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    Keep the Lead OUT of Your Sweethearts Valentine’s Day Treats

    Helen Robinson and LaSalle patient Carl M. Dameron plan for Valentine’s festivities. Carl plans to buy a box of chocolates for his sweetheart, but wonders which one is healthy? Photo by Carl M. Dameron.

    Helen Robinson and LaSalle patient Carl M. Dameron plan for Valentine’s festivities. Carl plans to buy a box of chocolates for his sweetheart, but wonders which one is healthy. Photo by Carl M. Dameron.

    “Choose the right sweets for your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day.” — Dr. Albert Arteaga, Chair of LaSalle Medical Associates.

    REDLANDS, Calif., Feb. 10, 2024 — Not all sweets are created equal, and knowing the good, the bad, and the ugly can affect your sweetheart’s health, for better or worse. Few people are aware that the cocoa used to make chocolates and other sweets that include chocolate may include potentially toxic levels of lead and cadmium.

    Consumer Reports (CR) published two studies investigating the presence of heavy metals in chocolates. Of the brands they tested, a 2023 study found “a third of chocolate products are high in heavy metals.” CR tested 48 different products, including cocoa powder, chocolate chips, chocolate bars, mixes for hot chocolate, brownies, and cakes.

    Brands included Hershey’s, Ghirardelli, and Nestlé; retailer house brands from Costco, Target, Trader Joe’s, Walmart, and Whole Foods; and specialty brands Droste and Navitas.

    Dark chocolates have higher percentages of cocoa than milk chocolates, but “…every product we tested had detectable amounts of lead and cadmium,” according to James E. Rogers, Ph.D., CR’s director and acting head of product safety testing.

    Paradoxically, dark chocolate confections that have 70% or higher concentrations of cocoa are considered healthier than treats with lower concentrations because of their powerful antioxidant effect, which contributes to a lower risk of heart disease and enhanced brain function, according to Healthline. But higher cocoa content also means more heavy metals!

    Different chocolatiers manufacture their products using cocoa from different countries. The soil that provides nutrients to the cocoa plants is also the source of unhealthy concentrations of the heavy metals that end up in the cocoa beans.

    Milk chocolates do not contain worrying amounts of these metals. But milk chocolates don’t contain healthier levels of antioxidants. So, what is a Valentine’s Day gift giver to do? Consumer Reports studies are available to subscribers, but if you are not a subscriber, you will need to go online to third-party reports.

    Here are two online resources that are not behind a paywall: Food Revolution Network, a nonprofit health-oriented website (https://foodrevolution.org/blog/heavy-metals-in-chocolate/); and Forbes magazine (https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucelee/2022/12/16/23-of-28-dark-chocolate-bars-tested-have-high-lead-cadmium-levels/?sh=309bb8421640). You can also enter “heavy metals in chocolates” in your web browser for a complete list of resources.

    “Do your sweetheart a favor,” says Dr. Arteaga, “and if you give chocolates, choose brands without toxic levels of heavy metals. Choose the right sweets for your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day. Perhaps consider giving flowers or a fruit basket.”

    For more information go online to LaSalleMedical.com.

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    BRIEF: 278 words

    Keep the Lead OUT of Your Sweethearts Valentine’s Day Treats

    “Choose the right sweets for your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day.” — Dr. Albert Arteaga, Chair of LaSalle Medical Associates.

    REDLANDS, Calif., Feb. 10, 2024 — Not all sweets are created equal, and knowing the good, the bad, and the ugly can affect your sweetheart’s health, for better or worse. Consumer Reports (CR) studies tested 48 different products, for the presence of lead and cadmium in 2023.

    Brands included Hershey’s, Ghirardelli, and Nestlé; retailer house brands from Costco, Target, Trader Joe’s, Walmart, and Whole Foods; and specialty brands Droste and Navitas. Consumer Reports found that “…every product we tested had detectable amounts of lead and cadmium,” according to James E. Rogers, Ph.D., CR’s director and acting head of product safety testing.

