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Dining Out For Life 2023 Another Smashin …

Dining Out For Life 2023 Another Smashing Success

DAP Health, restaurateurs, sponsors, volunteers, and diners in Greater Palm Springs work together to raise more than $270,000

On the triple-digit-hot day that was Thursday, April 27, some 12,000 local foodie philanthropists chose to keep cool by showing their community pride and participating in Dining Out For Life® at breakfast, lunch, happy hour, dinner, and late-night. And “cool” they indeed all were, sporting the badges of honor — those meaningful, orange and yellow “I Dined” lapel stickers — they earned by joining in a great cause on behalf of DAP Health. A total of more than $270,000 was raised in Greater Palm Springs, making this one of the best showings ever for the Coachella Valley.

DOFL is the annual, North America-wide gastronomic fundraising event that has not only collected more than $100 million for community-based HIV/AIDS service organizations since its inception in 1991, but perennially encourages those who may not know their HIV status to get tested so that they may be connected to the care they need to thrive.

Every year since 2005 (save for 2020 and 2021, when COVID-19 derailed best-laid plans), Greater Palm Springs has participated in the all-day/all-night affair during which the owners of many Coachella Valley restaurants, bars, cafés, and bakeries donate anywhere from 30 to 110% of their entire day and evening’s receipts — not just the profits — to the popular effort.

Each year, Greater Palm Springs not only joins more than 50 local nonprofits that partner with “2,400+ participating restaurants, 4,100+ volunteers, and 300,000+ diners to raise over $4.5 million for people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States and Canada,” per DOFL National’s website, but makes a rather valiant individual showing. In 2022, 68 desert restaurants participated to raise $207,000 — more than San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, and other large urban centers — to make ours the second-most-successful market on the continent.

Number one was Denver. But since our Indio-Cathedral City-Palm Springs 2022 metro population came in at 487,000 — versus the winning city’s nearly 3 million — it’s clear that, when a per capita perspective is taken, Palm Springs actually was number one in community pride and generosity.

For 2023, with 72 establishments participating, every effort was made for DOFLGPS to officially take that top spot by encouraging diners to make more than one meal matter. Until all the beans are counted, we’ll patiently wait to find out if we succeeded in that goal. Either way, the day and night were smashing successes, with an inaugural Arenas Bar Crawl held the night before — at Blackbook, Chill Bar Palm Springs, Dick’s on Arenas, Hunters Nightclub, QuadZ Video Bar, and Streetbar Palm Springs — shedding an additional spotlight on the culinary benefit.

“FARM has been participating in DOFL since Mark and I took over [in 2017],” says Liz Ostoich, a power restaurateur who, with her husband, owns a total of four eateries. “Tac/Quila started participating just a few days after opening in 2019. That was brave, but we pulled it off. The Front Porch and Clandestino opened last fall, so this [was] their first year.” And why is being part of the fun so important to Liz and Mark? “We believe that being part of a community means investing in people, lifestyle, and infrastructure,” she continues. “DAP Health is an easy choice for investment, as this important organization cares about the whole of the person, meeting our residents where they are, and providing comprehensive health care wrapped in grace and compassion.”

“In the ’80s and ’90s, I lost two brothers and too many friends to HIV/AIDS,” says Palm Springs power diner Melissa Lundgren, who has dined out for life for the last 12 years — first in Nashville, and here for the last five years. As usual, in 2023, Lundgren spread the word high and low among family, friends, and co-workers, urging everyone to get their head in the game. “I so appreciate all of the AIDS service organizations that have worked so hard to get us to this point where the disease is no longer a death sentence. I will continue to dine out for life until there is a cure.”

“At its heart, Dining Out For Life is a win-win community event where people get together with friends to feast for the greater good,” has said DAP Health CEO David Brinkman. “Each year, I’m awestruck not only by the generosity of our participating restaurateurs, but by the enthusiasm and pride of our deeply committed desert dwellers. What a genius way to have fun while giving back.”

Naturally, DOFLGPS would not be the smashing success it always is without the generous support of sponsors such as Gilead, and Steve Tobin and Johnny Krupa of the Grace Helen Spearman Charitable Foundation.

 

2023 Dining Out For Life Greater Palm Springs Participating Eateries

533 Viet Fusion

1501 Uptown Gastropub

Al dente Trattoria Toscana

Aspen Mills Bakery & Cafe

Barracks Bar

Bar Cecil

Birba

Blackbook

Bongo Johnny’s

Boozehounds

Carousel Bakery

Chef Tanya’s Kitchen (Palm Spring)

Chef Tanya’s Kitchen (Palm Desert)

Chicken Ranch

Chill Bar Palm Springs

Clandestino

Coachella Valley Coffee

Copley’s on Palm Canyon

Cork & Fork

Cowboy Cantina

Del Rey at Villa Royale

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit

Dicks on Arenas

EIGHT4NiNE Restaurant & lounge

El Mirasol at Los Arboles

El Mirasol Cocina Mexicana

Elmer’s Restaurant

El Patio

FARM

4 Saints

Gelato Granucci

Grand Central Palm Springs

Heirloom Craft Kitchen

Hunter’s Nightclubs of Palm Springs

Ice Cream & Shop(pe)

I Heart Mac and Cheese

Impala Bar & Grill PSP

Jake’s

Johannes

Johnny Costa’s Ristorante

Kaiser Grille

King’s Highway

Loco Charlies Mexican Grill

Le Donne Cucina Italiana

Lulu California Bistro

MidMod Cafe

Mr. Lyons

Nature’s Health Food & Cafe

On The Mark

Palm Greens Cafe

Purple Room

Quadz Palm Springs

Reforma

RUNWAY Bar & Restaurant

Shame on the Moon

Sherman’s Deli & Bakery

So-Pa at L’Horizon

Spencer’s Restaurant

Street Bar

Tac/Quila

Tailor Shop

The Barn Kitchen at Sparrow’s Lodge

The Front Porch

The Pantry at Holiday House

The Penney

The Tropicale Restaurant & Lounge

Townie Bagels

Trio Restaurant

Tu Madres Cantina & Grill

Willie’s Modern Fare

Wilma & Frida’s Palm Springs

Zin American Bistro

pairs (kerning).

Planning Your Next Visit to DAP Health

Planning Your Next Visit to DAP Health? 

