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Advancing Community wellness in the Coachella Valley

District earns statewide certification for good governance

The Desert Healthcare District and Foundation recently was certified through the Association of California Healthcare Districts. The statewide designation as a certified healthcare district recognizes "Best Practices in Governance" based on satisfying the association's core set of accountability and transparency standards. It is in effect for a three-year cycle.


"The certification reflects our Board and staff's commitment to ensure our work to connect all Coachella Valley residents to health and wellness satisfies the highest state standards," said Dr. Conrado Bárzaga, Desert Healthcare District and Foundation CEO.


Formed in 1948, the Desert Healthcare District is a local government agency whose mission is to achieve optimal health at all stages of life for all District residents. Since voters approved expanding District boundaries in November 2018, the District now encompasses the entire Coachella Valley and more than 400,000 residents. Prior to expansion, it covered the western valley and part of the mid valley with Cook Street as the easternmost boundary.


With the Desert Healthcare Foundation, the District is one of the largest funders in the valley. The funds are used to assist residents--especially the underserved--in accessing vitally needed resources, such as primary and behaviorial healthcare, housing, food and transporation to medical appointments.


The District and Foundation is governed by seven Directors who are elected to the Board by zone. The Directors are Leticia De Lara, MPA (Zone 7), Board president; Karen Borja (Zone 6), vice-president and secretary; Mark Matthews (Zone 3), treasurer; Carole Rogers, RN (Zone 2); Les Zendle, MD (Zone 1); Evett PerezGil (Zone 4); and Arthur Shorr (Zone 5). On November 3, four of the seven Board seats will be up for election: Zones 1, 3, 5 and 7.


Learn more about the District and Foundation at


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