Boys & Girls Club Health & Wellness Center

 

As you probably already are aware, Desert Hot Springs is privileged to have perhaps the finest “Health & Wellness Center” in the Coachella Valley.  I was blessed with the opportunity as the CEO of the Boys & Girls Club to work with the Desert Health Care District and our State and Federal elected representatives to procure over $18 million to build Desert Hot Springs Health & Wellness Center.

In 2003, Mayor Matt Weyuker and I traveled to Washington, D.C. to meet with Congressman Jerry Lewis for the purpose of discussing the concept of a “Health and Wellness” center for our City, which would also include a Boys & Girls Club.  Congressman Lewis came through “BIG” for us; he was successful in securing in excess of $3 million dollars in appropriations to begin construction.

In 2005, U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer visited the Boys & Girls Club to present staff with an “Excellence in Education Award” for our programs in improving the reading and math scores of over 400 children.  Upon, viewing the success of the education programs, Senator Boxer pledged $500,000 towards the future Health & Wellness Center.

After receiving the "Excellence in Education Award from U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, I accepted an offer to be the AmeriCorps Educational Director for the Coachella Valley assisting over 200 volunteers in teaching reading fluency at Elementary Schools.

I left the Boys & Girls Club with an operating budget of $300,000 and with over $600,000 in the Clubs reserve fund.  This was by large the best small Boys & Girls Club in California thanks to our dedicated staff and dozens of corporations, foundations, State and Federal agencies that supported our programs in Desert Hot Springs.

“GOOD HEALTH AND WELLNESS IS ALWAYS IN THE BEST INTEREST OF OUR COMMUNITY!”

 

The Desert Hot Springs “Health & Wellness Initiative”


The time is NOW for the Desert Hot Springs community to pull together and recognize the benefits and advantages of optimum Health and Wellness for all of its residents!


Because modern day environmental health challenges are more widely recognized, our community could greatly benefit by educating and informing the public as to alternative healthy life style concepts.  This effort can be accompanied by a plan of action in the form of exercise and dietary recommendations intended to enhance the knowledge base of our residents along with benefitting the overall health of our community.

Components of our City’s General Plan address many of the major issues confronting our community, however there is currently less emphasis on attaining “Health and Wellness” for members of our community.  To satisfy this need, we should support amendments to our General Plan that specifically address the ways and means of obtaining optimum “Health & Wellness” to benefit all of our residents.  

“Obesity” is a significant health concern that is increasingly being recognized and addressed by communities nationwide.  Unfortunately, our community is no exception to this concern.  Addressing “Health & Wellness” within the City’s General Plan will reflect our community’s resolve in educating our residents and identifying the various ways of attaining the best health possible ranging from youth to senior citizens.  

What is the vision of the Desert Hot Springs “Health & Wellness Initiative”?

Desert Hot Springs’ vision is to “Foster policy change that supports the development of healthy, active environments for all community residents.”

How will this initiative change the city?

By providing a policy change, the “Health & Wellness Initiative” will propose components within the General Plan that address healthy lifestyles and physical activity, access to healthy food, public safety and security, and access to recreation.  Specific policies considered within these over-reaching topics include:  clean and safe streets, possible incentives for establishing organic grocery choices within local food outlets and other healthy food choices, and establishing and expanding existing joint use agreements with the Palm Springs Unified School District, the Mission Springs Water District and others designed to increase available indoor and outdoor recreational space and opportunities to benefit the public.

What City departments would be actively involved in the “Health & Wellness Initiative”.

The “Health & Wellness Initiative” as currently proposed will be led by Council Member Adam Sanchez, leading to the formation of a new City commission – the “Health and Wellness Commission.”  This new commission would be responsible for the overall daily guidance and implementation of the “Health & Wellness” policies and objectives.  Success of this initiative will be reliant on collaborative efforts with all City departments.

Identifying the “Health & Wellness Initiative” partners and the roles they would play?

