Desert Health® was recently honored with the Clinton Foundation’s Clinton Health Matters Initiative (CHMI) Official Pledge Maker Seal for their efforts to increase the number of doctors and practitioners volunteering at Coachella Valley’s Volunteers in Medicine (CVVIM).

The Desert Health® pledge supports the CHMI goal of increasing access to health care for members of our community who would otherwise be without. “The Coachella Valley is very fortunate to be an inaugural part of the Clinton Foundation’s national effort to improve our nation’s health one community at a time,” said Desert Health® Publisher, Lauren Del Sarto. “We wanted to be an active part of that solution.”

In determining how to contribute, the Desert Health® team reviewed the Coachella Valley Blueprint for Action (created by our own community leaders) which outlines the objectives of the initiative and the bold action steps to achieve those goals. “We looked at where we could make the biggest impact.”

Health factors considered by the plan include: Health Behaviors (i.e. smoking, excessive drinking, obesity, etc.); Clinical Care (i.e. access, disease and prevention); Social & Economic Factors (i.e. income, unemployment, homicide rate); and Physical Environment (i.e. air quality; access to healthy foods and recreational facilities).

“We had written about CVVIM in one of our first editions and knew there was a great need for doctors and nurses,” said Del Sarto. Increasing the number of volunteers will allow CVVIM to see more patients and also help reduce the number of uninsured in our ERs.

“We created a plan and submitted it to the Clinton Foundation for review and approval to ensure it fit into the bigger picture.” Desert Health® is working with all three local hospitals to spread the word, as well as running an active media campaign in the paper (see back page). “Although this is a five-year plan, we hope to double the number of volunteers by year’s end.”

Volunteering is a very rewarding – and easy – way for individual practitioners to contribute, especially those who are retired and still want to practice medicine for the sole purpose of helping others. A 5-minute application and 4 hours a month of volunteer time is all it takes.

What will YOU pledge?

The CHMI is a community-wide effort and no act of participation is too great or too small. We encourage you to review the Blueprint for Action and determine how you can take part and make a difference in the health of our community.

To access the Coachella Valley Blueprint for Success: To get involved contact The Clinton Foundation’s Tricia Gehrlein (760) 834.0975. 

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