Yes, CPR training is trending!

If you haven’t heard the good news, recent California legislation mandates that all high schools requiring a health education course as part of its graduation requirements, must provide hands-only CPR training to its students. Yes, you read that right. CPR training is “trending” in schools throughout California. This spurred several IHPC team members into getting their CPR training certification in anticipation of the bill going into effect this school year. Gloria Coder and Sonia Ventura will be our in-house trainers and the team is equipped with four large kits suitable for instructing 10 students each.

Gloria has already been quite busy this year teaching the hands-only technique to classes at Roosevelt and Corona HS as well as RiverHeights and Ramirez Intermediates as part of JUMP club. She has already trained 374 students in this life-saving technique!! When time allows, she incorporates PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and HIPAA (patient privacy) training as well (because they are never too young to start training for an internship!). With so many classes eager to learn this simple technique, it’s no wonder she’s been busy!

“You never know when a cardiac arrest can happen and I’m glad that the students are so eager to learn!” Our hats off to Gloria, and Sonia, for taking the life-saving technique to our schools in the Inland Empire. Here are a few photos.

P.S. For those looking for some bedtime reading, here is the the AB 1719 bill in its entirety.

In the shadow of heroes.

Emergency services personnel are the everyday heroes of our time, often going into dangerous situations where every second could mean the difference between someone living and dying. These men and women train at one of the largest facilities for fire, EMT, and law enforcement in the nation - the Ben Clark Training Center, and this particular day twenty-five lucky CTE-Sports Med students from Santiago High School got a glimpse into their world. The center, which sits on 400 sprawling acres, is comprised of classrooms, burn towers, burn props, scenario buildings, an equine complex, student housing, physical training facilities, a shooting range, and administrative offices.

What’s awesome about Ben Clark is that they provide our students plenty of hands-on instruction in IV insertion, intubation, ambulance scenarios, and more. Here are a few pictures from our visits this year with Corona HS and Santiago’s CTE students. Thank you Ben Clark!

Oncology nurse speaks to Corona High

Andrea Centeno, RN

Andrea Centeno, RN

Andrea Centeno is an oncology nurse with heart. “You have to do all you can to make the patient’s day better, she shared, even if it’s just getting them their favorite soda.” Kindness is key. Ms. Centeno was working with chemo patients at Long Beach Memorial Hospital before her recent transfer to Loma Linda to work with kids recovering from dental surgery. She was eager to lay out the roadmap for any students interested in going into nursing. She herself took about five to get her BSN starting with classes at UCR and ultimately finishing at CSULB in 2015. “You gotta push through hard times,” she told the class, “and you have to talk to a lot of people during your clinicals whether you want to or not.” Nursing school is at once stressful and rewarding.

Students asked follow up questions about clinical rotations, nursing classes, and work schedules. Her favorite part of nursing? Making someone smile.

The Power of Observation: One student reflects on the her experience in women’s health.

Wow, what an enriching summer experience for a small group of LIFE students who, thanks to Carol Allbaugh and the Valenzuela Foundation, had a rare chance to dive into women’s health over the summer break. Just six students were carefully selected for group and individual observation in ultra sound, OR nursing, medical research, physician assisting, and other clinical areas. We wanted to prepare them to be good listeners and observers so the students underwent HIPAA, patient privacy, professional etiquette, and other trainings. All of the students are required to journal their insights as part of LIFE. One young lady, Rachel Brundage was struck by the power of empathy and shared her insight: 

Rachel Brundae gets a birds eye view of operations at a local clinic.

Rachel Brundae gets a birds eye view of operations at a local clinic.

“On the second day of my internship, at the Mommy and Me Clinic, the medical assistant (MA) I was shadowing was a great example of empathy. After the main provider determined nothing was wrong with the patient, the patient’s mother continued to persist something was wrong. The mother was upset because she felt as though the healthcare system was failing them, and that no one cared. The MA listened, agreed, apologized, and said she understood why the mother was upset, as the MA’s own mother experienced something similar. Then, she spoke with the provider about rechecking the patient, and because of this, the provider eventually signed off on a referral.

