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Who will be IEHP's next superhero?

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif., March 7, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Now loading ... The Eradicator 2.0.

Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) has put out a casting call for its next reimaging of the health plan's most well-known hero, one that focuses his message on the dangers of smoking by teaching youth using tobacco could lead to dependence and severe health problems as they age.

After 25 years of playing the part, The Eradicator's original model and actor ? James "Jim" Hormel ? announced his retirement from portraying the character earlier this year.

"I loved being involved in community events and being recognized by kids in the community as a superhero," Hormel said. "I was proud to be part of such a wonderful organization that provides so many services to those in need."

Hormel did a tremendous job in the role, according to LuAnna Jauregui, IEHP's community partnerships manager.

"He was great with children and young adults and reiterated the message of living a healthier lifestyle and why they should avoid smoking," she said.

Health Heroes ... Assemble

The Eradicator is part of IEHP's Superhero Squad, tailored to create fun, interactive ways that encourage young children (and their families) to develop healthy lifestyle and safety habits at public events or through comic books and other printed materials. Each hero has their own set of skills and superpowers, all developed with the intent to connect with youth in the community, but even adults join the fun by snapping selfies, seeking autographs and taking home collectibles.

Along with The Eradicator, the IEHP superheroes include:

While each character champions a different cause, when their powers are combined, they help drive the importance of optimal health, Jauregui said.

"The squad's overall mission is to help youth create lifelong habits," she added. "Education is key."

A new hero will emerge

The search is now underway for a new person to step into The Eradicator role. Applications are open to "heroes" 18 and older who are enthusiastic about promoting a smoke-free lifestyle and are committed to creating a culture of community health and well-being. Responsibilities include:

Those interested in applying may send a resume and brief statement on why they are the ideal candidate to Jauregui via email at [email protected]. For those ready to commit to the role, Hormel's advice is to "enjoy every moment connecting with the community, especially with the kids."

About IEHP

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, the largest not-for-profit Medicare-Medicaid public health plan in the country, and for the third year in a row, certified as A Great Place To Work®. In its 27th year, IEHP supports more than 1.5 million Riverside and San Bernardino County residents enrolled in Medicaid or IEHP DualChoice (those with both Medi-Cal and Medicare). Today, IEHP has a growing network of nearly 6,800 providers and more than 3,000 team members who are fully committed to the vision: We will not rest until our communities enjoy optimal care and vibrant health. To learn more, go to iehp.org.

SOURCE Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP)

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