Category Archives: Healthcare

Public Policy Degree For Medical Students Offered

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Bettye Miller and published in UCR Today on April 11, 2016.)

Photo Credit: UCR Today
Photo Credit: UCR Today

The School of Public Policy at the University of California, Riverside will expand its graduate degree programs this fall with a Master of Public Policy designed for medical students interested in health care policy and reform.

The MD-MPP program is open only to students enrolled in the UCR School of Medicine, who will complete their medical and public policy training in five years. Medical degrees typically take four years to complete; the MPP is a two-year program.

“This is a niche degree that would appeal to students who, in addition to becoming practicing physicians, may want to become health care administrators and health policymakers,” explained Anil Deolalikar, dean of the School of Public Policy (SPP). “A lot of people creating health policy have very little medical training. It would help if physicians were more involved in shaping health policy.”

The new program reflects the importance both the School of Public Policy and School of Medicine place on developing public policymakers and physicians who will serve the Inland Empire. Areas that students can work in include federal and state health care policy, medical leadership advocacy, and health care consulting.

“We are pleased to partner with UCR’s School of Public Policy to create this distinctive concurrent degree program,” said Neal L. Schiller, interim dean of the School of Medicine. “This new program will offer our medical students yet another pathway to build leadership skills necessary for developing innovations in the health care system to benefit patients and the inland Southern California region as a whole.”

Students who enroll in the program will spend a full academic year at the School of Public Policy during what would have been their fourth year of medical school, then return to the School of Medicine the following year to finish their final year of medical education. They will complete a summer internship and a capstone project that is acceptable to both professional schools. Upon completion of the fourth year of medical school and the concurrent degree capstone project, students will be awarded two degrees: Doctor of Medicine (MD) and Master of Public Policy (MPP).

“By partnering with the UCR School of Public Policy, our medical students will learn the skills needed to help influence healthcare policy that will in turn help fulfill our mission in a meaningful way,” said Dr. Michael Nduati, associate dean of clinical affairs at the UCR School of Medicine. “We are thrilled to have this opportunity available for our students.  Health care reform affects all physicians and providers – from access to reimbursement. Increasingly more and more in recent years, major shifts in the health care landscape are being determined by policymakers and legislation.  The MD-MPP program equips future physicians to take a central role in health care policy and programming that will shape the future of health care in California and throughout the nation.”

Both the School of Public Policy and the School of Medicine are enrolling students who want to improve the quality of life for residents of the Inland Empire, Deolalikar said.

“We are focused on developing future leaders whose training in public policy is grounded in the scientific approach, not armchair activism,” he said. “You have to have proper rigorous training in public policy to say what policies this region needs to make life better for everyone here. We need people who can produce the data, analyze policy options, and make sound recommendations.”

The School of Public Policy may pair the MPP with other graduate degree programs, such as the Master of Business Administration, and offer public policy certificates to Ph.D. students in a variety of disciplines, Deolalikar said.

“If a student has a public policy track in addition to their Ph.D. program, for example, if their dissertation is on the public policy aspect of environmental engineering, that opens a new set of career options,” he added.

Offering a Public Policy degree for medical students is a great example of Seizing Our Destiny’s intelligent growth pillar. UCR is dedicated to educating the next generation of student in facets where the can make the biggest impact on the community and the world.

More information about the MD/MPP program is available at and

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Self-Healing Polymer Could Lead To Artificial Muscle

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Sean Nealon and published in UCR Today on April 18, 2016.)

Photo Credit: UCR Today

If there’s such a thing as an experiment that goes too well, a recent effort in the lab of Stanford chemical engineering Professor Zhenan Bao might fit the bill.

One of her team members, Cheng-Hui Li, wanted to test the stretchiness of a rubberlike type of plastic known as an elastomer that he had just synthesized. Such materials can normally be stretched two or three times their original length and spring back to original size. One common stress test involves stretching an elastomer beyond this point until it snaps.