This quality (empathy) stood out to me because not only did it make the patient calmer, it also pushed the MA to fight for [her]. Being empathetic also allowed for the problem-solving between the patient, provider, and the MA and as the ‘middle man.’ I witnessed great communication skills that are extremely important in the healthcare field. Without the harmony of empathy and communication, no issues would have been worked out, and the patient would have left unsatisfied and disappointed in the care provided at the clinic.

I will begin to develop this quality by making the effort to be more understanding along with working on my listening skills.”

Rachel's LIFE experience has also helped her decide between the three health careers she was interested in (Physician Assistant, Nurse Practitioner, and Medical Doctor) and she felt fortunate to observe all three! "Speaking with female MDs helped me get past the idea in my head that if I become a doctor I will have to give up on having a strong home life or having children because of the demanding hours. The female doctors I spoke with broke this stigma for me, as many of them have children and said they felt as though they are still wonderful mothers. This inspired me to think more about pursuing medical school, as that was a big reason why I was slightly opposed to it. Overall, the health professionals I got the chance to work with have motivated me to continue seeking a career in this field."

Pictured [L to R] back row: Unknown, Jessica Ruiz, Joey Ruff, Audrey Tholander, Denaly Zacahula, Tapangia Rogers, Mabel Abundis. Front row: Marisol Quintana, Patricia Vargas Cooper, Lina Paredes.

Pictured [L to R] back row: Unknown, Jessica Ruiz, Joey Ruff, Audrey Tholander, Denaly Zacahula, Tapangia Rogers, Mabel Abundis. Front row: Marisol Quintana, Patricia Vargas Cooper, Lina Paredes.

Last week Rachel, her five cohorts, family, and friends celebrated the end of the program with an award dinner at Reach Out. Our surprise guests were three board members from the Valenzuela Foundation. As the students shared their experiences, there wasn't a dry eye in the room. Everyone was moved by the impact this experience had on both students and hosts alike.  In the end, they learned far more during this on-site experience than we could have ever taught them in the traditional sence, and sparked their passion for healthcare.

“The Guillermo J. Valenzuela Foundation is thrilled to support LIFE which gives youth in the Inland Empire exposure and hands-on experience in a real clinical environment. These young women came out of the program feeling more confident about themselves and their capacities.  It was wonderful to hear how the program impacted them, especially how it clarified and solidified their goals of pursuing a career in the medical profession. This outcome aligns with the Foundation’s mission which includes increasing the number of medical providers committed to practicing in the Inland Empire.” 
— Lina Paredes



We catch up with local LIFE student.

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Not much grass grows under the feet of the hundreds of LIFE (Learning Inspired Field Experience) and White Coat students we work with. This is a transitional period in their lives and many are finishing high school and entering higher education - solidifying their goals and aspirations. That's why it's so good to hear from them now and again to see how they are doing. Mark Nguyen is one of these students who took time out of his busy college prep chat with us. He did his LIFE experience with Nephrologist Dr. Abid Hameed Khan.

Mark is all smiles with Dr. Abid Hameed Khan and office manager Joanna Ryckman.

Mark is all smiles with Dr. Abid Hameed Khan and office manager Joanna Ryckman.

How comic book villains inspired one student's mental health career path.


DC Comics may not be the first (or the second) thing to come to mind when talking about mental health but for one former LIFE student, Carissa Myung, the parallels were easy to see: "The creators of Batman shaped, sewed, and strung [together] the villains who had psychological disorders and mental illnesses. For example, Harley Quinn, who started off as a nurse, has a shared psychosis with the Joker; and King Tut, who had been an Oxford professor, had delusions of grandeur...What frustrated me is that the comics often didn’t portray them as the real people. Rather, they were put into asylums, not psychiatric hospitals, and what do you expect when you treat people inhumanely?"

