Dr. Raul Ruiz is not a politician; he is a public servant and physician, dedicated to serving the community. The son of farmworkers, Raul grew up in Coachella and learned at an early age that the key to attaining the American Dream was hard work and a great education. In the summer of 1990, under the hot desert sun, Raul walked from business to business in the Coachella Valley asking them to invest in their community – by contributing to his education. With each investment for college, he made a promise to come back home and serve the community as a physician.
During and after his education at Harvard, Raul Ruiz also volunteered and worked abroad. He spent a year as a medical student with Partners In Health, bringing health care to the poor in Mexico. In El Salvador and Serbia, he served as consultant to the ministers of health on emergency healthcare reform.
Dr. Ruiz returned to the Coachella Valley, where he utilized his education and experience to not only lead but also serve as a physician. As the founder and director of the Coachella Valley Healthcare Initiative, he brought together stakeholders to improve public health and healthcare access in the Coachella Valley.
Dr. Ruiz's commitment to community service and his humanitarian efforts on behalf of vulnerable populations have earned recognition throughout the Coachella Valley:
In 2009, he received the Influential Latino of the Year Award from the Inland Empire Hispanic Image Awards
His early humanitarian response efforts for the victims of the Haiti earthquake as the founding medical director for the Jenkins-Penn Haitian Relief Organization earned him the Commander's Award for Public Service from the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne
The Rancho Mirage Chamber of Commerce and San Gorgonio Pass Hispanic Chamber of Commerce awarded him the Humanitarian of the Year Award in 2010
Recently received the Person of the Year 2011 award from The Desert Sun Newspaper's Desert Magazine.