    Paradoxically, dark chocolate confections that have 70% or higher concentrations of cocoa are considered healthier than treats with lower concentrations because of their powerful antioxidant effect, which contributes to a lower risk of heart disease and enhanced brain function, according to Healthline. But higher cocoa content also means more heavy metals!

    So, what is a Valentine’s Day gift giver to do? Consumer Reports studies are available to subscribers, but if you are not a subscriber, you will need to go online to third-party reports. Forbes magazine does a good job of reporting the findings:  (https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucelee/2022/12/16/23-of-28-dark-chocolate-bars-tested-have-high-lead-cadmium-levels/?sh=309bb8421640).

    You can also enter “heavy metals in chocolates” in your web browser for a complete list of resources.

    “Do your sweetheart a favor,” says Dr. Arteaga, “and if you give chocolates, choose brands without toxic levels of heavy metals. Choose the right sweets for your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day. Perhaps consider giving flowers or a fruit basket.”

    For more information go online to LaSalleMedical.com.

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    How to Eliminate Black Disparities in Healthcare

    Shiane, Shaila, Carl And Malaika Jacocks all enjoy the Gold Standard of Care at LaSalle Medical Associates.

    Shiane, Shaila, Carl, and Malaika Dameron all enjoy the Gold Standard of Care at LaSalle Medical Associates.

    “We not only need more Black physicians, but we also need both doctors and patients to communicate more openly,” says Dr. Albert Arteaga, Chair of LaSalle Medical Associates.

    REDLANDS, CA. — A 2022 study by Pew Research finds that most Black Americans feel good about the quality of health care they have received recently. But the findings are mixed, with 47% saying outcomes have gotten better over the past 20 years, 31% saying they’re the same and 20% feel things have gotten worse.

    On March 29, 2023, the Kaiser Family Foundation released a study, “Key Data on Health and Health Care by Race and Ethnicity” that noted, “While inequities in access to and use of health care contribute to disparities in health, inequities across broader social and economic factors that drive health, often referred to as social determinants of health, also play a major role.”

    Social determinants include “socioeconomic status, education, neighborhood and physical environment, and social support networks, as well as access to health care.” Several initiatives within and outside of the healthcare system are working to address these factors.

    Nonetheless, two things not mentioned in these studies need to be pointed out. Dr. Albert Arteaga, Chair of LaSalle Medical Associates, the Inland Empire’s largest independent healthcare provider, said, “We not only need more Black physicians, but we also need both doctors and patients to communicate more openly.”

    Dr. Arteaga points out that it is only natural that Black patients will feel more comfortable being treated by a Black physician.

    A 2021 study from the National Library of Medicine found that 5.8% of family medicine doctors are Black, 7.8% of internal medicine specialists, and 7.3% of pediatricians.

    Blacks make up 13.6% of the U.S. population, so the number of Black physicians is under-represented.

    Dr. Arteaga adds that a key factor in patient satisfaction with their healthcare provider is trust. “At LaSalle,” commented Dr. Arteaga, “we address this in several ways.

    “One is that when we open a facility, it stays open in the same location. Our Black and Hispanic patients know that the LaSalle clinic they visit is going to be in the same place for the long term. Our patients trust that their LaSalle facility isn’t going to move. We opened our first clinic in Fontana in 1984 and it’s still in the same location,” he continued.

    LaSalle employs a diverse staff who all provide a Gold Standard of care for their patients. Part of that lofty standard includes communicating effectively and openly with patients. The old saw about “bedside manner” includes the style of a person’s communication with others, per Merriam-Webster, and LaSalle’s staff are skilled at providing a good bedside manner.

    “Another thing our patients can count on is that their health care provider won’t change. We don’t believe in transferring staff from one location to another. The relationship a LaSalle patient has with their doctor won’t be interrupted because of some HR policy that moves providers around.

    “Lastly, our facilities are scrupulously clean. We maintain a Gold Standard of cleanliness in all our clinics that match our Gold Standard of care for all patients, regardless of their racial or ethnic background.”

    Dr. Arteaga emphasized, “We encourage anyone who feels uneasy about communicating with their health care provider to contact their insurer and ask for a different doctor. Good communication is so important a part of good healthcare, no one should be going without it.”

