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New Loma Linda University Clinic Will Provide Care to Hepatology Patients in Nevada

Loma Linda University Health is now meeting a medical need in neighboring Nevada.

Loma Linda University Transplantation Institute recently opened a satellite clinic in Las Vegas for comprehensive liver disease management to care for patients.

The state of Nevada does not currently have a liver transplant program, according to Juan Ramirez Jr., director of referral and business development for the Transplantation Institute. 

He said, “Many Loma Linda patients reside in Nevada and drive to Loma Linda for their regular clinic appointments, and we wanted to find a way to provide care to these patients in their own community.”

The Transplantation Institute serves adult and pediatric patients not only from the Inland Empire and Southern California, but also Central California, Las Vegas and beyond. The institute performs heart, kidney, liver and pancreas transplants.

The Las Vegas liver clinic opened its doors in February, allowing patients the opportunity to see their hepatology care team in their own community, ultimately decreasing the number of trips they make to Loma Linda.

General hepatology care, such as treatment of viral hepatitis, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma, is offered in addition to serving liver transplant patients. Patients who may need a liver transplant will still make periodic visits to Loma Linda, including for the operation itself.

The 2,182-square-foot clinic offers five exam rooms and is staffed five days a week, by nurse practitioner Inna Goldvarg, APRN, who brings years of experience in hepatology care. Michael Volk, MD, medical director for liver care at LLU Transplantation Institute, supervises the clinic and cares for patients weekly via videoconference and monthly in person.

Located at 2020 Goldring Ave., Suite 506, Las Vegas, the clinic can be called at 702-823-0004.

Resolve to Rise Celebrates #SAAPM by Encouraging Communities to Stand Their Ground

HAWTHRONE, CA- Resolve to Rise held its first annual symposium entitled “Stand Your Ground –Fighting Sexual Assault Together,” at the Hawthorne Memorial Center, this past Saturday. With the month of April being observed as Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (#SAAPM), Yolanda Dunn (founding Director of the non-profit) birthed an event that spoke to the subject through raising awareness, education, empowerment and prevention.

As a survivor of sexual assault, Dunn is passionate about taking the necessary steps to inform the community of the widespread issue. She explains the importance of the event saying, “It’s important to me to try to prevent sex crimes from happening to other families and prevent them from enduring the same emotional, physical, psychological and spiritual trauma that my…daughter and I have endured.”

According to RAINN.org (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), Every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. And every eight minutes, that victim is a child. Meanwhile, only six out of every 1,000 perpetrators will end up in prison.”” Dunn, 37, asserts her goal is to continue to raise awareness in the community and bring them together to stand and be able to be a voice to those that don’t have a voice…report crime and also be more vigilant of their own surroundings.

Officer, Christina Chiarello, Special Victim’s Detective at Hawthorne High School opened the event with a presentation about the subject matter. During her presentation, she expressed that sexual assault amongst high school students is common and many times the victims aren’t aware they’ve been victimized.

Panelist, Dr. Sonya Smith, Director of Pupil Personnel Services for the Hawthorne School District, argued amongst the panel the importance of listening to the victim. Dr. Smith further exclaimed that she, too is a survivor of sexual assault. Like Dr. Smith, panelist Tika Thornton is also a survivor. She briefly shared her story about being a victim of sexual abuse starting at age six. She further disclosed that she was also a victim of sex trafficking from 12 – 18 years of age. Currently, she is the Crisis Response Case Manager for a non-profit organization called Journey Out. She says, “I use my pain as power.”

During the panel discussion, Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney, Craig Rouviere and Dr. Vanessa Hurwitz (Psychologist at Harbor UCLA) provided their take on how to communicate and understand someone who has been sexually abused. Attorney Rouviere provided the best way to approach someone who has been sexually assaulted is to build a rapport and identify with them. Dr. Hurwitz debated that sexual assaulted victims sometime suffer from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Dr. Hurwitz explains “People with PTSD are at greater risk of being assaulted, again…it’s difficult for [them] to [identify] a threat.”

City officials Mayor Pro-Tem, Haidar Awad, Councilwoman Angie Reyes English, Councilwoman Olivia Valentine, Councilman Milo Michelin and Hawthorne Police Chief, Robert Fager were all in attendance to support the cause. Toward the close of the event, pro MMA fighter, boxer, kick-boxer and owner of Systems Training Center (a Krav Maga self-defense training studio), Marcus Kowal, took the stage to demonstrate defense strategies for certain attacks. He also spoke about the death of his 15-month-old son, Liam, who was killed by a drunk driver in Sept. 2016. Since the tragedy, Kowal and his wife started Liam’s Life (www.liamslife.org); a non-profit whose mission is to change the social culture toward drinking and driving; “I will die fighting for my son,” he declared.