Here's what you need to know about current construction projects

We Are Closing the Vista Chino Entrance

On July 10, construction on DAP Health’s Community Pavilion, provided by Desert Care Network, will start with the driveway realignment, which will close down the Vista Chino entrance and exit. This closure makes it necessary to move the Barbara Keller LOVE Building’s main entrance to the side of the building, an access point previously used to gain admittance to The Dock and the COVID Clinic. We will have DAP Health-branded flutter flags drawing your attention toward this new entrance.

Entering and Exiting the DAP Health Campus

Patients and visitors can enter via two southbound driveways off of North Sunrise Way. The first entrance is between the Barbara Keller LOVE Building (home to Walgreens Pharmacy, Urban Yoga, the Marc Byrd Behavioral Health Clinic, Client Wellness Services, Social Services, and Labcorp) and the Annette Bloch CARE Building (home to the Blue, Green, Yellow, and Orange Clinics). The second is between the Annette Bloch CARE Building and the new Vista Sunrise II affordable housing complex currently under construction.

Where to Park

The entire patient parking lot will remain open during construction, with the exception of spots directly off of Vista Chino. This area will be fenced-off for the duration of construction.

DAP Health Patient Shuttle

For those needing extra assistance, look for the patient shuttle vehicle circling campus. It will make its way from the parking lot to the entrances of both main buildings. If you do not see the shuttle, you can call the driver at 760-422-9528 for pickup.

Handicap Parking

There will be a total of 18 handicap spots reserved for patients in front of the Annette Bloch CARE Building.

Arriving by Bus

The bus stops on Vista Chino and North Sunrise Way will remain in operation during construction. Look for wayfinding signage directing you to the nearest entrance — plus additional information — at the bus stop and throughout campus.

The Chase 2023 – Big Ideas Build a …

The Chase 2023: Big Ideas Build a Legacy of Compassionate Care

Words by Barbara Kerr

 

Health equity is health care.

That visionary theme echoed across the Palm Springs Convention Center on March 25, as nearly 1,000 guests gathered for 2023’s The Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards (AKA The Chase), the annual gala and fundraiser — presented this year by Eisenhower Health — that has raised millions of dollars to support DAP Health and the people it serves.

From platinum sponsor Amazon’s Big Ideas Cocktail Party inside the convention center to the vibrant celebration in the outdoor plaza, gala co-chairs and DAP Health Board Members Kevin Bass, Lauri Kibby, and Scott Nevins created an evening to “inspire guests to think more boldly about the future of wellness throughout the Coachella Valley.”

The vision resonated in the humor and energy of Obie, Drama Desk, and Lucille Lortel Award winner Michael Urie (of the current Apple TV+ hit series “Shrinking”), returning for his second year as emcee, and in the dynamic headlining performance of Emmy and Golden Globe winner Darren Criss (of “Glee” and “The Assassination of Gianni Versace” TV fame).

Tony Award nominee and Drama Desk and Obie winner Saycon Sengbloh opened the evening with a stirring performance of “Rise Up.” Broadway and television performer Nick Adams inspired the crowd by reminding them that “This Is the Moment.”

When We See Lack, We Act

Throughout the evening, speakers noted the striking parallels between the challenges of 1984, when the organization originally known as Desert AIDS Project was founded, and the issues facing DAP Health, the region, and the country today.

DAP Health CEO David Brinkman said, “Despite our immense progress over the last 39 years, 2023 feels a helluva lot like 1984. There are currently 300 anti-LGBTQ bills in various stages of passage in this country — many of them attempting to prevent trans youth from living authentically.”

He then noted: “Of our 50 states, 35 restrict abortion to varying degrees, robbing women of the right to make decisions affecting their own body. And in our own back yard, 120,000 patients dependent on the Borrego Health system were on the verge of losing their access to health care.”

But, he added, “When we see lack, we act. It’s in our DNA. So DAP Health is again stepping up — forming an alliance with fellow health centers Innercare and Neighborhood Healthcare — to guarantee lifesaving continued access by acquiring Borrego Health.”

The new alliance will provide health care for 120,000 men, women, and children. From San Diego to the Salton Sea, 600 physicians and staff will care for patients in disciplines from obstetrics and gerontology to HIV prevention and treatment.

Honoring Visionary Partners

A leader in the fashion industry’s fight against HIV/AIDS, design icon and philanthropist Donna Karan was the recipient of the 2023 DAP Health Equity Award. She is the founder of Urban Zen, a lifestyle brand and philanthropic foundation that collaborates with existing organizations to enhance spiritual, emotional, and physical growth.

“Nobody gets away without being sick,” Karan said, accepting the award. “Each and every one of us will be that person one day. The question is: Who’s going to take care of us?” She added: “Those people who care for us are the most important people in the world. We need the ‘care’ in health care. And this organization understands that.”

Dr. Raul Ruiz, the U.S. Representative for California’s 25th District, presented the 2023 DAP Health Humanitarian Award to Desert Healthcare District & Foundation CEO Dr. Conrado E. Bárzaga and the organization’s board of directors. He praised Dr. Bárzaga for his “innovative thinking and inspiring leadership.”

Ruiz told The Chase audience: “Dr. Bárzaga believes health care requires thinking outside the box. He believes in taking a patient-centered approach to address the social determinants of health and to create 21st-century solutions for 21st-century problems.”

Dr. Bárzaga praised DAP Health for “advancing the notion that health care is not only human care, but a human right.” He then noted that “DAP implemented a wonderful equity framework when no one knew what equity was.” Finally, he observed, “Equity in health care is giving everyone a fair chance at being healthy, and we do this by removing barriers. By making access to health care possible. Because this is what DAP Health does and that is what we at the Desert Healthcare District are doing.”

As Dr. Bárzaga reminded the audience: “We are working to dismantle systems that have neglected the people upon whose backs the wealth of the Coachella Valley is created. We are working toward building a health care infrastructure and a health care workforce that are inclusive. That uplift those who have historically been at a disadvantage: the sexual, racial, and ethnic minorities. We are working toward a Coachella Valley we all can call home — not because we are included — but because we belong.”

Health Care Is...

“There are so many factors that affect a person’s health — starting with housing, mental health, food insecurity,” said Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of presenting sponsor Eisenhower Health Ken Wheat. “DAP Health has been and continues to be critical to our community in addressing health care on all of these levels.”