Borrego Community Health Foundation (“BCHF”)

The BCHF is a federally qualified non-profit health care provider with over 20 years’ experience providing health programs for the underserved and uninsured in Riverside and San Diego Counties.  BCHF tailors primary and preventive health programs to meet the health needs of men, women, children, adolescents and senior citizens, providing health screenings, education, outreach and advocacy support as it relates to the “Health & Wellness Initiative” (Without these and similar programs, many of the residents in this isolated desert region would have difficulty obtaining professional medical care).

Palm Springs Unified School District (“PSUSD”)

Opportunities for possible collaboration with the PSUSD’s Board of Education should be explored in augmenting District’s goals and objectives in meeting the health needs of enrolled students.

Desert HealthCare District (“DHCD”)

The DHCD supported the building of the $20 million Desert Hot Springs Health & Wellness Center with a $6 million investment to provide Desert Hot Springs residents better access to community social services.

Furbee Swimming Pool –Desert HealthCare District - The Desert Hot Spring swimming facilities with youth programming rooted in the Swim America learn to swim curriculum.  After mastering their strokes, swimmers can join pre-competitive swim classes, swim team, or water polo skill classes.  The goal is for all children leaving the third grade will be able to swim successfully.

Literacy, Language & Cultural Centers (LiLaC), Inc.

LiLaC delivers family literacy services to help youth succeed as readers and writers.  Its Kindergarten – readiness program provides weekly in home visitations to local Desert Hot Springs Spanish speaking families with children.  The program’s is designed to see these children started down the pathway of academic success towards college instead of gang involvement.  The goal is for all children leaving the third grade to be reading above their grade level.

The Health Assessment Resource Center (HARC), Inc.

HARC focuses on the health status of the incorporated city of Desert Hot Springs.  Key findings include a higher rate of diabetes or pre diabetes, 64% of adults are overweight, 57% of children ages 2 and 17 are classified as overweight, and 13.3% of children have been diagnosed with asthma.

All the above are higher than the Coachella Valley as a whole and Riverside County.

The Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce 

The Chamber works closely with the City of Desert Hot Springs and neighboring communities, the County of Riverside, businesses and local service organizations to promote the economic health of the community. A healthy business community promotes the economic vitality and long term prosperity of business and tourism throughout Desert Hot Springs.

Amigos de Salud

This “grassroots” organization is dedicated to the designing of sustainable open spaces and enhancing community life.  They assist with the “Health & Wellness” Initiative by providing input on the physical project and promoting initiative-related activities to community members.

Health & Wellness Center Recreation Programs

The Healthy Habits program is designed to incorporate healthy living and active learning in every part of the Club experience.  Healthy Habits emphasizes good nutrition, regular physical activity and improving overall wellbeing. This is a game plan for the Mind, Body and Soul.

The YMCA (“Y Be Fit”)

This program engages elementary school children to exercise and be actively involved in fitness after school.

How will the “Health & Wellness Initiative” reach out to stakeholders?

Outreach at Community Events

Health & Wellness Initiative staff and volunteers will provide information about upcoming initiative activities by conducting outreach at community events such as bike festivals, spring concerts, 4th of July, book fairs, school jog-a-thons, parent group meetings, and local community classes.

Multi-Media Approach

Advertising about the “Health & Wellness Initiative” and its supporting activities can be publicized utilizing local newspapers, Sunline Transit bus posters, park banners, and electronic media.

Automated Phone Messages

With assistance provided by PSUSD school administrators, the automated phone message system can be utilized to contact each family attending participating schools and providing automated messages about upcoming “Health & Wellness Initiative” events.

Door to Door Visits

Promotoras and other community outreach volunteers can be utilized for their knowledge of local neighborhoods and for making door-to-door visits inviting community residents to “Health & Wellness Initiative” events.

City Council Updates

The Mayor and his representatives will provide activity updates during Desert Hot Springs City Council meetings when appropriate.  The updates may include “Power Point” presentations accompanied by the distribution of decision-maker packets that include “Health & Wellness Initiative” fact sheets.

