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Top Honors Awarded to the Desert Healthcare District

By Lauren Del Sarto
Donna Craig, Kay Hazen, Kathy Greco and Steve Brown accept on behalf of the Desert Healthcare District

Donna Craig, Kay Hazen, Kathy Greco and Steve Brown accept on behalf of the Desert Healthcare District

The Desert Healthcare District (DHCD) has been named the 2014 Healthcare District of the Year by the Association of California Healthcare Districts. 

The top honor is awarded annually in recognition of a healthcare district’s noteworthy success in improving the health and well-being of its community. Director Kay Hazen and DHCD’s Executive Staff accepted the award at the Association’s annual meeting in June. 

“We are honored by the recognition of our work,” says Kathy Greco, CEO, DHCD, “but it is the collective efforts of our community partners including public agencies, nonprofits, foundations, and individuals that are responsible for creating positive change in the health of residents across the Coachella Valley.”

DHCD’s dedicated work continues to recognize and address the ongoing challenges faced by local residents. Working with industry partners, DHCD has developed three strategies to address these barriers and improve access – and ultimately health outcomes: 

  1. Address the shortage of healthcare workers
  2. Improve the health care delivery infrastructure to support primary care expansion
  3. Increase the number of individuals with affordable health insurance.

Investing over $11 million, the District has advanced educational opportunities for physicians, nurses and allied health care workers to promote a “grow your own strategy” aimed at addressing the increasing demand for primary care providers and support staff. 

Central to this effort is the partnership with UCR School of Medicine, which is developing both Family Medicine and Internal Medicine residency programs in partnership with DHCD’s hospital, Desert Regional Medical Center, and various Coachella Valley Community Health Centers. 

Concurrently, the District has invested over $15 million to develop health facilities, including a progressive model that imbeds a youth dental and medical care clinic within a local Boys & Girls Club. 

Embracing the opportunities provided by the Affordable Care Act offering affordable health care insurance, the DHCD Foundation partnered with The California Endowment providing funding to support the employment of 25 Covered California/MediCal Health Care Navigators to facilitate the enrollment of 90,000 residents in some form of affordable health insurance.

“This is an exciting time for the Coachella Valley as the focus on improving the health and well-being of our residents has never been greater,” says Michael Solomon, MD, President, DHCD Board of Directors. “We are proud of this award recognition, and to be making a difference in our community.” 

Desert Healthcare District can be reached at (760) 323.6113. For more information visit www.DHCD.org.

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