Geoffrey Leung, MD, serves as the Riverside County Public Health Officer. He is a former Medical Staff President and Ambulatory Medical Director for the RUHS Medical Center and served as the RUHS Medical Center Chair of Family Medicine for ten years. Additionally, Dr. Leung helps train future medical professionals as a Health Sciences Clinical Professor of Family Medicine at the University of California Riverside School of Medicine.
With a passion for community health, clinical excellence and education, he believes that the experience of the pandemic has reminded us that we are all connected, and we must work collectively to effectively protect and promote health. His dedication to public health and community made him a perfect candidate to serve on the IEHP Foundation Board.
Outside of work, he enjoys spending quality time with his wife and two children, hiking, swimming and exploring the natural beauty of the Inland Empire.
We asked Dr. Leung a few questions about what it means to be serving on the IEHP Foundation Board and what he hopes to accomplish for his community.
Q: Why did you join the IEHP Foundation Board?
A: It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! I was excited to be part of the Board to think about how we can best support the community from a blank canvas in the spirit of all the great work IEHP has done.
Q: What is the importance of IEHP establishing this Foundation? And what does it mean for the community you serve?
A: As someone with strong ties to the area, it’s encouraging, hopeful and inspiring to have a Foundation like this in the region. It sends a strong message that we believe in the importance of investing in the community and making sure we can, along with community voice, support positive changes that will hopefully last beyond our lifetime.
Q: What are some of the long-lasting changes you would like to see?
A: That the community develops a strong voice and can influence its own future. We are together, creating an inclusive community where we all belong and feel important. We are supporting a community that is getting better every day – whether that means we are healthier, thriving economically, thriving socially and feeling connected with one another.
Q: What are some of the strengths/opportunities within the Inland Empire?
A: There is an incredible energy, resourcefulness, innovative spirit and excitement about the future here in the IE. Unlike many other communities and counties, we have so much opportunity to grow and expand. Of course, our growth is happening rapidly, so we need to be intentional and thoughtful about fostering community, developing our culture and building our infrastructure.
Q: What is your favorite place to visit in the IE?
A: I have a ton of favorite places – and he was not joking.
I love that you can go to mountain areas like Lake Arrowhead and Idyllwild to enjoy hiking and camping. Many people don’t realize you can drive to Blythe and swim in the Colorado River. We have the largest freshwater lake in Lake Elsinore with a natural preserve. You can see the poppies in with the super bloom. Our region has a national park, Joshua Tree, that is excellent for hiking, rock climbing for kids and star gazing at night – with an actual dark sky. Regarding culture, I love the Cheech at Riverside Art Museum and the Mission Inn during the wintertime at night with the holiday lights. There are so many countless things to do. I could go on forever.
Q: What does “inspiring and igniting Vibrant Health” mean to you?
A: Inspiring and igniting Vibrant Health means starting a movement that leverages all the best things we love about our community. It builds upon that movement over time so that it is shared and preserved and can be enjoyed and treasured for generations.