RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif., Nov. 10, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — When Garret Lopez heard the 2022 Out of Darkness Community Walk would be canceled because of no secured location, the Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) team member knew he had to act.
“For five years, my family and I have walked in memory of my sister Melanie and to advocate for suicide prevention and education,” said Lopez about the annual American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) event. “We had been registered for months to take part in the walk and were deeply saddened to hear the walk wouldn’t be happening in the Inland Empire. I thought, ‘I know where the walk could be held.'”
Lopez, an information technology specialist at IEHP, shared the event cancellation news with the company’s leadership team, who moved quickly to offer IEHP’s Rancho Cucamonga campus as the site for this year’s event. With a few signatures and approvals, the walk’s new location at IEHP was official.
So, in addition to sponsoring the event, IEHP was also a proud host of AFSP’s Inland Empire Out of Darkness Community Walk.
More than 500 Inland Empire community residents gathered on Oct. 29 and walked on IEHP’s Sixth Street campus in remembrance, hope and support of those impacted and lost by suicide.
Together, the group walked 2 miles and raised more than $30,000 to fund research for suicide prevention, create and distribute education programs, advocate for public policy and support people affected by suicide.
“I take pride in working for IEHP, an organization that truly lives up to their mission,” added Lopez. “This event helps families find closure, support and hope. Helping others in our community was a large proponent of who my sister was, and I know how happy she would be to know we’re continuing to push forward to erase the stigma behind suicide and mental health, especially for those in underserved communities.”
To learn more about AFSP and future events and walks, visit afsp.org.
With a mission to heal and inspire the human spirit, Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) is one of the top 10 largest Medicaid health plans and the largest not-for-profit Medicare-Medicaid plan in the country. In its 26th year, IEHP is supporting more than 1.5 million residents in Riverside and San Bernardino counties who are enrolled in Medicaid or Cal MediConnect Plans and has a growing network of over 7,800 providers and nearly 3,000 team members. Through dynamic partnerships with providers and community organizations, paired with award-winning service and a tradition of quality care, IEHP is fully committed to their vision: We will not rest until our communities enjoy optimal care and vibrant health. For more information, visit iehp.org.
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SOURCE Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP)