Celebrity couple Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker are reaching out to Inland Empire’s African American residents through a series of public service announcements (PSAs) that encourage navigating family health matters, including COVID-19 vaccines.
Actors/entrepreneurs Kodjoe and Parker, currently starring on ABC’s “Station 19” and HBO Max’s “And Just Like That,” respectively, have been supporting health and wellness initiatives for years through their Kodjoe Family Foundation.
Today they continue to help share fact-based health information with their community.
“The truth is, our community is still being hit hardest by this virus and vaccines lower our risk of getting sick or even dying of COVID-19,” said Parker in one of the campaign segments, which were funded in partnership with San Bernardino County’s COVID Equity Grant.
Nearly three years after the start of COVID-19 pandemic, the Inland Empire continues to report low vaccine rates, especially among Black residents, resulting in increased hospitalizations and deaths.
“We understand the concerns our Black and minority residents have in regards to the vaccine,” said Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) Chief Medical Officer Dr. Takashi Wada. “It isn’t enough to just tell community members to get vaccinated and that the vaccines work, we’re inviting them to empower themselves through awareness and gathering information from trusted sources.”
Like the celebrity couple of Boris and Nicole, Dr. Wada further encourages all Inland Empire residents to get the facts about COVID-19 vaccines and boosters directly from reliable sources such as official websites and licensed medical experts.
“The best thing you can really do to support the health and wellness of your family is to read the data and ask your doctors questions, so you CAN make sound decisions regarding the health and wellness of your family,” Dr. Wada added.
Topics of the “Boris and Nicole” PSAs include various messages about protecting the Inland Empire community and family health as well as encouraging residents who have doubts to visit IEHP’s COVID-19 website to gather accurate and timely information.
The announcements began running on KMIR Palm Springs stations and IE Spectrum stations and will continue through summer 2023.
With a mission to heal and inspire the human spirit, Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) is one of the top 10 largest Medicaid health plans and the largest not-for-profit Medicare-Medicaid plan in the country. In its 26th year, IEHP is supporting more than 1.6 million residents in Riverside and San Bernardino counties who are enrolled in Medicaid or Cal MediConnect Plans and has a growing network of more than 7,400 providers and nearly 2,800 Team Members. Through dynamic partnerships with Providers and Community Organizations, paired with award-winning service and a tradition of quality care, IEHP is fully committed to their vision: We will not rest until our communities enjoy optimal care and vibrant health. For more information, visit iehp.org.