Gala Co-Chair and DAP Health Board Member Scott Nevins noted he is also a patient at DAP Health. “When I was in my 20s, living in New York City, just starting out in show business, I couldn’t afford health insurance, and my options for health care were free clinics and programs that were often bleak and unsettling,” he said. “So, when I discovered DAP Health, and saw firsthand the quality of the services that were provided within an inviting, friendly, and stigma-free environment, I felt like I was home.”

A Life-changing Journey

Born in El Salvador, Marcela Quintanilla was raised in Palm Springs. Being gay, she said, “It was hard to fit in.” She added: “I did not know how to deal with it, how to cope with life. I found drugs and alcohol. And it really, really took me into a deep, dark place.”

A friend told her about DAP Health. “He told me that you will get help and not be judged,” she said. At DAP Health, she found support and a new life. “I attended the substance abuse groups that really set the ground for my recovery.” Quintanilla also received treatment for HIV, and attended substance abuse groups. DAP Health staff members helped her obtain food vouchers and medical insurance.

And they helped her through her transition.

“I think they saw the real person in me, and they really wanted me to be happy,” she said. “They wanted me to be who I always wanted to be.”

Today, with a growing career as a hairdresser, she says she has a good life. “It was because a lot of people believed in me,” she said.

Turning a Mess Into a Message

Damian Calmett is also a patient at DAP Health. A former entertainer — “a gorgeous girl with wigs and lashes, singing in clubs” — he once upon a time helped raise money for Desert AIDS Project.

“I had hidden the fact that I was HIV-positive for almost three decades,” he told The Chase guests. “I kept that a secret because of the shame, the stigma. When I came to DAP Health, I had spiraled out of control. I was homeless. I had lost everything. But because of the compassionate care, I was able to take a mess and turn it into a message of hope, a message of strength.

Today, he is Rev. Dr. Damian Calmett, senior minister of Innerfaith Ministries Worldwide, located in Palm Springs. He is also the front desk coordinator at DAP Health. “I want people to know that they’re valuable,” he said. “That when you walk in the doors, you are important.” He added: “When I touch somebody and their life has changed — and they’re able to turn their life around — you’re the ones that have been able to do that because you invested in me.”

The experiences of Quintanilla and Calmett reminded guests this was the moment to demonstrate their belief in supporting life-changing journeys.

The Chase 2023 raised $1.4 million to invest in DAP Health and its clients.

Community With a Capital C

DAP Health CEO David Brinkman has noted that “I work with so many people who were not born and raised in this community, and came here from larger towns, and one of the things they really cherish is the small size of this community and how, when we all work together, we can solve social issues.”

As he told the audience at The Chase 2023, “You are very special to all of us at DAP Health, and particularly to the thousands of people we care for. Because without you, there would be no Chase. Without you, there would be no DAP Health. This organization is — always has been, and always will be — very much about community with a capital C.”

He added: “You’ve shown us your heart and your commitment. No matter the call, you step forward when you hear it. No matter who’s being targeted, scapegoated, left behind, or denied, you shout: ‘Not in my community!’”

Brinkman reminded guests that everyone is welcome at DAP Health.

“We know that y’all means all,” he said. “We know that women’s rights are not negotiable. We know that Black lives matter. And we say gay!”

“Quite simply,” he concluded, “we firmly believe no one is disposable in our community.”

And he thanked the crowd for their unwavering support. “When you give to DAP Health, you give not only to this community, but to yourself,” he said. “Because you are this community. And, as a thriving member of it, taking care of your neighbor is in your DNA as well.”

Thanks with a Capital T

The Chase 2023 was made possible through the generous support of presenting sponsor Eisenhower Health, platinum sponsor Amazon, Bobbi Lampros, AEG, Desert Care Network, The Desert Sun/Local IQ, DAP Health Board Chair Patrick Jordan, Barry Manilow and Garry Kief, Harold Matzner, NBC Palm Springs, and Steve Tobin and Johnny Krupa of the Grace Helen Spearman Charitable Foundation.

Brad and Lynne Toles of Savoury’s, alongside their kitchen and front-of-house staff, provided the delicious food, beverages, and service. DJ Modgirl (aka Kellee McQuinn) amped up the excitement at the Big Ideas Cocktail Party and the afterparty.

The Chase 2023 was Proudly Sponsored by:

Borrego Health Announces Court’s Appro …

Borrego Health Announces Court’s Approval of  DAP Health Bid  

Today, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court approved DAP Health’s bid to acquire substantially all of the assets of Borrego Health. This follows the Feb. 15 announcement that the Borrego Health Board of Trustees had selected DAP Health’s bid as the winning bid. 

“With the Court’s approval of DAP Health’s bid, we are now focused on the important work of coordinating closely with DAP Health and its partners, Innercare and Neighborhood Healthcare, to support our patients and our teams through a smooth transition,” said Rose MacIsaac, Chief Executive Officer of Borrego Health. “Each of the communities our organizations serve have different needs, and I’m looking forward to seeing how our combined expertise and resources will strengthen access to quality care across the region and improve the lives of those who count on us.”  

Also today, the Court approved an agreement between Borrego Health and the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) that facilitates the sale and smooth transition of operations from Borrego Health to DAP Health. Importantly, the agreement also resolves pending litigation between Borrego Health and DHCS.  

The next step in finalizing the transaction is for the sale to receive regulatory approval from the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA). While that process is underway, leaders from Borrego Health, DAP Health, Innercare and Neighborhood Healthcare will begin collaborating toward their shared goal of facilitating a smooth transition that does not interrupt patient care or team members’ careers.  

Upon regulatory approval by HRSA, DAP Health would assume control of all Borrego Health clinics with operational and administrative support from Innercare and Neighborhood Healthcare.  

Borrego Health clinics remain open, and patients do not need to reschedule appointments as a result of this announcement.   

The Court’s approval is a key step in a careful, deliberate process that began in November 2022 to sell Borrego Health to a like-minded federally qualified health center (FQHC). Borrego Health’s goal throughout the process has been to secure continued access to a health home and safety net for the patients and communities it serves. 

“We entered this process with one goal – to ensure that people who receive care today will find the doors to that care open tomorrow,” said David Brinkman, Chief Executive Officer of DAP Health. “Today's decision begins a year of convening and collaborating with our partners to protect health care access for Borrego's patients. We look forward to working alongside leadership at each organization to create the path forward.”  