But Li, a visiting scholar from China, hit a snag: The clamping machine typically used to measure elasticity could only stretch about 45 inches. To find the breaking point of their one-inch sample, Li and another lab member had to hold opposing ends in their hands, standing further and further apart, eventually stretching a 1-inch polymer film to more than 100 inches.

Bao was stunned.

“I said, ‘How can that be possible? Are you sure?’” she recalled.

Today in Nature Chemistry, the researchers, including Chao Wang, an assistant professor of chemistry at the University of California, Riverside who is a former post-doctoral student in Bao’s lab,  explain how they made this super-stretchy substance. They also showed that they could make this new elastomer twitch by exposing it to an electric field, causing it to expand and contract, making it potentially useful as an artificial muscle.

Artificial muscles currently have applications in some consumer technology and robotics, but they have shortcomings compared to a real bicep, Bao said. Small holes or defects in the materials currently used to make artificial muscle can rob them of their resilience. Nor are they able to self-repair if punctured or scratched.

The team attributes the extreme stretching and self-healing ability of their new material to some critical improvements to a type of chemical bonding process known as crosslinking. This process, which involves connecting linear chains of linked molecules in a sort of fishnet pattern, has previously yielded a tenfold stretch in polymers.But this new material, in addition to being extraordinarily stretchy, has remarkable self-healing characteristics. Damaged polymers typically require a solvent or heat treatment to restore their properties, but the new material showed a remarkable ability to heal itself at room temperature, even if the damaged pieces are aged for days. Indeed, researchers found that it could self-repair at temperatures as low as negative 4 degrees Fahrenheit (-20 C), or about as cold as a commercial walk-in freezer.

First they designed special organic molecules to attach to the short polymer strands in their crosslink to create a series of structure called ligands. These ligands joined together to form longer polymer chains – spring-like coils with inherent stretchiness.

Then they added to the material metal ions, which have a chemical affinity for the ligands. When this combined material is strained, the knots loosen and allow the ligands to separate. But when relaxed, the affinity between the metal ions and the ligands pulls the fishnet taut. The result is a strong, stretchable and self-repairing elastomer.

“Basically the polymers become linked together like a big net through the metal ions and the ligands,” Bao explained. “Each metal ion binds to at least two ligands, so if one ligand breaks away on one side, the metal ion may still be connected to a ligand on the other side. And when the stress is released, the ion can readily reconnect with another ligand if it is close enough.”

The team found that they could tune the polymer to be stretchier or heal faster by varying the amount or type of metal ion included. The version that exceeded the measuring machine’s limits, for example, was created by decreasing the ratio of iron atoms to the polymers and organic molecules in the material.

The researchers also showed that this new polymer with the metal additives would twitch in response to an electric field. They have to do more work to increase the degree to which the material expands and contracts and control it more precisely. But this observation opens the door to promising applications. (View video.)

In addition to its long-term potential for use as artificial muscle, this research dovetails with Bao’s efforts to create artificial skin that might be used to restore some sensory capabilities to people with prosthetic limbs. In previous studies her team has created flexible but fragile polymers, studded with pressure sensors to detect the difference between a handshake and a butterfly landing. This new, durable material could form part of the physical structure of a fully developed artificial skin.

“Artificial skin is not just made of one material,” said Franziska Lissel, a postdoctoral fellow in Bao’s lab and member of the research team. “We want to create a very complex system.”

Even before artificial muscle and artificial skin become practical, this work in the development of strong, flexible, electronically active polymers could spawn a new generation of wearable electronics, or medical implants that would last a long time without being repaired or replaced.

This latest discovery is the result of two years of collaboration, overseen by Bao, involving visiting scholar Cheng-Hui Li, a Chinese organo-metallic chemist who designed the metal ligand bonding scheme; polymer chemist Wang, who had made previous iterations of self-healing elastomers; and artificial muscle expert Christoph Keplinger, now an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Other contributors to the study, “A highly stretchable autonomous self-healing elastomer,” include Jing-Lin Zuo, Lihua Jin, Yang Sun, Peng Zheng, Yi Cao, Christian Linder and Xiao-Zeng You.

