As CEO of Desert Regional Medical Center, Carolyn Caldwell finds Palm Spring’s idyllic setting is an attractive draw for top physicians she is trying to recruit. But with demand for healthcare services increasing in lockstep with population growth, she’s also bullish about developing homegrown talent to fill medical and nonmedical positions throughout the hospital.
“The Coachella Valley is a desirable place to pursue a career in healthcare,” Caldwell says, touting Desert Regional’s job shadow, and internship programs offered in collaboration with the region’s K-12 public schools as well as its nursing and medical schools. “We reach out to individuals early to show them different careers in healthcare; there are numerous fields in the industry such as medical technology and accounting.
“The hospital also has begun training medical school graduates through new residency programs.”
“We have 21 new residents this year — eight with our UC Riverside Medical School residency in family medicine, and others in neurology, neurosurgery, and emergency medicine,” she says. “Our goal is to keep as many of them as possible in the community after they complete their training, so that we can fill the gap [in demand].”
The hospital is affiliated with Tenet Healthcare, which also operates JFK Memorial Hospital in Indio and the Hi-Desert Medical Center in Joshua Tree.
Home to the region’s only designated trauma center and only intensive care unit for newborns, Desert Regional also offers advanced stroke treatment, a dedicated unit for joint and spine procedures, and multidisciplinary care for cancer and orthopedics patients.
“We have two locations, [the main] one in Palm Springs and another in La Quinta, where we offer our Comprehensive Cancer Center, our Advanced Wound Healing Center, and [diagnostic] imaging,” Caldwell says, noting that the hospital is among the region’s largest employers and still growing. “The Advanced Wound Healing Center has a hyperbaric chamber, so we will be able to prevent amputations among individuals suffering from wounds that will not heal or who have chronic diabetes.
“Desert Regional Medical Center plays a significant role in this region,” she notes. “My role as CEO is really as an influencer. In addition to my continually meeting the growing needs of our residents, people look to the CEO — and the heads of the other major corporations — for input to determine how trends are tracking. I take that role very seriously.”
VIDEO: Carolyn Caldwell, CEO, Desert Regional Medical Center