“We’re proud to be part of the DAP Health alliance and expand our quality, compassionate, whole-person care to more families in El Cajon, Escondido, Nuevo, and San Jacinto, regardless of their circumstances,” said Rakesh Patel, MD, Chief Executive Officer of Neighborhood Healthcare. “We believe healthier communities are more prosperous ones. This alliance is a key example of how to increase access to care by being better together.” 

“Innercare is honored to support DAP Health in its goal to protect access to care for thousands of people in Riverside and San Diego Counties,” said Yvonne Bell, Chief Executive Officer of Innercare. “We have been present in some of these communities for many years, and as an organization, we are excited to be part of a bright new future for Borrego Health.”   

For additional information please visit www.borregohealth.org   

About Borrego Health 

Borrego Health provides high-quality, comprehensive, compassionate primary health care to the people in our communities, regardless of their ability to pay. We serve these communities and adjoining regions with respect, dignity and cultural sensitivity as a medical home and safety net for essential health care and social services. Borrego Health is a non-profit 501(c)(3) Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) and a Federal Tort Claims Act Deemed (FTCA) facility. 

 

About the Alliance   

Founded in 1984 as Desert AIDS Project, DAP Health was the first community-based clinic dedicated to serving low-income patients with HIV/AIDS. In 2012, it was designated as an FQHC Look-Alike, in 2015 became a 330 grantee, and today serves the general community with a full complement of integrated and lifecycle-appropriate care. DAP Health’s service area boundaries are located within the Coachella Valley, a unique desert community located in Eastern Riverside County in the Inland Empire of Southern California. The Coachella Valley comprises nine major cities as well as several unincorporated areas. The valley encompasses approximately 675 square miles, and its service area includes 310 square miles. CEO since 2006: David Brinkman.   

Established in 1970, Innercare (formerly known as Clínicas de Salud del Pueblo, Inc.) is a private nonprofit FQHC operating 10 health care centers; five dental clinics; and three Women, Infant, and Children Programs in Imperial and Riverside counties. Its service area encompasses 30 rural and urban zip codes boasting a total population of over 680,000. This area includes communities along the U.S.-Mexico and Arizona borders. It also serves communities ranging in size from Niland (pop. 1,610) to Hemet (pop. 127,443). There is significant overlap in some of the areas currently served by Borrego Health, with approximately 21% of Borrego Health’s patients currently seeking secondary care at Innercare sites. CEO since 2003: Yvonne Bell.    

Founded in 1969, Neighborhood Healthcare operates 24 health centers in San Diego and Riverside counties, serving upwards of 87,000 unique patients each year, 97% of whom are at or below 200% of FPL. Some 61% identify as Hispanic and 41% are best served in a language other than English. With deep cultural understanding, Neighborhood Healthcare excels at providing health care for all stages of life, including pediatric and adult primary care, prenatal care, family planning, HIV testing, women’s health, dental services, and basic pharmacy and lab services. Due to a large and growing Middle Eastern refugee/immigrant population in East San Diego County, Neighborhood Healthcare has developed a strong culturally and linguistically responsive program to care for Arabic speakers. CEO since 2017 (but at Neighborhood Healthcare since 2002 as a physician): Dr. Rakesh Patel.   

 

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Wondering What to Wear to The Chase on M …

Wondering what to wear to The Chase?

Susan Stein has some ideas...

Being one of the most glamorous soirées on the desert’s social calendar, DAP Health’s annual gala The Chase (presented this year by Eisenhower Health) attracts all manner of fashionistas flaunting their fabulous baubles and threads in the pursuit of eclipsing other guests’ voguish get-ups. 

I mean, would any clotheshorse worth their weight in leather and lamé be caught dead engaging in the utmost of scintillating repartee at Amazon’s Amazing Cocktail Party in anything but their very best creative formal garb and trappings? 

But what is creative formal, exactly? To suss out the answer — not to mention a few chichi tailored tips — we turned to Palm Springs Life Fashion Director and Scene Editor Susan Stein, a doyenne of haute couture and outré sartorial style who works not only in publishing, but with businesses, charities, designers, marketing teams, and private clients all around the world. Here’s what Stein had to say:   

Warning: This is based on reality-fiction. I’ve taken many “liberties,” and hope this is all taken with both a grain of salt and a plentiful sense of humor. 

When opening another invitation and seeing a “black tie” dress code, I immediately run to my closet, where I’ve crammed in a few (10) long gowns that have been collecting dust for years. Well, maybe four or five years. What could be easier…or more boring? Luckily, I’ve been able to attend The Chase many times since I moved to the desert 20 years ago, and I’m always thrilled by the chance to have some fun and play with fashion. Do I really have 10 gowns? I’ll never tell.  

So — about creative formal. I suggest an eclectic collection of fun pieces that can work together to create an interesting ensemble and can be most appropriate for one of the grandest events of the desert. My mind is churning. “Does this go with this? What will I do for shoes? Jewelry? How hot will it be outside? How windy?” So much indecision. So many challenges. You’re tempted to go right back to that closet with those long gowns and find one that still fits and has the proper accessories close at hand. But let’s not be boring. Time to challenge our sense of style. 

In order to make this as simple as possible, here’s a list of many options, all of which could lead to a fun solution that doesn’t smack of serious black-tie dressing yet fits the bill. After all, veritable royalty will not be in attendance. But there is fashion icon Donna Karan to consider. She’ll love your creativity! 

 

Long skirts are IN (as in, LONG … to the ankles!) 

Take a look at what you have in your eclectic wardrobe. There’s probably a collection of long skirts — leather, prints, taffetas, plaids, and luckily (one of this year’s biggest trends), a rather interesting long denim skirt (hmmm… could it use some feather trim at the hem?)  Pleats are the rage. There’s nothing more elegant than a sweeping entrance in a long knife-pleated skirt. 

Remember to mix high and low 

It’s so much fun to match that great, big ballgown skirt with a black turtleneck or a sleeveless tee that you found at Revivals. 

Sequins work with anything 

A sequin jacket in any color or silhouette makes almost everything black tie-appropriate. I mean, not sweats, but what about a catsuit with great, black, short boots … or one of those long skirts? 

This is the year for feathers 

Not flying bird feathers, but those fluffy ones that move with the breeze (ostrich is a bird, I know!) Use them as an accessory and attach to handbags, top of shoes, neckline and cuffs, or just as a short jacket over something basic. 