    For more information call 1-855-349-6019 or go online to LaSalleMedical.com.

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    B R I E F: 291 words

    How to Eliminate Black Disparities in Healthcare

    “We not only need more Black physicians, but we also need both doctors and patients to communicate more openly,” says Dr. Albert Arteaga, Chair of LaSalle Medical Associates.

    REDLANDS, CA. —A 2022 study by Pew Research finds that most Black Americans feel good about the quality of health care they have received recently. But the findings are mixed, with 47% saying outcomes have gotten better over the past 20 years, 31% saying they’re the same and 20% feel things have gotten worse.

    A 2023 study by the Kaiser Family Foundation noted, “While inequities in access to and use of health care contribute to disparities in health, inequities across broader social and economic factors that drive health, often referred to as social determinants of health, also play a major role.”

    However, Dr. Albert Arteaga, Chair of LaSalle Medical Associates, points to two things not mentioned in these two studies—the need for more Black doctors and better communication between doctors and patients. “We not only need more Black physicians, we also need both doctors and patients to communicate more openly,” he said.

    LaSalle provides a Gold Standard of care to all its patients, regardless of race or ethnicity. This includes communicating effectively and openly with patients. A good “bedside manner” includes communication style with others, per Merriam-Webster, and LaSalle’s people practice a good bedside manner with everyone they see.

    Dr. Arteaga emphasized, “I encourage anyone who feels uneasy about communicating with their health care provider to contact their insurer and ask for a different doctor. Good communication is so important a part of good healthcare, no one should be going without it.”

    For more information call 1-855-349-6019 or go online to LaSalleMedical.com.

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    LaSalle Clinics Are Ahead of the Curve in Ending Race-Based Medicine

    Dr. Albert and Maria Arteaga

    Dr. Albert and Maria Arteaga, Founders of LaSalle Medical Associates, Inc. dedicated to ending health care disparities.

    “People of color are tired of being treated differently by doctors because of their skin color. At LaSalle, we pride ourselves on treating all patients with respect and giving them the care, they need, regardless of their ethnicity,” said Dr. Albert Arteaga, MD, founder and CEO of LaSalle Medical Associates, Inc.

    (Redlands, Calif.)  The American Academy of Pediatrics has announced that it is revising its policies and guidelines to do away with wording that implies or suggests “that races have underlying biological differences that should be factored in medical treatments.”

    In a new policy statement, “Eliminating Race-Based Medicine,” pre-published online May 2, 2022, in Pediatrics, the AAP observes that race is a historically derived social construct that has no place as a biologic proxy. Over the years, the medical field has inaccurately applied race correction or race adjustment factors in its work, resulting in differential approaches to disease management and disparate clinical outcomes.

    “The American Academy of Pediatrics is taking an important step toward dismantling race-based medicine. This effort calls for acknowledging the impact that differential lived experiences have on individual and population health outcomes through a race-conscious health equity lens rather than through approaches that have inappropriately identified skin color as an independent risk-adjusting variable,” Dr. Wright said.

    “Social determinants of health need to be carefully considered in the development of care delivery strategies including factors embedded in broad categories such as access, the physical environmental and community supports. Evidence informed incorporation of these factors is vital in all areas of medicine.”

    Dr. Albert Arteaga, MD, CEO of LaSalle Medical Associates, Inc., says, “As a Latino-owned organization, we have always treated every patient—adult or child—with the most conscientious and rigorous care.

    Many of our doctors and support staff are themselves minorities and they know very well how important it is to make all patients feel comfortable and to deliver to all patients the highest standard, the gold standard, of care.”

    The gold standard of care is a method, procedure or measurement that is widely accepted as being the best available to test for or treat a disease.

    Race-based care has been pervasive for decades. One example is how some pediatricians deal with Black children who may be suffering from a urinary tract infection. According to Dr. Joseph L. Wright, M.D., M.P.H., FAAP, from American Academy of Pediatrics, rather than apply the gold standard test, they use a lesser procedure because they assume that Black children don’t get urinary tract infections as often as white children.

