Dr. Valenzuela honored with Community Health Champion Award

California University of Science and Medicine’s (CUSM) Women’s Health Department Chair, Guillermo Valenzuela, M.D., was selected to receive the Community Health Champion Award from the Time for Change Foundation, a local non-profit housing and transitional service for homeless and formerly incarcerated women on Thursday, April 8, 2021. Each year an individual has been chosen for their hard work and dedication. Dr. Valenzuela has been a supportive physician towards low-income women in the community. The foundation admires his overall support toward women’s health and well-being by going above and beyond to ensure that females have access to health care. “Dr. Valenzuela has selflessly contributed to the lives of women and children. We are honored to present this award for his generous contributions for women’s health and to organizations that support the well-being of all women,” said Vanessa Perez, Director of the Time for Change Foundation. “The Community Health Champion Award was given to Dr. Valenzuela because from a humble beginning, he swore as a child that he would become a doctor to provide medical care for his community. It is the dream of a young boy…

County pauses use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine

San Bernardino County this morning temporarily paused distribution and use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine in accordance with recommendations made by state and federal health agencies. The pause was issued in response to six reported cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals after receiving the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine. None of the six cases were in California. More than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine have been administered in the U.S. “The county has no higher priority than the health and safety of our residents,” said Dr. Michael A. Sequeira, San Bernardino County Health Officer. “Although this condition is extremely rare among Johnson & Johnson recipients – much rarer than serious blood clots among those who contract COVID-19 – this pause is prudent pending further federal review.” “The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines remain widely available in our county and have proven to be safe and effective,” Sequeira said. “The public should remain confident in the nation’s COVID-19 vaccination effort.” Anyone who has received the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine and who develops a severe headache, abdominal…

BioLife Plasma Services opens in Rialto

BioLife Plasma Services held its grand opening in Rialto on Mar. 27 at 1346 W. Foothill Blvd. This is the second location the company, part of global biopharmaceutical company Takeda, has opened in California; two more are scheduled to open in Riverside and Corona. Plasma donations received at BioLife centers are used by Takeda to make established therapies that treat a range of rare and complex conditions for which there is often no alternative treatment. “Our expansion into California is part of BioLife’s mission as a leader in plasma donation to grow our network and address an urgent need for life-saving plasma used to develop therapies for people around the world,” said Hema Tallman, Global Head of BioLife Operations. “Plasma-based therapies are a lifeline for thousands of people with rare, chronic and complex diseases, and donors in Southern California now have a unique opportunity to make a difference in their communities through plasma donation.” As the demand for plasma-based therapies increases, BioLife is expanding to help meet the resulting need for plasma donations. The centers will contribute approximately $2-3 million annually to each local community…

Colton Joint Unified School District receives a $78,545 grant to elevate school meal participation

No Kid Hungry awarded Colton Joint Unified School District (CJUSD) a $78,545 grant in March 2021 to increase school meal participation, to serve meals to hard-to-reach students, and provide school nutrition staff with necessary materials such as personal protective equipment and portable tents to ensure safe meal distribution. Another exciting component to the grant is that it provides enough bandwidth that when classes return to in-person learning, it will assist the district in reinstating its Gran N Go Meal Carts and breakfast in the classroom initiative. “COVID-19 has caused a severe disruption in normal meal services. COVID forced us to design a new way of packaging and delivering meals with as minimal contact as possible. We made so many program changes that community outreach became a large area of opportunity. We also started serving meals at a local motel to our students who reside there, this gave us an opportunity to have a high visible delivery van to bring some normalcy to the area,” said CJUSD Director of Nutrition Services Eric Enciso. When schools across the state closed on March 13, 2021, CJUSD nutrition services was quick to pivot…

Community Health centers receive over $10.2 million in American Rescue Plan funding

Rep. Pete Aguilar announced that three San Bernardino County community health centers and health care providers will receive a total of $10,210,625 in American Rescue Plan funds to expand COVID-19 vaccination access and care. This round of funding is targeted to provide relief to lower-income communities and ensure health equity. The resources stem from the American Rescue Plan, President Biden’s landmark law to help American communities beat the coronavirus crisis. Aguilar helped pass the American Rescue Plan on March 10, 2021. As a result of the American Rescue Plan becoming law, the following Inland Empire Community Health centers and providers will receive funding: • SAC Health System: $5,526,125 • Inland Behavioral and Health Services: $1,822,750 • County of San Bernardino: $2,861,750 “I was proud to help pass the American Rescue Plan because it delivers this type of direct relief to communities like ours. Throughout this crisis, community health centers have taken the lead to ensure every Inland Empire resident has access to high quality care. Now, they’ll have the funding they need to continue expanding health care services and vaccination access to help us stamp…

LaSalle administers 220 COVID-19 shots to local African American residents

Nurses from LaSalle Medical Associates vaccinated more than 220 people Saturday during a Rialto clinic designed to give the Black community better access to COVID-19 vaccinations. LaSalle teamed up with San Bernardino’s New Hope Missionary Baptist Church and The Inland Empire Concerned African American Churches to put on the March 20 clinic, part of an innovative approach in which the church gathered a list of interested people, and LaSalle staff members contacted them to make appointments. Alicia Cazenave of San Bernardino was happy that her church worked with LaSalle to bypass the bureaucratic roadblocks she experienced earlier when trying to make appointments for family members through government agencies. Dr. Michael Andrew Owens, pastor of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, speaks with Edward Hoffman III, of Redlands on March 20 at the LaSalle Medical Associates medical office in Rialto. Hoffman is sitting in the observation area after receiving the one-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine. She arrived early Saturday morning and was third in line to get her shot. “I am relieved to be getting it,” said Cazenave, 59. “Having the church organize it helped as far…

California Dolphin