Representative Ruiz Speaks at PDC
With close to 100 members and guests present, the Pass Democratic Club was pleased to welcome Dr. Raul Ruiz, our local U.S. Congressman, who joined us at our August general meeting. Dr. Ruiz spoke on issues including affordable health care, a national higher minimum wage, income equality for all, the environment, and equitable tax reform.
Representative Raul Ruiz, M.D., grew up in Coachella, California, where both of his parents were farmworkers. He achieved his lifelong dream of becoming a physician through public education. After graduating from Coachella Valley High School, Dr. Ruiz graduated magna cum laude from UCLA. He went on to Harvard University, where he earned his Medical Degree, a Masters of Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government, and a Masters of Public Health from the School of Public Health. He was the first Latino to earn three graduate degrees from Harvard University.
He completed his Residency in Emergency Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, and a Fellowship in International Emergency Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. During his training, Dr. Ruiz served as a consultant to the Ministries of Health of both Serbia and El Salvador.
He returned to California after completing his medical training and began working as an Emergency Room physician at Eisenhower Medical Center. Recognizing the physician shortage crisis in the Coachella Valley, Dr. Ruiz started a pre-medical mentorship program for aspiring doctors, which has grown to include over 100 local students. The program became part of the University of California, Riverside School of Medicine, where Dr. Ruiz served as a Senior Associate Dean. Through the group, Volunteers in Medicine, he helped open a free clinic to help underserved communities in the Coachella Valley.
In 2010, Dr. Ruiz created the Coachella Valley Healthcare Initiative, which brought together stakeholders from across the region to address the local healthcare crisis. He also worked internationally in the medical community. In 2010, Dr. Ruiz flew to Haiti immediately following the 2010 earthquake and served as Medical Director for the J/P Haitian Relief Organization. The U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne awarded him the Commanders Award for Public Service for his work.
Dr. Ruiz continued his work as an Emergency Room Doctor until he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012. He represents our 36th District, which includes the entire Coachella Valley, as well as the cities of Banning, Beaumont, Blythe, Hemet, and San Jacinto. He resides in Palm Desert CA with his wife and twin daughters.
Dr. Ruiz currently serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
The Pass Democratic Club meets the third Wednesday of every month, 6:30PM, at the Banning Women’s Club, 175 West Hays Street in Banning. Please join us at our monthly meetings or to participate in our planned community events.