This research is an extraordinary example of Seizing Our Destiny’s catalyst for innovation pillar, and UC Riverside is at the forefront.  The people and educational institutions of Riverside cultivate and support research and exploration in the scientific community.  Creativity and innovation permeate all that we do, which makes our community a trendsetter for the region, nation, and world to follow.

Press release courtesy of Stanford Engineering.

To read the full article, click here.

Riverside Expands Efforts To Tackle Obesity By Helping Residents Eat Healthier And Move More

(This article contains information from a press release distributed by Kaiser Permanente)

IMG_2932Eastside HEAL Zone Collaborative announced plans to expand and strengthen its existing HEAL (Healthy Eating Active Living) interventions to promote healthier communities and healthier people in the Eastside of Riverside.

The Riverside Community Health Foundation, who serves as the lead agency for the Eastside HEAL Zone Collaborative, is a recipient of a $1 million grant as part of a larger Kaiser Permanente HEAL Zone investment to promote healthy communities across Southern California, in collaboration with community partners. This marks the second phase of the HEAL Zone initiative.

HEAL Zones are designed to help make healthy choices accessible to more people in underserved communities — and in turn to prevent diseases such as diabetes and hypertension that often result from obesity. For more than four years, HEAL Zone sites in Southern California have implemented community-based strategies in neighborhoods, schools, and workplaces to improve healthy eating and physical activity policies and practices.

“We are excited to receive this funding from Kaiser Permanente and the opportunity to build upon the tremendous work of the Eastside HEAL Zone Collaborative. This grant will help us to continue transforming the Eastside neighborhood into an environment where healthy eating and active living is not only possible but also collectively internalized,” said Ninfa Delgado, Vice President/COO, Riverside Community Health Foundation.

IMG_2935In addition to focusing on healthy eating and active living strategies, the new HEAL Zone grant will empower the collaborative to improve prevention, treatment, and management of obesity and its related conditions by facilitating referrals between clinics and community resources.

“I appreciate all the work that the HEAL Zone Collaborative has done to improve my community,” said Griselda Martinez, Eastside resident. “Now the people are more active and eat better, but we need to continue working together, so more people in our community can live a healthier life.”

Eastside HEAL Zone will also focus on three specific goals over the next three years:
·        Increase consumption of healthy food and beverages, such as fresh fruits and vegetables and drinking water, and decrease calorie consumption, especially sugar-sweetened beverages
·        Increase physical activity
·        Improve prevention, treatment, and management of obesity and its related conditions

The vision of the HEAL Zones is that at the end of the three-year initiative, communities will be measurably transformed, so that opportunities for engaging in healthy behaviors – walking and biking on safe routes, buying affordable fresh fruits and vegetables close to home, exercising in parks and participating in active after-school programs — are part of daily life.

“Obesity is one of the most pressing health concerns in our community today,” said Dr. Frank Flowers, Jr., Area Medical Director at Kaiser Permanente Riverside. “Poor diet, inactivity, and obesity contribute to the risk of many health issues, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and stroke. We’re especially concerned about the high rate of childhood obesity in Riverside, 25.80%, which is above the state average of 22.32%. That’s why it’s important that we all work together to make it easier to eat healthy and move more in Riverside.”

Interested community residents and leaders are welcome to join the Eastside HEAL Zone Collaborative. The Collaborative invites residents to become a part of the HEAL Zone Collaborative celebration on Tuesday, May 10, 2016 at Riverside City Hall  in the  Mayor’s Ceremonial Room/Grier Pavilion (7th Floor), 3900 Main Street in Riverside from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. or in the city Council Chambers at 6:15 p.m.

To learn more about Kaiser Permanente’s HEAL Zones and HEAL Zone Initiative, visit and

Kaiser’s effort to improve the health of the communities they serve, is a great example of Seizing Our Destiny’s unified city pillar.

