November 5, 2017 – Hosted by Gary and Laura Pollock at their Rancho Mirage home, CVVIM held
a WineLover’s Auction Kickoff Party November 5th. Wine, hors d’oeuvres and entertainment set the stage for the upcoming 3rd Annual WineLover’s Auction at Thunderbird Country Club in Rancho Mirage on February 17th, 2018.

Special thanks to Desert Regional Medical Center and JFK Memorial Hospital, who are sponsoring the festive fundraiser that will feature both a live and silent auction and promises to be overflowing with fine wines, exquisite auction items and good-hearted generosity. Funds raised will support CVVIM operations and programs, including direct patient care, education, case management services, and homeless medical outreach.

The WineLover’s Auction is the primary fundraising event for CVVIM, which doesn’t receive any governmental reimbursement and relies exclusively on the generosity of individuals and philanthropic organizations for funding.

For tickets, visit

2017 WineLover’s Auction Steering Committee
(L to R): Dr. Roy Pitkin, CVVIM Board President & Event Co-Chair; Joe Gandolfo, Event Co-Chair;
Cathy O’Callaghan, Chief Strategy Officer,
Desert Regional Medical Center Presenting Sponsor; Mitch Blumberg, Governing Board Member, Desert Regional Medical Center;
David Gandolfo, Owner, Palm Springs Airport Self Storage, Wine Storage Sponsor.


June 12, 2017 – Coachella Valley Volunteers in Medicine (CVVIM) welcomes Sara O’Flynn as Event Manager for their annual signature, fundraising event, WineLover’s Auction. The Auction is scheduled for February 17, 2018 at Thunderbird Country Club in Rancho Mirage.

Sara brings with her a strong background in event planning as Director of Marketing and Sponsorship for The Gardens on El Paseo from 2004 through 2013. She has also held several volunteer and board positions within the Coachella Valley community including; Chair of the City of Palm Desert Marketing Committee , as member of the Palm Desert Chamber of Commerce Executive Board, and as a volunteer for Sacred Heart School, Xavier College Preparatory High School, and Guide Dogs of the Desert.

Doug Morin, Executive Director of CVVIM states, “We’re excited that Sara is joining our organization as she brings years of experience, enthusiasm for our mission and a clear understanding of what CVVIM provides to our community. The annual WineLover’s Auction is our main fundraiser and fast approaching its third year. Having Sara dedicated to this event as part of CVVIM is critical to its success.”


May 18th, 2017 – Dr. Roy Pitkin, Board Chair of Coachella Valley Volunteers In Medicine (CVVIM), received this year’s prestigious Luella Klein Lifetime Achievement Award. “The award, recognizes an ob-gyn who has dedicated his or her life in a significant way to women’s health.”

As a volunteer, Dr. Pitkin has provided patient care at CVVIM since 2012, after which, he became a director on the CVVIM Board. He was appointed as Board Chair in 2016, as well as Co-Chair of the 2017 WineLover’s Auction – CVVIM’s signature fundraising event.

Dr. Pitkin attended the University of Iowa for his bachelor of arts, medical degree, and residency in obstetrics and gynecology. After military service and faculty appointment at the University of Illinois, he returned to Iowa where, in 1977, he became head of the department of obstetrics and gynecology for the next 10 years. He then moved to a similar position at the University of California, Los Angeles, retiring as professor emeritus in 1998.

Dr. Pitkin served, often as chair, on numerous national and international bodies responsible for establishing nutritional standards. He was elected to the Institute of Medicine in 1990, when few ob–gyns were members of that organization, and to fellowship ad eundem in the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. Among several editorial positions, he is best known as editor of Obstetrics & Gynecology (1985–2001). In 2003, his comprehensive history of the journal, “The Green Journal: 50 Years On,” was published. He has also written “Whom the Gods Love Die Young,” a book on medical history. His bibliography, which includes more than 250 original scientific reports, shows particular focus on nutrition and work for which he received recognition from the American Medical Association, the National Institutes of Health, and the March of Dimes.

Indio, California, May 16th, 2017


Coachella Valley Volunteers In Medicine (CVVIM) received the Inspiration Award at the 12th Annual Desert Nurses Appreciation Luncheon from the Rancho Mirage Chamber of Commerce May 15th at Omni Rancho Las Palmas in Rancho Mirage.

