The Coachella Valley in Southern California is part of the Colorado Desert, situated between the Little San Bernardino Mountains to the east and the San Jacinto and Santa Rosa Mountains to the west. The valley’s agriculture industry employs 12,000 people and is the second largest contributor to the local economy, growing and processing $575 million in crops annually.
Coachella Valley is known for the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, which draws an annual crowd of over 250,000 fans to the area. Palm Springs is a luxurious desert vacation destination in the Coachella Valley. Coachella Valley is home to nearly 69,000 permanent households with a median income of $47,612 and 19.2% of the residents live below the poverty line.
Desert Healthcare District and Foundation has been helping the community through the award of approximately $4 million in grants per year. Their website notes their commitment to address resident’s healthcare access, local healthcare workforce shortage, health disparities and socioeconomic determinants of health.
In January, Desert Healthcare announced their Board’s approval of $261,826 in grants to the community. Specifically, the awards went to:
The Alzheimer’s Association received $33,264 to support outreach, education and services for Coachella Valley residents with Alzheimer’s or dementia, including help for support, training, counseling and more for patients’ families and caregivers.
Inland Empire Ronald McDonald House received $119,432 to offset the costs of the program that strives to keep families together in times of critical hospital care.
Cove Communities Senior Association (dba Joslyn Center) was awarded $109,130 to support mental health clinicians and ease food insecurity for residents through the Meals on Wheels program.
They followed up their January announcement with more good news for Coachella Valley residents in February. The district has helped establish The Coachella Valley Equity Collaborative when it received $1.2 million in CARES Act Funding from Riverside County in 2020. The collaborative centers around the mission to raise awareness and opportunities for COVID-19 testing in vulnerable communities.
To expand testing, the collaborative sought community-based organizations and faith-based entities that would have relationships to better reach local farmworkers and other residents who lack access to healthcare. Grantees included Alianza Coachella Valley, Lideres Campesinas, TODEC Legal Center, Galilee Center, Youth Leadership Institute, Vision y Compromiso, Pueblo Unido CDC, and El Sol Neighborhood Education Center.
The Desert Healthcare and Foundation Board also extended the time frame for use of $225,000 in funds by the city of Palm Springs to support mental health crisis teams and wrap-around care for residents affected by homelessness.
Desert Healthcare is emblematic of the spirit of Districts Make the Difference. They aren’t waiting for the community to come to them for healthcare, they are going into the community to provide assistance, support, testing and funding for programs to improve the lives of valley residents. Throughout California, we know Districts Make The Difference.