SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – In 2018, the CDC estimated that approximately 1 in 59 children was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In its continuous efforts to enhance Inland Empire families’ access to integrated and comprehensive assessment services, the Inland Empire Autism Assessment Center of Excellence (AAC) recently announced the opening of its newest location in Riverside. The center is located at 19314 Jesse Lane, Suite 200, Riverside, CA 92508.
The AAC is a non-profit, evaluation-only center which allows children to be seen by a transdisciplinary specialty provider team that specializes in neurodevelopmental evaluation. The team includes neuropsychologists, pediatric neurologists, pediatricians, speech and language pathologists, occupational therapists, geneticists, and other behavioral and mental health clinicians.
“The gap in coordinated services available to children identified as potentially being diagnosed with ASD, led to the formation of the Inland Empire ASD Collaborative in 2012. The collaborative’s first mission was to create a Center of Excellence whereby all children of the Inland Empire would have access to a comprehensive diagnostic assessment, that would help drive needed treatment and services in our communities,” explained Dr. Kiti Freier Randall, pediatric neurodevelopmental psychologist and medical director of AAC. “From that mission, in 2016, the opening of the first Inland Empire Autism Assessment Center of Excellence in San Bernardino was realized. Three years later and having served approximately 3,000 Inland Empire children and their families, we have proudly opened our second center in Riverside.”
The center provides children an integrated and comprehensive assessment, designed to determine the diagnosis, severity and needed services. The center receives children who have been pre-screened and conducts a Comprehensive Diagnosis Evaluation involving neuro-psychologists, pediatric neurologists, developmental pediatricians, occupational therapists and speech therapists. Clinical services are delivered mainly through providers from Loma Linda University Health System for the best possible outcomes. If a child has a diagnosis other than ASD, the center refers the child to an appropriate resource.
The AAC offers families and their children many benefits including:
- Inter-Agency Collaboration – improves referrals and aligns providers and educators
- Comprehensive Assessments – eliminates wasted time and duplicative assessments
- One-Stop Shop – parents can now determine their child’s autism needs in one place
- Early Intervention – Early diagnosis leads to access to treatment at an earlier age for a higher quality of life and functioning
The agencies represented in this this collaboration have included: Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP), Loma Linda University Health Department of Pediatrics, Inland Empire Autism Society, Inland Regional Center, First Five of Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, Children’s
Network, Behavioral Health Departments in both Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, representation from San Bernardino and Riverside School Districts and SELPA’s, Molina Health Care, Children’s Fund, University of California, Riverside, and San Bernardino Preschool Services Department.
“We are extremely grateful for the incredible support of these organizations who share our mission to provide every child in the Inland Empire access to a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation which leads to a treatment plan that will allow that child’s needs to be met early and effectively,” added Dr. Peter Currie, AAC board chair.
For more information about the Inland Empire Autism Assessment Center of Excellence or to schedule an appointment, please call (909) 799-3777 or log on to www.autismassessment4ie.org.
People On The Move — Claudia Medina Salazar, PA-C
Claudia Medina Salazar, PA-C Joins Optima Health
Claudia Medina Salazar, PA-C is the newest member of the Optima Health medical team.
“I’m excited to begin my career as a physician assistant alongside the highly respected and accomplished Optima Health medical staff,” said Ms. Salazar. “I look forward to gaining added insights into primary care while working with patients to collaborate on care plans that they can incorporate seamlessly into their everyday lives.”
Ms. Salazar received her BS in Biology from the University of California, Riverside and her MS in Physician Assistant Practice from the University of Southern California. Her path to the medical field was formed through personal tragedy.
“My dad passed from a heart attack when I was a very young girl,” explained Ms. Salazar. “Recollections of that experience made me very passionate about preventative health for myself, family and friends. Today, that extends to the patients I treat.
“So many chronic conditions that are prevalent today are rooted in the minor choices we make every day. I make it a point to address ‘little things’ that can lead to an improved quality of life.”
The mission of Optima Health is to improve the health of patients served with a commitment to excellence and to offer the highest quality patient-centered care in a caring, convenient and accessible manner. Practices are located in Riverside and Crestline.
For more information, call 951-788-0008 or go to optimahealthgroup.com.
Sunitha Reddy, Prime Healthcare VP of Operations, Named to Modern Healthcare’s Top Emerging Leaders List
Modern Healthcare has named Sunitha Reddy, VP of Operations for Prime Healthcare, as one of America’s 25 Top Emerging Leaders, in recognition of her work to help community hospitals remain open and improve performance across the country.
Modern Healthcare, the leader in healthcare business news, research, and data, annually honors emerging leaders aged 40 and under who have made significant contributions in the areas of innovation, financial, operational, and clinical excellence.
“Fresh perspectives, adaptability and strategic thinking are crucial to the advancement of healthcare, especially at a time when ideas about care delivery and patient needs are rapidly changing,” said Fawn Lopez, Modern Healthcare Publisher.
Reddy oversees revenue cycle and financial operations for Prime Healthcare and guides managed care strategy. Challenges in revenue cycle and operations, compounded with increasing costs have put significant financial strain on community hospitals, leading to bankruptcies or hospital closures around the country. Reddy has focused on revenue cycle improvement and building the bridge between finance and operations to aid communities struggling to keep their hospitals open. She successfully streamlined multiple clinical and financial operations to enhance performance across the organization, driving millions in improvements.
