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Erik G. Palmer, DO
Dr. Erik G. Palmer is a Board Certified Family Medicine Physician. He completed two residencies one in family medicine and the other in general surgery. Since 2001, he has served as the medical director of Desert Family Medical Center located in both Palm Springs and Cathedral City. His extensive experience with treating highly complex patients with multi-level and multiple co-morbidities has allowed him to be an extremely capable mentor to future physicians and allied health professionals. Dr. Palmer’s belief is that each patient must be diagnosed accurately in order to move forward with an effective treatment plan.
He is a fifth generation Southern Californian committed to delivering excellence in family medicine to his community. His commitment to the future of the medical community in this desert is evidenced by his role as a Clinical Assistant Professor for Loma Linda University School of Medicine since 2006. Dr. Palmer’s objectiveness and passion for quality patient care has led him to serve on various committees at Desert Regional Medical Center which have included: Chairman of the Department of Family Medicine for twelve-years; Chairman of the Patient Safety; Chairman of Allied Health Committee; Member of Peer Review Committee; Member of Graduate Education Committee. His expertise has also had him serve as a Member of the Quality Assurance Committee for Desert Oasis Healthcare.
Dr. Palmer has had extensive experience with hospice care through his past positions as medical directors for Premier Care Center, Palm Springs Healthcare and Rehabilitation, and Charter Hospice. He believes that a relationship based on trust and confidence between a patient and his/her doctor fosters ease with the transitions of life. He has the privilege to serve patients ranging from newborn to age 107 years old.
Education and Training:
B.A.: California State University, Northridge
D.O.: Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, CA
Rotating Internship: St. Barnabas Hospital, Bronx, NY
Surgical Residency: St. Barnabas Hospital, Bronx, NY
Family Medicine Residency: Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center, West Islip, NY
Licensure: Osteopathic Medical Board of California
Board Certification: American Osteopathic Board of Family Medicine (AOBFM)
Professional Memberships: OPSC and AOA
Language Fluencies: English and Spanish
Mary K. St. John, MMS, PA-C
Mrs. St. John is a Certified Physician Assistant. She is a native of Denver, CO and moved to the desert from Charlotte, NC. Mary is a graduate of the esteemed Colorado Academy which led her to earn both her Bachelor of Science and Master of Medical Science from the prestigious Wake Forest University. Her strong academic background is also matched with her love and passion for patient care and the human condition. Before enrolling in her physician assistant program, she served as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) to better understand patients afflicted with various ailments such as Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer's Disease in home care and senior care settings.
Her desire to merge her academic and clinical skills have led her to pursue a career in family medicine in order to hone her craft of diagnosis and treatment with the utmost compassion and care to patients at our facilities. She has also worked as a physician assistant specialist in neurology treating patients with ADHD, severe headaches, epilepsy and obstructive sleep apnea. Mary hopes to forge long-term patient-provider relationships through their trust with her stellar skill sets for patient care.
Education and Training:
B.S. in Chemistry with concentration in Biochemistry (Magna Cum Laude) Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC
M.M.S. in Physician Assistant Studies (Graduated with Distinction) Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC
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Ms. Vega is in charge of the daily operations and the implementation of policies and procedures. Her role at Desert Family Medical Center is integral to the mission and ethics that are expected and upheld at our organization. She has been a team member at our offices since 2010. Her professionalism with detail and sincere care for our patients sets the quality assurance and control for our offices. Jennifer serves as a team leader for the DFMC Care Team and inspires her teammates to always strive to do their best and to carry out their tasks with care and accuracy.
Ms. Vega represents the future leadership that is shaping our Coachella Valley and California. Jennifer was born in Palm Springs and raised in Cathedral City. She is a first generation Mexican-American and a 2009 graduate of Cathedral City High School and earned her Medical Assisting Certificate from Kaplan College; she is fluent in English and Spanish. Jennifer’s first generation Mexican-American roots are merging educational skills, employment experiences, and bridging bicultural mindsets to help create more leaders in our community to serve our diverse population.
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Kimberley Yang, PhD
Dr. Yang has served as the Executive Director of Desert Family Medical Center since 2001. She oversees the company culture of integrity, transparency and excellence in career development for the team at this organization. Her role entails the management of human resources, public relations, legal, financial, business development, and the stewardship of this company. Dr. Yang believes each team member represents Desert Family Medical Center and she fosters a constructive and communicative work environment for the team in order for our patients to receive the highest level of medical care and patient service.
On the clinical side, Dr. Yang is a psychotherapist who serves pre-and post-surgical Bariatric Surgery candidates, and Potential Gestational Carriers (PGC) and Potential Ovum Donors (POD). Her passion to assist people desiring to make major medical and psychological changes in their lives; and those wanting to assist others with achieving parenthood allows her to witness the abilities of humans when challenged and supported with emotional, psychological and positive psycho-educational skills. Dr. Yang’s services are available only through specialist physician referrals.
Education and Training:
B.A.: University of California, Davis
M.A.: Chapman University
M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D.: Columbia University
Internship: Riverside University Health Systems
Fellowship: The Rockefeller University
Licensure: California Board of Behavioral Sciences (AMFT)
Practice Emphasis: Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) and Reproductive Medicine (ASRM)
Professional Memberships: CAMFT, AAMFT and APA
Mr. Avila serves as the lead in the Cathedral City office; he is the first person to greet you and make sure all your questions are answered correctly and with kindness and respect. His calmness and ability to learn various tasks quickly allows our information management to be handled with integrity and accuracy. Jonathan’s passion for patient service stems from his belief that each patient is important.
His personal attention to details and needs of our patients is his signature trademark in his daily communication with his teammates and with the medical providers. Mr. Avila is a native of Indio, he graduated from Indio High School and earned his Accounting Certificate from Milan Institute with Top Honors with a 4.0 GPA. He interned for the City of Indio as an Accounts Payable Clerk. Prior to joining our team at Desert Family Medical Center he was employed in the hospitality industry.
Mrs. Rosales' passion for working in the medical field stems from her desire to constantly learn more about the ever-changing world of family medicine. Born in Indio and raised in Cathedral City, she is a graduate of Cathedral City High School. She earned her Dental Assisting Certificate from Kaplan College. Her role at our organization is the lead for our Palm Springs office and the Chief Referral Coordinator.
She commands a vast knowledge on how to prepare referrals for our patients and processing the referrals in a timely manner to assure all medical needs are met. Joanna’s positive and outgoing attitude puts people at ease and she is ready to help our patients with care and concern. She is fluent in English and Spanish.
Paola Soria, CCMA
Ms. Soria is a graduate of Coachella Valley High School and earned her Administrative Medical Assisting Certificate with a grade point average of 4.0 and perfect attendance from Milan Institute in Palm Desert. Paola passed the California Certified Medical Assistant (CCMA) 3-part examination in the Basic, Administrative, and Clinical sections in September 2017. Her certification makes her in the 1% of medical assistants in California whom are deemed most capable in continuing to grow with her chosen profession. Ms. Soria was raised in the heart of Coachella, and graduated from Coachella Valley High School. She is fluent in English and Spanish.
Her commitment to her medical career is based on her desire to have positive interactions with our patients and make sure that our patients are given the highest level of medical care. Paola feels that a friendly attitude and her natural inclination to always go above and beyond helps her be the best medical assistant she can be for this organization. Prior to joining Desert Family Medical Center, she was employed in the hospitality industry.