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Advancing Community wellness in the Coachella Valley

Desert Healthcare District awards $1 million in grants to reduce loneliness & isolation

Diverse segments of the Coachella Valley community are expected to benefit from eight grants the Desert Healthcare District and Foundation Board approved on Tuesday.

The grant awards, totaling $1,074,113, are a part of the District and Foundation's new Building Connected Communities Initiative, which was launched earlier this year in response to U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy's report on loneliness and isolation.

"Loneliness is far more than just a bad feeling -- it harms both individual and societal health," Dr. Murthy says in the May 2023 report. "It is associated with a greater risk of cardiovascular disease, dementia, stroke, depression, anxiety, and premature death."

He describes loneliness and isolation as an epidemic that requires "all of us" working together to reduce its impact and mend the nation.

The District and Foundation grants, which were approved at the Board's April meeting in Palm Desert, support services and programs for valley children, seniors, residents with disabilities, and more. Each grant covers a two-year period.

"With its approval of all eight grants, the Board is sending a clear message that the far-reaching primary and behavioral health effects of loneliness and isolation warrant a collective approach to improve social connections," said Chris Christensen, interim CEO of the Desert Healthcare District and Foundation. "The District is proud to support our community partners and stakeholders in addressing this important issue across the Coachella Valley."

The grant awards are:

  • $102,949, Variety -- the Children's Charity of the Desert
  • $100,000, Youth Leadership Institute
  • $125,000, DAP Health
  • $60,000, Voices for Children
  • $200,000, The Joslyn Center
  • $200,000, El Sol Neighborhood Educational Center
  • $199,914, Visión Y Compromiso
  • $86,250, Angel View Inc.

Learn more about our grants program.

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. Learn more.