Reach Out hosts 9th National Innovative Communities Conference

In its 9th year, Reach Out was proud to host the National Innovative Communities Conference at the Ontario Convention Center. The two-day conference, focused on the health and wellbeing of our communities, provided training, networking, and informative resources to hundreds of stakeholders across the region. What makes this conference so unique is its true reflection of the Inland Southern California landscape. County and city government representatives mingled and networked with educators, parents, law enforcement, business owners, non-profits, and faith-based organizations. In the spirit of collaboration, the Inland Empire Healthy Cities Summit was imbedded into the programming, providing leaders from both Riverside and San Bernardino counties the opportunity to convene and discuss ways to improve the region's health outcomes through policy initiatives. 

As the Inland Region continues to grow, the leadership skill sets needed to balance the health and economic demands will become more complex. The NICC is all about embedding the competencies and knowledge needed to build a high quality of life for all Inland residents. From parents, to agencies, to elected officials, everyone has a leadership role to play – and that’s why NICC is focusing on building leadership at all levels.
— Diana Fox, Executive Director of Reach Out
 Reach Out team team member, Violet, met these young ladies at the conference who attended the youth track.

Reach Out team team member, Violet, met these young ladies at the conference who attended the youth track.

This year was structured to provide something for the entire family with workshops for parents, a youth track for the teens, and day care services provided by Reach Out's Nurturing Parenting Program. There were over 50 unique sessions offered including several plenaries that addressed critical topics like domestic violence, teen drug use, immigration, coalition building, the future of technology, community health work, city planning, positive parenting, and much, much more. IHPC headed up the youth track with topics like mental health, suicide prevention, leadership, overcoming obstacles, social media awareness, and healthcare careers.

 Live performance art by Gregory Adamson. 

Live performance art by Gregory Adamson. 

The entertainment was not to be missed this year with special live performance art by acclaimed artist Gregory Adamson who paints upside to music, often using his bare hands. The canvas is then turned right side up to reveal a finished painting. The conference ended with a young Aztec dance troupe whose rhythmic drums, intricate costumes and colorful head pieces mesmerized the crowd. It was a beautiful culmination to a conference that reflects the diversity of our region. The time we had together flew by way too fast and before we knew it we were headed home with new friends, a wealth of information, and a renewed commitment to the place we call home -  Inland Empire. 

LIFE program affirms student's futures in healthcare.

 Each student received a special LIFE stole to wear at their HS graduation. 

Each student received a special LIFE stole to wear at their HS graduation. 

This program has taught me more about what medical providers do and what their responsibilities are. It’s confirmed [my choice] to go into the medical field. I am thankful for this program, because it allowed me to verify my choice in a career before going to school for it.
— Aidan Lacey

Aidan's words rang true to the room full of parents, teachers, and staff gathered at Eleanor Roosevelt High's Career Center to recognize the eighteen students who completed the LIFE (Learning Inspired Field Experience) program. As the students stood up to share their experiences, you could see the confidence they had gained - a sense of purpose in their eyes. This is what the LIFE program is all about - giving students from all walks of life an opportunity that will propel them into a successful healthcare career. 

 Students shared their LIFE experience with the family and high school staff gathered for the occasion. 

Students shared their LIFE experience with the family and high school staff gathered for the occasion. 

The Corona-Norco Unified School District (CNUSD) cohort had sixteen HS seniors and two juniors complete the 40 hours of field experience in different clinical settings including Norco Urgent Care, Kinematics of Norco, Riverside Medical Clinic in Eastvale and Corona, and the Queen of Hearts Therapy Ranch in Jurupa Valley. As part of the program, the students undergo an extensive application, onboarding, and training program as well as coordinated supervision and mentoring throughout their time. Each LIFE student is required to journal their experience and receive a wrap up evaluation by their host supervisor.   

This program has inspired me even more to pursue my dream of going into the medical field. It allowed me an experience that I might not have found elsewhere.
— Makenna Nuno

LIFE is having a profound affect on students across our region, providing them with an invaluable experience and essential life skills to propel them into a successful healthcare career. Not only do they reflect the diversity of our region, they are its future. The early success of the program is a reflection of the collaboration, between industry and education, that is needed to prepare the next generation for service.

This program has helped me affirm that I want to pursue a career in the medical field.
— Ashley Alvarez

By the region; for the region: The Guillermo J. Valenzuela Foundation has been doing their part to support this effort through educational scholarships, and have renewed their commitment to IHPC for the 2018/19 school year with another generous donation of $30,000! This will allow us to continue providing educational support for LIFE students as they move from high school into college and beyond. A combined total of $5,000 was awarded to the CNUSD LIFE cohort with the top three students receiving $500 each. IHPC will continue to seek industry partners to help us develop a strong health workforce pipeline to serve the Inland Empire. 