Sponsored by Eisenhower Medical Center, the City of Rancho Mirage and Desert Regional Medical Center, the sold-out annual event, “honoring the exemplary nurses in our community who go above and beyond to take care of us each day” also highlighted the inspiration that CVVIM provides to our medical community.

The award was accepted by CVVIM founder Dr. Ron Hare who shared with attendees how the Clinic came to be. After three years of planning to make the dream a reality, the first uninsured, low-income patients walked through the doors of CVVIM in November, 2010. A dedicated and diligent group of healthcare and community volunteers, along with governmental leaders, championed the cause of helping neighbors in need have access to medical and dental care at a local level. Since then, CVVIM has provided more than 25,000 patient visits.

“We are truly honored to receive this Inspiration Award. The real inspiration comes from
the talents and generosity of our volunteer physicians, dentists and other healthcare professional and support volunteers who selflessly donate their time. They are the heartbeat of CVVIM and we wouldn’t be able to provide our services to the community without them,” stated CVVIM Executive Director Doug Morin.

February 14th, 2017

Coachella Valley Volunteers In Medicine (CVVIM) held the 2nd Annual WineLover’s Auction February 3rd to benefit CVVIM – the Valley’s only no-charge primary care healthcare clinic. The event, held at the historic Thunderbird Country Club in Rancho Mirage, was overflowing with fine wines and good-hearted generosity.

Sponsored by JFK Memorial Hospital and Desert Regional Medical Center, the event  featured both silent and live auctions during a wine reception and wine-paired dinner.

This year’s WineLover’s Auction raised $300,000 to support CVVIM operations and programs, including direct patient care, education, case management services, and homeless medical outreach. Additional sponsors include; Wine Vault of the Desert, Cathleen Ellsworth, John and Sandy Powell, John and Carlene Williams and Frank and Mary Ann Xavier.

Auctioned items included Dom Perignon champagne and Osetra caviar, a case of 1985 Cos d’Estournel Bordeaux wine, San Diego and San Francisco travel packages, and a five course gourmet wine dinner party for eight.

CVVIM Executive Director, Doug Morin, shared, “This is just the second time we’ve held the event and I’m absolutely delighted with how everything turned out. It was a beautiful evening, everyone had a great time, and importantly, much needed funding was raised to support CVVIM and the services we provide to our Coachella Valley neighbors in need.”

The WineLover’s Auction is the primary fundraising event for CVVIM, which doesn’t receive governmental reimbursement and relies exclusively on the generosity of individual and philanthropic organizations for funding. “A heartfelt thanks to the many donors and volunteers who made this remarkable evening happen,” added Morin.

Entertaining guests with music were Kaitlyn Farley, 2016 McCallum Theatre’s Open Call Winner, and Paul Cracchiolo, arranger/composer and house pianist for the McCallum Theatre.

About WineLover’s Auction

2017 WineLover’s Auction Steering Committee
(L to R): Joe Gandolfo – Co-Chair, Pat Fearey, Roy Pitkin, MD – Co-Chair and Ron Hare, MD

WineLover’s Auction is a signature event reflective of the extraordinary people who populate the Palm Springs area and the wines they love to drink. Just as the Coachella Valley draws fascinating people from all over the world, the superb wines presented at the annual WineLover’s Auction come from all over the United States as well as from France, Italy, Chile, Argentina, Australia and more. Guests who attend the WineLover’s Auction are able to bid on wine travel packages and wine dinners, golfing events with wine, wine storage and wine accessories – everything an oenophile could ask for. Many of the exceptional wines that are available for bidding hail from private wine cellars and provide a spectrum of rare types and vintages.

About Coachella Valley Volunteers In Medicine

The mission of Coachella Valley Volunteers In Medicine (CVVIM) is to provide primary healthcare services to low-income adults living in the Coachella Valley who have no insurance, or who are underinsured. CVVIM is the only no-charge healthcare clinic in the Coachella Valley. Services include medical and dental care, disease education, case management and community referrals. Conditions seen most commonly include diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, all of which cause serious problems if untreated,  but whose complications can be prevented with regular medical care. In addition to never charging a patient for medical or dental care, CVVIM also assumes all associated costs necessary for diagnosis and treatment of illness, such as laboratory tests, imaging and x-rays. Scores of dedicated volunteers – doctors, dentists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, medical and dental assistants and support volunteers, donate thousands of hours each year to accommodate more than 4,500 patient contacts a year. Since opening in 2010, CVVIM has provided more than 25,000 patient visits.

