Stewart Fleishman, MD
Stewart B Fleishman MD gained much of his primary care experience in the development of what is thought to be the first organized program for adult survivors of adult cancer. Board Certified in Hospice and Palliative Medicine, he worked with an interdisciplinary team applying principles of active symptom management to care throughout the trajectory of cancer illness focusing on the period of treatment and beyond. He currently surveys cancer centers around the country for accreditation by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer.
He is the Founding Director of Cancer Supportive Services at Continuum Cancer Centers of New York: Beth Israel and St. Luke’s-Roosevelt. He also served as the Associate Chief Medical Officer of Continuum Hospice Care, and the Chair of its Ethics Committee. Dr. Fleishman has been an investigator at the Cancer and Leukemia Group B (now the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology) since 1986, and was the Vice Chair of its Quality of Life Sub-Committee. He is the author of LEARN to Live Through Cancer: What You Need to Know and Do and the accompanying provider’s textbook Manual of Cancer Treatment Recovery: What the Practitioner Needs to Know and Do. He has authored numerous peer reviewed journal articles as well.
Prior to attending medical school, Dr. Fleishman taught in the New York City public schools.
R. Ronald Hare, MD
In January of 2019, the CVVIM Board of Directors bestowed the title of Founder & Counselor to Dr. Hare, agreeing unanimously that his insight, wisdom and thoughtful advice will be cherished and sought after as we continue to make his vision of affordable and accessible healthcare in the Coachella Valley a reality. Dr. Hare is credited as the Founder of CVVIM having been the initial driving force to establish the clinic. He has been involved in all aspects of the clinic, served several terms as the Chair, Board of Directors, and continues to promote the clinic in the community. A recipient of numerous awards for his community service, in addition to CVVIM, Dr. Hare is well-known and respected throughout the Coachella Valley, and beyond, for his contributions that improve the community. Today, he continues his commitment to CVVIM, as a nonvoting member of the Board of Directors and its various committees.
Benjamin Guitron IV was born in the City of Indio and raised in the City of Coachella on the family farm that was very active in the east valley farming community. He is an Indio High School Grad, attended College of the Desert to earn his Associates Degree in Criminal Justice and is continuing his education in business management. Benjamin is a proud 33-year member of the Indio Police Department where he started as a volunteer in the Indio Police Cadet program in 1980. He is currently the Police Administrative Officer responsible for the Office of Community Safety and Volunteer Services. He is also a certified training instructor in community policing and community relations. The police department has recognized him with several awards and is a recipient of the department’s Medal of Bravery.
Benjamin, a founding CVVIM board member, is a member of the PR & Communications Committee and the Finance Committee. Additionally, he is active in the community, serving on boards of directors with the Coachella Valley History Museum, the Coachella Valley Community Trust and the Desert Recreation District Foundation. He is also a forty-year member of the Boy Scouts of America, Past-President and current member of the Indio Rotary Club and a member of the Coachella Valley Crime Stoppers organization.
John is the Sr. Government and Community Representative with Kaiser Permanente in the Coachella and Moreno Valleys where he is responsible for the development and maintenance of all business, community, government and media relations. Previously, he held positions with the Palm Springs Desert Museum as the Director of Communications (2003-2004) and Harvard University as the Assistant Director, Office of News and Public Affairs (1994-2003).
John is a member of the PR & Communications Committee.
Les Zendle, MD
Dr. Zendle is a retired Kaiser Permanente physician where he specialized in internal medicine and geriatrics. He did his undergraduate degree at Occidental College in LA, and his medical degree and post-graduate training at the University of Arizona in Tucson. He was a partner physician in the Southern California Permanente Medical Group (SCPMG) – Kaiser Permanente from 1980 – 2006, serving as the Southern California Region Associate Medical Director for Clinical Services from 1993 – 2003.
Since becoming a volunteer in 2011, Dr. Zendle has given more than 700 volunteer hours to care for our patients. Dr. Zendle was our volunteer Medical Director from 2012 through 2017 and the Chair of our Clinical Care Committee. He was elected to the Board of Directors for the Desert Healthcare District in 2016, and he resigned his position as CVVIM Medical Director in 2017 when he assumed the role of President. Dr. Zendle remains on our Board of Directors and an active medical provider.
Roy M. Pitkin, MD
Currently Professor Emeritus in the UCLA School of Medicine, he served earlier as Chair of the UCLA Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and before that in a similar position at the University of Iowa. Roy was the editor of Obstetrics & Gynecology, 1985- 2001, and wrote a history of the journal in 2003, The Green Journal: 50 Years On. The author of more than 200 original scientific reports, he recently published a popular book about medical history, Whom the Gods Love Die Young: A Modern Medical Perspective on Illnesses that Caused Early Death of Famous People.
Dr. Pitkin was a provider at the Clinic prior to becoming Chair, Board of Directors, and also chairs the Executive Committee. He regularly attends and participates in all Board Committees and is the Co-Chair of the WineLover’s Auction, our signature fundraising event.
