In addition to teaching nursing courses at Cal State San Bernardino’s Palm Desert Campus, and managing the university’s Nursing Street Medicine Program, which provides free healthcare services for homeless and unsheltered people in the Coachella Valley, Diane Vines was also recently appointed to serve on three committees – two local and one national – to expand her reach in the community.

The committees are: The SMART Recovery USA Training and Education Initiative Task Force, the City of Palm Desert Homeless Task Force, and the Desert Healthcare District-Riverside University Health System Behavioral Health Access Working Group.

SMART Recovery is an international program for people with addictive behavior. Vines has been a meeting facilitator for the past four years, and founded and supervises five meetings every week in the Coachella Valley. Through her work on the SMART task force, she will assist with reviewing and updating all of the training and support materials for the national program. 

“I teach psychiatric mental health nursing that includes substance abuse treatment,” said Vines. “Many of the homeless people we treat in the CSUSB Nursing Street Medicine Program have substance abuse issues and the strategies utilized by SMART Recovery help me work with them more effectively.”

Vines says that she hopes to learn more about the issues surrounding homelessness in the Coachella Valley through her work with the City of Palm Desert Homeless Task Force.

The city of Palm Desert formed a special task force to advise the city council on various services and coordinated efforts to address homelessness,” Vines said. “I plan to help strategize ways to assist homeless people while protecting the environment for businesses and residents of the valley.” 

Vines will also work with the Desert Healthcare District - Riverside University Health System Behavioral Health Access Working Group to educate the community about mental health, reduce stigma, develop new policies and improve access to mental and behavioral health resources.

“We are constantly searching for behavioral health resources available and accessible to our sheltered and unsheltered people we work with,” said Vines. “These services are scarce in the valley and my hope is that I can influence the understanding of the great need of the homeless and vulnerable populations in the desert for mental health services.”

For more information about the CSUSB Palm Desert Campus, contact Mike Singer in the Office of Strategic Communication at or (760) 341-2883, ext. 78107, or visit the PDC website at