New IEHP Health Career Academy to address critical health care needs

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif., Aug. 11, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — To address the growing need for health care professionals in the region, Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) and University of La Verne are collaborating to create a brand-new resource: the IEHP Health Career Academy.

The not-for-profit health plan has committed $1.5 million to launch the academy under the University of La Verne Randall Lewis Center for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Social Impact — a pillar of the university’s emerging education and innovation corridor located off D Street, between North Sultana and North Plum avenues in Ontario.

The academy’s goal is to fill critical workforce needs and retain talent to address health disparities within one of the fastest-growing population regions in the country. Funding will support the creation of certification for three critical frontline career fields: nursing assistants, medical assistants and central service technicians. The first program cohorts are expected to launch late spring 2024.

“This seed funding will support and enhance the great work University of La Verne is already doing to educate the next generation of frontline health care workers,” said Jarrod McNaughton, IEHP’s chief executive officer. “The new IEHP Health Career Academy will help to bolster the emerging workforce for the future of health care in the Inland Empire.”

The academy complements and aligns with the vision for the corridor, which will include programs that focus on entrepreneurship, law, public service, health equity, community well-being and educational advancement in historically underserved communities, according to the university.

“The new IEHP Health Career Academy will help address the critical shortage of frontline health care workers and accelerate professional training and certification in new and emerging subdisciplines requiring technological and interdisciplinary expertise in addressing patient and community challenges,” said University of La Verne President Devorah Lieberman.

One highlight of the new academy will be the Earn-to-Learn program, which provides students the opportunity to pursue necessary field certification while working in related entry-level positions and earning experience and pay. This model is a “practical way of alleviating a burden by providing a more financially inclusive and accessible education,” according to both entities. Participants can also receive entrepreneurial skills in the healthcare industry to support related start-up businesses, officials said.

About IEHP

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, the largest not-for-profit Medicare-Medicaid plan in the country and for the third year in a row, certified as A Great Place To Work®. In its 27th year, IEHP supports more than 1.6 million Riverside and San Bernardino County residents enrolled in Medicaid or IEHP DualChoice (those with both Medi-Cal and Medicare). Today, IEHP has a growing network of 7,000 providers and 3,000 team members who are fully committed to the vision: We will not rest until our communities enjoy optimal care and vibrant health. To learn more, visit

About University of LaVerne

The University of La Verne is a nonprofit comprehensive institution offering a wide-range of liberal arts and professional programs incorporating the same core values it was founded on in 1891 – lifelong learning, ethical reasoning, civic and community engagement, and diversity and inclusivity. With more than 70 percent of students from underrepresented groups, the federally designated Hispanic-Serving Institution is among the most diverse small private universities in the nation. The Southern California-based university has five colleges and offers classes at the historic La Verne campus, through regional campuses, and online. The University of La Verne is nationally recognized and consistently holds rankings on the U.S. News & World Report National University, Best Value Schools, Top Performers on Social Mobility, and Best Online Programs lists.

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SOURCE Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP)

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