Hospital Lease Proposal Will be on November Ballot

PALM SPRINGS — Local voters will have one more decision to make in November. The Desert Healthcare District Board of Directors approved placing a proposed 30-year lease extension of Desert Regional Medical Center on the November 2024 ballot.

The Desert Healthcare District and Foundation Board last month voted to pursue a hospital lease proposal from Tenet Health, the current Desert Regional Medical Center operator. The offer, negotiated after several years of talks and numerous community input sessions, would extend Tenet’s current lease from 2027 to 2057 and enable support for critical seismic upgrades alongside new healthcare services for the community.

The District has remained committed to transparency and keeping the public informed throughout this process. The final deal will come to voters in the 2024 election, after a series of community meetings to present the proposed agreement to the public.

Hospital 30-Year-Lease Proposal to go Before Voters

Chris Christensen

“Our No. 1 priority is to protect the health and wellbeing of the Coachella Valley residents we serve,” Chris Christensen, Desert Healthcare District CEO, said in a statement. “We have thoroughly investigated our options and are confident this deal with Tenet will allow us to fully carry out our mission to achieve optimal health at all stages of life for all District residents.”

Tenet’s plan pays the District the full fair market value of Desert Regional Medical Center totaling approximately $650 million. The first $100 million payment will be made in 2027 with annual installments of more than $20 million over 20 years. The deal transfers ownership of the hospital to Tenet at the end of the lease with a final payment of $100 million. Tenet will maintain seismic compliance of the hospital, currently required by state law to be completed by 2030. Tenet has leased the Palm Springs hospital from the District since 1997.

Over the past 25 years, the District has invested $100 million in advancing community healthcare. The agreement with Tenet expands that effort, providing millions of dollars to address pressing needs in primary, specialty and behavioral health. The money will increase quality medical care access across the region, supporting whole-body wellness in the Coachella Valley.

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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.


Image Sources

  • Chris Christensen: Desert Healthcare District
  • Desert-Regional-Medical-Center: DRMC