After my shadowing experience I learned the importance of communication, empathy, and passion. I also learned that being in the medical field, you are required to be a problem solver.
— Jillian Martinez

Our heartfelt gratitude goes out to everyone who supported the CNUSD LIFE program this past school year. To the clinics (represented by Griselda and Sam from Norco Urgent Care), the Valenzuela Foundation, the dedicated teachers (represented by Sandi Uribe), and the school administration (represented by Assistant Principal, Dr. Taylor), thank you for joining hands with IHPC to make a difference!

This shadowing process allowed me to improve on my communication skills and my time management skills. From this shadowing process, I learned that the medical field is for me.
— Aleea Ayala

Post note: Gloria Coder, the Outreach Specialist for CNUSD, received an email from these LIFE students on their High School graduation day, proudly wearing their LIFE stoles and thanking her for the opportunity. 

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Thanks!

"Thank you so much for the stoles and the LIFE experience. It was an honor to wear these at our graduation!" Aleea, Justice, and Ashley.

Yucaipa HS celebrates emotional milestone.

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Yucaipa High School's Health and Biomedical Science Academy (HBS), led by the academy's lead teacher, Tana DeLeon, were at times overwhelmed with emotion as they celebrated the first graduating class. The medical academy, launched in 2014, has seen challenges, but the dedication and perseverance of the teachers, counselors, and administration brought them to this night of recognition and cheers for the students. 

I am so proud of these determined students and all their accomplishments throughout high school.
— Tana DeLeon, Lead Teacher

The Inland Health Profession Coalition is proud of the YHS Health and Biomedical Science Academy for this tremendous milestone. While we have worked closely with HBS over the last year to provide work-based learning experiences, Tana has been actively involved in the San Bernardino Metro Nexus meetings, making connections, and advocating for her school and students. She has also provided valuable input and ideas for other schools in the region. 

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Tana and the Yucaipa HBS Academy team are a shining example of a school in the Inland Empire that has worked hard to establish a medical career academy and has witnessed great success over the past four years.  As HBS Academy moves into its fifth year and expects to enroll over 120 students in the Freshman class of 2018/19. 

On behalf of Luke Ridout, the Outreach Specialist for YHS, and the rest of the Inland Health Professions Coalition we want to congratulate the Class of 2018. We hope to see them meeting the needs of their community in the near future! 

Corona High jumps into Summer.

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This is the time of year when students are counting down the lasts days of school, fidgety and distracted, as they make plans for the summer. Jim Winn's sports medicine class thought this would be the perfect time to help their peers get into shape for the summer break by organizing a "Jump Into Summer" health fair focusing on physical activity. With the help of their teacher, Ms. Gloria Coder, IHPC outreach specialist, Jaime Ruvalcaba, sports trainer for the non-profit A Mark of a Champion, and Dr. Jay Chism, nutritionist and cold laser therapist, the students organized and took charge of all the events held over two lunch periods.  

Proudly wearing their black health pathways shirts, they set up an obstacle course and a blood pressure station where they recorded pre and post blood pressure, pulse, and 02 saturation levels of the participants. A nutrition station was set up with the help of Dr. Jay to teach students how to read nutrition labels on common foods. The tobacco education station warned against effects of tobacco use and gave out free popcorn.

As part of the health fair, pre-med students who are part of UCR's Mini Medical School, gave workshops on Autism, hyperlipidemia, and hypertension. To promote positive mental health, students participated in a Self-Love Pledge banner where they chose or wrote positive affirmations and sealed them with a thumb prints in the shape of a heart. Some of the things they students wrote included, "I will love myself," "I will exercise three times a week," "I will be more kind to my haters," and "I will help others find their inner beauty." Reach Out also set up a table staffed by LIFE student, Katie Garcia, who recruited for the upcoming summer LIFE program, while students nearby measured Body Mass Index (BMI) measurements. For those with more energy to burn, they could join in the jump roping and hula hoop contests while their friends cheered them on. With all the activity, a hydration station was in order with plenty of Gatorade and snacks to go around. 

These summer enthusiasts (all 400 hundred of them!) had great time and proved that getting in shape can be fun! We wish all the students a safe and healthy summer!

A safe place: reaching out to homeless youth in Upland

The homeless crisis in Southern California has reached an all-time high and with each news cycle, addressing the social welfare issues facing the homeless population continues to be front and center. Youth are not immune to this plight and are one of our most vulnerable homeless populations. Reach Out, whose mission is to address barriers to healthy communities, recently received funding to open an after-school homeless youth drop-in center right here in Upland.  Last week, the new center held an open house as part of its soft launch opening. Community members, clergy, teachers, parents, sheriff's deputies, and local non-profit organizers came to tour the facility and learn more about what the center will be offering. Flyers and other materials were also provided to help get the word out about this new service.  