    But that is not the case at LaSalle. “When we interview prospective providers, we make sure that they are in sync with our values and standards,” says Dr. Arteaga. “The gold standard is the only standard we apply to the people under our care.”

    After two years of virtual doctor visits, all of LaSalle six clinics are open for person-to-person patient visits. Clinics are now open in San Bernardino, Rialto, Fontana, Hesperia and Victorville.

    “The evolution of modern medicine has produced incredible advancements and accomplishments in health care,” Dr. Wright said. “But we must acknowledge and address the stark inequities that persist in leaving vulnerable populations behind. We are better than this. Now is the time for change.”

    For more information or to make an appointment at a LaSalle Medical Associates Clinic call 1-855-349-6019. Fontana, San Bernardino 17th Street, San Bernardino Mt. Vernon Ave., Rialto and Hesperia.

    About LaSalle Medical Associates

    LaSalle Medical Associates, Inc. is one of the largest, independent, and Latino-owned healthcare companies in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. The corporate office is in Redlands.

    LaSalle operates six clinics employing more than 100 dedicated healthcare professionals, treating children, adults and seniors in San Bernardino and Riverside counties. LaSalle’s patients are primarily served by Medi-Cal and Healthy Families. LaSalle also accepts Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Molina, Care 1st, Health Net, and Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) coverage.

    LaSalle is also an Independent Practice Association (IPA) of independently contracted doctors, hospitals, and clinics, delivering high quality patient care to approximately 365,000 patients in Fresno, Kings, Los Angeles, Madera, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Joaquin, and Tulare counties.

    LaSalle-PR-316.2 Gold Standard Care

    For More Information call

    Dr. Greg Zerovnik @ (909) 730-8428‬

    or email Greg.Z@DameronCommunications.com

    Doctors Advise: Get Your Flu and Covid Shots Together

    Mia Alexia Martinez 14 gets her vaccination from Nurse Elisabeth. Get your flu and Covid Shot at the same time this season

    Mia Alexia Martinez 14 gets her vaccination from Nurse Elisabeth. Get your flu and Covid Shot at the same time this season.

    Two little jabs now can save you from a world of trouble later on,” said Dr. Albert Arteaga, CEO of LaSalle Medical Associates, Inc.

     

    REDLANDS, CALIF. Covid 19 and the flu remain dangerous infections. Medical authorities urge everyone six months and older to get their flu vaccinations now. At the same time, new Covid booster shots are also available, as well as shots for the latest of the Omicron variants and so getting both flu and Covid shots during one visit is the best course of action.

    “No one really looks forward to getting a shot, but it really makes sense to get both of your shots at the same time so that you only need to make one visit to the doctor’s office, not two. Two little jabs now can save you from a world of trouble later on if you don’t get vaccinated,“ said Dr. Albert Arteaga, CEO of LaSalle Medical Associates, Inc.

    Who should and who should not get a flu vaccine?  According to the Centers for Disease Control, (CDC), everyone six months and older in the United States should get an influenza (flu) vaccine every season with rare exceptions. CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has made this “universal” recommendation since the 2010-2011 flu season.

    During the 2018-2019 flu season, the CDC estimates that 35.5 million people contracted the disease and 34,200 died from it. “Flu kills and most people seem to know it does and so most people get their flu shots every fall,” said Dr. Arteaga.

    The CDC also reported that Covid 19 is still averaging 54,186 new cases per day as of September 21, 2022, and to date, over 95.7 million cases have been reported since the pandemic started. Deaths are currently averaging 396 per month. Almost 80 percent of the U.S. population has had at least one Covid vaccination shot and 67.8 percent are fully vaccinated.

    Dr. Albert Arteaga Suggest we all get our flu and Covid Shot at the same time this season.

    Dr. Albert Arteaga Suggest we all get our flu and Covid Shot at the same time this season.

    “We have two very contagious and often deadly diseases,” said Dr. Arteaga. “Getting both vaccinations at the same time, if you have not yet gotten your Covid vaccine or booster shot, makes good common sense.”

