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Valley organizations pleased Clinton Foundation keeping Health Matters Initiative

Valley organizations pleased Clinton Foundation keeping Health Matters Initiative

COACHELLA VALLEY, Calif. - Former President Bill Clinton is defending his family's charity and the work it does, saying "If there's something wrong with creating jobs and saving lives, I don't know what it is."

The Clinton Foundation plans to scale back many of its programs around the world in anticipation of Hillary Clinton's potential election. But one of the initiatives not being nixed, the Clinton Health Matters Initiative, which directly benefits many organizations here in the Coachella Valley.

"If we can get people in a positive frame of mind and a community frame of action, we can really do a lot of good in the next two or three years," said Bill Clinton at this year's Health Matters Conference.
 
The Clinton Foundation promises to continue its Health Matters Initiative here in our valley even though it may scale back other programs. In an article on BuzzFeed, the foundation says it plans to keep health awareness in the Coachella Valley as one of its 11 initiatives. That's good news to David Brinkman, the CEO of the Desert AIDS Project.
    
"Several years ago, the Clinton Foundation came to the Coachella Valley and on their good name and strength brought all of us together who are in leadership in health care to develop a blueprint to respond to the unmet health needs of valley residents," Brinkman said.

He said without the foundation, the Get Tested initiative might not exist.
   
"We have seen the number of people in the valley who know their HIV status increase by 20 percent and so that means we are getting closer to our goal of getting rid of HIV," Brinkman said.

It's not just Desert AIDS Project the foundation helps. Earlier this year, La Quinta High School benefited from the foundation's day of action with a greenhouse built for the school's culinary and biology program.
    
"I think it's fantastic to help promote healthy living. One of the things we do every year is we have a health and wellness day we've actually transformed it into a health and wellness week since we've started working with the Clinton Foundation," said Assistant Principal Sean Webb.

Chelsea Clinton also helped with days of action in Palm Springs and Coachella.

Some of the other 11 central "initiatives" they plan to maintain are their efforts to help cashew farmers in India, facilitate agribusiness in Rwanda, train fishermen in Colombia and support handicraft artists in Haiti.


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