 A rec room provides comfortable lounging and an art therapy center. 

A rec room provides comfortable lounging and an art therapy center. 

Our ultimate goal is to engage these youth and act as a bridge that connects them with resources like transportation, food, and clothing while helping them with the skills they need to be more employable. We hope that through the center, they’ll come to see us as people who genuinely care about their future.
— Evelyn Hendrick, Outreach Specialist, Reach Out

The center is meant to provide a safe, positive place for kids aged 12 - 18 to come after school and, beginning in June, will be open 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Monday - Friday. Outreach Specialists, Anna Roach and Evelyn Hendriks, will run the center and provide activities, resources, and supervision.

The center, conveniently located off Foothill Blvd and walking distance from Upland High, has a study room, a computer room, a game room, and a lounge with art desks and a gaming station. A small kitchenette and several mini-fridges will enable staff to offer food and snacks to hungry youth. A generous donation of clothing from AMR - Rancho Cucamonga will enable the center to start an inhouse boutique of sorts to get youth the some much needed clothing. Many partners have come forward to get the center ready, including Macy's department store, who generously decorated the center,  Molina Healthcare and Kaiser Permanente who donated all the furniture, and the Reach Out board members who donated the large screen tv.

For more information about the drop in center, call 909-931-1643 or email Anna Roach (anna.roach@we-reachout.org) or Evelyn Hedriks (evelyn@we-reachout.org). 

 

Surgery anyone?

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It's no small undertaking to host 160 STEM/Health pathway students at your surgery center for a day of learning, but that's what Julie Adelchanow, Director of the Surgey Center of South Bay in Torrance, and her staff did! Spearheaded by Navjot Kaur, one of the physician assistants who has been a regular classroom presenter (see Not Your Momma's Needle and Thread and Blood, Guts, and Gallstones), students representing five schools in the Corona-Norco USD disembarked at the surgery center and were immediately greeted by staff. They had arranged an outdoor activity where students raced to (correctly) don surgical gloves, booties, gowns, hair caps, and protective eyewear.  

Once inside, the center had set up ten activity stations with some truly unique experiences. Medical representatives from Covidien, Teleflex, Stryker, and DaVinci demonstrated and explained some of the high tech equipment like the Femto Laser used in cataract surgies, and the Stryker laparoscopes used for minimally invasive surgeries. Stations were also set up to help students understand the functions of pre-op, central services, the OR itself, and PACU (Patient Anesthesia Care Unit). In opthalmology they learned about Lasik and cataract surgeries and checked out the equipment used in these delicate procedures, like the YAG laser. 

As each group moved from station to station, we caught some video of one demonstrator with a nice slab of raw carne asada. He quickly explained that the meat was actually a great way to demonstrate how bleeding is controlled on human tissue during surgery.  After demonstrating how the electricity-generating cauterizing knife and machine is used, students were invited to give it a try, soon evoking smells of a bbq - not unusual in the operating room, the demonstrator said. We took pictures of the student's testing their dexterity with the various instruments (see gallery below)

The surgery center provided a full lunch for the students, as well as goody bags and notebooks to write questions and take down the information. By all accounts everyone had a good time and the students, who represented the intermediate schools of River Heights, Raney, and Auburndale, and the Roosevelt and Corona high schools, appreciated the chance to be part of a surgery center for a day. 

Thank you to Julie, Navjot, and all the staff at the center as well as the medical reps who brought the simulation equipment that enhanced their experience. This was a day they will not forget!

The surgical center was an amazing experience. It gave me and others an opportunity to visualize what real medical work takes. With this, I know there is a lot of responsibility and knowledge. Truly it was a great experience and I hope others will get to attend.
— student from River Heights

Allied Health Lab Day brings students and families together.

Allied Health Lab Day brought students and their parents together for a morning of educational fun at San Bernardino Valley College (SBVC). The word "lab" often conjures up images of mad scientists, strange smells, and glass beakers with bubbling fluids. But there is more to know about lab careers, and we partnered with SBVC to introduce micro, psych, pharmacy, and nursing labs to students and their families. 

Henry Lee, the keynote speaker, spoke about the dire need for lab scientist in Southern California and drew a connection between the what goes on in a lab and saving a life. A physician or a doctor cannot diagnose or treat patients without lab results, therefore labs play a direct role in the care and treatment of patients. Joan Murrillo, assistant professor of Anatomy and Physiology at SBVC, talked to the families about considering SBVC for higher education and the level of care and attention the instructors provide.  

Attendees extracted strawberry DNA, learned how to use and read an EKG machine, conducted seeing tests, and learned how to check for pulses and temperature.  Students and parents alike enjoyed the activities and what they learned about lab careers. We want to thank SBVC and Henry Lee for hosting Allied Health Lab Day!