    LaSalle Medical Associates, Inc., clinics accept Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Molina, Care 1st, Health Net, and Inland Empire Health Plan coverage, as well as Medicare Medi-Cal and cash.

    For more information call the office closest to you: Fontana (909) 823-4454; San Bernardino 17th Street (909) 887-6494; San Bernardino Mt. Vernon Ave. (909) 884-9091; Rialto (855) 349-6019; and Hesperia (760) 947-2161.

     

    About LaSalle Medical Associates

    LaSalle Medical Associates, Inc. is one of the largest, independent, and Latino-owned healthcare companies in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. The corporate office is in Redlands.

    LaSalle operates six clinics employing more than 100 dedicated healthcare professionals, treating children, adults and seniors in San Bernardino and Riverside counties. LaSalle’s patients are primarily served by Medi-Cal and Healthy Families. LaSalle also accepts Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Molina, Care 1st, Health Net, and Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) coverage.

    LaSalle is also an Independent Practice Association (IPA) of independently contracted doctors, hospitals, and clinics, delivering high quality patient care to approximately 380,000 patients in Fresno, Kings, Los Angeles, Madera, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Joaquin, and Tulare counties.

    Every Wednesday is Covid 19 Vaccine Day for Kids

    cover shots

    April Reya a medical assistant, gives the COVID-19 vaccination shot to Vicki Creighton, of Riverside, Recently, at the LaSalle Medical Associates medical office located in Rialto, Calif. .

     

    “If it weren’t for the vaccine, I’m sure I would have ended up in the hospital,” said LaSalle Medical’s Compliance Officer, Barbara Graber.

     

    (REDLANDS, Calif.) “We started the second week of July, now every Wednesday is “Covid Vaccine Day for Kids,” says Dr. Albert Arteaga, pediatrician, and the CEO of LaSalle Medical Associates.

    “Now that Moderna has released its three variations on a Covid vaccine for younger people we are full speed ahead,” says Dr. Arteaga, “… we have been tracking the Covid 19 pandemic very closely and believe that the Moderna vaccine is the most effective option currently available.”

    LaSalle Medical’s Compliance Officer, Barbara Graber, notes that five of LaSalle’s six clinics are providing Wednesday shots for youngsters. “We started slowly,” says Graber, “… now we are increasing the number of Covid-19 vaccines given weekly. We’ve given 170 shots in the first two weeks of August and parents are responding to our targeted internal outreach program that urges them to bring in their children for their vaccine.”

    Graber says being proactive with outreach to clinic patients leads to more people getting the vaccine. “Our team is calling to ask parents to bring in their youngsters to get vaccinated. This makes prevention likely to be a lot more effective.”

    The three vaccines are for children aged 6 months to 5 years, 6 to 11 years, and 12 years and older. There is a four-week wait between first and second shots.

    Graber contracted Covid-19 herself and says, “If it weren’t for the vaccine, I’m sure I would have ended up in thehospital.” She had the two-shot regimen as well as two booster shots. “This vaccine has proven itself and is now an important addition to our tool kit to help people stay healthy, safe and out of the hospital.”

    Barbara Graber, manager of compliance and special projects at LaSalle Medical Associates, Inc.

    LaSalle Medical Associates, Inc., clinics accept Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Molina, Care 1st, Health Net, and Inland Empire Health Plan coverage, as well as Medicare Medi-Cal and cash.

    For more information about LaSalle Medical Associates, Inc. call the office closest to you: Fontana (909) 823-4454; San Bernardino 17th Street (909) 887-6494; San Bernardino Mt. Vernon Ave. (909) 884-9091; Rialto (855) 349-6019; Hesperia (760) 947-2161; and Victorville (855) 349-6019.

    About LaSalle Medical Associates

    LaSalle Medical Associates, Inc. is one of the largest, independent, and Latino-owned healthcare companies in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. The corporate office is in Redlands.

    LaSalle operates six clinics employing more than 100 dedicated healthcare professionals, treating children, adults and seniors in San Bernardino and Riverside counties. LaSalle’s patients are primarily served by Medi-Cal and Healthy Families. LaSalle also accepts Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Molina, Care 1st, Health Net, and Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) coverage.