What has the Health & Wellness Initiative accomplished so far?

Healthy eating and active living community workshop

Once established, the Health and Wellness Commission will solicit community member suggestions through community workshops.  The workshops will feature presentations providing an overview of Desert Hot Springs’ current health conditions and illustrate the links connecting our physical environment to public health.  For City Council review, the Health 

and Wellness Commission will present residents’ suggestions, their prioritization, and an overview of their vision for a healthy Desert Hot Springs.

Health & Wellness Commission

The new Health and Wellness Commission will be comprised of citizens at large assisted by City staff and other community stakeholders reporting to the City Council.  Input from all community residents will be solicited, including various City departments (e.g., Police Department, the Public Works Department) and other City commissions (e.g., Public Safety Commission, Planning Commission and the Community and Cultural Affairs Commission), from the Chamber of Commerce, the County Environmental Health Department, and other community based organizations.  This collaborative effort will be reflected within the content of the “Existing Conditions Report”, Health & Wellness goals and policies, and the implementation plan.  Once established, it is envisioned that this Commission will meet at a minimum of one time monthly and will be instrumental in reviewing the drafted documents and presenting recommendations before the City Council.

City 5k Health & Wellness Run and Walk

This has turned into a successful and gradually growing annual event to promote physical fitness, incorporating running and walking venues throughout the community.

Miracle Springs Resort & Spa

The Miracle Springs Resort & Spa has adopted a “Health Matters” slogan that promotes organic products such as smoothies, juices and raw super foods.  Additionally, they have expanded their selection of gluten-free dishes, and as a special health incentive, making them available to their employees at subsidized savings.

Desert Hot Springs High School Family Wellness Day

This yearly event promotes fun physical activities, health information, and resources to benefit family members of all ages.

Day of the Child Health & Wellness Festival

This annual event is dedicated to healthy fun and education, sports clinics, dental screenings, and health services.

Desert Hot Springs Resource Center Health Fair

This annual event brings together all City and County Health Agencies to promote the wellness of all residents.

The City of Desert Hot Springs Healthy Youth Got Talent Contest

Community youth will compete monthly in local talent contests to identify youth that will perform at community wide events.

The City of Desert Hot Springs “Healthy Happens Here Awards”

These awards will honor individuals, businesses and organizations that exemplify the goals and objectives in educating our residents and identifying the various ways of attaining the best health possible ranging from youth to senior citizens.  

Desert Hot Springs “City Wide Pick Up Crew”

A community group dedicated to cleaning up city lots, street ways, right of ways, trails and city neighborhoods.

Health & Wellness

Desert Hot Springs - “An Oasis of Health & Wellness”






As you well know, we live in very challenging times plus we face a multitude of even more challenging issues, forcing us to have to make tough decisions in the upcoming future of Desert Hot Springs.


These circumstances really put our governing abilities to the test.  First and foremost, the Mayor’s and City Council member’s first priority is putting our residents’ health and safety in “first place.”  As such, we have the responsibility of structuring our efforts aimed at fostering a community environment enhancing public safety, financial stability and embracing positive ideals that can serve as workable solutions to challenges we face as a community.


Five years ago, I helped to fix a $6 million budget deficit.  This large deficit severely impacted the “Health and Wellness” of our city at the same time presenting a grave threat to our quality of life.  Given the sad state of the nation’s and California’s economy, this additional burden was especially bad news for Desert Hot Springs residents, threatening survival of our city’s police force and even challenging the continued existence of Desert Hot Springs as an incorporated community.  


The reality of the serious $6 million budget shortfall created by the previous city council and city manager forced this City Council to try to find viable remedies.  This incredibly large deficit inescapably was the dire result of a series of serious financial blunders from poor oversight to deficit spending of citizen tax dollars.  Due to the relatively large amount of the deficit for Desert Hot Springs, normally we would be expected to take a number of years to mitigate.  


Because of the financial leadership by the City, I was proud to that our City Budget was not only balanced, but had a $2.5 million cash flow reserve.  Due to a balanced budget with a real cash reserve, we could now embrace the revitalization of our community!  