I did not think I would be interested in lab work, but now I am interested. So glad I am!
— Shyanne Grajeda, Sophmore, Etiwanda HS

IHPC creates leaders.

The outreach specialists at IHPC work with young people to inspire, empower, and enable them to pursue their futures in health care. One of the many programs we have successfully initiated is the student ambassador program which selects high school health pathway representatives from area high schools. They attend nexus meetings, take on projects, give presentations, and share IHPC opportunities with their classmates. Through the program, the ambassadors develop leadership, initiative, and other soft skills. Two of our student ambassadors have shown early success through the program. Let's meet two of them:

Jeanette Choi - Senior at Chino Hills High School Health Science Academy

 Jeanette Choi, pictured [LEFT] poses with Carol Allbaugh [CENTER] and fellow student ambassador Isabella Orozco [RIGHT]. 

Jeanette Choi, pictured [LEFT] poses with Carol Allbaugh [CENTER] and fellow student ambassador Isabella Orozco [RIGHT]. 

We met Ms. Choi last year when she was an eager junior and applied for the IHPC student ambassador program. She actively promoted IHPC seminars, conferences, and site visits to her peers and even assisted with the Get Psyched! workshops we provided to get students interested in mental health careers. In her second year as a student ambassador, Jeanette then came to us with a request - she said a lot of her classmates were interested in mental health and she wanted to do a second Get Psyched! series for the Health Science Academy. We put her in touch with Dr. Teresa Etheridge, Program Director for HumanityCenter4Change, a mental health training agency, and that was it! Jeanette took charge and handled all the marketing, planning, and execution of Get Psyched Too!  Dr. Etheridge, the keynote speaker and workshop facilitator, was incredibly impressed with Ms. Choi and the hospitality she received from the students. Because of Jeanette's leadership, 48 students from Chino Hills HS participated in the series proving that old adage "You can give a man fish and he'll eat for a day but if you teach him to fish, he'll eat for a lifetime" certainly applies to the value of teaching young people to lead the next generation of health professionals. 

 

Andrew Hoover - Junior at Ayala High School

 Andrew Hoover speaks to middle school students at the JUMP Spring Celebration.

Andrew Hoover speaks to middle school students at the JUMP Spring Celebration.

We first met Andrew last year when he interviewed for a summer internship with the Kaiser Permanente Regional Reference Laboratory in Chino Hills. The lab is one of IHPC's industry partners and we were helping them to select students who were ready for an internship opportunity. Andrew was the last student of the day to interview and unfortunately, was not accepted into the program. Undaunted, he realized he needed to bulk up his resume and do something to get noticed. So, he applied to and joined the IHPC student ambassador program. A soft-spoken, shy young man, Andrew still took every opportunity the program offered him. He coordinated SBVC Nursing Day for 50 of his peers in Ayala's Pre-Med Society club, attended nexus and ambassador meetings, and assisted with the coordination of the JUMP Spring Celebration that was held on his school campus - even taking the mic and leading an activity with the 300 students gathered in the gym. The results? Andrew re-applied for the Kaiser Permanente Summer Youth Employment Program (YSEP) and was accepted! In an email to share the good news with his IHPC mentor, Ben Machado, he said, "I was chosen to be one of the interns for the YSEP program at Kaiser this summer because I was more qualified. I was able to show all the events I did with IHPC! Thank you very much for supporting me as a student ambassador!" We couldn't be happier for Andrew as we've watched him develop professionalism and leadership over the past year. We wish him a great internship this summer!

Not your momma's needle and thread!

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When Physician Assistant, Navjot Kaur, came to Sandi Uribe's medical assisting class at E. Roosevelt High, she wasn't planning to show kids how to do buttonholes and back stitching. Her expertise is in medical suturing and she works at the Little Company of Mary Medical Center in Torrance as a surgical PA. Ms. Kaur is passionate about sharing her knowledge with budding young medical professionals and came armed with enough suturing supplies for everyone to participate in holding the curved surgical needles and using surgical thread to practice on artificial "skin" pads. The students were so excited to practice, they didn't want to break for lunch! On behalf of Sandi Uribe's class, thank you Ms. Kaur! 

Learning the basics.

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The River Heights JUMP club is lucky to have CERT trainer, Gloria Coder, on hand to teach them the basics of first aid. Gloria loves working with this age group and probably enjoyed showing them how to use pressure bandages and tourniquets, and make simple first aid kits as much as they did!

You are never too young to learn some of these skills and Gloria took the time to explain the importance of bleeding control, how to apply pressure to the artery, and even how they can use classroom supplies to fashion an emergency tourniquet. She also had the students practice tying a triangular bandage to immobilize the arm. A follow up session will be scheduled to go over sprained ankle wrapping and how to transport and brace someone with a broken leg. Thanks, Glo!