Fishnets are the trendy catch of the season 

Fishnet hosiery is really easy to find and very flattering. However, this is also the year of the fishnet tank or dress. Just remember to wear the proper undergarments. That slip dress from years ago goes perfectly under a long fishnet dress. Time to adopt that beautiful bra or midriff-baring undergarment. But take a good look in the mirror before you leave the house. 

Tuxedos 

Split them up or wear pants and jacket together. A satin stripe down the side of a pantleg will make any top look great — maybe even that sequin jacket. A tux top with a pair of sequin or flowy satin full trousers? Think Katherine Hepburn at a black-tie gala. 

Above all… 

Be sure to feel comfortable, handsome or pretty, and to enjoy the wonderful evening al fresco! 

Borrego Health Press Release

Borrego Health Board of Trustees Selects DAP Health as Winning Bidder  

Decision Focused on Protecting Local Access to Culturally Competent Care 

 

BORREGO SPRINGS, Calif. (Feb. 15, 2023) – The Borrego Health Board of Trustees selected DAP Health to acquire the Borrego Health system based on a process conducted through Borrego Health’s Bankruptcy Court proceedings.  

Upon approval by the Bankruptcy Court and Health Resources & Services Administration, DAP Health would assume control of all Borrego Health clinics. With operational and administrative support from Innercare and Neighborhood Healthcare, DAP Health would operate Borrego Health with an eye towards optimization and stabilization, ensuring community access to integrated health services well into the future.  

“Borrego Health delivers high-quality, essential care, and we began this process because the communities we serve need that care to continue,” said Rose MacIsaac, Chief Executive Officer of Borrego Health. “I am confident in DAP Health’s commitment to ensure our patients continue receiving culturally competent care from clinicians and support staff with local experience. I am looking forward to now collaborating with this alliance of well-respected providers to shape a smooth transition that does not interrupt patient care or team members’ careers.” 

Borrego Health clinics remain open, and patients do not need to reschedule appointments as a result of this announcement.   

The decision is a culminating step in a careful, deliberate process that began in November 2022 to sell Borrego Health’s operations to a like-minded federally qualified health center (FQHC). Borrego Health’s goal throughout the process has been to secure continued access to a health home and safety net for the patients and communities it serves. 

“DAP Health is encouraged by today’s news that our bid is being advanced by Borrego Health to a court hearing to consider approval of the sale,” said David Brinkman, Chief Executive Officer of DAP Health. “We entered this process with one goal – to ensure that people who receive care today will find the doors to that care open tomorrow. It is with great humility, and with Borrego Health’s patients in mind, that we await a final decision.” 

“This alliance empowers us to expand our quality, compassionate, whole-person care to more people, regardless of their circumstance,” said Rakesh Patel, MD, Chief Executive Officer of Neighborhood Healthcare. “We're excited to be working with DAP Health and Innercare to make this a reality!” 

“With a history of and expertise in caring for rural populations, Innercare is highly motivated to protect access for the thousands of patients who rely on Borrego Health,” said Yvonne Bell, Chief Executive Officer of Innercare. “It is with this goal in mind that we hope for a positive final decision that will allow us to bring Innercare's strengths to the alliance.”  

 

The Board’s selection will now be taken to the Bankruptcy Court and Health Resources & Services Administration for the necessary approvals, with the final sale hearing in Bankruptcy Court now scheduled for Wednesday, March 1 at 10 a.m.  

 

For additional information please visit www.borregohealth.org   

About Borrego Health 

Borrego Health provides high-quality, comprehensive, compassionate primary health care to the people in our communities, regardless of their ability to pay. We serve these communities and adjoining regions with respect, dignity and cultural sensitivity as a medical home and safety net for essential health care and social services. Borrego Health is a non-profit 501(c)(3) Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) and a Federal Tort Claims Act Deemed (FTCA) facility. 

 

About the Alliance   

Founded in 1984 as Desert AIDS Project, DAP Health was the first community-based clinic dedicated to serving low-income patients with HIV/AIDS. In 2012, it was designated as an FQHC Look-Alike, in 2015 became a 330 grantee, and today serves the general community with a full complement of integrated and lifecycle-appropriate care. DAP Health’s service area boundaries are located within the Coachella Valley, a unique desert community located in Eastern Riverside County in the Inland Empire of Southern California. The Coachella Valley comprises nine major cities as well as several unincorporated areas. The valley encompasses approximately 675 square miles, and its service area includes 310 square miles. CEO since 2006: David Brinkman.   

 

Established in 1970, Innercare (formerly known as Clínicas de Salud del Pueblo, Inc.) is a private nonprofit FQHC operating 10 health care centers; five dental clinics; and three Women, Infant, and Children Programs in Imperial and Riverside counties. Its service area encompasses 30 rural and urban zip codes boasting a total population of over 680,000. This area includes communities along the U.S.-Mexico and Arizona borders. It also serves communities ranging in size from Niland (pop. 1,610) to Hemet (pop. 127,443). There is significant overlap in some of the areas currently served by Borrego Health, with approximately 21% of Borrego Health’s patients currently seeking secondary care at Innercare sites. CEO since 2003: Yvonne Bell.   

 

Founded in 1969, Neighborhood Healthcare operates 24 health centers in San Diego and Riverside counties, serving upwards of 87,000 unique patients each year, 97% of whom are at or below 200% of FPL. Some 61% identify as Hispanic and 41% are best served in a language other than English. With deep cultural understanding, Neighborhood Healthcare excels at providing health care for all stages of life, including pediatric and adult primary care, prenatal care, family planning, HIV testing, women’s health, dental services, and basic pharmacy and lab services. Due to a large and growing Middle Eastern refugee/immigrant population in East San Diego County, Neighborhood Healthcare has developed a strong culturally and linguistically responsive program to care for Arabic speakers. CEO since 2017 (but at Neighborhood Healthcare since 2002 as a physician): Dr. Rakesh Patel.   

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE        

     

MEDIA CONTACT:

Dan Kramer

publicrelations@borregohealth.org

(949) 415-8721

 

 

 

 

 

 

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DAP Health Makes Bid to Protect Health C …

DAP Health Makes Bid to Protect Health Care Access for 120,000 People

In line with its mission — and in tandem with longtime community allies Innercare and Neighborhood Healthcare — the Palm Springs nonprofit leads a life-saving alliance to acquire Borrego Health. 

