Credit: Terry Pierson
Riverside resident Joy Williams, left, chats Thursday, June 4, with Mobile Fresh employee LaTonya Ferguson as she carries groceries to her apartment after shopping in a bus converted into a store with fresh fruits and vegetables. Photo Credit: Terry Pierson

Since its inception last year, Mobile Fresh has expanded from 19 stops in and around Riverside to 43 stops throughout Riverside and San Bernardino counties. By this time next year, Director Joey Romero hopes to have 40 stops in each county.

“We plan on introducing healthy recipes and exercise guides,” Romero said. “We’ll do a cooking demonstration and say: ‘Everything you need is on the bus today.’”

“You wouldn’t think in an area like Riverside there’d be no food deserts, but there’s deserts everywhere,” Romero said.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture describes a food desert as an area with a poverty rate of 20 percent or higher where more than one-third of the population lives more than a mile from a grocery store.

At least 1,000 people bought groceries from Mobile Fresh in May – more than twice as many as the same month last year. Romero attributes the program’s success to a unique marketing approach.

Instead of repurposing the bus, stocking it with produce, then trying to find prospective customers, Romero made sure there was an adequate market for each stop.

Fliers stating Mobile Fresh’s purpose were distributed at prospective stops, and apartment complex managers were asked to gather enough signatures to ensure that each stop would be worthwhile, Romero said.

“Instead of going out and hoping we’d be successful, we wanted to make sure those customers were there,” he said.

Mobile Fresh is financed entirely through grant money. Proceeds from the nonprofit are reinvested in the program.

Riversiders commitment to making one-other’s life a little better is a great example of Riverside acting as a unified city. The actions of all the participating organizations demonstrates that Riverside is a caring community that has compassion for all of its inhabitants, and engages with one another for a better life for all.

For a full list of stops and delivery dates and times, visit

To read the full article, click here.

RCC’s School Of Nursing Lands Two Grants

(This article contains excerpts from the article published in RCC Campus News on May 11, 2015.)

Riverside City College’s School of Nursing has received two Song-Brown Grants, totaling $325,000. In announcing the awards, Lupe Alonzo-Diaz, deputy director of California’s Healthcare Workforce Development Division, cited RCC’s “continued efforts to deliver primary care services in areas of unmet needs.”

RCC was one of four community colleges selected for a Registered Nurse Education Capitation grant out of 17 applicants.
Its $200,000 award trailed only Cal State Northridge, which received $240,000.

RCC’s School of Nursing will use the funds to address the RN shortage in Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange, and Los Angeles counties. RCC will hire more full-time faculty to provide instruction and support, and admit an additional 10 students into the traditional Associate Degree in Nursing program. Students admitted into Nursing 11 will have their clinical rotation at one of RCC’s partner hospitals, all located in medically underserved areas. These hospitals serve a patient population with a very high percentage of Hispanic and Spanish-only-speaking individuals. The 10 students will be expected to complete the ADN program and qualify to take the NCLEX exam. Based on historical data, after graduation as many as 90 percent of them will secure employment in the local communities.

RCC’s School of Nursing is one of only 27 nationally accredited associate degree in Nursing programs in California, and has demonstrated great success in attracting and admitting members of minority groups into its RN program. Between 2002 and 2014, the applicant pool of students seeking admission to the RCC ADN program increased three-fold, with 911 applicants for 160 slots, 58 percent who are minority/disadvantaged.

The program also secured a $125,000 Song-Brown Grant for the Registered Nurse Education Programs. The grant will allow the program to implement an articulated associate degree-to-bachelor’s degree Nursing Pathway in coordination with local BSN programs. A growing body of research suggests that a BSN prepares nurses for greater professional responsibility and more complex practice. It also suggests that having a higher proportion of BSN-prepared nurses on staff in hospitals is linked to better patient outcomes. In its October 2010 report on The Future of Nursing, the Institute of Medicine states “an increase in the percentage of nurses with a BSN is imperative as the scope of what the public needs from nurses grows, expectations surrounding quality heighten, and the settings where nurses are needed proliferate and become more complex.”

The School of Nursing was one of just eight programs in the state to receive full funding.

Grants like these increase the great work done at RCC and help equip their nursing students with the knowledge needed to succeed. RCC’s effort to develop programs that meet the needs of employers is a great example of Seizing Our Destiny intelligent growth pillar.

Mayor Leads Health Initiative For Riverside

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Iona Brannon and published in The Banner on March 29, 2015.)

Photo Credit: Iona Brannon, The Banner
Photo Credit: Iona Brannon, The Banner

Mayor William R. “Rusty” Bailey III of Riverside led a group of residents for the Walk with the Mayor event March 14 from Ryan Bonaminio Park up Mt. Rubidoux in Riverside.

