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    (HESPERIA, Calif.) “A mammogram just takes a few minutes,” says LaSalle Medical Associates Inc. Medical Director, Dr. Cheryl Emoto, at LaSalle’s Hesperia clinic (16455 Main St.). “But it is so important for women, especially, to have annual exams for those over 40. And for younger women, too, if they notice a breast lump or have concerns.”

    Many women, Emoto points out, are apprehensive about having mammograms, so her goal is to make the exams as unintimidating as possible. She says, “We want our patients to come to LaSalle where they’re familiar with the relaxed facility and the personal staff.”

    So, to do that, LaSalle has contracted with Inner Images, bringing mobile mammogram equipment directly to LaSalle’s Hesperia clinic one day a month. The program began in late January and was overwhelmingly received, the 20-year veteran with LaSalle explains. “Women have really responded to the program. We look forward to helping our patients find beginning signs of breast cancer so that we can treat it early,” said Dr. Emoto.

    After the mammogram is taken, in about two weeks, patients are notified of the results. Should the tests indicate anything at all out of the ordinary, patients are brought in for consultation and possible further tests or even recommendations of specialists.

    Mammograms have been shown to lower the risk of dying from breast cancer by 35 percent in women over the age of 50; and studies suggest for women, even between 40 and 50, mammograms may lower the risk of dying from breast cancer by up to 35 percent.

    And they take just 10 minutes out of the day.

    Prior appointments are recommended. Most insurances cover mammograms with prior authorization, and for women without insurance there are programs that patients may qualify for – providing low cost or no cost mammograms. Don’t let the lack of medical insurance stop you from getting your mammogram.

    For an appointment, call the office at (760) 947-2161.


    CONTACT MANNY OTIKO@ (909) 888-0017



    (San Bernardino, Calif.) Dr. Albert Arteaga, President and CEO of LaSalle Medical Associates, was recently awarded the San Bernardino County Medical Society’s Merlin Hendrickson, M.D. Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Community. Arteaga is recognized for his efforts to provide health services to Inland Empire children. (www.lasallemedical.com.)

    The award was presented during the San Bernardino County Medical Association’s Installation of Officers and Outstanding Awards dinner at the Mission Inn, in Riverside.

    “I accept this award not just for me but for the team of doctors, nurses, and staff at LaSalle’s five clinics. This is recognition of the entire companies dedication to our patients and our communities we serve,” said Arteaga.

    “The award represents an endorsement by the medical society of the work we have been doing,” Arteaga said. “It shows we are appreciated and well regarded by our peers.”

    Arteaga has offered free health care for Hurricane Katrina survivors, donated funds to local pastors towards hurricane relief and served as Commissioner for First 5 Children and Families Commission and the Latino Health Collaborative.

    Born in San Diego, Arteaga grew up in various locations following his father, a Seventh-day Adventist minister. Arteaga’s family also lived in Argentina while his father was doing missionary work. Arteaga spent over four years in northern Mexico.
    Arteaga is dedicated to providing the best healthcare possible for his patients. He also demands his staff, from the receptionist to the doctors, treat people with dignity, compassion and respect.

    “It has always been our policy to help families in need. Since I have been in practice we have never turned away a patient because they could not pay. As the son of an Adventist minister I know that I have an obligation to help whenever I can. That is what we do,” Arteaga said.

    This is not the first time LaSalle Medical Associates has been honored by local healthy agencies. The clinics are also recognized for their quality of service. LaSalle Medical Associates was selected by Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) as one of Riverside and San Bernardino’s best healthcare provider.

    The African American Health Initiative also selected LaSalle as a model provider in a two-year study of Black healthcare in San Bernardino County. LaSalle has also been the number one enroller in the state of California for Healthy Families, an insurance program for children from low to mid-income families. The program provides medical, dental and vision coverage for children without insurance.

    The father of three children, Arteaga lives in Grand Terrace with his wife, Maria, one son and two daughters. For more information about LaSalle Medical Associates contact (909) 890-0407, or go to www.lasallemedical.com.


    Photo caption: Dr. Albert Arteaga, President and CEO of LaSalle Medical Associates, was recently awarded the San Bernardino County Medical Society’s Merlin Hendrickson, M.D. Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Community. Arteaga is recognized for his efforts to provide health services to Inland Empire children. (www.lasallemedical.com.) Left to Right – Maria Arteaga, wife of Dr. Albert Arteaga, LaSalle Medical Associates, Inc., Daughter: Sandy Arteaga and Mitzi Arteaga, Lynda Long, LaSalle Medial Associates, Inc.