Riverside Community Hospital’s Graduate Medical Education Department Announces First Class of Internal Medicine Residents

(Press Release from HCA Healthcare, Cherie Crutcher, Director of Marketing & Public Relations.)

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Riverside Community Hospital will welcome 25 residents for the Riverside Community Hospital/UC Riverside School of Medicine Internal Medicine Residency Program.  The residents’ names were announced during the annual Match Day event, when graduating medical students learn where they will be spending the next several years as resident physicians. The 25 PGY-1 (post-graduate year 1) slots available for Riverside Community Hospital’s Internal Medicine Residency program were all successfully matched and filled through this process.

The Internal Medicine program is the first residency at Riverside Community Hospital. 300 interviews were conducted with applicants from around the country.  This program represents the culmination of years of hard work to develop and implement the hospital’s graduate medical education program, and is a significant milestone and addition to the hospital’s ongoing growth and development.

“This class of residents has been selected because of their educational achievements and enthusiasm for making a difference in our community,” said Robby Gulati, M.D., Program Director of the new Internal Medicine residency program. He added, “The presence of faculty and residents increases primary care capacity in the inland Empire.”

Riverside Community Hospital and the UC Riverside School of Medicine are working to develop residency training programs in an effort to reduce the serious physician shortage.  The Inland Empire area has seen patient ratios as low as 120 doctors per 100,000 patients as compared to California statewide where the ratio is 194 per 100,000 patients. The physician shortage in Riverside is expected to worsen as physicians retire faster than new physicians can replace them.

“Riverside Community Hospital is proud to welcome our new residents to our Internal Medicine Graduate Medical Education Program.  We are committed to training the next generation of physicians. The new residency program is one piece of our strategy to address the physician shortage”, said Patrick Brilliant, President and CEO of Riverside Community Hospital.

“This is an important milestone for Riverside Community Hospital and  I am proud of our team who has devoted significant time to building the program,” said Ken Dozier, MD and Chief Medical Officer of Riverside Community Hospital.  “We hope to improve access to Primary Care for individuals in our community, reducing their need to use emergency rooms for non-emergent conditions.”

Dr. Gulati and his team are looking forward to welcoming the first class of residents.  Graduate Medical Education at RCH, in partnership with the UC Riverside School of Medicine, anticipates starting residencies in OB/Gyn, Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine and General Surgery within the next 24 months.

About Riverside Community Hospital

Founded in 1901, Riverside Community Hospital is a 373 licensed bed, full-service acute care hospital in the heart of the Inland Empire.  RCH has been recognized as a Top Performing Hospital and has invested in a new campus expansion project that includes a new 7-story patient tower, 3-story medical office building, and a recently completed new 5-level, state-of-the-art parking garage.   With over 500 physicians on staff, representing over 200 specialties and over 1,900 employees, Riverside Community Hospital is an Inland Empire leader in providing advanced, comprehensive health care to the Inland region.  RCH houses one of the largest Emergency Room and Trauma Center in the Inland Empire at 50.  RCH is the largest STEMI (heart attack) receiving centers and is a fully accredited Chest Pain Center.  Centers of Excellence include the HeartCare Institute, offering invasive and non-invasive cardiac procedures, Center of Excellence for Surgical Weight Loss, the Transplant Program, the Cancer Center and a Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Riverside Community Hospital is also committed to training the next generation of physicians through its Graduate Medical Education program.

About UCR School of Medicine

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.  The school’s mission is to expand and diversify the region’s physician workforce and develop innovative research and healthcare delivery models that improve the health of people living in Inland Southern California. The medical school also offers a Ph.D. program in biomedical sciences, and 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.

UC Riverside School of Medicine  is a great example of Seizing Our Destiny’s catalyst for innovation pillar.  The people and educational institutions of Riverside cultivate and support useful and beneficial ideas, research, products, and scholars. Creativity and innovation permeate all that we do, which makes our community a trendsetter for the region, nation, and world to follow.

