It is not often that the top executives from each of our valley hospitals come together for a night of smiles and socializing, but on a beautiful night in October, they did. Recognizing their common goal of increasing access to health care, each was honored for the contributions of their organizations to the valley’s only free medical clinic, Coachella Valley Volunteers in Medicine (CVVIM).
G. Aubrey Serfling, president and CEO, Eisenhower Medical Center; Carolyn Caldwell, CEO, Desert Regional Medical Center; Gary Honts, CEO, John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital and Vita Willett, executive director, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals (Riverside Area) proudly represented their institutions.
A united crowd of health care professionals and guests associated with CVVIM gathered at William F. Cody’s historic Abernathy House in Palm Springs for an evening that demonstrated the important work the clinic does in our community.
Guest speakers included the husband and wife team of Dr. Diomidio Ramirez and Liz Ramirez, RN, who spoke from the heart of their rewarding time volunteering at CVVIM. “This is why we went to school to learn medicine, to truly help people as we do at VIM,” said Dr. Ramirez.
Patient Ofelia Amavizca graciously spoke of the care she has received from “the compassionate doctors” at the clinic, and Dr. Richard Loftus detailed the unique experience that Eisenhower Medical Center’s residents receive during their time at CVVIM. “They see cases they may not experience in the hospital setting and are being exposed to the importance of giving back to the communities in which they work.”
CVVIM’s Medical Director, Dr. Les Zendle, who recently returned from Volunteers in Medicine’s national conference, noted the valley’s unique situation in that most VIM clinics are created, funded by and contained within individual hospitals; whereas Coachella Valley’s VIM is an independent organization.
Riverside County Supervisor John Benoit discussed the importance of supporting programs like CVVIM and presented the clinic with a $10,000 donation from the County.
Expressing his gratitude for the significant contributions the hospitals and their executives have made to CVVIM, Founder and Chairman Dr. R. Ronald Hare concluded by recognizing the clinic’s on-going need for funding and volunteers to continue the important work they do in our community.
Coachella Valley Volunteers in Medicine provides no-cost primary health care service to medically underserved people in the Coachella Valley. Please consider a donation or volunteering your time. For more information, visit CVVIM.org or call (760) 342.4415.