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2019 Desert Health® Wellness Awards Nominees

We are pleased to present our first Wellness Award nominees. Thank you for all you do in moving health and wellness forward in our community!

Nominations are open now through March 31.

Submit yours today!

2019 Nominees


Valeria Batross
Fitness & Wellness Director, Sun City Shadow Hills

With over 22 years in the industry and a team of 25, Valeria has led the wellness charge in her community, introducing members to life-enhancing practices beyond fitness including guided meditation, Qigong, vinyasa yoga, crystal bowls and more. She also implemented Weight Watchers, a wellness hour podcast, and events and lectures to inspire others towards living their healthiest selves.

“Embedded in me since I was 15, wellness and fitness have taught me that with knowledge, passion and empathy, I can continue to impact other’s lives for the better.”

Denise DuBarry Hay
Owner/Founder Bikram Yoga Plus & Wildest Greens

A lifelong health advocate and practicing yogi since 1979, Denise has established quality businesses encouraging good health. She opened Bikram Yoga Plus in Palm Desert in 2011, Wildest Greens Organic Restaurant in Palm Desert in 2017, and Bikram Yoga Plus Palm Springs opening early 2019. 

“I’m thrilled that I can create businesses that help people be their healthiest and happiest.  It’s my small contribution to our community.”

Bronwyn Ison
Owner/Founder Evolve Yoga Studio &

Bronwyn founded an award-winning yoga studio in La Quinta and continues to broaden her wellness message through online classes and community outreach supporting Fit Prevention, Keep a Breast, Warrior Wellness Solutions, Run10Feed10 and Toys For Tots. She further inspires as a Women’s Health Magazine Action Hero (4 years) and a lululemon Ambassador (2 years).

“As a health and wellness influencer over the years, I’m grateful to inspire and encourage others to evolve into overall wellness in mind and body.”


Cetina Raw Natural Beauty

Located in downtown Palm Springs, Cetina offers each client a custom experience for skin and hair using all natural ingredients. Hair coloring, masks, facials, lotions and creams are all concocted using natural oils, herbs, organic and non-toxic products. Owner Ana Cetina loves educating her customers and “treats them all like family.”

“Beauty starts from the inside out. My purpose is to educate everyone how to use and make raw natural ingredients to feel and look beautiful.”
– Ana Cetina

Desert Oasis Healthcare

DOHC developed the Employee Success Program with a focus on wellness including a locally-sourced café on campus, healthy catering, healthier themed company-wide events, a nutrition month, on-site dieticians, hiking and walking clubs and more. The effort has garnered many national workplace awards and has increased employee engagement, morale and wellbeing.

“As a local health care leader, we have a strong commitment to the health and wellness of our greatest assets – our employees, patients, and the community.”
– Megan Guerra & Kristi Vaughn

Fit in 42

Gerry and Casey Washack have provided the Valley with training and nutritional guidance for the past 14 years. Their signature program, Fit in 42, teaches healthier habits through action and education and has helped thousands lose thousands. The brothers have created a family atmosphere and include their clients in the goodwill services they offer local non-profits each month.

“We wanted to create a road map for people so they have all the tools necessary to achieve their fitness goals and live their best lives.” – Casey Washack


Celeste Amaya, MD

Dr. Amaya practices mind-body medicine in her approach in treating patients. Using both allopathic medicine and Eastern philosophy, she assesses an individual’s needs considering both their emotional and physical state. She takes time to teach meditation and meridian access therapy for whole body healing and treats each client with compassion and care.

“I merge ancient Eastern healing with modern traditional medicine to consistently produce dramatic reversals of chronic health issues. Patients report powerful, transforming and multidimensional shifts in mind, body and spirit.”

William Grimm, DO

In Dr. Grimm’s 25 years as a primary care physician, he has studied and embraced holistic health. He truly cares for his patients’ overall wellbeing first prescribing lifestyle over medication. Dr. Grimm has recently expanded his practice to include two naturopathic doctors who work closely with him and his patients as well as their own.

“I believe the integrative physician is the doctor of the future. Years ago I chose my training in osteopathic medicine for this reason. And, for the past 25 years, I have had the privilege of helping patients heal themselves through my evolving holistic approach.”

Christina Vu, MD

Recognizing the alarming suicide rate among physicians, Dr. Vu, a second-year resident at Desert Regional Medical Center, established a wellness program to address the physical, emotional and social well-being of her peers. Efforts focus on screening for depression, encouraging work-life balance, and implementing discussion platforms to help keep her fellow physicians in good health so they can best serve those who entrust them with their care. 