 

PALM SPRINGS, February 5, 2023 – Palm Springs-based Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) DAP Health made a bid to acquire Borrego Health, which on September 12, 2022, filed for bankruptcy and solicited potential acquisitors to assimilate its clinics and assets. The proposed investment would be based on total enterprise value, assuming a debt-free, cash-free transaction.    

At its height, Borrego Health served 275,000 patients annually across its various sites throughout San Diego and Riverside counties. Today, the system continues to cater to an estimated 120,000 individuals a year. Through their shared commitment to care for all members of their communities, DAP Health, Innercare, and Neighborhood Healthcare formed an alliance and are joining forces to continue operating Borrego Health — with DAP Health acting as the acquirer in order to protect patient access to integrated outpatient services.   

“Our approach ensures patients who currently rely on Borrego Health for high-quality, culturally competent care would not experience an interruption in their service,” says DAP Health CEO David Brinkman. “With distinct service lines and expertise, all three alliance members are uniquely positioned to care for Borrego Health’s patients. Building upon longstanding relationships, and through strong leadership collaboration, our alliance has the experience, operational expertise, depth of management, and strategic foresight to be successful in this endeavor.”    

The winning bidder will be notified this week. In hopes that the Borrego Health board of directors selects its bid proposal, the alliance has developed a comprehensive three-year operational plan that would allow for stabilization, optimization, and ultimately, growth of the current Borrego Health system.    

The initial steps would focus on the stabilization of the clinics, with a substantial investment of managerial time and material investment in the system. Employees at DAP Health, Innercare, and Neighborhood Healthcare would not see a change in their employment terms, benefits, or compensation resulting from this process. Rather, the alliance intends to make significant investments to retain the current staff of Borrego Health and to reinforce Borrego Health teams by addressing staffing shortages while bringing the current system up to a higher standard of staffing ratios and workflows.   

“Speaking for the remaining few founders and myself, it’s very rewarding to observe how this current outreach resonates with the agency’s nearly 40-year heritage,” says inaugural Desert AIDS Project Executive Director George Sonsel. “Through the decades, DAP Health has consistently demonstrated its perpetual readiness to share its expertise and professional guidance in support of the community’s needs.”   

About the Alliance  

Founded in 1984 as Desert AIDS Project, DAP Health was the first community-based clinic dedicated to serving low-income patients with HIV/AIDS. In 2012, it was designated as an FQHC Look-Alike, in 2015 became a 330 grantee, and today serves the general community with a full complement of integrated and lifecycle-appropriate care. DAP Health’s service area boundaries are located within the Coachella Valley, a unique desert community located in Eastern Riverside County in the Inland Empire of Southern California. The Coachella Valley comprises nine major cities as well as several unincorporated areas. The valley encompasses approximately 675 square miles, and its service area includes 310 square miles. CEO since 2006: David Brinkman.   

Established in 1970, Innercare (formerly known as Clínicas de Salud del Pueblo, Inc.) is a private nonprofit FQHC operating 10 health care centers; five dental clinics; and three Women, Infant, and Children Programs in Imperial and Riverside counties. Its service area encompasses 30 rural and urban zip codes boasting a total population of over 680,000. This area includes communities along the U.S.-Mexico and Arizona borders. It also serves communities ranging in size from Niland (pop. 1,610) to Hemet (pop. 127,443). There is significant overlap in some of the areas currently served by Borrego Health, with approximately 21% of Borrego Health’s patients currently seeking secondary care at Innercare sites. CEO since 2003: Yvonne Bell.   

Founded in 1969, Neighborhood Healthcare operates 24 health centers in San Diego and Riverside counties, serving upwards of 87,000 unique patients each year, 97% of whom are at or below 200% of FPL. Some 61% identify as Hispanic and 41% are best served in a language other than English. With deep cultural understanding, Neighborhood Healthcare excels at providing health care for all stages of life, including pediatric and adult primary care, prenatal care, family planning, HIV testing, women’s health, dental services, and basic pharmacy and lab services. Due to a large and growing Middle Eastern refugee/immigrant population in East San Diego County, Neighborhood Healthcare has developed a strong culturally and linguistically responsive program to care for Arabic speakers. CEO since 2017 (but at Neighborhood Healthcare since 2002 as a physician): Dr. Rakesh Patel.   

Important Opportunities Presented by This Alliance  

  • DAP Health would be the acquirer of the Borrego Health system with Innercare and Neighborhood providing clinical, administrative and leadership services to the alliance.  Together, the managing organizations would bring deep experience with the patient population and strong relationships with key partners such as health plans, social services agencies, and elected officials.   
  • Many employees within the expanded network may wish to transfer to a site closer to their home, offering a retention incentive for current Borrego Health and partner clinic employees alike.   
  • Each organization has unique areas of expertise it brings to the alliance. This strong partnership allows for operational and clinical cooperation for the best possible outcomes for each unique site. Innercare has deep expertise in caring for migrant and farmworker populations as well as an established presence in many of the communities served by Borrego Health. Neighborhood Healthcare offers strength in primary and family health, with strong ties in the greater San Diego area. DAP Health’s outstanding care for LGBTQ+ patients, and HIV/AIDS patients, as well as its best-practice approach to culturally responsive and relevant services, rounds out this outstanding team of partners.    
  • With strong executive leadership, oversight, and compliance, all three of the partners in this proposal can lend executive support to various sites during the transition period as the system rehires and augments operations.   
  • Neighborhood Healthcare has already successfully transferred several former Borrego Health sites to its management. This direct experience would further inform and strengthen the alliance’s approach to assuming operations for the remaining Borrego Health sites.   

DAP Health’s priority in acquiring Borrego Health is to ensure that all existing sites remain open; that services are stabilized, optimized, and expanded; and that every aspect of operations is culturally and regionally appropriate to its respective communities. Given the wide footprint of the Borrego Health system, DAP Health is honored to partner with longtime ally organizations Innercare and Neighborhood Healthcare to realize the goal of providing highly effective, compliant, and culturally tailored care throughout the region.    

“For almost 40 years, DAP Health has been dedicated not only to keeping its doors open but to extending them even wider so that an ever-expanding number of community members in need can be cared for,” concludes Brinkman. “The alliance we’ve formed with Innercare and Neighborhood Healthcare — two local organizations with similarly very deep roots in the communities Borrego Health has served — ensures that nearly 120,000 patients would not see health centers they’ve grown to depend on be shuttered by an acquisitor less familiar with and committed to our neighbors in need.”   

