2020 Through the Eyes of a Child

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By Jarrod McNaughton, MBA, FACHE, Chief Executive Officer of Inland Empire Health Plan, one of the 10 largest Medicaid health plans and the largest not-for-profit Medicare-Medicaid Plan in the U.S.

There is a special kind of magic in the air during the holidays. It’s a sparkle that can’t be dimmed—even by a global pandemic. It’s the healing kind of magic that helps us all think and feel differently. It allows us to focus on the good things that heal and inspire the human spirit.

As we reflect on 2020, I hope we allow ourselves to appreciate the gift of life, and with it, the acts of kindness and creativity that helped fill the void caused by COVID-19.

Even with the enormous pain and suffering that so many have experienced, there is still much to be grateful for. All of us at IEHP are forever thankful to our community partners, who came together in the fight against COVID-19 and helped us secure critical personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep people safe while working with us to distribute food and resources to the community. I commend every essential worker and healthcare hero on the frontlines. Like a child meeting a hero for the first time, I am in awe of each person’s bravery to help others despite personal risk or fear.

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I hope we feel deeply inspired by the selfless acts of volunteers who delivered food or groceries to seniors and families in need or the staff who made sure students learning at home continued to have access to resources and support. I continue to be amazed by the ongoing efforts of so many to ensure our most vulnerable neighbors have not been forgotten and receive the care they need.

Just nine months after we saw the first cases of COVID-19 in the Inland Empire, a vaccine has been approved and distribution has begun, starting with our heroes in healthcare. The wonder of science and innovation brought us to this point in time—a historic moment filled with hope and faith that brighter days are ahead.

As you prepare for the journey that 2021 has in store for us, may we embrace it the way a young child would. Let it envelop you and take a moment to consider what went right for you this year.

The Inland Empire community is brimming with compassionate people who are dedicated to helping and healing people. Should you need anything along the way, I encourage you to reach out to our community partners below who are ready to offer a helping hand.

Mental Health Support

  • IEHP Members should call (800) 440-IEHP (4347), TTY (800) 718-4347.
  • Riverside County residents should call 2-1-1
  • San Bernardino County residents should call (909) 421-9233

Food, Housing and more: Visit Connect.IE.org
Health Coverage: Call IEHP Enrollment at 1-866-294-4347, TTY users should call 1-800-720-4347.

Wishing you and your loved ones a safe and healthy new year.

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