A website containing information on nearly 1,000 Coachella Valley health providers and other wellness resources was launched Monday by the Desert Healthcare District, along with the city of Palm Springs.

Coachella Valley Health Info Place — or CV HIP — provides links to local free and low-cost health programs offering resources on a variety of issues in 97 languages, including health screenings, diabetes, food and nutrition, sexual health, pediatric healthcare, and financial and legal aid.

Those behind CVHIP.com’s creation say it will provide Coachella Valley residents with a one-stop shop for all their healthcare needs.

“Creating CV HIP was an extensive project and one that had not been done before in the Coachella Valley,” Desert Healthcare District CEO Herb K. Schultz said.

“We held extensive conversations with area social workers and case managers to understand the challenges they experienced while connecting people with the services they needed,” he said. “These conversations revealed a common issue: whether the clients were seeking information on food pantries, substance abuse treatment, housing alternatives or employment services, it was a challenge to efficiently match people with the community organizations that could help them.”

Palm Springs Mayor Pro Tem J.R. Roberts called the website “the ultimate healthcare Google for the valley.”

“This is a major advance in terms of helping people to get, and stay, healthy,” Roberts said. “CV HIP is the mother dealing with food insecurity … not knowing where to go for urgently needed food for her family. CV HIP is for the person that is homeless and struggling with the summer heat. CV HIP can point that person to a cooling center and possibly save a life. CV HIP is for first responders, 911 operators and social workers — everyone — to help find free and low-cost healthcare and services for those that are distressed.”

Organizers say the website will also help keep online health resources up-to-date, as health providers will continually be contacted by the Desert Healthcare District to ensure that their links on CVHIP.com feature the most current information.

Local leaders praised the website’s creation as a boon for those who need help the most, but don’t know what resources are available to them.

“Everyone deserves access to high quality, affordable healthcare and other social services that give them the opportunity to lead a productive and healthy life,” said Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-Palm Desert. “One of the key access barriers found in my 2010 Coachella Valley Health Care Initiative was that many residents simply didn’t know what local services were available to them. This tool will help solve the problem. I am thrilled to see that this new resource will be free and available to all residents of the Coachella Valley.”

Fourth District county Supervisor V. Manuel Perez said: “Having worked in the field of community health, I know education and outreach to our community members are important. Many times, individuals are unaware of services that are available and, for this reason, don’t access them. CV HIP will help people find and access health resources available in the community, from their community health center to events such as the Flying Doctors or the Migrant Health Resource Fair. This website is a great use of technology and a valuable guide that will go a long way toward creating healthier communities.”

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