    (SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) As a firefighter and arson investigator Michael Dickinson often encountered troubled youngsters who had started fires as a way of getting attention. So when a work-related injury forced him to change career direction, Dickinson decided to put his energies into steering more youths in the right direction. Dickinson’s vision lead him to create the Public Safety Academy (HYPERLINK “http://www.psasb.us” www.psasb.us .) The Academy is a charter school that has a focus on careers in public safety such as fire service and law enforcement, Dickinson says.

    Dickinson started the school in 2000 originally at the San Bernardino Professional Firefighter’s Union Hall. The Academy is currently at a facility near the San Bernardino Airport.

    “We have 170 students today, and we are looking at 325 next year,” Dickinson says. “We are also adding on a middle school and grades 6-8.”

    Funded by the State of California, the academy’s students study the public safety disciplines, police, fire and emergency medical services, in addition to traditional high school courses.

    The Academy’s public safety courses also provide students with the required courses needed for entry into the police or fire academies, Dickinson says.

    Dickinson says the academy differs from a traditional high school because the school is organized along paramilitary lines. Dickinson is the academy CEO and chief, the vice principal is the deputy chief and a cadet chief serves as head of the students. Students at the academy wear uniforms similar to the ones worn by fire departments. The academy also places a major focus on character development, leadership and ethics among the students, Dickinson adds.

    Dr. Albert Arteaga, president of LaSalle Medical Associates(http://www.lasallemedical.com), says the Public Safety Academy’s discipline and small class size have benefited his son Diego who joined last year.

    “Some kids thrive in an open environment, while others need a more structured environment before they are ready to use their own judgment,” Arteaga said.

    Arteaga is impressed students at the academy have to wear uniforms, keep their hair short and refer to the teachers as “sir” or “ma’am.” “The teachers have a great deal of authority in the classroom,” Arteaga said.

    Being exposed to instructors who are former police officers and firefighters has also provided his son with great role models, Arteaga says, adding Diego has expressed an interest in pursing a career in law enforcement in the future. “If he becomes a policeman or firefighter, I would be more than happy with that,” Arteaga said.

    Currently a 10th grader, Diego Arteaga says the fire service and paramilitary training are some of the aspects of the academy he enjoys.

    “I was interested in being a fireman and they have the instructors who can steer me in the right direction,” says Diego.

    Diego also said an important part of the education at PSA is the six pillars of character which are trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. Although students at the PSA study regular high school courses such as geography, physics and science, the moral leadership training is an important part of the development of a young person.

    “Sometimes young people’s lives go in the wrong direction,” Diego says. “The six pillars of character steer you in the right direction.”

    Diego says many PSA graduates further their educations at Crafton Hills College which offers an associate of science degree in fire technology.

    Graduates of the academy have gone onto careers in the military and with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Dickinson points out.

    “The goal of the academy is to open up doors for students so they can achieve a career versus a job,” Dickinson says.

    The Public Safety Academy is at 165 S. Leland Norton Way, San Bernardino. For more information call (909) 382-2211 or go to HYPERLINK “http://www.psasb.us” www.psasb.us .

    Photo caption: Students of the Public Safety Academy in San Bernardino, Calif. This charter high school teaches young people fire fighting and law enforcement.


    (SAN BERNARDINO, Calf.) Across the globe, regular immunizations against otherwise ravishing diseases are helping the world’s population live longer, healthier lives, says Dr. Albert Arteaga, founder of the Inland Empire’s LaSalle Medical Associates.

    Back-to-school time is here, and just as school attendance is mandatory, Arteaga wishes immunizations were just as mandatory. But, as yet they aren’t. “Parents do realize how important the shots are to the welfare of their children, but still we will see 80% of our patients in the last two weeks before school starts,” he notes.

    Immunizations, often combined in a single injection, help prevent such diseases as pneumonia, polio, diphtheria, hepatitis and meningitis.

    “Children are usually afraid of their perceived pain of the immunizations,” Arteaga says, “but that brief, tiny pain is nothing compared to the alarming, often lifelong, impact of the diseases they prevent.”

    Parents should plan ahead for their children’s immunizations, he adds. “They need to break the barrier of ‘no time’,” he says. “They simply need to think ahead, and say, ‘Today is a good one for the shots’.”