November 30, 2016

CVVIM released public service announcements (PSA) to local radio and television stations in the Coachella Valley, promoting volunteer opportunities at their Indio Clinic.  CVVIM Executive Director, Doug Morin said “We’re excited about these announcements first because Volunteers are the Heartbeat of CVVIM, but also because they demonstrate the community support given to the Clinic, allowing us to provide no-charge healthcare to 1,500 individuals each year.”  The PSAs were made possible with the support of Mercury Film and Television and the following participating radio and TV stations: KESQ / ABC; Local 2 / CBS; KMIR / NBC; Telemundo / KUNA; Univision Palm Springs; Alpha Media Palm Springs.

Indio, California, November 17th, 2016

Coachella Volunteers In Medicine (CVVIM) held a WineLover’s Auction Kickoff Party November 6th, hosted by Gary and Laura Pollock at their Rancho Mirage residence. Volunteers, guests and sponsors were gathered as Roy Pitkin, Event Co-chair and CVVIM Chairman, announced Presenting Sponsors ¬– JFK Memorial Hospital and Desert Regional Medical Center. Linda Evans was in attendance representing JFK. Ms. Evans is also the Mayor of La Quinta.

All proceeds from WineLover’s Auction go directly to supporting CVVIM, the only no-charge medical and dental clinic in the Coachella Valley, serving adults, who for whatever reason, cannot get medical care anywhere else.

CVVIM Executive Director, Doug Morin, highlighted several donations received to date for the February 3rd, 2017 event to be held at the Thunderbird Country Club. These included San Diego and Seattle travel packages, Dom Perignon champagne and fresh caviar, fine art and jewelry, and of course, wine. Several California, Oregon, Washington and international wines have been donated for the auction. Kaitlyn Farley, 2016 Grand Prize winner of the McCallum Theater Institute’s Open Call and CVVIM volunteer, entertained guests with several of her personal favorites, accompanied by noted pianist, Paul Cracciolo.

“We’re off to a wonderful start for the 2017 WineLover’s Auction to be held in February. Without the generosity of wineries, businesses and individuals who donate, this event wouldn’t be possible.

This is our big fundraising activity of the year, and we’re delighted to build on the success of the WineLover’s Auction held in February, 2016, when $180,000 was raised and 250 guests attended this sold out, first-year effort,” said Morin.

Donations for the auction are still being accepted and can include wine, wine-themed baskets, travel and entertainment items, art, jewelry and just about anything someone might be interested in. For more information about the WineLover’s Auction, to purchase tickets, or to donate auction items, visit or contact Doug Morin at 760-342-4414.

September 27, 2016

Coachella Valley Volunteers in Medicine (CVVIM), a nonprofit organization providing no-charge, primary healthcare services to Coachella Valley residents who qualify, received a $25,000 grant from the Rancho Mirage based Coeta and Donald Barker Foundation. Funding will be used to support the Clinic’s volunteer program with staffing and related program costs.

CVVIM relies solely on volunteers to provide medical and dental care to more than 1,000 low-income adults each year. Volunteer physicians, dentists, and other healthcare professionals as well as support volunteers donate more than 10,000 hours each year to support the Clinic’s Mission of providing care to the uninsured and underinsured.

September 9, 2016

Coachella Valley Volunteers in Medicine (CVVIM) is pleased to announce a grant award from The Community Impact Fund at The Community Foundation, Strengthening Inland Southern California through Philanthropy.

The $8,500 grant will assist CVVIM with a volunteer evaluation of prior, current and potential volunteers to determine their motivation for volunteering and the benefits they receive from their experiences. Executive Director, Doug Morin, stated, “Volunteers are the heartbeat of CVVIM and this grant will help us to better understand what drives people to volunteer at our no-charge Clinic and how we can more positively impact their experience.” CVVIM will work with HARC, a local research and evaluation organization, to complete the evaluation.

CVVIM is a nonprofit organization that provides no-charge medical and dental care to low-income residents of the Coachella Valley who have no insurance, or are under-insured. For more information on their programs and services, as well as volunteer opportunities, please visit their website at or call to (760) 342-4414.