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Healthcare District Residents Asked to Help Shape Future Representation of Board of Directors

Your Comments are Valued and Requested

The Desert Healthcare District Board of Directors recently decided to move away from an at-large election system for its Board structure and transition to a five-zone-based election system. This process will allow for two of the five new zone-based Board seats to be included in the November 2018 election to help strengthen community representation.

A final plan for the 2018 election is expected to be adopted by the Desert Healthcare District Board of Directors at its Tuesday, June 26, Board meeting. Two public hearings to review and discuss draft map drawings will be held – June 19 and June 26 — before the Board of Directors makes a final choice on the new five-zone map.

In a process required by state law, input was provided by Board members, District staff, and members of the public through multiple processes, including at two initial public hearings. The public hearings were held April 24 and May 8, conducted before any map drawing by the District’s consultant, National Demographics Corporation (NDC), as a part of the proposed transition to zones.NDC has created four preliminary draft maps based on input from the public hearings and a fifth map was created by a member of the public.  An explanation of each of these draft maps is located at http://dhcd.org/Transition-to-Zoning. Additional information is provided to ensure a better understanding of the maps and zone definitions.

The public is invited to comment and provide suggested changes on the proposed maps. This can be accomplished by either attendance at the public hearings, printing the maps and circling suggested changes and/ or submitting written comments through email, mail or direct contact with NDC’s Douglas Johnson, president, or Justin Leavitt, Ph.D., vice president, at 818-254-1221 or at djohnson@ndcresearch.com or jlevitt@ndcresearch.com.  Please note that each zone must include approximately 39,400 residents to divide the District into five equal zones.

The Board of Directors will meet at 6 p.m. June 19 at UCR Palm Desert – 75080 Frank Sinatra Drive, Building B, Palm Desert – with complimentary parking in Lot B; and again, on June 26 in the Stergios Building, Desert Regional Medical Center campus, at 1140 N. Indian Canyon Drive, 1st Floor Conference Rooms A & B, Palm Springs.

At the June 19 meeting, the Board will consider the draft maps, recommended changes, and additional suggestions. The Board will then select maps to publish on the District’s website for final public viewing prior to the June 26 meeting.

 Over the past 20 years the Desert Healthcare District/Foundation has been one of the Coachella Valley’s largest grant funders.  The board has invested $70 million in grants to community-based organizations, such as Mizell and Joslyn Senior Centers, Boys and Girls Clubs, Desert AIDS Project, school districts, COD, CSU and UCR, as well as service providers like Borrego Health, Volunteers in Medicine, and the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission.

These entities are focused on health and well-being of District residents, building on its mission to achieve optimal health for all District residents. In addition, the Board guides the District’s initiatives that enhance healthcare delivery and capacity to meet community needs, as well as oversight of the District’s lease with the Tenet Corporation which operates Desert Regional Medical Center.

To RSVP for the June 19 and/or June 26 public hearings, please contact Andrea S. Hayles at ahayles@dhcd.org or via phone at 760-323-6110. All other questions may be directed to                    Herb K. Schultz, CEO, via email athscultz@dhcd.org or on cell at 760-219-5619.

About the Desert Healthcare District/Foundation

The Desert Healthcare District is a local government agency formed in 1948. Its mission is to achieve optimal health at all stages of life for all district residents. The district includes more than 200,000 residents and encompasses the cities of Desert hot Springs, Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert (west of Cook Street), and unincorporated areas of Riverside County. The district and its affiliated nonprofit Desert Healthcare Foundation, together, are one of the largest funders in the Coachella Valley, granting more than $4 million annually to nonprofit, community-based and provider organizations. These funds are used to assist residents — especially the underserved — in accessing vitally needed resources, such as primary and behavioral healthcare, housing, food and transportation resources.

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