    LaSalle is also an Independent Practice Association (IPA) of independently contracted doctors, hospitals and clinics, delivering high quality patient care to approximately 365,000 patients in Fresno, Kings, Los Angeles, Madera, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Joaquin and Tulare counties.

    Don’t Stop NOW – We’re Almost Past This Deadly Crisis

    Vicki Creighton, of Riverside, checks in for her COVID-19 vaccination appointment, Recently,at the LaSalle Medical Associates medical office located in Rialto, Calif. Creighton will receive the one-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine

    April Reya a medical assistant, gives the COVID-19 vaccination shot to Vicki Creighton, of Riverside, recently at the LaSalle Medical Associates medical office located in Rialto, Calif. Creighton received the one-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine. (Photo by Valda Wilson) 

    “It’s not politics. It’s about keeping people alive and getting past the pandemic. We are almost there. When you protest everything, that doesn’t make you a patriot. It makes you a misfit.”

    (Redlands, Calif.)  Southern California is finally emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic, but people must continue to follow health precautions until the threat is gone, said Dr. Albert Arteaga, president and founder of LaSalle Medical Associates.

    That means washing your hands, following social-distancing guidelines, wearing masks indoors and also when you’re among large groups outdoors.

    Also, get vaccinated and recognize that the pandemic is a health crisis, not a political issue, said Arteaga.

    It’s all about attitude, he said.

    “We do have a public health problem. No question,” he said. “There is a pandemic that can turn rather deadly, and the fact is that around a half million lives have been lost in the United States even though we’re the most advanced country in the world.”

    Vicki Creighton, of Riverside, checks in for her COVID-19 vaccination appointment, Recently, at the LaSalle Medical Associates medical office located in Rialto, Calif. Creighton will receive the one-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine. (Photo by Valda Wilson)

     

    That happened because one group of people made it a loyalty test problem, he said.

    “If you’re loyal to this political party, you won’t wear masks. If you’re loyal, you will protest any business closures because that hurts the economy. Some people stopped thinking about the public good.

    “Another way to look at it is, ‘Gosh, this is a pandemic. Let’s get together to do what it takes to lick this problem.’”

    If people had that attitude, they would recognize that recent reports about vaccine side effects and problems were important to keep people informed, not as ammunition for political arguments.

    “We needed a vaccine, and it was rushed because people were sick and dying,” he said. “So now, when we hear of problems with the vaccine, we must realize this is science. This is not a political belief. The alerts and warnings are important to inform the public, and we all need upgrade to our knowledge.

    LaSalle Medical Associates operates two clinics in San Bernardino and clinics in Fontana, Hesperia, Rialto, and Victorville.

    Some of the clinics have been administering Covid-19 vaccines for several months, and Dr. Arteaga said they are safe and effective. He’s been vaccinated and encourages others to do the same.

    LaSalle Medical Center COVID-19 Vaccanations

    April Reya a medical assistant, gives the COVID-19 vaccination shot to Alicia Cazenave, of San Bernardino, Recently, at the LaSalle Medical Associates medical office located in Rialto, Calif. Cazenave received the one-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine. (Photo by Valda Wilson)

     

    He applauded recent updates to CDC guidelines saying fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks at small family events, when gathering with other fully vaccinated people or in many outdoor situations.

    “There is no contradiction, no deception with updating the guidelines,” he said. “It seems like masks, social distancing, and closures of businesses and schools have made a difference holding back the tide while the vaccine was put into production, and then we rushed to put it into people’s arms.

    “And rushing the vaccine is same as rushing an ambulance through traffic to save lives. Don’t complain about the ambulance driving too fast or complain that pulling over for it infringes on your ability to drive fast on the same streets.”

    It’s not politics. It’s about keeping people alive and getting past the pandemic, he said.

    “We are almost there. When you protest everything, that doesn’t make you a patriot. It makes you a misfit,” he said.

    About LaSalle Medical Associates: LaSalle Medical Associates is one of the largest independent minority-owned healthcare companies in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. The corporate office is in Redlands.

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