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Health Partners with Community Groups to Create the Autism Assessment Center of Excellence

Loma Linda University Health joined 10 partner community agencies in the celebration of the Jan. 6 grand opening of the Autism Assessment Center of Excellence (AAC) in San Bernardino.

Richard Chinnock, MD, medical director of Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital (LLUCH) and AAC board member, said the center is designed for parents with autistic children.

“It marks the culmination of five years of dedication and hard work,” Chinnock noted. “I am happy to report that this is one of the finest autism assessment centers in the nation, offering comprehensive diagnostic evaluation with multiple providers under one roof.”

Angelica Munguia, the mom of an autistic child, spoke at the opening of the event and shared how she struggled to learn what was wrong with her son. After five frustrating years, she heard about the AAC and brought him in. Two brief sessions later, she received an accurate diagnosis and treatment recommendations from professionals who understood what she had been experiencing as the parent of a child with a neurodevelopmental disability.

The AAC is a collaborative effort of the following groups:

  • Autism Society Inland Empire
  • Children’s Network
  • First 5 Riverside
  • First 5 San Bernardino
  • Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP)
  • Inland Regional Center
  • Loma Linda University Health
  • Molina Healthcare
  • Riverside and San Bernardino county behavioral health departments
  • Riverside and San Bernardino county schools, SELPS’s and pre-schools
  • Children’s Fund

Kiti Freier Randall, PhD, medical director of the AAC, and behavioral health physician at LLUCH, applauds the coalition that came together to make the community a better place for children with ASD.

“The agencies represented in the collaborative have, regardless of potential differences, remained committed to keeping the children at the center of the effort,” Randall reported. “The AAC is committed to continuing to work with the Inland Empire community to help maximize the quality of life for children.”

Speaking at the January 6 Grand Opening of the Autism Assessment Center of Excellence in San Bernardino, Richard Chinnock, MD, says the center is a remarkable new resource for parents of autistic children.

About Loma Linda University HealthLoma Linda University Health includes Loma Linda University’s eight schools, Loma Linda University Medical Center’s six hospitals and over 900 faculty physicians located in the Inland Empire of Southern California. Established in 1905, Loma Linda University Health is a global leader in education, research and clinical care. It offers over 100 academic programs and provides quality health care to 40,000inpatients and 1.5 million outpatients each year. A Seventh-day Adventist organization, Loma Linda University Health is a faith-based health system with a mission “to continue the teaching and healing ministry of Jesus Christ.”