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League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
November 8, 2016 — California General Election

DirectorDesert Health Care DistrictNovember 8, 2016California General Election

Special District
November 8, 2016California General Election

Desert Health Care DistrictDirector

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Election Results

  • 100% of precincts reporting (91/91).
  • 131,635 ballots counted.

About this office

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Who’s Running?

You can vote for 3 candidates of 7 total candidates.
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Mark Matthews

Desert Healthcare Director
26,017 votes (19.76%)Winning
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Physician / Medical Director
24,457 votes (18.58%)Winning
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  • Improving access to mental health and primary care services (for people with and without insurance - including the under-insured.
  • Encouraging community-based education programs to teach people how to navigate our often confusing healthcare system
  • Addressing healthcare disparities and culturally competent care to better serve the Coachella Valley's diverse population.
Profession:Physician/Medical Director
Volunteer physician and medical director, Coachella Valley Volunteers in Medicine — Appointed position (2011current)
Member, Palm Springs Task Force on Ethics, Transparency and Government Reform — Appointed position (2016current)
Commissioner, Palm Springs Human Rights Commission — Appointed position (20102015)
Physician (Geriatrics and Internal Medicine), Kaiser Permanente Southern California Region (19802010)
Board of Directors, AIDS Project Los Angeles — Appointed position (20022008)
Board of Trustees, Union for Reform Judaism — Appointed position (19951999)
Harvard Business School AMP , Advanced Management Program (1996)
University of Arizona M.D., Medicine (1977)
Occidental College A.B., Biology (1974)
President, Past President, Board Member and Member, Congregation Beth Chayim Chadashim (1980current)
  • Congressman Raul Ruiz
  • Desert Healthcare District President Dr. William Grimm
  • Desert Stonewall Democrats
  • Palm Springs City Councilperson Geoff Kors
  • Palm Springs Councilperson Ginny Foat
  • Equality California
  • Riverside County Democratic Party
  • Democrats of the Desert
  • Planned Parenthood
  • President-elect Eisenhower Medical Center staff Dr. Joseph Sanchez
  • Past Director Desert Healthcare District Dr. Glen Grayman

My priorities

Summary

Below are a list of my priorities for the use of Desert Healthcare District grant money.

1.    Improving access to primary care and especially mental health care (for people with and without insurance – including the under-insured).  The District should help fund training programs for providers in these fields.  Also, the District can use grants to help non-profits expand their counseling services (e.g., Jewish Family Service, LGBT Community Center of the Desert, etc.)

2.    Developing community-based programs in health education --- both teaching people how to navigate our often non-integrated healthcare system (e.g., urgent care, emergency care, home health care, social services, etc.) and educating the community in wellness, disease prevention and self-treatment.

3.    Addressing issues of healthcare disparities and educating all providers in culturally competent care. The Coachella Valley’s Latino, Native American, African-American and the LGBTQ communities present unique challenges to those delivering high quality healthcare.  As a community-wide organization, the District is in a unique position to address issues these challenges.

District expansion to the eastern Coachella Valley

Summary

The following paper summarizes how I feel about the expansion of the Desert Healthcare District to the eastern Coachella Valley, as well as how I propose paying for the new services.

I very much support the expansion of the Desert Healthcare District to the eastern Coachella Valley for two reasons.  First, it is the most efficient way to offer residents of eastern Valley similar support in improving the health of that community --- something they need and deserve.  Second, dividing the Coachella Valley into two halves makes no sense from either a public health or an access to healthcare perspective.  Residents cross Cook Street (in both directions) to work, shop, eat and seek medical care.  Desert Regional Medical Center is home to the Coachella Valley’s only designated trauma center and the only neonatal intensive care unit. 

As to how to pay for the expansion, AB 2414 calls upon the Riverside County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo) to do an “analysis of funding sources available to the district”.  I would hope that such funding could come from the taxes residents already pay rather than new taxes.  Perhaps as part of the negotiations of a possible new lease agreement with Tenet Corporation for Desert Regional Medical Center, Tenet could contribute part of their profit to expand the district.

Tenet Corporation operation of Desert Regional Hospital

Summary

Should Tenet be given approval to operate the hospital beyond 2027?

