Successful Physicians Monthly: Annual Fundraiser Unveils Pediatric Obesity Clinic Plans and More

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Ja Marr Brown of Successful Physicians Magazine recently attended "Caribbean Nights," the 4th Annual Gala for the Riverside Medical Clinic Foundation where he talked to members of the foundation about how the organization benefits the community and what they have planned for its future.

Trainers at the 4th Annual RMCF Gala

The event announced its plan to combat the obesity epidemic.

If you’re interested in getting involved in something unique and exciting this is the place to be. We intend to be one of the biggest if not the biggest organizations related to health in the Inland Empire.

Established in 1984 by a group of 19 physicians, the Riverside Medical Clinic Foundation originated because "they felt there should be an organization that provides health information to the public at no cost," said Howard Boylan, a member of the Board of Trustees whose parents were among the original founders. "My dad was always of that mindset. He did house calls clear up into the mid-1980s cause he believed in it."

"Caribbean Nights," was the theme of the 4th annual fundraiser held at the Riverside Auditorium and Events Center. The evening featured Caribbean dancers, cocktails, auction, Caribbean themed food and Calypso music provided by Mark Wood and the Parrot Head Band. The purpose of the gala is to "One is to bring exposure to what we do as a foundation. And two is of course to raise money for the programs we do and support in the community," said Executive Director David Lewis.

"The foundation was created to provide health education to the community," said Judy Carpenter, President and COO of RMCF. Educational events, classes and workshops are set up throughout the year, often coordinating with the health calendar to support things such as cancer prevention and autism awareness. "We had a large presentation last year around bullying. It was standing room only. There was very much a need at that time with things in the press happening nationally and we brought it to the local area. That’s what we’re all about, providing service with health education and quality of life for the Greater Riverside area."

President of the Board of Trustees, Mark Marlett, explained the foundation has numerous partners, with the Riverside Medical Clinic being the biggest contributor. These different partners help reach and educate members of the community about health issues and offer guidance on how to prevent diseases as well as offer support. The foundation currently offers free support groups for Alzheimer’s, Autism, Prostate Cancer and Endometriosis.

Riverside Mayor Rusty Bailey noted that “In Southern California, particularly in the Riverside area there’s a critical shortage of primary care physicians so the foundation does a great job of trying to attract talent to Riverside and to support all of the various health providers and networks that we have.”

The biggest surprise of the night was the new of the foundation’s future plans; a pediatric obesity clinic set to be completed early 2014. It will be the first of its kind in Southern California.

"Our big push right now is pediatric obesity. That’s a big issue in the Inland Empire," said Mark Marlett. "We also figure if we can get a child early on in their health process of life and get them to have healthy habits it will help them through life, reduce their risk of chronic diseases and also will touch the family."

David Lewis urged people to "get involved with us cause we’re on the ground floor. If you’re interested in getting involved in something unique and exciting this is the place to be.We intend to be one of the biggest if not the biggest organizations related to health in the Inland Empire. That’s our goal."

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Dwight Cromie

Dwight Cromie
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