Heather Adams, DNP, MSN, RN
“I have been fortunate enough to have lived in the world of healthcare all of my life. I call myself a “3rd and a half” generation Registered Nurse (RN), having a mother, grandmother, and aunt that were all a part of the profession. My hospital career began in San Diego County in 1992 in a local, community hospital in Escondido. In 2003, I obtained my Associate’s Degree in Nursing as well as my nursing license. My clinical background is Critical/Intensive Care Nursing and my leadership background is comprised of a variety of platforms to include geriatrics, orthopedics, bariatrics, cardiac care, oncology, stroke, and trauma. I have had the privilege of being an Educator, Clinical Specialist, Director of Nursing, and Chief Nursing Officer during the course of my career.
From 2010-2015, I was part of the opening Teams for both Loma Linda University Medical Center-Murrieta and Temecula Valley Hospital. While opening hospitals, I also earned my Doctorate in Nursing Practice from Loma Linda University. In 2016, I was graciously accepted into the JFK Memorial Hospital family as Chief Nursing Officer. Indio has quickly become a place very near and dear to my heart and I am honored to be part of its continued growth and flourishment.”
Heather is a member-at-large of our Clinical Care Committee, assisting other volunteers and staff with in-clinic special projects.
Ross Hollenkamp, ESQ
A staff attorney with Desert Legal Aid, providing access to justice for low-income residents of the Coachella Valley, Ross also has his own legal practice providing services in civil litigation, personal injury, business matters and criminal defense.
Ross is a member of the Fund Development Committee and Chair, CVVIM Legacy Society.
With a career background in banking and investments, Sandy is an active member of The Springs Country Club, Sandy serves on the Board of the Ladies’ Golf Association and the Palm Springs Woman, a charitable organization. A community activist and advocate, other interests include the Coachella Valley Boys and Girls Club, Mama’s House and The Monarch School of Homeless Children.
Sandy is a member of the Fund Development Committee and Board liaison to The Springs Woman who offer generous and ongoing financial support to CVVIM.
Chauncey has a distinguished career in the banking industry and is currently the Relationship Center Manager – Vice President for One West Bank in La Quinta. Prior to joining One West, he held several positions in the southern California market with Bank Of America.
Chauncey is an active member of the Fund Development Committee.
Louise C. Cummings
Louise C. Cummings has been in nonprofit management since 1968, working as the Executive Director for the Orange County Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation; General Manager, Seattle’s A Contemporary Theatre; Executive Director, Old Town Artisan Studio; Development Director, Alzheimer’s Association of Orange County; Development Director, AIDS Services Foundation Orange County; Development Director, South Coast Repertory Theatre, Orange County; and Development Director of Forest Ridge School, Bellevue, WA. Louise is a Past President of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and holds a degree in Journalism from the University of California Berkeley, and B.A. and Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) degrees from San Francisco State University.
Louise is a member of the Fund Development Committee.
Janet Kerrigan, DO
A practicing physician for more than 35 years, Janet enjoys the opportunity to do volunteer medicine now, caring for patients who otherwise would receive no medical care, including low-income and homeless patients. She was an owner of the Kerrigan Family Medical Group (1990 – 2012) and member of the military until her military retirement in 1989 as Lieutenant Commander.
Dr. Kerrigan is an active provider at the clinic and also serves on our Clinical Care Committee. She is also a regular volunteer with our Homeless Medical Outreach program.
Joseph Scherger, M.D.
Joseph E. Scherger, M.D., M.P.H., is a family physician with Primary Care 365 at the Eisenhower Health Center in La Quinta, CA, and core faculty with the Eisenhower Health Family Medicine Residency Program. He is a Clinical Professor of Family Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California (USC). Dr. Scherger is a leader in transforming office practice and has special interests in nutrition and using lifestyle change to reverse disease. He is the author of two books, 40 Years in Family Medicine (2014) and Lean and Fit: A Doctor’s Journey to Healthy Nutrition and Greater Wellness (Third Edition, 2019). Dr. Scherger is a Senior Fellow with the Estes Park Institute.
Originally from Delphos, Ohio, Dr. Scherger is a graduate from the University of Dayton in 1971 and the UCLA School of Medicine in 1975. He completed a Family Medicine Residency and a Masters in Public Health at the University of Washington in 1978, and served in the National Health Service Corps in Dixon, California, as a migrant health physician, from 1978 – 80. From 1981-92, Dr. Scherger divided his time between private practice in Dixon and teaching medical students and residents at UC Davis. From 1988-91, he was a Fellow in the Kellogg National Fellowship Program, focusing on health care reform and quality of life. From 1992-1996, he was Vice President for Family Practice and Primary Care Education at Sharp HealthCare in San Diego, and was the Chair of the Department of Family Medicine and the Associate Dean for Primary Care at the University of California Irvine from from 1992 – 96. From 2001-2003, Dr. Scherger served as founding dean of the Florida State University College of Medicine.
