LIFE Cohort recognized for achievement.


22 students from San Jacinto High School CTE Medical Assisting Pathway were recognized for completing 70-80 hours of LIFE internship at Hemet Valley Medical Center. Students families were invited to learn more about LIFE program, hear student testimonials, and watch their students receive certificates of completion. A surprise $5,000 educational award from the Guillermo J. Valenzuela Foundation was awarded to 10 students for outstanding performance. ($500 per student).

We would be remiss if we didn't also recognize the people who made the LIFE program happen! Thank you to:

Janet Balash - Chief Nursing Officer (host of internship)

Alma Salas - Student's Medical Assistant Instructor

Henry Rivera-  Student's Medical Assistant Instructor

Joyce John - Dean of Instruction, CTE, Mt San Jacinto College

Guillermo J. Valenzuela - Educational Award Sponsor

Auburndale Intermediate kicks off JUMP Club '18.


It seems like just yesterday that we held the JUMP Spring Showdown, yet that was almost a year ago! So Outreach Specialist, Gloria "Glo" Coder packed up her cart and headed to Auburndale Intermediate school in Corona to recruit for the 2018 cohort of JUMP.  47 students signed up to bea member of the Junior Upcoming Medical Proffessional  club which is essentially a HOSA for middle school kids. Word spread across the school and a week later at the first club meeting there were 67 students!  Good thing there were extra helping hands on the part of Alia, Alexis and Kelley from IHPC! 


The first activity introduced the concept of germs and the importance of handwashing - a perfect exercise in the midst of the worst flu season we've seen in decades!  They applied  “germ juice” to the student's hands which looks and feels like lotion. A special flashlight shown onto the hands causes the germs to glow. Then students were given a choice of hand sanitizer or good old soap and water to wash their hands. Back under the blue light they could immediately see what they'd missed. They then discussed their findings. Of note, a majority of the students found that hand sanitizer did not sufficiently remove the germs, and that the soap and water did a better job.  They concluded that it was likely due to more time rubbing their hands under running water vs. hand sanitizer which is quick to apply. They also noticed the places that they did not remove the germs such as between the fingers and around the cuticles.  Each student got an ice cream treat as they finished the experiment, but maybe what we should have given them was a bar of soap (smile).


CNUSD teachers attend the Work-based Learning Institute


More than a dozen teachers from the Corona Norco USD attended their first Work-Based Learning (WBL) Institute at the district office. We had 17 teachers in attendance. 

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Over the course of this multi-day workshop, teachers collaborated on several exercises to address the workbased learning challenges and resources needed to run an effective program. They were provided with lots of online resources and had a live demonstration of the NEPRIS platform which brings industry professionals into the classroom via live two-way video feed.  They also explored Career Success for HS students and CTE online. It was an intense couple of days but they left armed with new ways to introduce work-based learning into their classrooms. 

Eastvale STEM gets kids excited about science!

The Eastvale STEM and Science Expo this year was held with Eleanor Roosevelt HS, Ramirez Intermediate, and River Heights Intermediate participating.  Hundreds of students and families came through during the three hours event.  IHPC was in the house with the health career corner where students culd learn about the different parts of the eye from the giant eyeball on the table, and play with our fat and muscle replicas. We even had a few things for the younger crowd including the sports med operation game and the "build the body's muscle" floor puzzle. We shared the table with the UCR Mini Medical School premed students who to come out  shared information on addiction (they brought the beer goggles for the kids to try), Alzheimer’s disease, wellness choices, and HIV/AIDS.  Thanks as always to UCR students an dour intern Alexis for your help! 

Blood, guts, and gallstones.


I hope you haven't had lunch yet - the heafty jar of excised gallstones that surgical physician assistant, Navjot Kaur placed on the table for students to gawk at was not exactly a great appetizer. But the students couldn't tear their eyes away. Now that she had their attention, Ms. Kaur held it there with tales from the surgical room at Little Company of Mary Medical Center in Torrane where the works. Her career talk included a video of an actual gallbladder surgery being performed. When asked what her favorite part of the job was, she smartly replied, "That I get to hold the scapel and that I'm not the patient!" 

Ms. Kaur then brought out her bag of goodies - surgical suture tools, gauze pads, and other supplies so that the crowd of students surrounding her could take turns practising sutures with forceps and a needle holder. She was patient and explained some of the technical skills needed to be a great surgical PA. 