RCC School of Nursing Secures Two Song-Brown Grants

(This article contains excerpts form the article published in RCC Campus News on March 1, 2016.)

Photo Credit: RCC Campus News
Photo Credit: RCC Campus News
For the second consecutive year, Riverside City College’s School of Nursing has received Song-Brown grants totaling $325,000.
RCC received $200,000 from the RN Capitation Award and $125,000 from the RN Special Program Award. The $200,000 RN Capitation Award was the second-largest award presented to a college in the state. Meanwhile the College was one of six schools to receive $125,000, the largest amount awarded, from the RN Special Program Award for a Virtual Clinical Simulation (VCS) program.
The Song-Brown Health Care Workforce Training Act was established in 1973 and encourages universities and primary care health professionals to provide healthcare in medically underserved areas, and provides financial support to registered nurse education programs throughout California.
The $200,000 award will help RCC’s School of Nursing address the RN shortage in Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange and Los Angeles counties and fund a full-time faculty position. The award will also allow the program to admit an additional 10 students into the Nursing program in the fall. 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.
“The Song-Brown grants will allow the program to enroll an additional 10 minority nurses over the grant period and create a Virtual Clinical Simulation program,” said Sandy Baker, dean, Nursing. “The Virtual Clinical Simulation program will ensure RCC student nurse exposure to clinical situations. Two designated faculty will prepare to become certified Healthcare Simulation Educators, who will train other faculty; develop and implement simulation scenarios with nursing students; and participate in inter-professional collaborative experiences with other members of the healthcare team.”
A 2014 landmark study conducted by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing validated the use of simulation in pre-licensure nursing curriculum as an effective substitution for up to 50 percent of traditional clinical experiences, producing comparable end-of-program educational outcomes.
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.
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.

To read the full article, click here.

Farmer Boys Donates Over $100,000 To Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital

(This article contains excerpts from the article published in PR Newswire on February 16, 2016.)

Farmer Boys President/COO Karen Eadon and CEO Demetris Havadjias. Photo Credit: PR Newswire
Farmer Boys President/COO Karen Eadon and CEO Demetris Havadjias. Photo Credit: PR Newswire

Farmer Boys® Restaurants, the brand known for cooked-to-order breakfasts, burgers and more, today announced it presented a check to Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital in the amount of $100,001.  (Yes – that’s correct – $100,001!!)Funds were collected during the 15th Annual Farmer Boys Fundraiser,Oct. 12Nov. 8, 2015.

For a donation of $1 or more, guests were recognized as Champions for Childrenwith a Heart of Champion donation slip displayed at Farmer Boys restaurants during the fundraiser. Farmer Boys recognized the generosity of its guests with a variety of special fundraiser vouchers.

“Farmer Boys is committed to helping Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital,” said Karen Eadon, Farmer Boys president and COO. “For 15 years we’ve been privileged to contribute to this amazing medical facility. With the help of our generous patrons, franchisees and employees, we are able to make a huge impact on the lives of children and their families in this region.”

Since 2000, Farmer Boys has donated $540,657 to Loma Linda UniversityChildren’s Hospital. Donations collected over the past 15 years have been used to purchase heart monitors for the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, vein viewers for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and fund the hospital’s annual Children’s Day celebration.

Companies such as Farmer Boys are great examples of Seizing Our Destiny’s unified city pillar. Riversiders are working together everyday to not only to address local issues, but to also have a positive impact on the region, nation, and world.

About Farmer Boys
Headquartered in Riverside, California, Farmer Boys is a fast casual restaurant chain founded in 1981 serving award-winning burgers, specialty sandwiches, crisp salads, signature sides, and all-day breakfast. Farmer Boys currently operates 86 restaurants in California and Nevada. For more information, visit

To read the full article, click here.

Kaiser Permanente Riverside Named “Top Hospital” by Leapfrog Group

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Elyse Morton and published in The Press Enterprise on December 14, 2015.)