Dr. Scherger was recognized as a “Top Doc” in San Diego for 6 consecutive years (2004 – 2009), and was voted the Outstanding Clinical Instructor at the University of California, Davis School of Medicine (1984, 1989 and 1990). In 1992 he was Family Physician of the Year by the American Academy of Family Physicians and the California Academy of Physicians, and also elected to the National Academy of Medicine (Institute of Medicine) of the National Academy of Sciences in. In 1994, he received the Thomas W. Johnson Award for Family Practice Education from the American Academy of Family Physicians. In 2000, he was selected by the UC Irvine medical students for the AAMC Humanism in Medicine Award. He received the Lynn and Joan Carmichael Recognition Award from the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine in 2012. In 2016 Dr. Scherger received the Desert Health Integrative Practitioner Wellness Award. He was the 2017 President of the Riverside County Medical Association.
Dr. Scherger served on the Institute of Medicine Committee on the Quality of Health Care in America from 1998-2001, and he served on the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Board of Family Medicine. He currently serves on the editorial board of Medical Economics and was the first Medical Editor of Family Practice Management. He has authored more than 500 medical publications and has given over 1000 invited presentations.
Dr. Scherger has been a medical provider at CVVIM since 2012. In addition to his Director role on the Board of Directors, Dr. Scherger will serve on the Clinical Care Committee.
Naomi Soto-Steidle, MPH
Naomi Soto-Steidle is a health policy professional with 14+ years of public and private sector experience. She has a passion for strategic communications and efficient problem solving. Currently, she serves as Principal at Umbrex, the first global community connecting top-tier independent management consultants with another. Ninety-five percent of members are alums of McKinsey, Bain, Boston Consulting group, or Booz. As Principal, Naomi helps companies of all sizes achieve their objectives by connecting them with the right individual or team of independent consultants.
In the Inland Empire, Naomi has worked to close health inequity gaps in a variety of ways. For over five years, she led the local implementation of HealthCorps in the Coachella Valley. HealthCorps is national organization founded by Dr. Oz to combat the childhood obesity epidemic. Naomi worked directly with students, teachers, staff, and administrators in 13 schools to transform their health education delivery models. Many best practices piloted and standardized in the Coachella Valley have since been replicated in other HealthCorps schools throughout the US.
Additionally, Naomi has collaborated with other healthcare stakeholders in the region. In 2017, she helped facilitate the county’s five-year health improvement plan and helped develop the plan’s evaluation metrics as a Health Policy Fellow with Partners for Better Health. Naomi also led the first campaign for the Affordable Care Act campaign in the Coachella Valley, leading to 17,000 individuals enrolling in health insurance.
Naomi passionately engages in research and policy opportunities that improve and advance healthcare access, reproductive justice, and gender equality issues. She is a cohost and producer of a weekly podcast about the Sunday morning political shows. You can find out more at www.polilogue.com
Glen Grayman, M.D
Glen is a retired emergency physician and the former Medical Director of the Richards Emergency / Trauma Center at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs, California as well as the former Chief Population Health Officer of Borrego Community Health Foundation. Dr. Grayman is a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians and is Board Certified by the American Boards of Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine, Medical Management, and Medical Quality. He now serves as Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at the UC Riverside School of Medicine.
Dr. Grayman is Chair, PR & Communications Committee. He also serves as a Trustee of the UC Riverside Foundation and Executive-in-Residence at the Palm Desert Campus of California State University, San Bernardino. He is certified by the State of California in mediation and dispute resolution and previously mediated in the Riverside County Superior Court.
Rosa Lucas, RN
“Think globally – Act locally” has been Rosa’s guiding mantra since she moved to the Coachella Valley in 1985. “My heart is with the farm workers and other medically underserved community members, especially in the east valley, working toward health care access for them.” A Spanish-speaking family nurse practitioner, she has dedicated herself to successfully join with like minded professionals and community members to accomplish this goal.
Rosa is proud of being a founding board member of Coachella Valley Volunteers in Medicine, and the driving force of our Homeless Medical Outreach project which she initiated in the spring of 2016 and remains active with as a team leader. Rosa is also a member of the Clinical Care committee.
“My dream will come true when each and every person has access to high quality health care.”
Ernest “Cliff” Wynne, M.D.
Dr. Ernest “Cliff” Wynne is Board certified with the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and has been a general medical provider at the clinic since 2016. Dr. Wynne graduated from Jefferson Medical College (Philadelphia, PA) and completed an OB-GYN residency from the University of Michigan (University Hospital) in Ann Arbor Michigan. Dr. Wynne has more than 20 years of managerial experience in a large group practice setting.
In his role as Medical Director, Dr. Wynne is also the Chair, Clinical Care Committee.