June 2, 2023
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Pepperdine-Westmont MBA partnership launched in Santa Barbara


Westmont Downtown, the new center in the Hutton Parker Foundation building in Santa Barbara, will host a two-year, part-time MBA program through the Pepperdine University Graziadio School of Business and Management.

Starting this fall, the Pepperdine University Graziadio Business School Fully Employed MBA program allows recent undergraduates with limited work experience to advance their career with internship opportunities or professional employment while pursuing their MBA.

“The recovering economic climate in Santa Barbara County and throughout California offers greater opportunity for upward job mobility, and our MBA program meets the needs of professionals who seek the skills and network to more quickly ascend the ladder,” David M. Smith, dean of the Graziadio School of Business and Management, said in a news release.

“Our local partnership with Westmont allows us to offer a tailored program that uses small class sizes, links to the nearby business community and builds off the purpose and mission of each institution.”

The program features a general management concentration and also offers undergraduate classes in social and capital entrepreneurship, leadership and management as well as internships.
Pepperdine, based in Malibu, also offers MBA programs from its satellite campus in Westlake Village.

Veteran’s transitional housing set

Turning Point Foundation in Ventura is opening the Central Coast’s first transitional housing program for veterans suffering from mental illness and homelessness.

The program will provide supported transitional housing services for a minimum of 15 mentally-ill homeless veterans in Ventura County.

The goals of the program include obtaining residential stability for mentally-ill veterans who are homeless, increasing life skills, gaining income stability and demonstrating self-determination by sustaining a recovery action plan.

Turning Point Foundation currently serves over 762 clients each year through shelter programs, supported housing and rehabilitation programs.

It is the only local nonprofit that addresses the critical community needs of mentally-ill adults in the county.

Turning Point also runs Our Place Safe Haven, a 10-bed shelter and multi-service center, which provides overnight emergency shelter and drop-in services to more than 350 homeless persons each year, 12 percent of whom are veterans.

The group said it hopes to hire more veterans to fill staff openings.

CMHS, Blue Shield team up

Blue Shield Covered California will bring a limited number of Ventura-based Community Memorial Health System (CMHS) physicians into its network at Blue Shield’s standard commercial rates.

People familiar with the deal say the decision will allow VCMA to provide higher-quality care while maintaining affordable rates.

“We are grateful that the community’s support has enabled CMHS to reinvest in the community with a replacement hospital,” CMHS President and CEO Gary Wilde said in a news release.

Blue Shield will include physicians based on their integrated electronic health record, quality of patient experience and participation in the Accountable Care Alliance of Ventura.

Blue Shield will take several months to add the physicians to its Exclusive Provider Network (EPN) network.

For physicians already participating in the EPN at a reduced rate, Blue Shield will change their reimbursement rates as physicians renew Blue Shield contracts.

Nonprofit notes from the region

•Whole Foods Oxnard donated over $3,000 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme (BGCOP). The donation is part of proceeds recently raised during the Whole Foods Community Support Day, otherwise known as 5 percent day.

•PODS joins forces with Ventura’s ArtWalk as it loans 15 portable storage containers to create mini art exhibit spaces for area artists during the downtown and West Site event on July 18-19.

•Interface Children & Family Services raised $45,000 at its second annual Love is Brewing High Tea Benefit, held in May at Maravilla Gardens in Camarillo.

•Former Olympic gold medalist Rafer Johnson will co-chair the Rotary Club of Thousand Oaks Mid-Summer Eve Wine Festival on Aug. 15.
The event raises funds for the Special Olympics and information is available at thousandoaksrotarywinefestival.com.

•The Junior League of Santa Barbara has provided $9,000 in grants to a number of area organizations including Domestic Violence Solutions.