 

Media Contact:  

Steven Henke, DAP Health Director of Brand Marketing  

Shenke@daphealth.org  

 

 

4 Coachella Valley leaders call for incr …

4 Coachella Valley leaders call for increase in monkeypox vaccines to protect LGBTQ+ and other vulnerable residents

Palm Springs, CA – Coachella Valley health and community leaders are raising awareness at the state level about an inadequate allocation of monkeypox vaccines being distributed to serve one of the region's most vulnerable populations: the LGBTQ+ community.

DAP Health and the Desert Healthcare District and Foundation recently joined forces to create a full-page advertisement in the Sacramento Bee that is designed to get state legislators' attention. Both the City of Palm Springs and Desert Care Network are featured in the ad as community partners supporting the effort.

Scheduled for publication Sunday, August 14, the ad urgently calls for an immediate increase of vaccines for LGBTQ+ residents to prevent further spread of the virus. As of Wednesday, August 10, Riverside County Public Health had identified about 70 cases of monkeypox that were either confirmed or under investigation in the Coachella Valley -- twice as many as the prior week.

While anyone can contract monkeypox, early infections since the outbreak in May primarily have been among men who have sex with men. Gay and lesbian Californians account for 91.1 percent of monkeypox cases in the state, while residents who identify as bisexual are 5.9 percent, according to the California Department of Public Health. In Palm Springs, where LGBTQ+ residents comprise 40 percent to 60 percent of the population, a large part of the community remains at-risk.

The ad also informs newspaper readers that the Palm Springs area is a popular destination for thousands of LGBTQ+ visitors each year. More than 30 LGBTQ+ events have been planned for this summer.

“As the state calibrates its response to the monkeypox outbreak, I urge them to give due consideration to the unique risk factors that will predispose regions, such as the Coachella Valley, to higher levels of exposure and infection from monkeypox,” said David Brinkman, DAP Health CEO. “At present, the state has focused its response on a region’s confirmed monkeypox cases as well as the number of early syphilis cases among men. These metrics are lagging indicators. They don’t capture where the exposure is occurring.  Because the data is captured at an individual’s local clinic, these metrics simply capture where an individual resides. This does nothing to prevent exposure or infection from occurring in the first place. Focusing on regions with high-risk factors is necessary to end this outbreak.”

The Biden Administration has declared monkeypox as a national public health emergency, and Gov. Gavin Newsom recently recognized it as a state emergency. However, because the current vaccine distribution model prioritizes large cities, and the national vaccine supply is limited, Coachella Valley communities are receiving far fewer doses than needed. For example, DAP Health, a leader in the local monkeypox response, has administered 648 vaccine doses to date. It expects delivery of another 292 doses this week. The Desert Healthcare District and Foundation has not received any vaccine doses.

“As a healthcare district, one of the most important things we did early on during our COVID-19 response was to remove every barrier that prevents equitable access to prevention and care,” said Conrado Bárzaga, Desert Healthcare District and Foundation CEO. “That’s what we’re called to do without judgment or stigma. The lack of awareness by the state about our community and how it's vulnerable to the monkeypox virus is a tremendous barrier. We have to change it.”

Media requests can be sent to Will Dean with the Desert Healthcare District and Foundation, wdean@dhcd.org, and Steven Henke with DAP Health at SHenke@daphealth.org.

About the Desert Healthcare District and Foundation

The Desert Healthcare District is a local government agency formed in 1948. Its mission is to achieve optimal health at all stages of life for all District residents. The District includes more than 400,000 residents and encompasses the entire Coachella Valley. The District and Desert Healthcare Foundation, together, are one of the largest funders in the valley. These funds are used to assist residents — especially the underserved — in accessing vitally needed resources, such as primary and behavioral healthcare. Learn more at dhcd.org.

Learn more about DAP Health.

Walk Out Loud at Desert AIDS Walk 2022

THOUSANDS TO “WALK, OUT LOUD” FOR LGBTQ+ HEALTH EQUITY AT DAP HEALTH’S 2022 DESERT AIDS WALK 

What better way to remember those lost to HIV/AIDS than to unite as a community, raise our collective voice, and keep advocating for health equality, just as our brothers and sisters did at the start of the epidemic four decades ago  

PALM SPRINGS, California – Two thousand community members — from babies in strollers to seniors — are expected to participate in DAP Health’s annual Desert AIDS Walk, which will kick off at Ruth Hardy Park on Saturday, October 29, tracing a route through downtown Palm Springs. The theme of this year’s event, whose presenting sponsor is Desert Care Network, is “Walk, Out Loud,” which places its focus squarely on advocacy and on uniting the entire community in the fight for LGBTQ+ health equity. 

“Unfortunately, history is repeating itself,” says David Brinkman, CEO of DAP Health, an advocacy-based health care organization that provides service to more than 10,000 individuals annually throughout the Coachella Valley. “With queer rights falling under attack across our nation, and our government’s dispiriting lack of urgency in responding to the growing Monkeypox (Mpox) crisis, 2022 looks, sounds, and feels just like the early ’80s, when HIV/AIDS was decimating our community and politicians turned their backs, refusing to act. As we learned then, silence equals death, and when our leaders abandon us, it is up to members of our community to join forces and advocate on our own behalf. Only by coming out in unprecedented numbers and raising our collective voice this year can we show local, state, and federal officials that their apathy concerning LGBTQ people is absolutely unacceptable.”  

The Desert AIDS Walk registration will begin Saturday morning at 7:30 a.m. for a 9:00 a.m. departure. The Health & Wellness Village sponsored by Walgreens will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Entertainers on the main stage will include The Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus. 

The money raised thanks to the perennially popular pet- and family-friendly affair will go directly to fund DAP Health’s advocacy and health care efforts, with 2022 proceeds also benefitting a handful of community partners, including The LGBTQ Community Center of the Desert, Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest, Brothers of the Desert, The L Fund and Queer Works.  

An Enviable Track Record 

Ever since its inception in 1984, DAP Health has centered its work on advocating on behalf of populations whose voices are often unheard — people with HIV/AIDS, people of color, those living in poverty, unhoused individuals, and people with disabilities, and people struggling with substance use. Through it all, the organization has never wavered in its determination to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and today continues to: 

  • Offer free onsite and mobile HIV and STI testing, including mailing at-home HIV tests to those unable to access its main Palm Springs campus. 
  • Link people newly diagnosed with HIV to care — and help them remain in care — so that they can be undetectable, therefore unable to transfer the virus to others (U=U). 
  • Provide pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). 