Though the analogy may not be for everyone, it's hard to ignore the basic premise that mental illness is often misunderstood, "villainized", and so stigmatized as to be whispered about in the corner.  Carissa hopes to change all that and is majoring in cognitive science at UC Berkley. "I will either specialize in psychology or neuroscience and am specifically interested in behavioral and cognitive neuroscience. I plan on doubling in Public Health as well...Turning my passion into advocacy for mental health and social work would be a dream come true. " 

Carissa Myung

Carissa Myung

Carissa is no stranger to IHPC - she has involved herself with many IHPC programs including PharmDay, Sports Medicine Day, LIFE at Parkview Community Clinic, and most recently #Adulting BootCamp. "I saw the boot camp as a way to give myself a one up, per se, especially since my AP courses in high school didn't emphasize real-world skills.  It was at the boot camp that I learned soft skill development - from situational awareness to resume building. I’ve always done these things, but there’s a specific professional mindset I wasn’t tuned into, and the boot camp brought that into awareness."

Ms. Myung will be a college freshman this fall but is already active on campus. She has joined a community-minded group of young adults to form HOME (Health, Opportunities, Mind, and Education) which targets homelessness, mental health, education, and sustainable food. Having grown up in the Fontana/Rancho Cucamonga area, she plans to return to her native Southern California home upon graduation. After all, she's got a lot to do!

I want to shatter the glass ceiling and break the stigma within mental health. As they say in Active Minds*, “Stigma is shame. Shame causes silence. Silence hurts us all.” This perception is especially prominent within the Asian community. For people of color, those in the LGBTQ+ community, sexual assault survivors, these conversations are especially hard. Breaking down mental health...addressing gender and racial equality....I want to make lasting change. I know it’ll take past my lifetime... but I make it my goal to serve as a catalyst - a step towards the future.
— Carissa Myung

*Active Minds is the nation's premier nonprofit organization supporting mental health awareness and education for students.

LIFE host gives kudos to program.


This summer, Alia Caldwell, Outreach Specialist for IHPC, ran a LIFE (Learning Inspired Field Experience) cohort for some of our Riverside County students. One of these young people was Rossy Rodriguez whom we placed at the Riverside Medical Clinic. The day after Rossy completed her LIFE experience, Alia received an email from one of the medical assistants whom Rossy had shadowed, singing her praises. Although many of our LIFE hosts have a positive experience with our LIFE students, it's always wonderful when we can share their testimony with other potential LIFE hosts. Here is the email we received:


Summer Youth Employment Program hires IHPC student!

Kacey Rosales

Kacey Rosales

Last summer, Kacey Rosales, a determined and vibrant 17-year-old from Don Lugo High School received an internship at the Chino Hills Regional Reference Laboratory as part of the Kaiser Permanente Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP). They provide under-served or at-risk high school students with supportive and meaningful employment experiences in the healthcare field. Also known as LAUNCH (Learn About Unlimited New Careers in Healthcare), participants attend professional development and motivational workshops that introduce them careers in healthcare and then participate in a paid internship.

After a successful summer there Kacey started her Freshman year at Cal Poly Pomona majoring in Psychology. When the summer of 2018 rolled around, the folks at the Regional Reference Laboratory hadn't forgotten about Kacey and offered her a full-time summer position as an Administrative Specialist! With this being her first job, Kacey said:

I am happy I was a part of the 2017 SYEP because it taught me the importance of networking, helped me get out of my comfort zone, and I was able to learn about careers outside of doctors and nurses.
— K. Rosales

During her time as an Administrative Specialist I, she has learned how to communicate with medical professionals, be on time to work, and schedule speakers for the new cohort of SYEP students. When asked if she had anything else to add, Kacey said, “I was told from a young age that I would not become anything, but being a 14-years-old in the Chino Police Department Explorer Program taught me that they sky’s the limit and the only thing holding you back, is yourself.” We are so proud of this future health professional and wish her much success as she pursues her health career!

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Post Note: For the past two years, IHPC has played a role in the development of Kaiser's SYEP at the new Chino Hills Regional Reference Laboratory. Former Outreach Specialist, Ben Machado, worked closely with Elizabeth Castellanos, SYEP coordinator, to facilitate some of the trainings, promote the program, and help recruit, interview, and select health pathway students to participate. Consequently the lab opened their doors for two health site visits the following school year. This year, Outreach Specialist, Alyse Michaelis helped facilitate the 5-week professional development trainings as part of the program and looks forward to working with the lab on additional site visits during the school year. Programs like Kaiser's SYEP and IHPC, strengthen the health professions pipeline and we welcome other opportunities to partner with industry developing the next generation of skilled health professionals in our region. 

