Two new directors have been appointed to serve on the Desert Healthcare District and Foundation Board of Directors, according to Will Dean, director of communications and marketing.

The Board interviewed 12 candidates from the District’s newly annexed area east of Cook Street, a requirement of the expansion voters overwhelmingly approved in November 2018.

Karen Borja and Leticia De Lara were sworn in by District legal counsel Jeff Scott during a special Board meeting at UCR Palm Desert. De Lara was appointed to serve until 2020, and Borja’s term will end in 2022.


Karen Borja

Borja comes to the District Board of Directors with more than 10 years of experience in grassroots organizing and nonprofit management. She describes herself as an effective “translator” between community needs and government’s ability. She’s worked as an associate director and community organizer with Inland Congregations United for Change, and is currently employed as the Riverside County Community Affairs Director with Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest.


Leticia De Lara

De Lara’s public service experience includes almost 11 years in Fourth District Riverside County Supervisor Roy Wilson’s office, culminating as chief of staff, followed by five years as district director for Supervisor John Benoit. She specializes in social service, mental health, public health, affordable housing and homelessness. She has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s in public administration from Cal State University San Bernardino. She’s currently employed as CEO with Regional Access Project Foundation.

Borja and De Lara are the most recent of three new directors to join the District. In November, Evett PerezGil was elected from Zone 4 (Cathedral City). PerezGil worked as a community health worker for the Dream Homes neighborhood. Her commitment to helping and advocating for the underserved also is reflected in her long-term volunteerism with the Boys and Girls Club of Cathedral City.

Rounding out the seven-member Board of Directors are Jennifer Wortham, DrPH, president; Les Zendle, MD, vice-president; Mark Matthews, treasurer; and Carole Rogers, RN. Read more about all of the directors by clicking here.