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Inland Empire Health Plan Wins State Innovation Award

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November 6th, 2020 — Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) was recently awarded the prestigious California Department of Healthcare Services (DHCS) Innovation Award for 2020. The award was based on IEHP’s groundbreaking work using location intelligence to reach high-risk members and providers in geographic areas affected by power outages, wildfires, and other natural disasters.

This is the fourth time the health plan has received this honor—more times than any other health plan in California. In prior years, the health plan received the Innovation Award for its forward-thinking efforts in creating the IEHP Housing Initiative (2018), BH Integration and Complex Care Initiative (2017), and the Transitional Care Project (2015).

“As a health plan, our number one priority is supporting our members and the communities we serve,” said Dr. Karen Hansberger, IEHP chief medical officer. “In emergency situations especially, we need to be able to sustain that support. Using this intelligence, we can quickly identify and reach our high-risk members and providers, connect them to our multidisciplinary care teams, and assist in meeting their needs, including relocation to safe and stable environment.”

To make this happen, IEHP partnered with geospatial technology company Esri to implement their location intelligence project.

Dr. Karen Hansberger recently presented at Esri’s Driving Innovation in Healthcare with Location Intelligence Webinar, sharing IEHP’s use of location intelligence to support members [24:41].

“We are so thrilled for IEHP and the well-deserved recognition bestowed on them by winning this award. We join in congratulating them for this outstanding achievement,” said Dr. Este Geraghty, Esri chief medical officer. “This acknowledgement is a testament to IEHP’s drive to continually innovate and improve member outcomes through location intelligence.”

By overlaying data from local utilities, emergency response authorities, and IEHP’s patient records, the health plan developed an application that allows frontline staff to identify member’s homes and facilities that are in proximity of wildfire perimeters or power shutoffs.

This capability was a tremendous help to the health plan during the 2019 California Wildfires. Using this intelligence, the health plan was able to monitor, relocate and support members who rely on electrically based durable medical equipment (such as ventilators), ensuring continuity of care for members.

“It is truly an honor to be recognized for our innovative efforts to better serve and support our members and communities,” said Jarrod McNaughton, IEHP chief executive officer. “It’s important to us that we be available to our members, especially when they need us most. We will stop at nothing to fulfill that promise and we will continue to actively adapt and evolve to show up for our members, no matter the circumstance.”

To learn more, visit, dhcs.ca.gov.

The Inland Empire Business Journal (IEBJ) is the official business news publication of Southern California’s Inland Empire region - covering San Bernardino & Riverside Counties.

Health & Wellness

Conquering Hanger: Smart Strategies for Balanced Blood Sugar

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Stay Energized and Focused with These Proactive Tips for Managing Hunger and Mood

Wellness Tips By Sarah Goudie, Nutrition Expert & Guest Writer for IEBJ

We’ve all been there: mornings rushed, constant pivots throughout the day, and suddenly it’s 7 pm with no thought given to food. Looking back on those moments, we all know what we resort to when we’re hangry.

Irritable. Scatterbrained. Shaky. Weak. Reduced impulse control. Tanked.

It’s simply the connection between our stomach and brain, as blood sugar levels can affect the release of hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, the fight or flight and stress hormones.

So, let’s address this blood sugar regulation/hangry cycle by taking care of ourselves in a few different ways.

  1. Prioritize Protein and Fat Before Your Morning Coffee: Your first meal sets the tone for the day ahead. Starting with protein before your coffee or favorite pastry can help stabilize blood sugar levels and provide satisfaction and sustenance. A handy tip: prepare a batch of hard-boiled eggs or protein pancakes on your day off for convenient grab-and-go options before you head out. Trust me, cold protein pancakes make for a quick and nutritious bite on your way to work!
 (Try the recipe below!) 
  1. Opt for Balanced Meals: When you have a chance to eat, even if it’s not your ideal meal, prioritize finishing your protein first, followed by your veggies and fruits. If you’re including simple carbohydrates, save those for the end of your meal. This meal sequencing helps regulate blood sugar levels and mood.