Ms. Kaur not only brought a valuable classroom experience to the students at Corona HS, she has also offered to allow a student to job shadow her at work, even donating funds to help a student in need with a gas card to get there! Her committment to education is truly inspiring. Thank you!

Body World Exhibit is awe-inspiring!

What a treat for the Canyon Springs High School students who visited the Body World: Pulse Exhibit at the California Science Center. This is a very unique learning experience that brings the wonderful human anatomy back to life in a way that attracts thousands of visitors from all walks of life. Sadly the exhibit will only be in town through February 4th. If you have a chance to go, don't miss this wonderful opportunity. Visit for more information.

Yucaipa High students take mock interviews.

 Forefront: Andy Serobyan interviews student. Back L to R: Interviewers Shadia Salem and Robert Coster put a few interviewees through their paces. 

Forefront: Andy Serobyan interviews student. Back L to R: Interviewers Shadia Salem and Robert Coster put a few interviewees through their paces. 

Yucaipa students got a real world experience through mock interviews. Creating a resume and prepping for a job interview can be nerve-wracking, even for those of us who've done it a few times. That is why we work with high schools to conduct mock interviews where students are given training on how to create a resume, fill out job applications, and ask/answer typical job interview questions. Then we recruit local health professionals to come in and "interview" these students for a particular job. 

 Tarnia Stanley interviews student. 

Tarnia Stanley interviews student. 

Working with Tana DeLeon and her senior Health and Biomedical Sciences class we conducted mock interviews for 47 students. It's interesting is to see how much the students improve each time they participate in a mock interview day. The interviewers were especially impressed with the high level of performance each student exhibited. This level of training and preparedness provides students a competitive edge that will stay with them long after they leave high school. 

Thank you to all of our interviewers, Robert Coster, Shalon Watkins, and Andy Serobyan from American Medical Response, Tarnia Stanley from IEHP, Pablo Ariza from Loma Linda University, Shadia Salem from the Boys and Girls Club of Fresno County, and Dr. Doug Flores [ret.].

Murrieta Mesa students took a stand against negativity this week.


The suicide prevention campaign also known as "Be A Link," was the theme this week at Murrieta Mesa High.  Students participating in IHPC's mental health pipeline project (PEP) planned a week long list of lunch time activities as a follow-up to the teen suicide prevention training they received from the Riverside County department of Public Health and promote positivity on their campus while passing out suicide prevention hotline cards. Not only did they demonstrate incredible leadership and creativity, they were able to tap into messaging that would resonate with their classmates. The activities were both poignant and relevant to the issues facing teens today. Here are some of the highlights: 

Gorgeous Gems: These little notecards were handed out to students containing positive messages.

 Pop negativity.

Pop negativity.

Pop Negativity-Inflate Confidence: Green balloons were filled with positive messages on slips of paper and then inflated. Students were allowed to write a familiar negative message on the outside and then pop the balloon to reveal the positive one (see photo above).


 Self-love pledges.

Self-love pledges.

Self-Love Pledge: The best medicine is preventative medicine and the self-love activity gave students a chance to pledge to love themselves on a huge banner for all to see. After writing their pledge, they "signed" it with a thumb print.

Put Your Print on Negativity: A large banner was prefilled with negative words like "fat," "ugly," and "ghetto." Students covered their hands in paint and "stamped" out these thoughts. 

 Put your print on negativity!

Put your print on negativity!


In an effort to raise awareness about cyber bullying, a large cell phone pinata covered in negative messages, was erected in the commons area. Students had the opportunity to take a swing at the phone until it broke open. There was a mad scramble to grab up the candy, positive messages, and suicide prevention hotline cards inside. These and other activities really got the student's attention because they were both fun and informative. One of the student coordinator's shared with us why this awareness campaign is so important: 

We’re looking to help people raise awareness about suicide and just the whole idea of positivity. I think it’s really important that we do this because a life is so valuable and you never know what someone is planning. You never know how big an impact you make by what you say, so it’s important to have [these activities] here so that we can [reach] many people. Everybody is important and everybody matters so it’s really important that we make sure people know that.
— Cylis Banks - Junior at Murrieta Mesa HS

We couldn't agree more!

IHPC takes a look back to inform the future. 

