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Advancing Community wellness in the Coachella Valley

Community Listening Forum: La Quinta

With a small audience, we were given the opportunity to have a focused, in-depth talk and enhance our knowledge around priorities for the physically disabled population.


·         With La Quinta’s close proximity to Coachella Valley Rescue Mission and Martha’s Village and Kitchen, they are able to mitigate their homeless problem and connect individuals quickly

·         The appearance of La Quinta might deter people from being homeless in the city

·         The community is more focused on the at-risk (1-2 months) homeless

·         Those suffering from a physical disability are precariously housed as many reside with their parents - They find it difficult to transition into individual housing under SSI

·         There is no financial assistance for infrastructure improvements for the disabled


Primary Care and Behavioral Health Access:

·         Even with insurance, there is a limited ability to get adaptable equipment

o   Challenges to navigating the system – increased outreach efforts to connect individuals to organizations that can teach them how to navigate the complex healthcare system

o   Even the rehab coverage is limited – this needs to be ongoing, it cannot just stop

·         Limited services to serve the physically disabled in the community (specifically, neurology and nephrology)

o   Most people must travel to Loma Linda which is expensive, time-consuming, and difficult for a disabled child/adult

o   Often parents skip appointments because of the travel

·         There are no hearing services available in the Coachella Valley covered by California Children Services

·         The Indio center is starting to bring in services but too slowly – nothing around amputation assistance

o   It is not financially viable for a children’s hospital – not enough demand

o   With a huge increase in individuals suffering from diabetes, we are going to see an increase in amputations – how can we prepare for this?

·         How can be address the gaps in services for the physically disabled?

o   Bring in monthly sub-specialty rotation services

o   Research/survey for the greatest need and what services could provide the greatest impact

o   Sub-specialty care for veterans – Loma Linda is too far

·         A Loma Linda expansion in the Coachella Valley has been in the works for a while – what are they waiting for?

o   Building up the influx, contract slowed things down, there needs to be community support

·         Increased behavioral health access is essential for the physically disabled

o   Individuals need to be linked to health professionals that have gone through similar experiences – they interact better with those that can relate to directly (peer power)

o   SPINAL TAP works on service connection for the physically disabled – but not many are familiar with their work

·         Overall, there is a lot more focus on the developmentally disabled than the physically disabled

·         There needs to be a way to connect organizations like the Desert Ability Center with doctors/therapists to build collaboration


Healthy Eating, Active Living:

·         There is not one gym facility that can meet the complete needs to serve the physically disabled population (ramps, adaptable workout equipment)

o   There might be an opportunity with Desert Rec. à currently, they are working to identify the needs/gaps for a new center

§  Maybe, this center can target the physically disabled, but we would have to establish a demand

·         A need for trained individuals – in the gyms, community centers

·         There would need to be increased capacity to recruit individuals for targeted activities – outreach work

·         Need increased opportunities during seasonal challenges - more bikes and handcycles inside and facilities to support indoor activities like tennis

o   Can we find a crossover with other populations (I.E. seniors) to create enough demand?

o   Target programs in senior developments – do they take advantage of those that are offered?

·         Increased access to CV Link and additional connectors

·         Utilized La Quinta Culinary School and the shared kitchen concept to increase opportunities to learn about healthy eating


Other Ideas:

·         There is a lack of data around the physically disabled population (amputations, etc.)

o   Is this documented anywhere? OSHPOD

·         Increase transportation routes – CV Link/SunLine, no other means to get around

·         Plug-in stations for golf carts

·         Inter-generational programs: activities, events especially around nutrition

o   More opportunities to get the family together and out of the house

·         Bike lane challenges – they are available, but bicyclists are not abiding by the law

o   More bike racks

·         What is the impact of large festivals (I.E. Coachella and Stagecoach) on residents?

o   Do they avoid emergency departments?

·         The need for focus groups targeting specific populations with a more residential perspective

o   Ex. Caretakers, trauma-impacted families


Ranking of priorities from La Quinta participants [please note not everyone returned the ranking sheet]:

  1. Primary Care/Behavioral Health access
  2. Healthy Eating, Active Living
  3. Homelessness
  4. Other Ideas