Today Desert Hot Springs is “An Oasis of Health & Wellness” with rising property and real estate values, more tourism, as well as a renewed community spirit in building and enhancing genuine hometown “Health & Wellness” programs.  As I had promised when I first ran for office, the city’s economic circumstances are now more suitable than before to boost employment prospects and drive forward the local economy.


As you probably already are aware, Desert Hot Springs is privileged to have perhaps the finest “Health & Wellness Center” in the Coachella Valley.  I was blessed with the opportunity as the CEO of the Boys & Girls Club to work with the Desert Health Care District and our State and Federal elected representatives to raise over $18 million to build Desert Hot Springs Health & Wellness Center.


As a “Health and Wellness” destination, Desert Hot Springs has actively embraced a “Health Matters Initiative” for the Coachella Valley.  Desert Hot Springs is the only city to incorporate health goals to become one of the healthiest cities with a commitment to make “Health and Wellness” a top priority.


I continue to seek greater efficiency, more affordability and more accountability in the day-to-day operations of our city government, while enhancing the services upon which our residents depend, in addition to continuing the promotion of tourism, business and economic development.


One of our greatest challenges remains - how to stem youth violence and crime.  These problems result from the interaction of sociological, demographic, economic and cultural factors.  Community policing with more officers on the streets in prevention mode coupled with street community policing outreach specialists and programs for at-risk youth, are successful methods for reducing youth violence.


Additionally, you voted in confidence that I would fight to restore fiscal accountability and fiscal controls to protect the taxpayers.  As one of my top priorities for the city, I continue to take this responsibility very seriously.  


Our residents appreciate living here because we enjoy the world’s best hot mineral water, best tasting water, 360 degree mountain views and magnificent sunsets.  They want to build their businesses here, enjoy all of these fabulous amenities, and at the same time share them with a growing tourist base, our unique relaxing “Health & Wellness” boutique spas and hotels.


In the end, we must ask ourselves, why we do any of this?  What is our motivation?  Our’s is a community built on the aspirations of people from all over the state, country and world who have been attracted here with a dream for a healthier life.


We inspire this hope, and it’s up to all of us residents and businesses alike to continue fostering this ambience.  Let’s stay energized and confident as we face our difficult challenges with faith and optimism.  


I see an untapped potential in our residents who are rising to the challenges facing our city.  Let future generations look back and say that we turned our challenges into success stories.


Thank you.

ADAM SANCHEZ, SR.


Desert Hot Springs - “An Oasis of Health & Wellness” Part 2




Desert Hot Springs residents appreciate living here because we enjoy the world’s best hot mineral water, world’s best tasting winning water, 360 degree mountain views, magnificent sunsets and therapeutic cool breezes.  People want to build their businesses here, enjoy all of these fabulous amenities, and at the same time share them with a growing tourist base, our unique relaxing “Health & Wellness” boutique spas and hotels.


As you probably already are aware, Desert Hot Springs is privileged to have perhaps the finest “Health & Wellness Center” in the Coachella Valley.  I was blessed with the opportunity as the CEO of the Boys & Girls Club to work with the Desert Health Care District and our State and Federal elected representatives to procure over $18 million to build Desert Hot Springs Health & Wellness Center.


In 2003, former Mayor Matt Weyuker and I traveled to Washington, D.C. to meet with Congressman Jerry Lewis for the purpose of discussing the concept of a “Health and Wellness” center for our City, which would also include a Boys & Girls Club.  Congressman Lewis came through “BIG” for us; he was successful in securing in excess of $3 million dollars in appropriations to begin construction.


In 2005, U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer visited the Boys & Girls Club to present staff with an “Excellence in Education Award” for our programs in improving the reading and math scores of over 400 children.  Upon, viewing the success of the education programs, Senator Boxer pledged $500,000 towards the future Health & Wellness Center.


