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Advancing Community wellness in the Coachella Valley

Riverside County Recognizes Healthcare District & Collaborators as 'Public Health Champions'

Desert Healthcare District employees hold a plaque and certificate, flanked on both sides by Riverside University Health System employees.
Many Public Health Champions have emerged during the past two years of the fight against COVID-19. On Tuesday, April 5, Riverside County Public Health recognized a few of these nonprofit organizations and agencies during the Riverside County Board of Supervisors meeting in Riverside, CA.

The Desert Healthcare District and Foundation, which partnered with Riverside County Public Health in 2020 to form the Coachella Valley Equity Collaborative in response to the pandemic, was among the honorees from District 4. Other honorees included Collaborative partners El Sol Neighborhood Educational Center, TODEC Legal Center, Visión Y Compromiso, and the San Bernardino Catholic Diocese.

Certificates and plaques were presented to the honorees by Dr. Geoffrey Leung, Riverside County Public Health Officer, and other staff from Riverside University Health System (RUHS) -- during what is annually observed as National Public Health Week -- followed by congratulations from District 4 Supervisor V. Manuel Perez and the entire County Board of Supervisors.

"The County's recognition of Public Health Champions really highlights what has been a priority for the Desert Healthcare District and Foundation since the early days of COVID-19, and that's collaboration," said Dr. Conrado Bárzaga, Healthcare District and Foundation CEO. "It was wonderful and fitting to see many of our partners from the Coachella Valley, as well as from other parts of the county, receive this appreciation. We all united with the goal of keeping our community safe from the coronavirus. With the County's support, we will continue to provide the health and wellness resources that traditionally underserved residents need during the endemic and beyond."

Media inquiries should be directed by email to Will Dean, director of communications and marketing for the Desert Healthcare District and Foundation, at

About the Coachella Valley Equity Collaborative
In fall 2020, acting as the financial intermediary for $1.2 million in CARES Act funds from Riverside County Public Health, the Desert Healthcare District and Foundation facilitated a collaborative to increase efforts to bring testing, resources, and eventually vaccines to traditionally undeserved communities, including thousands of migrant farmworkers in eastern Coachella Valley. Comprised of community- and faith-based organizations, the collaborative continues its work with the county today to stop the spread of COVID-19 through an equitable vaccination campaign. In recent months, its efforts have been bolstered by the contributions of Rite Aid Pharmacies, the Public Health Institute, valley school districts, and Desert Care Network.