Photo Credit:
Photo Credit:

The Leapfrog Group — a national watchdog group that compares hospitals’ performance on U.S. standards of safety, quality and efficiency — has named Kaiser Permanente Riverside and 16 other Kaiser Permanente hospitals as “Top Hospitals.”

The annual “Top Hospital” list is an exclusive group of U.S. medical centers. While more than 1,300 urban hospitals completed the Leapfrog survey and were considered for the recognition, only 62 (4.7 percent) were named “Top Hospitals.” In California, only 23 hospitals made the list. Kaiser Permanente’s 17 hospitals make up nearly three-quarters of the state’s “Top Hospitals.”

“Kaiser Permanente Riverside’s performance in The Leapfrog Group’s Top Hospital ratings reflects the successful outcomes that come from providing care within an integrated, coordinated health care model,” said Vita Willett, senior vice president, area manager for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals. “Our more than 432,000 members are able to achieve the best health outcomes because of the dedicated focus on high-quality care provided by our Kaiser Permanente physicians, nurses and care teams.”

In order to be on the list, a “Top Hospital” must have fulfilled stringent performance standards for high-risk procedures (such as heart surgery). A medical center must have also attained outstanding success in areas such as instituting stringent safety practices, and reducing infection rates and mortality rates for common procedures. Hospitals must also fully meet Leapfrog’s standards for implementing computer physician order entry systems

“Kaiser Permanente is consistently receiving the highest marks for quality and safety because our care teams are committed to doing what’s best for the member, keeping them safe and healthy,” said Frank Flowers, MD, area medical director for Kaiser Permanente Riverside. “Having experts available from every specialty area working in collaboration with their care teams, and utilizing the most advanced electronic medical record allows us to provide patients rapid, cutting-edge diagnosis and treatment.”

These achievement made by Kaiser, make Riverside a location of choice for people searching for a city with great healthcare.

To view the complete list of Leapfrog’s 2015 “Top Hospitals,” visit the group’s website at

To read the full article, click here.

Nursing Students Called Upon For A Real-Life Emergency

(This article contains excerpts from the article published in CBU News & Events on October 30, 2015.)

California Baptist University nursing students answered the call from the Riverside Fire Department’s request for assistance in a power outage on Oct. 30. Photo Credit: UCR Today
California Baptist University nursing students answered the call from the Riverside Fire Department’s request for assistance in a power outage on Oct. 30. Photo Credit: UCR Today

California Baptist University nursing faculty and students sprang into action to help a local rehabilitation center when the power went out on Oct. 30 shortly after 11:00 am.

A collapsed tree fell onto power lines on Magnolia Avenue in front of CBU’s front lawn and caused power outages in the surrounding areas. The Mission Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, located across the street from CBU, lost its power as well. This facility takes care of nearly 30 individuals that depend on power-operated ventilators to breathe.

The Riverside Fire Department initially responded to the scene.

Dr. Geneva Oaks, dean and associate professor of nursing, said that her office received a call stating that they could use some help.

“We responded immediately, probably around 30 – 40 of our staff and students went down the street,” said Oaks. “There were students running to the center.”

Oaks said that Jeff DeLaurie, battalion chief, wanted skilled hands available in case they needed to use manual devices to help patients breathe.

The center’s backup generators failed to turn the power back on. As a result, more than 10 fire engines and ambulances were called in to provide the power needed to allow the ventilators to keep running.

Oaks said the fire department requested that CBU faculty and students observe patients to ensure they were breathing correctly.

“They were asked to make sure the patients were receiving everything they needed to preserve life,” Oaks said.

The fire department was extremely thankful, Oaks said.

“It was a blessing to see the heart of our staff and students,” said Dr. Susan Drummond, associate dean and associate professor of nursing. “They want to do good and have a heart for service.”

These nurses truly demonstrated what makes Riverside such a unified city. Riverside are working together everyday to not only address local issues, but also have a positive impact on the region, nation, and world.

To read the full article, click here.

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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