    There’s an important phrase in the medical profession when it comes to immunizations: “herd immunity.” “That’s where we can all be human barriers to these common but serious diseases,” he explains. “When we’re around people who are immunized, they protect the rest of us. And we can all help each other by being protected ourselves.”

    While immunizations are routinely up to date only 30% of the time, LaSalle patients, at Arteaga’s urging, are 70% up to date. “Our patients are really good about that,” he says, “but so much more can be done. The problem is that with immunizations nothing seems wrong with kids, and so the parents too often simply put them off until the time is more convenient. You ought to hear the creative excuses we get.”

    Under nearly all circumstances, immunizations are free to families, being subsidized by the Federal government for children.

    LaSalle welcomes childhood immunizations at all five of their Inland Empire clinics: 17577 Arrow Blvd. in Fontana; 1505 Seventeenth Street and 565 North Mt. Vernon Ave. in San Bernardino; 16455 Main St. in Hesperia; and 31762 Mission Trail in Lake Elsinore.

    Appointments aren’t required, but are recommended by calling (909) 890-0407. Usually the immunizations last only 30 minutes.

    “A half hour,” Dr. Arteaga says, “can save potentially years of devastating illness.”



    (SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) Yearly mammograms save women lives. To help more low- to moderate-income women, LaSalle Medical Associates will began mammography at its Mt. Vernon Clinic in San Bernardino this September.

    The Department of Health Services now requires mammograms for all women over 40. They are not only simple, quick and risk-free, but are known to lower the chance of fatal breast cancer by 25-35 percent. The tests normally take only five to 10 minutes.

    Dr. Albert Arteaga, the founder and president of LaSalle Medical Associates, sees substantial light on the horizon regarding reducing occurrences of breast cancer in Black and Latino women.

    “Fifteen years ago, there was a problem. Our friends’ wives and daughters were highly reluctant to see a doctor about mammograms, personal breast exams or anything else related to breast cancer. It was all too personal for them, sharing such intimate matters with a medical professional.”

    All that has changed, he feels, with so much effort having gone into public awareness programs. “I don’t see that this reluctance is any more prevalent among minority women than Whites. In fact, the figures are nearly identical. Public awareness is working. There’s no longer a need to convince women; it’s now a matter of getting them to come in.”

    Sometimes the problem of getting women to come in is a financial one. Low-income Black and Latino women may believe they just can’t afford exams and tests. Women’s health insurance normally covers the expense, though for those without coverage there is that fear of high costs. 

    LaSalle can help women without insurance find a program to help pay for their mammography, Dr. Arteaga says. “There are many public assistance programs that the vast majority of low- to moderate-income women qualify for. We help them apply, and in many cases receive coverage.”

    LaSalle Medical Associates has two reasons for instituting its new mammography
    program. “On the one hand,” Arteaga says, “there’s an altruistic purpose. We simply want to help the community by helping women remain healthy and catching any potential breast cancer early enough to prevent its growth.

    ”On the other hand, it’s good business, and if our clinics are to continue helping patients from year to year, they simply must stay in business. So we help our patients get the care they need through state and/or federal insurance programs created to help people stay healthy,” Arteaga explains.

    Occasionally politicians or special interest group opposes government programs that spend money to help the financially disadvantaged. “But, when we show them that programs like these are heavily utilized and help keep people healthy and so we spend less overall on treating sicker people,” he says, “the opposition to them diminishes. The numbers can prove to the naysayers that the state and federal programs are being used, and public funds are actually helping save lives.

    “We believe that all women in the Inland Empire should have their annual mammogram and we are working hard to help them do so,” says Arteaga. “The more women we see, the more lives we can help save.”

    LaSalle Medical Associates has five clinics in the Inland Empire. Their offices are in five convenient locations; 17577 Arrow Boulevard in Fontana, 1505 17th Street in San Bernardino, 565 N. Mount Vernon Avenue in San Bernardino, 16455 Main Street in Hesperia and 31762 Mission Trail in Lake Elsinore.

    For more information or to schedule an appointment call LaSalle’s Mount Vernon clinic at (909) 884-9091.


    Photo caption: Dr. Albert Arteaga, President and CEO of LaSalle Medical Associates, was recently awarded the San Bernardino County Medical Society’s Merlin Hendrickson, M.D. Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Community. Arteaga is recognized for his efforts to provide health services to Inland Empire children. (www.lasallemedical.com.) Left to Right – Maria Arteaga, wife of Dr. Albert Arteaga, daughter Sandy Arteaga and Mitzi Arteaga, Lynda Long of LaSalle Medial Associates.