Although the District Board does not manage Desert Regional Medical Center (DRMC), I believe it has a clear responsibility to ensure the hospital provides high quality affordable care to District residents.  The current lease with Tenet Healthcare does not expire until 2027, however, the District Board can represent the community to help identify issues and to continually improve the quality of care and service at the Medical Center. 

The recent low score from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is concerning, but it needs to be put in the context of other health scorecards such as the Hospital Safety Score from the Leapfrog Group, Consumer Reports, Healthgrades, US News and World Reports, etc.  Each of these scorecards gives us information about the quality of care and service at DRMC. Tenet should use all this information, as well as its own quality assessment activities, to continually improve.

Two services I think Tenet should certainly add are inpatient psychiatry beds and more beds in the Emergency Department.

 

Healthcare Administrator / Educator
23,368 votes (17.75%)Winning
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  • Improve the quality of care at Desert Regional Medical Center
  • Improve access to primary care
  • Improve access to mental health services
Profession:Healthcare Professional

Jennifer Wortham, Dr.PH, currently serves as the Director, Healthcare Innovation and Transformation for Riverside University Health System.  She has served as a healthcare executive and consultant for over 25 years, implementing performance programs for several world-class health care delivery systems.  She served as the Vice President, Transformation for Eisenhower Medical Center; President, Institute for Performance Excellence, a division of the Hospital Association of Southern California; and National Director, Transformation and Program Management Capability Development for Kaiser Permanente.  Dr. Wortham holds an MPH and a Dr.PH in Health Services Administration from UCLA.  She teaches courses at the UCLA, School of Public Health, and lectures through several trade and professional associations. Dr. Wortham is managing a multi-site study with the Hospital Association of Southern California’s, Nursing Advisory Council focused on improving nursing work-flow in hospitals.  Dr. Wortham specializes in Lean, a management approach based on lessons learned from Toyota that helps organizations deliver higher quality products and services.  Dr. Wortham recently joined the Board of Directors of Habitat for Humanity of the Coachella Valley, and she is leading the organizations strategic planning.  She has lived in the Coachella Valley for three years and she enjoys hiking, landscape photography and shopping in the fabulous consignment and antique shops in the area. 

As an educator and healthcare executive, I have dedicated my life to helping advance the health and welfare of our society through my professional activities, advocacy, scholarship and community service.

 

I'm conducting research with the Hospital Association of Southern California’s, Nursing leadership to improve nursing care, and I have the pleasure of training future leaders through teaching graduate courses in healthcare quality and process improvement at the UCLA School of Public Health. 

 

I’ve implemented Lean and quality improvement programs at several world-class institutions including Eisenhower Medical Center, UCSD Medical Center, UCLA Student Health, and Children's Hospital Los Angeles.  I am currently working to transform health care in Riverside County by introducing innovations to improve care within our public hospitals and clinics.

 

I will work to ensure you and your family have access to affordable, high-quality healthcare through strong fiscal and operational oversight of the Desert Healthcare District's resources.  I will focus on creating greater transparency of District activities. I plan to enhance community engagement in all District affairs. I will work to create a culture of trust, high ethical standards, professionalism and collegiality with the physicians and staff of Desert Regional Medical Center, the Desert Healthcare District and Foundation, my fellow Board members, and the organizations we serve.

 

I earned a master’s and a doctorate in Public Health, at UCLA. I also hold a Bachelor in Business Administration, from the University of Phoenix.

 

I currently serve on the Board of Directors, for Habitat for Humanity, Coachella Valley.

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David W. Duffner

Physician / Orthopedic Surgeon
21,927 votes (16.66%)
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Jerome C. Estes

Registered Nurse
15,364 votes (11.67%)
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  • Enhance mental healthcare awareness; particularly in our public schools and universities through education and anti-stigma campaigns.
  • Support and develop early intervention and preventive healthcare services with special emphasis on mental healthcare;which currently at a crisis level in Coachella Valley.
  • Support specialized training regarding mental healthcare issues in first responders and law enforcement.
Profession:Registered Nurse
community outreach co-ordinator/behavioral health department, San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital (20082016)
Wright State University Bachelor of Science degree in nursing, nursing (1977)
  • Evolve Board of Directors
  • Evolve Board of Directors
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Linda Marie Levinson

Business Woman
10,262 votes (7.8%)
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Email linmlevin07@gmail.com
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Donald Lorack

Healthcare Professional
10,240 votes (7.78%)
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