My first and foremost priority is putting our residents’ health and safety in first place.  As such, we have the responsibility of structuring our efforts aimed at fostering a community environment enhancing public safety, financial stability, supporting youth programs and upgrading our street lights & crosswalks along our roads and in our neighborhoods.


I inherited a $6 million budget deficit five years ago.  This large deficit severely impacted the “Health and Wellness” of our City at the same time presenting a grave threat to our quality of life.  Given the sad state of the nation’s and California’s economy, the survival of our City’s police force and the continued existence of Desert Hot Springs as an incorporated community was being threatened.


The reality of the serious $6 million budget shortfall forced the City to try to find viable remedies. I welcomed the first medicinal City Ordinances in Southern California initiating a future $30 million dollar a year green industry that “Saved Desert Hot Springs from Bankruptcy”.


Only with a new progressive medicinal industry economic development policy can the current dream of a sustainable economic climate bring new jobs and additional monies to make our City safe for children and their families.


The current City Mayor and Council are in the process to spend $7 million dollars on a New City Hall. This was never our priority. They have lost their financial focus and our future revenue potential. 


As mentioned, I welcomed the first medicinal City Ordinances in Southern California that “Saved the City from Bankruptcy” and also saved our City Police Department.  Today, the once future 7 year $30 million dollar green industry has been reduced down to a $5 million dollar industry.


The reduced revenue was caused by the current City administrations inability to timely create new progressive green economic policies and ordinances to advance the growth of dispensaries and cultivation business sites.  Cathedral City is now the epicenter for collecting millions in revenue from taxes and licenses.


The City of Desert Hot Springs has now loaded the legal green industry sector down with such high taxes and onerous permit regulations that businesses now have a tough time competing and raising revenue.  In addition, State regulations with along with high taxes and license fees make it now very difficult to compete in this new rapidly maturing green industry.


Recent comparisons around the State on the typical costs, revenues and the timeline to break even associated with Desert Hot Springs indoor and greenhouse cultivation businesses has raised red flags for investors.  Higher Recreational product prices are inhibiting market growth and ironically sustaining the illicit grey market.


Current breakdowns of the individual growth trend analysis for cultivation in the City shows that both the public and private investment landscape has slowed down.  Astute investors have conducted insightful research into the current green industry climate in the City and have found that’s its not conducive to expanding their investment opportunities.


The overall analysis of the investment landscape from the perspective of capital flows, state & local taxes and the grey market shows that many green industry operators are facing economic challenges to growing their financial growth strategies.  Entrepreneurs and Investors are now looking at other cities that provide a better business climate to grow their green business.


Former City Manager Martin Magana and I worked to create a pro-business green mindset to balance the City budget, attract new jobs, improve public safety, fix our roads, support youth programs, address the City drug & crime problems and make sure no more residents are killed on City streets due to no lights & crosswalks. Time for a renewed City culture & leadership focused on the needs of the People in the City.


I continue to seek greater efficiency, more transparency and more accountability in the day-to-day operations of our city government, while enhancing the services upon which our residents depend, in addition to continuing the promotion of tourism, business and economic development.


One of our greatest challenges remains - how to stem the growing youth violence and crime.  These problems result from the interaction of sociological, demographic, economic and cultural factors.  Community policing with more officers on the streets in prevention mode coupled with street community policing outreach specialists and programs for at-risk youth, are successful methods for reducing youth violence.


In the end, we must ask ourselves, why we do any of this.  What is our motivation?  Our’s is a community built on the aspirations of people from all over the state, country and world who have been attracted here with a dream for a healthier life.


We inspire this hope, and it’s up to all of us residents and businesses alike to continue fostering this ambience.  Let’s stay energized and confident as we face our difficult challenges with faith and optimism.  


It’s time to invest in our people and our workforce because it’s the right thing to do and it’s smart for business.


I see an untapped potential in our residents who are rising to the challenges facing our City.  Let future generations look back and say that we turned our challenges into success stories.


Thank you.


Adam Sanchez, Sr.

City Council Candidate