LONG BEACH, Calif., July 13, 2023 – Molina Healthcare of California (“Molina”) recently recognized three Los Angeles area residents for their dedication to addressing social determinants of health through the MolinaCares Community Champions program. Each honoree received a $5,000 grant to pay forward to the nonprofit organization of their choice.
“At Molina, we are proud to recognize individuals making a positive impact in their community and helping to improve the health and well-being of our neighbors in the Los Angeles area,” said Abbie Totten, plan president of Molina Healthcare of California.
This year’s Los Angeles MolinaCares Community Champions are:
Dr. Kenji Jones of Los Angeles has donated many hours to bringing mental health services to inner-city families. Founder and CEO of Aspire to Inspire Motivational Services, Dr. Jones has helped develop and provide culturally sensitive, trauma-informed care to many. In addition to this work, Dr. Jones has worked to promote self-advocacy for housing shelter residents, volunteered with food outreach programs, spearheaded projects to assist survivors of domestic violence, donated time to help at-risk African American girls overcome low self-esteem, and helped promote mental health awareness. Dr. Jones’ grant will be donated to Aspire to Inspire Motivational Services.
Emily Grijalva of Boyle Heights has a passion for advancing inclusivity in schools and the community. An educator who has worked to increase resources for queer students, trans youth and their families, Grijalva advocated for Mendez High School, enabling them to hold their first-ever Pride parade in 2021. Grijalva regularly volunteers for nonprofit organizations that focus on queer and trans rights. In addition, Grijalva makes lesson plans designed to be more inclusive, serves as a school Gender Sexuality Alliance sponsor, and is an active member of Rainbow Education Coalition of Los Angeles. Grijalva’s grant will be donated to Latino Equality Alliance.
Eric Smith of Long Beach has devoted a great deal of time to reducing the digital divide for urban youth, understanding that access to technology has a direct link to health equity. Smith founded Dreamz Into Goals (DIG LIFE), an organization that gifts laptops, scholarships, supplies and more to students in need, and facilitates family visits to places like Allen Allensworth National Park, the first African-American city founded west of the Mississippi. Outside of DIG LIFE events, Smith advocates for the community and contributes to local efforts including Literacy at the Park, beach and trash clean-up events and more. Smith’s grant will be donated to Dreamz Into Goals.
About Molina Healthcare of California
Molina Healthcare of California has been providing government-funded care for 40 years. The Company serves members through Medi-Cal, Medicare, Medicare-Medicaid (Duals) and Covered California (Marketplace). Molina’s service areas include Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, San Diego, Orange County and Imperial counties. Through its locally operated health plans, Molina Healthcare, Inc., a FORTUNE 500 company, served approximately 5.3 million members as of March 31, 2023. For more information about Molina Healthcare of California, visit MolinaHealthcare.com.