Celebrating its Golden Anniversary in 2016, JFK Memorial Hospital serves the eastern communities of the Coachella Valley, offering a range of services that includes orthopedics, general and vascular surgery, and cardiology services.
CEO Gary Honts stays close to the day-to-day operations, but also focuses on optimizing service. “One of the strategies is improving access and throughput in our emergency department,” he says, noting that Indio is California’s fifth fastest-growing city. “We are projecting about 7.5 percent growth over the next five years.”
In addition to providing care, JFK plays an important role in the economic development in Indio and the rest of the Coachella Valley.
“As the services grow and we expand to meet the community needs, we’re hiring more individuals into the organization,” says Honts, who’s also vice chairman of the nonprofit Coachella Valley Economic Partnership. “These individuals are out there looking for new homes and purchasing services.”
Through CVEP, Honts helps shape the programs that often turn affluent visitors into local entrepreneurs who create jobs. “Many executives and leaders in industries throughout California and other states vacation here,” he says. “We’re seeing the opportunity to interact and show them the wonderful things that Coachella Valley has to offer as not only a vacation destination, but also a business opportunity.”
JFK also collaborates with CVEP and local K-12 schools to support career pathways programs. “We give students an opportunity to shadow different specialties,” Honts says. “They also participate in a disaster drill where they see what it means to be a victim in a time of crisis and what the first responders and care providers can bring to the situation.”
Additionally, the hospital offers internships and nursing residencies and is partnering with UC Riverside School of Medicine in developing a pediatric outpatient clinic in La Quinta.
“The Coachella Valley has a strong healthcare environment,” Honts says. “As the need for healthcare continues to grow, so do the career opportunities.”
VIDEO: Gary Honts, CEO, JFK Memorial Hospital