PEP program takes on a new name!

MIND logo.png

Formerly known as the Pipeline Enhancement Program, or PEP, the new mental health pipeline program has had a name change to better express the program's purpose. Now called M.I.N.D. - Moving In New Directions, the change promotes a move toward openness and away from the stigma surrounding mental health.  Cajon High School is spearheading MIND through the psychology and sociology classes taught by Mr. Chris Peters and Mrs. Christi Dow respectively. Now open to high school sophomores and upper classmen, there will be a campus wide kick off event this Wednesday, August 8th. MIND, as with PEP, will be headed up by Marwa Mohamed. She will be assisted by new Outreach Specialist, Kelsey Walker and together they look forward to creating a sustainable, evidence-based program for mental health pathways.

This program will help students discover if they have a passion for mental and behavioral health. Early exposure to various careers, trainings, and opportunities within the field, can help set them on the right career path. It also exposes them to the importance of mental health and gives them the chance to break down the stigma surrounding mental illness. MIND students will be building awareness across their school campus while receiving age-appropriate trainings. If they have the chance to touch just one person who may be suffering from a mental health problem or challenge, they may feel empowered that they are part of something important on campus.
— Marwa Mohamed, Outreach Specialist, IHPC

The Making of a Doctor: How one LIFE student plans to change the world.

Yoonseo "Ted" Choi.

Yoonseo "Ted" Choi.

It's hard to know where to start the story of  Yoonseo (pronounced yoon-say-oh) "Ted" Choi who joined the LIFE program in 2017. A bright, ambitious young man from Los Osos High School, Ted never turns down an opportunity to learn, and enthusiastically shadowed Dr. Stanley Kim, M.D., an oncologist and hematologist in private practice, for two weeks during his LIFE opportunity. The experience of watching Dr. Kim work with chemo patients, providing high-level care and compassion, proved to be the planting of a seed that Ted continues to water. Medicine was calling his name. After graduation, Ted was accepted to Duke University where he got certified as a researcher and assisted in a study at the Duke Research Center for children with autism and ADHD. The study, as part of the National Institutes of Health Autism Center of Excellence, looks at how to develop treatment options for kids with both autism and ADHD. He found the research "a lot of fun" and hopes to stay involved in research projects throughout his schooling.

If that weren't already impressive for a college Freshman, Ted then found an opportunity to do some medical missionary work with the Korean American Youth Adventist Missionary Movement (KAYAMM) over the summer break. Despite his fear of leaving the relative safety of the USA to work in an earth-quake-ridden, third world country, he took off to Dapcha, Nepal where he would work alongside doctors, nurses, dentists, and optometrists. Medical care in Dapcha is almost non-existent, giving Ted the rare chance to do some meaningful work. 

Working as a dental assistant on the team, I was able to see firsthand people who needed a tooth extracted or a filling done. After many of these procedures, no matter how bloodied their mouth was, they still managed to muster a smile that would warm my heart.
Ted assisted dentist in a Nepalese village as part of a mission trip.

Ted assisted dentist in a Nepalese village as part of a mission trip.

Ted credits LIFE and his mission work in Nepal for cementing his decision to pursue medicine.  For LIFE, shadowing an oncologist/hematologist was a great introduction to how a doctor works every day. Though the doctor he shadowed was semi-retired and had a large patient roster, he still tended to each person with diligence and care. It was through Dr. Kim, a private practice physician, that he was able to understand the dynamic between patient and doctor (and the importance of patient privacy)! Then, when he stood by the various doctors as they made their rounds in Nepal, the setting was less strange and unfamiliar.

The trip to Nepal showed me the various ailments of people in third-world countries, and it gave me resolve to become a doctor where perhaps I can help out the poor in America or even do charity by traveling to third-world countries and giving them what I believe would help ease their lives the most - medicine.

Well said, young man! We know that one day we'll be calling him "Doctor Choi" and can't wait to see what he will do with the gifts of knowledge and compassion. We wish him success as he continues to find ways to serve and are glad that LIFE could be part of his journey.  

Ted poses in Dr. Kim and his staff during his LIFE experience.

Ted poses in Dr. Kim and his staff during his LIFE experience.