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Advancing Community wellness in the Coachella Valley

Healthcare District Board swears in 4 Directors and elects officers

The Desert Healthcare District and Foundation Board welcomed a new Director in December, as mental health professional Carmina Zavala was sworn in during a special Board meeting on Dec. 10. Incumbents Leticia De Lara, Arthur Shorr, and Les Zendle, MD, who were re-elected on November 3, also took the oath of office.


"I recognize and appreciate the efforts of the Desert Healthcare District in promoting healthcare and wellness in our community," said Zavala, a daughter of immigrant parents who grew up in the Coachella Valley. "I wanted to join with the other Board members to encourage effective health service delivery."


Zavala, a Palm Desert resident who is pursuing a doctoral degree in applied clinical psychology through The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, will fill the Zone 3 seat vacated by Mark Matthews, who earlier this year announced his retirement after 23 years of service.


Completing the Board are De Lara from Zone 7, Shorr from Zone 5, Zendle from Zone 1, Carole Rogers from Zone 2, Evett PerezGil from Zone 4, and Karen Borja from Zone 6. Directors are elected to serve for four years. (See the District by zone here.)


At the Board’s monthly meeting on Dec. 15, the Directors voted in Board officers for the next year. They are as follows:


  • Leticia De Lara, MPA, continues as Board president.
  • Karen Borja was re-elected vice-president and secretary.
  • Arthur Shorr was named treasurer, replacing Mark Matthews.


About the Desert Healthcare District and Foundation

The Desert Healthcare District is a local government agency formed in 1948. Its mission is to achieve optimal health at all stages of life for all District residents. The District includes more than 400,000 residents and encompasses the entire Coachella Valley. The District and Desert Healthcare Foundation, together, are one of the largest funders in the valley. These funds are used to assist residents — especially the underserved — in accessing vitally needed resources, such as primary and behavioral healthcare, housing, food, and transportation to medical appointments.