Brenda Premo, director of the Center for Disability Issues and the Health Professions at Western University of Health Sciences, will receive the Advocacy Community Champions Award from Molina Healthcare Inc.

“CDIHP and the university are very honored to receive this award,” Premo said. “This recognition is important because it signifies that Molina wants to move forward on providing the types of services that will increase the quality and accessibility of health care for seniors and people with disabilities.”

Health plans are beginning to understand that people with disabilities and activity limitations sometimes cannot access care or benefit from the technology available because they cannot get on the table or into the MRI machine or up to the mammogram machine, Premo said. Therefore, these health plans must design their networks of care for a growing population of seniors and persons with disabilities and activity limitations who can be healthy with accessible, proactive preventive health care, she said.

Premo will be one of 11 award recipients at the second annual Molina Healthcare of California Community Champions Awards dinner at the National Orange Show on May 8. The award comes with a $1,000 grant.

“$750 of this award goes to CDIHP and will be used to support our ongoing work within the university to increase access to care for seniors and people with disabilities,” Premo said. “$250 will go toward the new Patient Care Center. It is not a lot but we hope others will be challenged to donate to what will be a major center of care for Pomona and surrounding areas.”

Premo is a hero who diligently advocates for people with disabilities and those in need, according to Molina. Her work in civil and disability rights, her service as Director of the California State Department of Rehabilitation and her founding of CDIHP are among the accomplishments highlighted by Molina in announcing her as an award recipient.

“Molina Healthcare is proud to honor Brenda Premo for being an advocate for disability rights and helping develop legislation that later became the Americans with Disabilities Act,” said Lisa Rubino, president of Health Plan Management at Molina Healthcare of California. “Her spirit of service, commitment and caring embodies the philosophy of our physician founder, the late Dr. C. David Molina and is aligned with Molina Healthcare’s mission of providing high quality health care services to the underserved population.”

Molina Healthcare of California is a managed care organization that provides health care services for people eligible for Medi-Cal, Medicare, AIM, and the Healthy Families product lines throughout Riverside, San Bernardino, Sacramento, San Diego, Los Angeles and Yolo counties, according to the company. Molina Healthcare of California has more than 300,000 members and was ranked among the top 75 Medicaid plans by U.S News and World Reports “America’s Best Health Plans” issue in 2007. Molina Healthcare of California also operates 19 Medical Group facilities in California and is a subsidiary of Molina Healthcare Inc.

For more information about the Center for Disability Issues and the Health Professions, visit  http://www.westernu.edu/xp/edu/cdihp/cdihp-about.xml. 

For more information about Molina Healthcare, visit www.molinahealthcare.com.