  1. Plan Ahead—Even Days in Advance: Sometimes, waking up 15 minutes earlier isn’t enough to ensure a nourishing breakfast and packed lunch. However, planning earlier in the week can alleviate the morning rush before you start your day. I often create a menu tailored to my work week, carefully considering seasonal foods and my personal goals. While meal prepping is fantastic if you have the time and enjoy leftovers, simply having a plan and doing the shopping can empower you and reassure you that your kitchen is stocked and ready.

  1. Slow Down: The quality of the foods we eat is important (think locally sourced, sustainable, clean), but so is the timing of our meals, as well as our mood and our focus while eating. Be intentional about meal times—sit down, step away from your desk, TV, or phone, and fully immerse yourself in the experience of eating. Many times, we eat quickly without being mindful. If you must eat on the go, find a quiet spot, whether it’s a park bench or pulled over in your car. Take the time to see, smell, and taste your food.

  1. SNACK SMART: This last tip is bolded for good reason—it has been a lifesaver for me countless times. Pack snacks. Every day. ESPECIALLY WHEN TRAVELING. We never know what the day will bring, so we must be prepared when we can’t access a full meal. Some of my favorite go-to snacks include “That’s It” bars, “RX” bars, a handful of macadamia nuts, or Paleo Valley protein sticks…not to mention my favorite reusable water bottle (complete with a straw designed to fit perfectly in my car cup holder). Being armed with snacks containing essential nutrients (fat, carbs, protein, and fiber) will help you navigate those moments when you’re tempted to make a fast food run.


*On the topic of fast food: Stay tuned for next month’s article, where I’ll unveil my top picks for healthier alternatives on those unavoidable drive-thru days!

Leaning into these proactive steps can revolutionize your approach to mindful fuel for your body. Embracing protein-rich breakfasts, balanced meal strategies, proactive planning, mindful eating habits, and smart snacking choices nourishes your body. It cultivates a deeper connection with your food and overall well-being. You can take charge of your dietary journey, one thoughtful bite at a time, and savor the rewards of a healthier, more vibrant life.

Check out my favorite protein pancake recipe!

  • Servings: 6 small pancakes
  • 1 large banana
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil for pan
  • 1 scoop of your preferred protein powder
  • 1. Preheat skillet
  • 2. Blend ingredients above
  • 3. Use the coconut oil to prep the pan
  • 4. Cook till golden brown
  • 5. Serve warm, and add some fun toppings! My go-to toppings are hemp seeds, fresh seasonal fruit, a scoop of almond butter, and a drizzle of honey.
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Health & Wellness

Embracing the Sun: The Simplest Wellness Hack for Busy Lives

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So Many “Wellness Tips” So Little Time

Wellness Tips By Sarah Goudie, Nutrition Expert & Guest Writer for IEBJ

For many of us, managing all the “right” things amidst the chaos of daily life is not just overwhelming but also… let’s get real, feels almost like an impossible task! Navigating where to begin feels like finding a needle in a haystack, particularly when ads, influencer opinions, and well-intentioned suggestions from friends and family bombard us. Here’s the deal: We can’t do it ALL. Take a deep breath and let that sink in. We. Can’t. Do. It. All. Now, don’t misunderstand me; I’m 100% into discovering what works best and crafting a routine that caters to the health needs of each individual. But let’s face it: with the hectic schedules of entrepreneurs and business owners, finding time for it all feels like a constant challenge.

So, what’s my top recommendation? It’s all about soaking up the SUNSHINE!

Catch some rays between 8 am and 10 am daily, even if it’s just for 10-15 minutes.

You may have heard before that our bodies have an internal clock. It’s called the circadian rhythm. At the heart of this rhythm is light. When we soak up natural light during the day, it’s like our bodies are taking cues from the sun to stay awake and alert. Our eyes catch that sunlight and shoot signals to the brain, giving it a little wake-up call. At the same time, our melatonin production, which is the sleep hormone, takes a back seat until about 12 hours later, when it kicks in and gets us ready for bed. It’s about syncing up with the natural light-dark cycle, like tuning into the right frequency for a good night’s sleep. Sunlight helps with sleep and dishes out Vitamin D, amps up energy and mental health, kicks stress to the curb, and boosts our immune system. *Quick note: Artificial light can mimic these signals, too, so be aware of screen time close to bedtime, as they can interfere with melatonin regulation.

