UPLAND >> Developing healthier populations and helping to recruit more physicians, nurses and other health professionals to the area are some of the goals of a new partnership between a local real estate developer and a hospital.
The recently formed Lewis-San Antonio Healthy Communities Institute is a partnership between Upland-based San Antonio Regional Hospital and Randall W. Lewis, executive vice president of the Lewis Group of Companies, also based in Upland.
The initiative comes at a time when the combined San Bernardino and Riverside county region is experiencing cardiac mortality rates among the highest in the state, diabetes rates are soaring and an obesity epidemic that’s affecting lives of young and old people alike, said Cathy Rebman, vice president for business development and community outreach at San Antonio Regional Hospital.
“Health care in America is changing from the sick-care business to prevention,” Rebman said in a phone interview.
The institute’s service area includes 850,000 people in western San Bernardino County and portions of Riverside County, she said.
“The Healthy Communities Institute is designed to serve as a vehicle to help create innovative solutions and support the efforts of local healthy cities by providing structure, programs and specific training,” Rebman said, in a statement.
Details about what some of the initiatives will look like will evolve over time, Rebman and Lewis said.
“The institute will serve as another step in our journey to engage people from many disciplines across various sectors including hospitals, school districts, cities and other health and social services organizations, in a collaborative effort to solve the health care challenges we face today,” Lewis said in a statement.
There is a lengthy history of interconnections between San Antonio Regional Medical Center and Lewis family members, as well as with the Lewis Group.
“Over the years, my family has received health care services from the compassionate doctors, nurses and support staff that make San Antonio truly an exceptional hospital,” Lewis said.
Lewis said in a phone interview he is funding the initiative, not the Lewis Group.
The site of San Antonio’s first satellite facility, which opened in 1990, was in the Lewis Terra Vista community in Rancho Cucamonga.
The Lewis Group also sold the hospital land to develop health care facilities in Fontana and Eastvale as well, Lewis said.
Lewis will participate in brainstorming sessions as the institute evolves, but it will be run by the hospital staff, he said.
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