In the Press

  • 19
  • January

RCHF Announces Two New Board Members

Riverside, CA - Riverside Community Health Foundation (RCHF) whose mission is to improve the health and well-being of its community is pleased to announce the appointment of two new board members to the RCHF Board of Directors.

“We are so pleased to welcome Cheylynda and Rafael to our board of directors,” stated Dr. Dan Anderson, President/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of RCHF. “Both of our new members bring the spirit of community, dedication, talent, and energy to the table. We look forward to their expertise, guidance, and leadership as we continue to stay committed to the health and well-being of our community despite these challenging times.”

Rafael Elizalde is a longtime resident of Riverside and a proud product of its public schools. He currently serves as Senior Advisor and District Director to Congressman Mark Takano where he advocates for the needs of the Inland Empire. With a passion for mentorship, Rafael has worked to guide students through careers in public service and for several years he volunteered for the statewide organization, the Chicano Latino Youth Leadership Project. Rafael has a Master’s in Public Administration from California Baptist University and a Bachelor of Arts from Claremont McKenna College.

“Organizations like RCHF are essential to a healthy and thriving community,” said Elizalde. “Right now, the need for health and well-being is greater than ever and it’s up to all of us to ensure that our residents aren’t left behind. I’m truly honored to a part of the Board of Directors and to have the opportunity to help my hometown during these trying times.”

Cheylynda Barnard is a lifelong Inland Empire resident who grew up in the city of Riverside. Cheylynda graduated from California State University, San Bernardino and returned back to the Riverside area to serve her community. For the last decade, she has served the Inland Empire as a social worker, and currently serves as the Regional Vice President of the Executive Board for SEIU Local 721, where she continues to fight for workers’ rights and social justice causes. She and her husband, Jay, currently reside in the city of Moreno Valley with their 2 young sons, Nathaniel & Maxwell. 

  • 29
  • October

Riverside Community Health Foundation Releases Health and Racial Equity Small Grants to Organizations in Riverside

RCHF will award a small number of organizations up to $5,000 to support activities that align with our mission to improve the health and well-being of our community. 

Riverside, CA –Riverside Community Health Foundation (RCHF) announces their Health and Racial Equity 2020 Small Grant Program to organizations in Riverside.  

 This funding opportunity will fund proposals focused on addressing social equity and racial justice as it relates to the reduction and prevention of chronic disease and mental health challenges. Priority will be given to proposals requesting funds to support existing organizational programming efforts and projects. 

 Grassroot organizations are essential in creating systemic change,” said Dr. Shené Bowie Hussey, MPH, ACSM, Vice President for Health Strategies/Chief Strategic Officer for Riverside Community Health Foundation. “Our Health and Racial Equity small grants program is an opportunity for local organizations in Riverside to begin to dismantle systemic racism. As an organization centered around improving the health and well-being of our community, we understand the detrimental impact of racism on one’s health. We are committed to disrupting health and racial injustices and want to equip local organizations to do the same.” 

Through the Health and Racial Equity Small Grant Program, RCHF seeks to increase access to mental health services and chronic disease prevention resources in an inclusive and culturally relevant mannerIn addition, they will create and improve social, economic, service, institutional, and built environment systems level approaches that support mental health and chronic disease prevention and improve protective factors and mitigate adverse agents that affect mental and physical wellbeing. 

RCHF will accept small grant applications on a rolling basis until November 30.  For more information about the grant, please visit 

Media Contact: Anna Holbrook | | 951.788.3471 


  • 1
  • October

SoCal Women’s Cancer Conference Returns Virtually This October

RCHF’s annual cancer conference launches virtually this October for a 4-day event focusing on what it means to be a woman and a cancer survivor. 

Riverside, CA –The Pink Ribbon Place, a program of Riverside Community Health Foundation, is proud to announce the return of the 4th annual SoCal Women’s Cancer Conference this year on October 21-24 for the English conference, and October 28-31 for the Spanish conference. The goal of the conference is simple but bold: to create an inspiring event which will provide one with quality education that will motivate one to implement real tangible life changing skills beyond diagnosis and treatment.  

The four-day virtual conferences in English and Spanish will feature over 40 speakers and eight categories of information related to cancers of the breast, gynecological, colorectal, skin, and moreBreakout sessions during the conference include intimacy during cancer, navigating cannabis and the connection between genetics and cancer.  

With cancer patients at an increased risk for COVID-19 access to experts in cancer through the SoCal Women’s Cancer conference is now more important than ever. This conference will be a space for women to be empowered through these difficult times. Navigating cancer through a pandemic is tough terrain, however, workshops are centered around helping women to be educated, advocate for themselves and thrive through their cancer journey.  

“The conference being offered virtually is a first for us,” said Abigail Lopez, MPH, CHES®, Certified Health Education Specialist for The Pink Ribbon Place. “Despite the new terrain, we are excited to announce that the virtual platform has actually allowed us to expand on the number of cancers and topics we are able to address. And for the first time ever, we are able to offer the conference in Spanish to meet the needs of the Latinx and Hispanic communities. COVID-19 does not stop cancer and we aren’t allowing it to stop us either.”  

 The keynote speaker for the SoCal Women’s Cancer conference will focus on helping guests find ways in which they can foster hope and build resiliency through these uncertain times.  

