Local Seniors Receive Handmade Valentine's Day Cards

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif., Feb. 11, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- While COVID continues to isolate families and loved ones, Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) employees are determined to show love to seniors who reside in Inland Empire skilled nursing facilities (SNFs).

This Valentine's Day, more than 2,100 handmade greeting cards will be distributed to seniors in these living facilities. Receiving centers include: Inland Valley Care & Rehab in Pomona, Jurupa Post-Acute Center in Riverside, Las Colinas Providence in Ontario, and Palm Grove Healthcare in Beaumont.

"Times have been tough on everyone because of COVID-19, especially for our seniors in nursing care facilities," said Kristy Garan-Martinez, IEHP utilization management director. "Many facilities have had to reduce visitation time between seniors and their families, and others have had to reduce the mobility of residents around the center to allow for social distancing," she added. "We really want these residents to know that we are thinking of them and that they are truly in our hearts. Despite our distance, we want them to feel special and loved."

Mobilizing volunteers and generating support for efforts like these, IEHP's Community Partnerships team works with employees to share needs and volunteer opportunities throughout the community.

"Every resident and community member counts," said Marci Coffey, IEHP community partnerships director. "Our Team Members know this and actively volunteer to support causes that embody this sentiment. Our mission is to heal and inspire the human spirit, and we hope these handwritten cards remind residents of the love we have for them and how important that their health and well-being are to us."

Supporting the effort, IEHP's Executive Director of Technology Operations, Jane Maass, encouraged her teams to participate by organizing a friendly competition between business units. In total, her teams created 1,532 cards to distribute. "Everyone was eager to get creative and do something to support these residents," said Maass. "Our teams are always excited to jump in and do the right thing, no matter the situation."

To support residents in SNFs throughout the pandemic, the health plan has organized socially-distant outdoor parades and began its practice of creating and distributing handmade greeting cards--more than 1,400 in 2020--to residents at centers across the region. IEHP plans to continue these card distributions throughout the year.

"These calls for support never go unanswered by our IEHP family," said Jarrod McNaughton, IEHP chief executive officer. "I am never surprised by the love and commitment our Team Members show to our Members, Providers, Partners, Neighbors and each other. I hope our community residents in skilled nursing facilities know that each greeting card they receive is truly from the heart of an IEHP Team Member who truly cares and is actively working to make the region a healthier place for us all."

About IEHP
IEHP, Inland Empire Health Plan, is one of the top 10 largest Medicaid health plans and the largest not-for-profit Medicare-Medicaid plan in the country. With a network of more than 6,400 Providers and more than 2,000 employees, IEHP serves more than 1.3 million residents in Riverside and San Bernardino counties who are enrolled in Medicaid or Cal MediConnect Plan (Medicare-Medicaid Plan). Through a dynamic partnership with Providers and Community, award-winning service and innovative products, IEHP is fully committed to advocating for our Members and providing them with quality, accessible and wellness-based health care services. For more information, visit iehp.org.

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SOURCE Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP)