Desert Healthcare District Names New CEO
PALM SPRINGS — Supervisor V. Manuel Perez is speaking out in strong and urgent disagreement over a decision by the Desert Healthcare District Board of Directors to relieve its Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Conrado Bárzaga, of his duties.
Supervisor Perez became aware of the decision Monday, Sept. 25, and will be writing a letter to the District for its meeting on Tuesday evening.
“This was very shocking to learn of this morning, that Dr. Bárzaga, an experienced and capable administrator of the District, was suddenly removed from his position. In his tenure over the past four years, working with the Board, Dr. Bárzaga helped the district serve the entire Coachella Valley, bring equity and address health disparities and the health crises of COVID-19, monkeypox, mental health, opioid overdose and homelessness.
“It doesn’t appear that there was any reason given for the change in Dr. Bárzaga’s employment with the Desert Healthcare District. We would have to gather information to make sure it was truly a matter of performance, and not on some unfair grounds. In my opinion, Dr. Bárzaga was the best CEO and his positive impact on the district was noticeable. I am hoping the Desert Healthcare District Board will reverse this decision.”
Monday morning, the Healthcare District issued a news release simply saying, “Desert Healthcare District (DHCD) is announcing that Dr. Conrado Bárzaga will be leaving his position as CEO. Please join the District in expressing gratitude to Dr. Bárzaga for his contributions and leadership over the past four years. The DHCD Board has named Chris Christensen, Chief Administration Officer, as interim CEO.”
- Chris Christensen: Lani
- Desert Healthcare District logo: Desert Healthcare District & Foundation