Gary Honts JFK Memorial Hospital
Few people understand the impact of economic development as crisply as Gary Honts, CEO of JFK
Memorial Hospital in Indio. Recently installed as chairman of the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership,
Honts adjusts his operational strategy around economic forecasts. And he’s holding on tight for a great ride.
“The population of the eastern Coachella Valley is growing at almost twice the national rate,” he says. “JFK
has completed more than $4.3 million in capital improvements in the past 18 months. As healthcare evolves
to a more outpatient industry, JFK has partnered with a network of physicians and clinics to meet the needs
of this growing population.”
Many businesses thrive in periods of growth. In healthcare, the boom includes an abundance of new
jobs. “The demand for nurses with [bachelor of science in nursing] degrees will remain strong for the
foreseeable future,” Honts says, adding that pharmacies now play a greater role in primary care. “Once
pharmacists only filled prescriptions. Now they provide basic vaccinations and healthcare screenings.
The [region] is also ideal for elective procedures because of the high quality of healthcare and beautiful
weather for recuperation.”
Greater Palm Springs, he says, is an easy sell. “It offers the amenities most people associate with the
California lifestyle without the high cost of living and transportation gridlock of the major metropolitan
areas,” he says.
His challenge as chairman of the economic partnership is to help lead the organization charged with
attracting businesses to shape the emerging year-round economy.