Reddy also led a multidisciplinary team to develop a user-friendly Patient Estimator Tool to help consumers better understand their healthcare costs, consistent with Prime Healthcare’s commitment to price transparency and consumer-focused care.
Prime Healthcare is one of the nation’s leading health systems with 45 hospitals and more than 300 outpatient locations in 14 states. Under Reddy’s leadership, teams at the hospital and corporate levels have designed and implemented new systems, data-driven processes, innovative technology, and best practices that have enhanced the operational performance of Prime Healthcare; helping the company triple in size since 2015.
“Sunitha is a proven innovator and servant leader who has helped position Prime Healthcare extremely well in the face of rapid advancements in the healthcare field,” said Sunny Bhatia, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Prime Healthcare. “In addition to her diligence and incredible contributions to our hospitals throughout the pandemic, Sunitha’s guidance and vision will be a key to ensuring Prime Healthcare’s continued record of clinical, financial and operational excellence.”
“Sunitha has been a leader in accelerating Prime Healthcare’s implementation of technologies and processes to drive improvements in performance,” said Steve Aleman, Prime Healthcare CFO. “She is always focused on our mission and our people, and she creates a culture of inclusivity and togetherness that celebrates everyone’s strengths and unique perspectives.”
Reddy is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. She received a Master of Business Administration from Harvard University with honors; a Master of Public Health from Columbia University, where she received the Foster G. McGaw scholarship award for academic excellence; and a Bachelor of Science in Biology, Magna Cum Laude, from UCLA with college and departmental honors. For the last two years, Reddy has been recognized by Becker’s Hospital Review as a “Rising Star.”
“Thank you to Modern Healthcare for this prestigious recognition, and congratulations to my fellow honorees who are making an incredible impact through their work,” said Reddy. “I am honored to represent Prime Healthcare and our mission of saving hospitals to serve communities across the United States.”
This year’s honorees are profiled in the March 21 issue of Modern Healthcare magazine and online at Modernhealthcare.com/awards/top-25-emerging-leaders-2022
Defining Moment: Match Day 2022 for California University of Science and Medicine Inaugural Class
Inaugural Doctor of Medicine class celebrates Match Day as they match with residency programs nationwide
California University of Science and Medicine (CUSM) is celebrating a milestone! The 62-member inaugural Class of 2022 discovered their perfect match, medical specialty match, that is. Along with 37,000 other senior medical students nationwide, CUSM students opened envelopes at exactly 9:00 am PT to discover where they would go and what they would do next in their long path to medical practice. Four years of learning, two years of the pandemic, and months of applications, interviews, and rankings from students and programs led to this day. Students learned where they would continue their training as residents, and training programs learned which new physicians will be joining July 1, 2022. All through the National Residency Match Program.
Established with the mission to create educational and economic opportunities for Inland Southern California and help meet our region’s healthcare needs, CUSM’s first MD class began in 2018. CUSM now enrolls over 400 MD students, 91% of whom come from California. 40% from Inland Southern California
The inaugural match is a big step in advancing the university’s goal of addressing the critical physician shortage, improving health equity, and enhancing population health for Inland Southern California. Gathered in the courtyard of the state-of-the-art medical school, faculty, staff, students, and their supporters shared their hopes and well wished to the students. “We are thrilled to see these results. They are an exceptional reflection of our mission.” said Paul Lyons, MD, CUSM President and Dean of the School of Medicine
CUSM is pleased to share the National Residency Match Program results for the Inaugural MD Class of 2022.
- CUSM helps lead the national effort to address mental health with 12 students (20%) headed into Psychiatry. Among the highest in the nation.
- CUSM helps fill the primary care workforce gap with 16 (26%) students headed into Pediatrics, Family Medicine, and Internal Medicine.
- CUSM helps address frontline healthcare delivery with 10 (16%) students headed into Emergency Medicine.
- CUSM helps fill the regional workforce gap with approximately 1/5 in Inland Southern California and 2/3 in Southern California.
- 100% of students have destinations after graduation, including clinical training and research.
- 18% (11) matched into programs in the Inland Empire.
- 100% of matched students are headed to specialties that have shortages in the IE, the main area of fulfilling the mission of CUSM.
- 38% (IM, Psych, OB, Peds, Family) matched into primary care specialties defined by the federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
Ten surgeons will begin their training in the summer of 2022, with three in orthopedics, including two women, who are particularly underrepresented in orthopedics. Other surgical program matches include general surgery (4), vascular surgery (1), otolaryngology (1), obstetrics and gynecology (1), and ophthalmology.
The class did well and placed in specialties with very few nationwide, such as urology, diagnostic radiology, anesthesiology, and physical medicine and rehabilitation.
Among notable destinations are partnering and local institutions Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, UHS Southern California, Kaiser, Loma Linda Medical Center, and Riverside Community Hospital.
CUSM students are also headed to residency training programs at Stanford, UCLA, UC Irvine, UC San Diego, Mount Sinai Beth Israel (NY), Case Western (OH), University of Pittsburgh (PA), and University of Washington (WA).
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