The English conference begins October 21 through October 24. Registration is now open at The Spanish conference begins October 28 through October 31. One can also register for the conference in Spanish at 

Media Contact: Anna Holbrook | | 951.788.3471

  • 29
  • September

Pink On Parade is Back Virtually to Bring Awareness to Breast Cancer

Community members can participate in virtual contests that raise breast cancer awareness from the comfort of their own homes throughout October! 

Riverside, CA –The Pink Ribbon Place (TPRP), a program of Riverside Community Health Foundation (RCHF), is proud to announce its 8th annual breast cancer awareness walk – Pink on Parade – is going virtual! The community will have the opportunity to promote breast cancer awareness from the comfort of their homes through several contests either as a team or an individual! 

 A call for submissions or entries is now open for the following contests: Home Décor, Art and T-shirt Designs. “Paint the Town Pink,” focuses on decorating your home or business in honor of breast cancer awareness. The art challenge “Pink Up a Picture” requires one to create a piece of art in any medium of choice. Lastly, the “P.O.P. Tee Design” contest gives the community an opportunity to submit a design that could be used for Pink on Parade 2021 t-shirts! 

 The community will have the chance to vote for all three categories. The virtual community event has a space for everyone to participate to help honor, celebrate and supportthose impacted by breast cancer during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 

 A cancer diagnosis does not stop during a pandemic. This artful transition to raise awareness for breast cancer will help to support the efforts of The Pink Ribbon Place, RCHF’s breast cancer resource center. 

 During these challenging times, our response to the community has not changed,” said Nicole Stovicek, Director of The Pink Ribbon Place. “Although we altered many of our programming and special events, such as Pink on Parade, our mission remains the same—to improve the quality of life for individuals and families impacted by cancer. 

 Since the pandemic, The Pink Ribbon Place has transitioned many of its regularly offered, in-person services to virtual platforms to ensure that clients receive the support they need from the comfort and safety of their own homes. This includes cancer care and wellness presentations, exercise programs, counseling services and support groups.  

 All proceeds from the virtual “walk” will go directly towards The Pink Ribbon Place.  

 Important Dates to Remember: September 7  Contests OpenOctober 9 – Submission DeadlinesOctober 12-26 – Community Voting Opens; October 30 – Winners Are Announced 



  • 16
  • September

Doula Access Program Continues Supporting Mothers Through COVID-19

RCHF and IEHP have partnered to support IEHP members with a doula through pregnancy.

Riverside Community Health Foundation (RCHF) and Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) partnered in August 2019 to provide pregnant IEHP members with a doula – a trained childbirth professional who provides physical, emotional and informational support to a mother before, during and after childbirth through its Doula Access Program (DAP)

DAP welcomed its first baby in January 2020. Monique Flowers, member of DAP was full-term and gave birth to a baby girl weighing in at 7lbs and 13 oz.

“My mom was coming from Vegas so to have [my doula] there was wonderful,” shared Monique, who’s doula arrived at the hospital before she even did. “[My doula] soothed me through the contractions and was teaching me different breathing techniques.”

Monique was referred to the Doula Access Program by a Registered Nurse (RN) that noticed she did not have support. Research suggests that the emotional, physical and informational support doulas provide, contribute to reduced birth complications and fewer need for clinical procedures during labor and birth, according to a study in the Journal of Perinatal Education.

Having one-to-one continuous support has been statistically proven to help decrease the chance of cesarean birth by 25%, increase spontaneous vaginal birth by 8% and help to shorten labors, among many other benefits, according to the Cochrane review on the use of continuous support for women during childbirth.

The collaboration between RCHF and IEHP has continued despite the COVID-19 threat. Procedures have been modified to protect members but also still allow for the important care and support of a doula.

“COVID-19 has been challenging to birthing folks,” said Deidre Coutsoumpos, CD(DONA), CE(BFW), ICCE, CLEC Senior Health Educator for Riverside Community Health Foundation and lead for the Doula Access Program.  “Our doulas have been very adaptable with their support and have customized their prenatal practice to meet families’ comfort levels.”

Each family has an option to have in person meetings or meet over a digital platform. There are a limited number of hospitals in the Inland Empire allowing the laboring person to have two support people.

For families delivering in other places, our doulas are providing virtual support through texting, phone calls and video chats once they check-in to the hospital.

Doulas are essential to help minimize fear and anxiety. Their role will be even more pertinent during the pandemic.

“Doulas have been perceived to be a luxury or a privilege for those who have a lot of disposable income,” said Deidre Coutsoumpos, CD(DONA), CE(BFW), ICCE, CLEC Senior Health Educator for Riverside Community Health Foundation and lead for the Doula Access Program. “The Doula Access Program will completely cover the cost of a doula through IEHP. This will afford lower income families this necessary support without compromising their budgets.”

As of September 2020, the Doula Access Program has provided birth support for 126 mothers and a total of 87 babies – including one set of twins.

Additionally, in support of mothers, RCHF is hosting a FREE virtual Maternal Wellness Retreat this Saturday, September 19, 2020 from 2PM to 5PM. The retreat is geared towards families who are pregnant and or with small children. The event will focus on rest, recreation, emotional and mental restoration.  Registration is required at

Media Contact: Anna Holbrook at or (951) 788-3471 ext. 115