“It’s important to have a sense of self-care and well-being. As health care providers, maintaining wellness is vital to providing optimal patient care.”


Alzheimers Coachella Valley

Established in 2018, ACV provides educational and social service programs for individuals facing Alzheimer’s and other dementias, their families and their caregivers. Their innovative and free programs focus on what is still possible and include interactive support groups, activities for caregivers and those affected, certified training classes and one-on-one care consultations.

“Our mission is to provide education, support, respite care, and advocacy for those in the Coachella Valley living with Alzheimer’s and dementia.” – Dom Calvano, Board President


Secilia M. Valenzuela

A senior at Indio High, Secilia has embraced a path of health and wellness and works to inspire those around her to do the same. Using the knowledge she learned in Indio’s Health and Nutritional Sciences Academy, including healthy food choices and stress reduction techniques, she is quick to lend a helping hand and encourage other students, family, and community members towards the same life-changing path.

“Changing my diet and lifestyle helped me to be more energetic and the best I can be. I want to help others to do the same.”

11 Responses to “2019 Desert Health® Wellness Awards Nominees”

  1. Jimmy T.H. Pham says:

    Dr. Christina Vu has gotten my vote for this year. I am a founder of a non-profit organization and had the opportunity to work with her when I conducted a medical mission in South America, where I met her for the first time. She is an extraordinary person who has sacrificed so much time and effort in providing care for the underserved. I learned later through my colleagues that she founded different committees, organizations, and clubs with a focus on providing healing, mental support, and emotional outlet for providers and patients. Her works have spread far beyond her organizations and clubs, as many of those who worked with her have carried on her ideas to create a similar environment for their patients and those who work with them. She is an outstanding example of an individual whose passion is to promote wellness in her patients, colleagues, and anyone who has worked with her.

    • Lauren Del Sarto says:

      Wonderful! Thank you for your feedback and support, Jimmy!

      With sincere appreciation ~

      Lauren Del Sarto

  2. thea rabb says:

    Cetina raw beauty is on the cutting edge of cosmetic and bath products. She’s finally providing the public with safe, healthy luxurious products that nourish us while making us beautiful.

    • Lauren Del Sarto says:

      Thank you for your feedback, Thea! More nominees to come and your input is appreciated.

      Lauren Del Sarto

  3. Brittany Boyd says:

    Cetina Raw Beauty is an amazing place with caring and passionate people. Ana is dedicated to the complete beauty of everyone she encounters. I have watched her grow from a tiny rented chair in a hair salon to this amazing empire she has built. It warms my heart to see her nomination for this amazing accolade. She puts her heart and soul into every thing and person she touches. She has my vote, and always will.

  4. Leesann Shefa says:

    Valeria Batross is a shining star of integrity and enthusiasm! I am honored to be a part of her team at Shadow Hills Community. Valeria has an unwavering commitment to heath and wellness at all levels. It is wonderful to see her nomination here!

  5. Heidi Rose Gerner says:

    Valeria Batross is a bona-fide asset to the Coachella valley. Her expertise, enthusiasm and professionalism are unparalleled. She gives something personal and special to every client/person that she meets. Her drive to improve her knowledge and credentials makes her exceptional. I have known her over 10 years, and I don’t know anyone more dedicated to her craft. Kudos to you Valeria for a well-deserved nomination !

  6. Salli Rychlik says:

    I have know Valeria Batross close to 15 yrs. she has worked hard to be where she is and is totally dedicated to the health and well being of her clients. Always encouraging and kind. I’ve moved away but miss my training sessions with her every day.

  7. Traci Barnett Hone says:

    The health and fitness program at Sun City Shadow Hills continues to grow and flourish thanks to Valeria. Our classes are challenging and our instructors are top-notch. Valeria has raised the bar!

  8. Jessica “Panda” Alfrey says:

    Valeria Batross is such an amazing example of Wellness, what a perfect nomination for an amazing individual. For as long as I have known Valeria, she has always been helping everyone around her and in her community with her knowledge of being healthy. She has so much to offer on every level of spiritual, physical and emotional well being. Not only does she lead this life by example, but is always learning new ways to help and innovate the wellness community. I’m so proud to call her a friend , and know I can always turn to her with any questions of my own.

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