Supervisor Perez Statement on Desert Healthcare District
September 25, 2023
COACHELLA VALLEY – 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 today and will be writing a letter to the Desert Healthcare 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 Desert Healthcare 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.”
Supervisor V. Manuel Perez represents the Fourth Supervisorial District on the Riverside County Board of Supervisors. The largest district in the county by geography, the 4th District covers eastern Riverside County, from Whitewater, stretching across the entire Coachella Valley south to the Salton Sea, up Highway 74 to Idyllwild and the mountain communities, and heading east of the Coachella Valley to Blythe and the Colorado River.
Supervisor Perez’s office hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.