InnovaCare CEO Wins Award for Increases in Health Care Access

Anaheim, Calif. — InnovaCare Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer Richard Shinto, MD, MBA, received the Access to Caring Award at Western University of Health Sciences’ annual “A Tribute to Caring” gala. The award is given to a person who has made a difference in advancing access and availability of health care to the underserved. InnovaCare Health Solutions, formerly Aveta, is a leading provider of managed health care services in North America.

Dr. Shinto has been a pioneer in bringing the concept of medical provider networks to Puerto Rico. He has more than 20 years of clinical and operational health care experience in managed care, and is an active member of the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (COMP) Advisory Board at WesternU.

“For me, access to caring isn’t about providing medical care, it’s about creating health care awareness and providing support for the patients, the families and the community,” Shinto said. “Access to caring is about the entire member experience. It isn’t about one episode, it’s about everything. It’s creating that culture for our employees, and the result is when we hear our patients have that commitment, confidence and trust in us. Because for us, it’s about having that member stay with us for life.”

Dr. Shinto recently visited WesternU’s Pomona, Calif., campus to attend the fifth annual Dr. Philip Pumerantz Distinguished Lectureship.

“I believe that throughout the U.S., our company has strategically focused on bringing and aligning local medical care to the cultural variances of the population,” Shinto said. “In Puerto Rico, we’ve been dedicated to integrating behavioral health and medical care into the lives of our more than 200,000 seniors. Over the past several years our company has been able to introduce new strategies to enhance the quality and access to care to a population that has been plagued by poverty, by lack of education, and a shortage of health care providers.

“We all know our health care industry is in the midst of rapid transition. As the economy struggles, and Obamacare continues to evolve, and medical funding tightness continues, it’s important for all of us to remember we’re in the business of caring.”

WesternU’s “A Tribute to Caring” gala brought more than 550 guests to the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim to raise money for student scholarships. In addition to Shinto’s award, the university also presented Rudolf L. Brutoco, MD, MPH, with the Elie Wiesel Humanism in Healing Award. Both award recipients reflected on the meaning of the word “caring” in their moving and inspiring speeches.

WesternU students in attendance were thankful for the chance to attend ATC, and for the university raising money for scholarships. Second-year College of Podiatric Medicine student Bryon McKenna said he put himself through school, so scholarships have been lifesaving.

“They’re the only way I got through school at this point,” he said. “It helps build your confidence when someone else has confidence in you. It helps push you to be a better student.”

McKenna said he appreciates WesternU putting on an event like ATC.

“It speaks volumes for what the university stands for and how they value their students,” he said.