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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
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Special District

Desert Health Care DistrictCandidate for Director

Photo of Jennifer S. Wortham

Jennifer S. Wortham

Healthcare Administrator / Educator
23,368 votes (17.75%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Improve the quality of care at Desert Regional Medical Center
  • Improve access to primary care
  • Improve access to mental health services



Jennifer Wortham, Dr.PH, currently serves as the Director, Healthcare Innovation and Transformation for Riverside University Health System.  She has served as a healthcare executive and consultant for over 25 years, implementing performance programs for several world-class health care delivery systems.  She served as the Vice President, Transformation for Eisenhower Medical Center; President, Institute for Performance Excellence, a division of the Hospital Association of Southern California; and National Director, Transformation and Program Management Capability Development for Kaiser Permanente.  Dr. Wortham holds an MPH and a Dr.PH in Health Services Administration from UCLA.  She teaches courses at the UCLA, School of Public Health, and lectures through several trade and professional associations. Dr. Wortham is managing a multi-site study with the Hospital Association of Southern California’s, Nursing Advisory Council focused on improving nursing work-flow in hospitals.  Dr. Wortham specializes in Lean, a management approach based on lessons learned from Toyota that helps organizations deliver higher quality products and services.  Dr. Wortham recently joined the Board of Directors of Habitat for Humanity of the Coachella Valley, and she is leading the organizations strategic planning.  She has lived in the Coachella Valley for three years and she enjoys hiking, landscape photography and shopping in the fabulous consignment and antique shops in the area. 

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

As an educator and healthcare executive, I have dedicated my life to helping advance the health and welfare of our society through my professional activities, advocacy, scholarship and community service.


I'm conducting research with the Hospital Association of Southern California’s, Nursing leadership to improve nursing care, and I have the pleasure of training future leaders through teaching graduate courses in healthcare quality and process improvement at the UCLA School of Public Health. 


I’ve implemented Lean and quality improvement programs at several world-class institutions including Eisenhower Medical Center, UCSD Medical Center, UCLA Student Health, and Children's Hospital Los Angeles.  I am currently working to transform health care in Riverside County by introducing innovations to improve care within our public hospitals and clinics.


I will work to ensure you and your family have access to affordable, high-quality healthcare through strong fiscal and operational oversight of the Desert Healthcare District's resources.  I will focus on creating greater transparency of District activities. I plan to enhance community engagement in all District affairs. I will work to create a culture of trust, high ethical standards, professionalism and collegiality with the physicians and staff of Desert Regional Medical Center, the Desert Healthcare District and Foundation, my fellow Board members, and the organizations we serve.


I earned a master’s and a doctorate in Public Health, at UCLA. I also hold a Bachelor in Business Administration, from the University of Phoenix.


I currently serve on the Board of Directors, for Habitat for Humanity, Coachella Valley.

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