The walk began the kickoff of the Start R.I.G.H.T. Challenge of 2015.

Start R.I.G.H.T. stands for Riverside Is Getting Healthy Together and is a three-month challenge for Riverside residents to have an opportunity to get fit and live a healthy, more fulfilling lifestyle.

“Fifty-six percent of our population of Riverside is either overweight or obese. That is just unacceptable,” Bailey said. “We can’t continue to allow obesity to invade our city and invade ourselves.”

The kickoff gave residents resources such as weight measurement, exercise demonstrations and information on healthy living.

Bailey has used the bimonthly event to help inspire others to live a healthy lifestyle.

“My philosophy is leading by example,” Bailey said. “As the mayor, I’m trying to lead by example (with) my family and my city by healthy eating and active living. We’re inspiring Riverside to get out and move, and the walk is one way to do that.”

Bailey’s predecessor, Ron O. Loveridge, started Walk with the Mayor as a way to get people to be more active, as well as present parts of Riverside that might be less known.

“The intent was to connect the dots between healthy living and quality of life and to show off all the cool things we have going in Riverside,” Bailey said. Bailey walked neighborhoods during his campaign in 2012 and said he wanted to keep the philosophy of getting out into neighborhoods.

He started Bike with the Mayor after coming into office, alternating every month with Walk with the Mayor.

He said it has been a good way to connect with the residents of Riverside, as well as show them the city’s assets.

“I want to spend 50 percent of my time in city hall and 50 percent of my time outside of city hall so I am accessible to the public,” Bailey said.

Stephanie Vaz Ferreira, sophomore architecture major, aid she enjoyed talking with the mayor during the event and would go again because she felt more involved with the city.

“I liked hearing him speak about the Start R.I.G.H.T. event and how it is all about Riverside working together to reach healthy goals,” Ferreira said. “I also liked that he said as a believer he really supports CBU’s global-mindedness and how we can use that to think locally.”

Riversiders are working together everyday to address local issues and consistently demonstrates what makes Riverside a unified city.

Ferreira expressed her encouragement for students to get involved and participate in walking with the mayor.

“It would allow us to be more involved locally and it’s an easy way to (give) a hand in decreasing high rates in Riverside like obesity, whether it’s participating or encouraging others,” Ferreira said.

The Start R.I.G.H.T. challenge ends June 13. The participant who loses the most weight will win a prize of $500 and two participants will be randomly selected for two additional $300 prizes.

“I liked the idea that Riverside is trying to get in shape and it’s a good opportunity to socialize, get a good workout and trim down at the same time,” said Rich Gardner, a participant in the event.

Lancers who are Riverside residents are able to register for the challenge at

For the complete article, click here.


Mobile Medical Clinic About To Hit The Streets Of Riverside

(This article contains excerpts take from the Health to Hope Clinics website on April 9, 2015.)

Photo Credit: Health to Hope Clinics
Photo Credit: Health to Hope Clinics

The Grove Community Church received their mobile medical clinic last Tuesday, April 7. The mobile clinic has two exams rooms and wheelchair ramp which will be ready to serve the community sometime this weekend.  The mobile clinic is part of a larger effort known to Riversiders as Health to Hope Clinics, which is the only federally funded primary care medical outreach organization dedicated to serving homeless individuals and families in Riverside County.

The Grove Community Church is an outstanding example of Seizing Our Destiny’s unified city pillar. They demonstrate that we’re a caring community that has compassion for all of its inhabitants, and engages with one another for a better life for all.

About Health to Hope:

Urban Community Action Projects (UCAP) dba Health to Hope Clinics (established in 2010) was born of Path of Life Ministries (POLM) Health in Motion (HIM), a response to Riverside County’s public health crises that arose from the economic downturn.

In 2009, POLM, in partnership with Riverside Community Health Foundation, implemented HIM staffed by volunteer providers to serve urban homeless residing in the City of Riverside. The model was so successful that POLM subsequently sponsored UCAP’s 501 (c) start-up which now includes the provision of health services from three fixed sites, the expansion of mobile medical services to now include Jurupa Valley in addition to the city of Riverside, and on-site partnerships with homeless service providers across Riverside County.

​ At Health to Hope, Homeless Health Care, patients receive care from providers experienced in meeting their with their medical complexity, aware of potential behavioral health issues and respectful of their struggles. Through the intake, assessment and treatment process, the behavioral health needs and dental needs of each patient are identified. The clinicians recognize the opportunity that primary care provides-an opportunity to heal the present issue and address the other issues through a model of care that integrates primary care, behavioral health care, dental care and case management services.

The Grove Community Church is currently seeking medical professionals to volunteer for the clinic. If you wish to volunteer, click here to get more information.