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The whirlwind of the holidays brought about something very special we want to share - our 10 year report. This comprehensive study was months in the making and many of you were asked to participate in an online survey to share your thoughts about the impact of IHPC on health workforce. This 100-page report took a deep look at how we started, what we've done well, and where we can focus improvements as we move into the second decade of our work. The good news is this - we are making a difference! 

But no one said it better than two very dynamic young ladies who have been participating in IHPC field experiences and site visits for the last year. Their testimonies truly reflected why this health workforce development work is so essential to our region. Michelle Onyiah, sophmore at Eleanor Roosevelt High School and Isabella Orozco, senior at Chino Hills High School captured the hearts and minds of our audience at the holiday quarterly meeting with their personal testimonies. 

If you are a high school student and do not know what to do after high school, or even if you do, you need to get involved with IHPC. They will truly open your eyes to other health professions. For the longest time I was in between engineering and the medical field. Then, as a freshmen I went to my first IHPC field trip - medical boot camp. I loved it!...I also got certified in mental health first aid, so now I can help my friends if I see mental health issues...Then I got to visit University of LaVerne to learn about multiple health professions. This [experience] I loved the most becuase I learned about biomedical engineering which has medical and engineering right there together! I was like, ‘score! I’m doing THAT when I get older.’
— Michelle Onyiah
 Michelle's excitement lit up the room!

Michelle's excitement lit up the room!

Isabella stressed the idea that her experiences have helped her to realize that, while being a doctor or nurse is important, there are so many more ways to serve. 

There are experiences that I will never forget....there are so many opportunties that you’ve showed are really are impacting my high school [experience]. There are kids that are saying ‘I’m going to go be a pharmacist.’ You don’t hear high school kids talk like that. Or ‘I’m going to go specialize in neonatology or go work for a biotech company and go into bioengineering’,  but those are the options IHPC is giving us.
— Isabella Orozco
  Carol Allbaugh gives Isabella Orozco a giant hug for her moving testimony about IHPC's impact on her life. 

Carol Allbaugh gives Isabella Orozco a giant hug for her moving testimony about IHPC's impact on her life. 


These students, and hundreds of others like them, are our future workforce and we look forward to impacting all the "Michelle's" and "Isabella's" in our region who are looking for the opportunity to create their own pathway and serve our region. We hope that you, our partners, stakeholders, and supporters, stay with us on this journey. Download 10-year report and strategic plan

Students go to camp.

 Students talk to one of Reach's air medics during a brief tour of the helicopter. 

Students talk to one of Reach's air medics during a brief tour of the helicopter. 

IHPC put on another Discovery Health Occupations Camp with the help of our partners at Mt. San Jacinto College-Menifee Campus. This was a great opportunity for high school students to learn about the nursing and allied health programs offered there. Students participated in several breakout sessions and learned about Fire Technology, 

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Registered Nursing, Certified Nursing Assistant, Emergency Medical Technician, and Diagnostic Medical Sonography careers. There were plenty of hands-on activities to go around as students learned proper patient transfer from bed to wheelchair, and how to take blood pressure, pulse, and temperature.  Wound care was also practiced, which received more than a few jokes as the students walked into to room full of "butts" lined up on tables with "wounds." It was explained to the students that wound care often starts with pressure points and bedridden patients can easily develop sores on, you guessed, their back ends. After the chuckles, students got down to the serious business of learning how to care and prevent these sores as medical students and instructors patiently showed them the steps. One of the many highlights of the day was when a gleaming red REACH Air helicopter landed on site and the students were allowed to climb onboard and talk to the air medics who were all too happy to share their passion for this type of health service, with the students. All in all, nearly 200 students and teachers from Elsinore, Citrus, Paloma, Heritage, West Valley, Tahquitz, Hemet, and Perris High Schools  participated in the two-day Discovery Health Occupations.

I think hands-on learning, is really important because that’s how it gonna be in the future for our careers and our jobs. Everything is really hands-on so it’s really important to get a heads on a start with that.
— N. Rangel, Junior at Tahquitz High School

We would like to thank Mt. San Jacinto College, and Reach Air Medical Services and their team for taking the time to educate our students on the emergency air services and let them tour one of their helicopters


PS. Did you know that, according to Glassdoor, a REACH Air Medic pilot makes between $64,000 to $83,000 dollars a year? Hmmm...something to think about!