How can you fit this into the daily grind?” Park a bit further from the office and enjoy some sun rays on your stroll. Take a breather outside during work breaks. Roll down that car window during rush hour. Do a lap around your workplace or hit the pavement after breakfast. And when outdoor time isn’t an option, consider snagging a red-light therapy lamp for a little biohacking boost.

So, instead of diving into the deep end with ALL the wellness trends this month, give this sunshine tip a whirl and see how it adds a sprinkle of vitality to your life!

ABOUT SARAH
Sarah passionately advocates for the intricate relationship between the mind and body. Her dedication to promoting vitality at the intersection of lifestyle medicine and nutrition inspires her exploration of biopsychology, epigenetics, and systemic belief systems within her PhD studies in Health Psychology. Sarah genuinely enjoys educating and guiding others, using an approach that is supportive and free of judgment. Recognizing the potential for shame in discussions about nutrition, she is committed to creating a supportive environment that encourages growth and progress. You can learn more about her work with approachable nutrition while visiting Murrieta Hot Springs Resort.

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Health & Wellness

Revitalizing a Legacy: The Murrieta Hot Springs Resort’s Journey Through Time

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From Historic Health Haven to Modern Wellness Destination – A Conversation on Transformation and Vision

In this exclusive interview, we delve into the rich history and visionary future of the Murrieta Hot Springs Resort with none other than Jeroen Strack, the General Manager of this iconic establishment. Strack, a seasoned expert in the hospitality industry, brings a wealth of knowledge and an innovative approach to the rejuvenation of one of California’s most treasured wellness destinations. Under his leadership, the Murrieta Hot Springs Resort has undergone a transformative journey, blending its historic charm with modern luxury to redefine the wellness and hospitality experience. Join us as we explore the resort’s evolution, its commitment to health and wellness, and the exciting future plans under Strack’s guidance.

Jeroen Strack, General Manager, Murrieta Hot Springs Resort

The history of Murrieta Hot Springs Resort dates back to the 19th century. Can you share more about the origins of the resort and how it has evolved over time?

Murrieta Hot Springs Resort was established in 1902 and quickly became one of the nation’s top health resorts by the mid-1920s. Over the years, the resort has undergone several transitions with different uses. For the last 30 years, it has been used as a church retreat center and bible college, rendering it inaccessible to the public. 

The website mentions the therapeutic benefits of the resort’s hot springs. Could you elaborate on the specific healing properties of the mineral-rich geothermal water and how it benefits guests?

No two hot spring’s water mineral content is the same, making each location distinctly unique in how our bodies will feel the effects of soaking in the mineral water. The science of Balneology studies the therapeutic use of natural mineral spring water. This science has shown us that the waters have an innate and reproducible effect on people who soak in them.

The thermal, physical, and mineral components of soaking in mineral spring water contribute to the overall health-giving effect. Our medical director, Dr. Marcus Coplin, N.D., is the preeminent balneologist in North America and regularly contributes to the international community of researchers and physicians on this topic. Under his direction, we have designed the specifics of how our guests are guided through the resort experience to maximize the self-guided health and wellness benefits the waters provide while gently educating our guests on what our water does that is so far beyond simply relaxing.

The resort has undergone various transformations under different ownerships. How has the vision for the resort changed over the years, and what is the current vision for Murrieta Hot Springs Resort?

The vision for Murrieta Hot Springs Resort is to provide a hot spring-based wellness resort, welcoming guests from all backgrounds and empowering them to experience well-being and Vitality. Through a dedicated focus on the four elements of Vitality at Murrieta Hot Springs Resort- sleep, nutrition, dynamic activity, and revitalization guests depart vibrant and purposefully in tune with personal health possibilities, eager to integrate newly sparked resonance into their everyday lives. 

Can you provide details about the amenities and accommodations offered at the resort, both historically and in its present form?

