Charlene Montgomery

Charlene Montgomery is a human resources consultant and former Registered Nurse. Most recently Charlene held several human resource positions with both the Betty Ford Center, Eisenhower Medical Center and Desert Regional Medical Center. She also has a history developing and operating addiction treatment programs.

Since 2017, Charlene has volunteered at CVVIM to lend her knowledge and expertise on human resource matters, working closely with the Executive Director, and more recently, the staff. Perhaps her biggest volunteer challenge yet was reviewing our Employee Handbook to make sure it was current with our own policies, but also, and more importantly, that is was current with State and Federal Labor Law. Charlene also completed a benefits review of local, nonprofit organizations, similar in size and budget to CVVIM, to assist our Executive Director and Board of Directors to ensure our employment benefits were competitive with other organizations. Most recently, she has begun offering regular training on a variety of topics to our employees.

Charlene continues to serve in administrative capacities, working closely with our Executive Director and Board of Directors.

Linda Evans

Linda Evans is the Chief Strategy Officer of Community Advocacy for the Desert Care Network, which comprises Desert Regional Medical Center (Palm Springs), JFK Memorial Hospital (Indio), and Hi-Desert Medical Center (Joshua Tree). She has worked for the hospitals’ parent company, Tenet Healthcare for 26 years.

Linda is also Mayor for the City of La Quinta and has served as Mayor since 2014. Prior to that, she served on La Quinta’s City Council beginning in 2009.

Linda received a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications/Public Relations from California State University, Fullerton. She holds two Master’s Degrees: one in Health Administration and the other in Gerontology, both obtained from the University of La Verne, California.

Linda Chairs the following Boards:
• JPA for CVB (Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau)
• CVAG Energy and Environmental Committee
• CVAG Conservation Commission
She also serves on the CVAG Executive Committee.

Her role with the Desert Care Network and Mayor provides for extensive networking across a large spectrum of agencies, organizations and community groups – all of which have a common goal of ensuring access to care, healthy eating, and active living.

Quality of life is a key driver in how Linda measures success in her hospital outreach and her civic duty.

Linda and her husband, Tim, have been married for 23 years.

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.

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

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.

Linda Hodsdon

Linda Hodsdon has been a volunteer with CVVIM since 2018 helping to take patient vital signs and working with the medical providers in direct patient care. Linda first learned about CVVIM as a member of The Springs Woman, a fundraising and social club for residents of The Springs Country Club, Rancho Mirage, that has adopted CVVIM as their benefiting charity since 2015. To date, The Springs Woman has donated more than $35,000 in support of our mission.

Linda was a high school teacher in Spokane, Washington, raised her family, and later became the Director of Volunteers at St. Joseph Hospital in Tacoma, WA. She worked in marketing and advertising before opening her own business and later, retiring with her husband, Geoff, in Rancho Mirage.

Linda is a member of the PR & Communications Committee.

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.

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.