Rancho Cucamonga, CA, April 16, 2018 — In a significant investment to improve population health throughout the Inland Empire, Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) has partnered with Family Service Association (FSA) to pilot an innovative model to increase access to healthy food and prevent the onset of diabetes in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.
Public health reports from both Riverside and San Bernardino Counties reveal that a disproportionate number of residents are affected by overweight and obesity, increasing their risk of developing diabetes. “Residents in these communities have limited access to healthy and fresh food that is affordable,” said IEHP Medical Director, Family and Community Health Priya Batra, MD, MS. “This severely limits the ability to manage or prevent diabetes,” she added. IEHP is addressing this issue with a three-pronged approach.
First, IEHP is supporting the expansion of FSA’s existing Mobile Fresh program into additional Inland Empire communities. Mobile Fresh is a commuter bus donated by Riverside Transit Agency that has been transformed into a grocery store on wheels. Mobile Fresh offers fresh produce, dairy products, bread, dry goods, and some canned and packaged items at prices up to 30 percent lower than grocery stores. Mobile Fresh combines the convenience of a corner store with the selection and freshness of a Farmer’s Market to the Inland Empire.
Second, IEHP and FSA will be offering Healthy Cooking Classes in Moreno Valley, San Jacinto, San Bernardino, and Victorville. The Healthy Cooking Classes teach the entire family (adults and children) how to cook simple, delicious, and healthy meals over the course of six weeks.
Finally, IEHP is supporting FSA to provide the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), which is free for eligible IEHP Members diagnosed with prediabetes. Based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National DPP, the program helps participants improve nutrition and physical activity to prevent the onset of diabetes. The DPP is a year-long lifestyle change program that includes bilingual (English and Spanish) classes. Instruction will be provided by a Lifestyle Coach and topics will include nutrition, exercise, and stress management.
“These innovative initiatives are a continuation of IEHP’s mission to improve the delivery of quality, accessible, wellness-based healthcare services to Inland Empire residents,” said IEHP Chief Executive Officer Bradley Gilbert, MD, MPP. “Through this partnership with FSA, we’re promoting disease prevention and healthy behaviors while empowering residents to lead healthier lives.”
IEHP, Inland Empire Health Plan, is a not-for-profit Medi-Cal and Medicare health plan located in Rancho Cucamonga, California. With a network of more than 6,000 providers and more than 2,000 employees, IEHP serves more than 1.2 million residents in Riverside and San Bernardino counties who are enrolled in Medi-Cal or Cal MediConnect Plan (Medicare). Through a dynamic partnership with providers, award-winning service, and innovative products, IEHP is fully committed to providing members with quality, accessible and wellness-based healthcare services. www.iehp.org.
Family Services Association (FSA) is a nonprofit public benefit health and human service agency serving Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. Learn more at www.fsaca.org.