We will be reinvigorating several amenities the original resort offered. First and foremost is the continued access to our therapeutic geothermal water. Many of the original buildings have been restored and revitalized as part of the improvements. When we reopen, we will feature more than 50 geothermal pools and water features, and overnight guests will have access to wellness activities like Yoga, Aqua Sound Bathing, Meditation, and more. 

The resort will also have a signature restaurant, Talia, a poolside bar, Tortoise Shell, and Cafe Azuli to keep guests hydrated and nourished.       

The historical aspects of the resort, such as the Monterey Hotel and the Mineral Bath House, are quite fascinating. How have you preserved and integrated these historic elements into the modern resort experience?

Through the thoughtful work of our lead architect Chris Campbell of RQTEX, and the design team at Omgivning, the restoration showcases original architecture, with each building expressing a distinctly California architectural history. Throughout the project, the goal has been to add modern amenities while harmonizing with the timelessness of the property. 

It’s mentioned that the resort has always had a connection to health and wellness. Can you explain how you continue this tradition today, including the role of the onsite medical director?

Murrieta Hot Springs Resort has functioned as a Health and Wellness resort since our inception over 100 years ago up until its previous use as a Bible College. The revival of the purpose of the resort, and the focus on health and wellness as delivered by our natural mineral spring waters, has been central to our work.

In decades past it was typical to come and stay at Murrieta Hot Springs Resort for over a week. Upon your arrival, you would meet with the onsite physician and be prescribed a course of treatments, including mineral water soaking, drinking, and mud baths, as well as some supportive physical therapies and diet.

In our revived vision for the resort, we have focused on two big changes that have occurred with time. One, with modern transportation allowing most guests in the greater Southern California area to be able to arrive at the resort within 1-2 hours of their home, and Two, catering to the schedules and health-knowledge base of the modern Californian, we have created the resort to be a place for self-guided advanced health and wellness practice. The health and wellness effects of our resort can be had if used for a day, a weekend, or a longer stay. The location makes our resort an easy way to incorporate our waters into your regular, seasonal, or annual revitalizing health and wellness vacation.

Working with our medical director, we took the layout and accessibility to our natural flowing geothermal pools and used them to enhance the other amenities at the resort. We have programmed guest amenities to enhance a total experience of Vitality that they will be able to take home with them. It is centered around our water, but also is seen in our Nutritious and delicious food and beverage offerings, our Revitalizing spa treatments and wellness activities, our Dynamic Activity offerings through Dynamis fitness, and is completed with a deep restorative Sleep with complimentary sleep enhancement trays for all overnight guests, and the opportunity to book a comprehensive sleep enhanced room for those wanting to take their restorative night to the next level.

Although Dr. Coplin, our medical director, does not currently see patients or direct treatments for individual guests, he ensures a science-informed basis behind everything we do. This allows guests to easily and organically enjoy the property, flowing between whatever offerings pique their interest, with an understanding that simply enjoying what we have built is creating a Health and Wellness experience of restoring Vitality.

The resort has a rich history of recreational activities. What are some of the leisure and wellness activities that guests can enjoy at Murrieta Hot Springs Resort now?

When we open, overnight guests can partake in water-centered activities like Aqua Sound Bathing, Aqua Yoga, and Contrast Bathing. We will also offer traditional wellness activities like Yoga, Meditation, and Stretch and Release classes. We will also open up a world-class fitness center that will be available to the public and accessible to overnight guests.      

The mission statement talks about maintaining the resort’s legacy while modernizing it. Could you share some of the modernization efforts and improvements you have made to enhance the guest experience?

We have revitalized all of the interiors of the hotel buildings, adding thoughtful touches that complement the historical elements while bringing the entire resort up to the expectation levels of today’s vacationer. 

How has the community of Murrieta been involved in the restoration and stewardship of the resort, and what role do you see the resort playing in the local community’s life?

The community has played an incredibly supportive role in what the future holds for the resort. 

Finally, can you provide insights into the future plans and developments for Murrieta Hot Springs Resort, and how you envision its role in the hospitality industry in the coming years?

We will continue to evolve our offerings to be in tune with the wellness needs of our guests. We are excited to bring our unique offerings to the industry. 

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