Carmina Zavala to fill seat vacated by Mark Matthews

PALM SPRINGS — Carmina Zavala of Palm Desert will soon be sworn in as a new member of  The Desert Healthcare District and Foundation Board of Directors. She will serve as the Zone 3 director having won the seat in the Nov. 3 election.

“I recognize and appreciate the efforts of the Desert Healthcare District in promoting healthcare and wellness in our community,” said Zavala, a daughter of immigrant parents who grew up in the Coachella Valley. “I wanted to join with the other Board members to encourage effective health service delivery.”

Zavala, a mental health professional who is pursuing a doctoral degree in applied clinical psychology through The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, will fill the seat vacated by Mark Matthews, who earlier this year announced his retirement after 23 years of service. Her zone includes parts of Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells and La Quinta (See the District map, “Cholla 2,” here.)

Zavala brings to the Board experience in behavioral health, having worked at clinics across the valley that serve residents of various ages with psychological distress and other challenges. She currently works with the chronically mentally ill at a Palm Springs outpatient clinic.

She also looks forward to channeling her efforts toward designing and implementing strategies to address the COVID-19 pandemic, homelessness, health equity for disadvantaged communities, non-emergency illnesses, and mobilization strategies to improve health service.

“I thank the voters for granting me the opportunity to serve,” Zavala said in a prepared statement. “It does not matter who voted for me and who did not; I am here to serve every member of our community.”

Zavala received 9,349 votes in the recent election. Her challengers Kristal Granados and Shelley Kaplan received 4,922 votes and 2,873 votes, respectively. Kaplan had withdrawn from the race but his name remained on the ballot.

About the Desert Healthcare District and 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 400,000 residents and encompasses the entire Coachella Valley. The District and Desert Healthcare Foundation, together, are one of the largest funders in the valley. 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 to medical appointments.

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  • Carmina Zavala: Desert Healthcare District