The Desert Healthcare District (DHCD) has launched an online resource for local residents offering information on programs and services available during the coronavirus crisis. From food distribution and rental assistance to testing sites and small business loans, the webpage is available in both English and Spanish, and is being translated into Purépecha, the indigenous language used by many from the Mexican state of Michoacán who make up a large part of the farm-working community in the Eastern Valley.
By visiting DHCD.org, residents can find links to connect with financial assistance and emergency cash relief as well as information on rapid COVID-19 testing, donating personal protective equipment to local clinics and hospitals, videos on proper hygiene practices and more. The portal is updated daily to provide the nearly half-million people served by DHCD with the latest information available and is intended to resolve confusion about public health issues related to the virus. In addition to district information, the page includes links to other sites and pre-approves those resources to bring users the best possible information.
“Desert Healthcare District recognizes that individuals and families across our region are struggling with overwhelming health and economic challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic,” said CEO Conrado Bárzaga, MD. “As one of the largest supporters of health and wellness programs and services in the Coachella Valley, we felt it was important to provide a hub for regional assistance and facts to help our constituents.” Dr. Bárzaga delivers a weekly video update on the page in English and Spanish.
DHCD is a trusted source for health and wellness information and supports a multi-pronged, collective impact approach to dealing with health issues, including the coronavirus. In April, the district board allocated $350,000 for rapid COVID-19 testing at three federally-qualified health centers in the valley: Borrego Health, Clinicas de Salud del Pueblo and Desert AIDS Project, which provide primary care for uninsured, minority and low-income populations. The funding will provide the clinics with access to about 10,000 rapid tests, which deliver results in approximately 15 minutes.
The board also approved a $1.2 million COVID-19 pandemic aid package to support non-profit service providers, health care professionals and other agencies providing critical assistance to at-risk populations. The aid was distributed to FIND Food Bank, organizations serving the homeless, migrant worker communities, nonprofits, public education efforts, a fund providing low-income families with $200 for basic living expenses and a health care safety net to prevent hospital emergency rooms from becoming overwhelmed by patients.
“It is critical that the more than 80,000 uninsured people in the Coachella Valley have access to care, which in turn helps protect the entire community,” Bárzaga said.
For more information, visit www.DHCD.org or call (760) 323.6113.