Following Kowal’s presentation, Mayor Pro-Tem, Haidar Awad, presented Kowal with a donation to Liam’s Life Foundation. Closing remarks were provided by Resolve to Rise’s founding Director, Yolanda Dunn. She gave thanks to all sponsors, supporters, vendors and event committee (Hawthorne Police Department, Mayor Pro-Tem, Haidar Awad, Systems Training Center, Target, Costco, Resolve to Rise, New Star Family Justice Center, Ooh ahh Productions, LW Special Events Management, Underground PR, HCTV 22, Stella Grafx, Trader Joe’s, NorthGate Market, Food 4 Less, Ralphs and the YWCA).


About Resolve to Rise – Resolve to Rise is dedicated to ensuring the welfare, wellness and well-being of children, adolescents and adults by raising awareness against sexual assault. We exist to empower children, families, schools, communities and survivors to rise above the stigma and aim to live fulfilled lives. To learn more about the organization, or to make a donation, visit www.resolvetorise.org

If you, or someone you know is eing sexually abused, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.4673 (24/7).

Youth Poverty Symposium Addresses Challenges Faced By Our Children, Young Adults

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino County (CAPSBC) held a High Desert Youth Poverty Symposium at Victor Valley College on Tuesday, April 11.  Students and educators from the High Desert Region were invited to attend the symposium to discuss poverty challenges for youth and to provide resources and guidance to help address these critical issues facing our children and young adults. 

Victor Valley College sponsored the event which was designed to empower youth to help themselves and to be advocates for each other.  Robert Sewell, M.A., Director of Marketing and Public Relations for Victor Valley College commented, “It is vitally important to provide our youth the opportunity to share how they see poverty and how it affects them. Through their valued input we can develop and share tools that can help to mitigate youth poverty.”

Event attendees were greeted by Dr. Margaret Hill, Board Chair for CAPSBC, who also serves as member of the Board of the San Bernardino City Unified School District, Thomas Rice, Esquire (CAPSBC Board member and Attorney at Law with Best, Best and Krieger), Patricia L. Nickols-Butler (CAPSBC President and Chief Executive Officer), Supervisor Robert Lovingood (Chairman of the San Bernardino Board of Supervisors, 1st District Supervisor), Assembly member Jay Obernolte (California State Assembly District 33), and Dr. Roger Wagner (President of Victor Valley College).”

The general session featured keynote speaker Dr. Tayari Kuanda, a professor at the University of Redlands and high school science teacher. He is also a former student at Victor Valley College. Dr. Kuanda shared his personal experiences with poverty growing up in Detroit, Michigan and South Central Los Angeles. Dr. Kuanda’s self-proclaimed mission in life is to help others, especially our youth. From the time he was 10 years old, he has tutored those in need. As an adult has volunteered at schools in at-risk neighborhoods. Dr. Kuanda discussed how he overcame poverty through education, eventually earning his Doctorate of Leadership in Education for Social Justice. He shared with event attendees how important it is to find people to support you, like teachers and counselors.

The afternoon sessions featured several workshops on poverty issues such as homelessness, food insecurity, employment, crime and justice, healthcare, and civic engagement. Many presenters also shared inspiration stories of their personal struggles with poverty and how they overcame the challenges they faced. The afternoon workshops were:

  • Poverty & Public Policy – Presented by Assembly member Jay Obernolte, California State Assembly District 33 and Fred L. Valentine, Jr., Attorney at Law.
  • Homelessness: Can I Avoid It? – Dr. Dee Gilbert, Moretta, Community Development Foundation
  • Poverty, Crime and Justice – Phyllis Morris, The Public Defender
  • Education, Employment & Entrepreneurship – Marcelino Serna, San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools
  • Medical & Mental Health Services – Dr. Ernelyn Navarro & Sommer Hail, St. Joseph, St Mary Medical Center
  • Civic Engagement & Voter Registration – Marcelino Garza, San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools
  • Food Insecurity: Feeding Those in Need – Bill Edwards, Victor Valley Rescue Mission & Brandon Romano

Presentations were carried on a Facebook Live video stream on CAPSBC Facebook page. The videos will remain on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/capsbc or on CAPSBC’s website where the public is invited you to view, give comments and emojis. We also have made available presentation materials than can be downloaded from CAPSBC’s website.

CAPSBC CEO Patricia L. Nickols-Butler stated, “We are grateful for the opportunity to inspire and educate these students to help them in the future. It is critical for them to become productive, successful citizens for all of our futures. Through this symposium, we are understanding more about the challenges our youth face and what they need to help them.”

The Poverty Steering Committee who planned and implemented this event was led by CAPSBC Board member Thomas Rice. The committee will convene a meeting in the near future to further discuss what has been learned and develop strategies to help address the issues.