As always, DAP Health’s day-to-day approach to health care is a holistic one. Its umbrella of culturally competent services encompasses: 

  • HIV/AIDS outreach, testing, and care 
  • STI outreach, testing, and care 
  • Primary care 
  • Mental health care 
  • Dental care 
  • Addiction treatment 
  • Medical case management 
  • Client wellness services 
  • Housing assistance 
  • Medical transport 
  • Food/grocery vouchers 
  • Social services 
  • Mobile and telehealth services 
  • Health insurance and Medi-Cal assistance  

The recent opening of a DAP Health clinic in Indio is proof of the non-profit’s ongoing desire to expand its reach into the East Valley.  

As always, no patient is ever turned away due to an inability to pay. 

Community Impact 

The positive effect of DAP Health’s continuous endeavors to improve the overall health of everyone living in the Coachella Valley has indisputably been considerable, and its recent Vision Forward: Building for a Healthier Tomorrow campaign has served as a roadmap toward ensuring health equity for every one of our desert neighbors. 

In 2021 alone: 

  • 8,298 patients were seen at DAP Health. 
  • 8,182 HIV tests were conducted, with 53 individuals being linked to HIV care following their positive diagnosis and 58 patients consulting for PEP. 
  • 4,698 patients accessed the organization’s mental health services. 
  • 4,100 patients accessed its dental health services. 
  • 2,431 substance use visits were completed. 
  • 2,924 Hep C tests were completed. 
  • 901 Hep B tests were completed. 
  • 1,558 STI appointments were scheduled, with 947 patients being treated for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. 
  • 1,029 patients received PrEP, including 359 new PrEP starts. 
  • 1,188 individuals attended its community health presentations. 

You can download a PDF of DAP Health’s 2021 community impact report.  

COVID-19 

The invaluable experience and expertise DAP Health has gained through its service to all residents of the Coachella Valley over the last four decades enabled it to be among the first to provide a life-saving local response to the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 and beyond. 

Monkeypox 

Similarly, DAP Health leads all other local health care organizations in its aggressive, targeted strategy to combat the widening Mpox outbreak — an effective effort that stands proudly alongside that of other cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York. The non-profit is not only continually advocating for increased assistance from local, state, and federal governments, but has secured a considerable number of Jynneos vaccine doses, which are immediately being used to inoculate community members most at risk.  

DAP Health’s Desert AIDS Walk Community Partners 

Below are statements of support from some of DAP Health’s community partners.  

“The LGBTQ Community Center of the Desert is proud to partner with DAP Health and Desert AIDS Walk 2022 to advance LGBTQ+ health equity in the Coachella Valley,” says Executive Director and CEO Rob Wheeler. “The Desert AIDS Walk brings our diverse community together in a powerful statement of solidarity, action, and resolve. The Walk reminds us that the LGBTQ+ community continues to be disproportionately affected by HIV and that all LGBTQ+ people deserve dignity, equity in health care access, and to live long, healthy lives.”  

“At Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest, we believe all people should have access to the health care they need to make the best decisions for their health, life, and future,” says Vice President of External Affairs Vernita Gutierrez. “LGBTQ+ people deserve to live full and authentic lives free from discrimination, judgment, and stigma. As health care providers, educators, and advocates, Planned Parenthood is committed to serving all people with care and respect. We are proud to work in collaboration with partner organizations and community members in the Coachella Valley to work together toward health equity for all.” 

“As Brothers of the Desert supports this year’s AIDS Walk, we are encouraged by its focus on health equity for traditionally underserved and overlooked people. Let us be mindful on Saturday, October 29, 2022, that every great march for progress, from African American rights to LGBTQ equality, started with like-minded individuals joining forces and taking that first step to lift communities in need.”

Desert AIDS Walk 2022 Sponsors  

Presenting Sponsor: Desert Care Network 

Health and Wellness Village Sponsor: Walgreens  

Major Sponsors: Gilead, NBC Palm Springs, Revivals Stores, The Desert Sun 

Event Sponsors: Hot Purple Energy, Koffi, Palm Springs Disposal, Sysco 

Media Sponsors: Alpha Media, Coachella Valley Independent, GED Magazine, KGay, Promo Homo TV,  Standard Magazine, The Hollywood Times Today

For Participants 

Individuals interested in participating in the 2022 Desert AIDS Walk: Walk, Out Loud may register at desertaidswalk.org.  

For Sponsors  

Businesses interested in sponsorship opportunities related to the Walk or to the Health & Wellness Village may learn more by contacting DAP Health’s Director of Development James Lindquist at jlindquist@daphealth.org or 760.656.8413. 

About DAP Health 

DAP Health isanadvocacy-basedhealthcenter in Palm Springs, CA servingover 10,000 patients, offering medical and mental health care, free STI testing and treatment, dentistry, pharmacy, and lab services. A variety of wraparound services enable patients to experience optimal health, including social services, support groups, alternative therapies, and other wellness services. Excellent HIV care is provided by the largest team of specialized clinicians in the area.  Click here to read more about our commitment to health equity.      

DAP Health opened one of California’s first COVID clinics and hotlinesto offer screening, testing, and treatment. DAP Health is also working to address social determinants of health that are causing negative health outcomes during this pandemic, like food and housing insecurity, joblessness, isolation, and access to ongoing health care. 

DAP Health’s sexual health clinics offer free STI testing and treatment, free Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) services, and free HIV and HCV testing. DAP Health has earned Charity Navigator’s highest ratingfor the twelfth consecutive year – landing DAP Health in the top 6% of nonprofits rated. The distinction recognizes that DAP Healthexceeds industry standards in terms of financial health, accountability, and transparency.      

Visitwww.daphealth.orgto learn more.      

NEWS RELEASE 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  

Contact: Steven Henke 

shenke@daphealth.org 

612 310 3047 

 

Monkeypox is an Emergency

A State of Emergency with a Solution: Prioritize LGBTQ+ Health Equity Today  

We went from 1 monkeypox case in May to 5,000+ preventable cases today. I am devastated by how many people are in horrific pain. Pain and suffering could have been avoided had the U.S. followed its own predictions and prepared to respond.

Since the 2003 U.S. monkeypox outbreak, experts predicted another. And as HIV and COVID taught us, an outbreak would dominate in marginalized populations who face barriers to health equity.   

We are now in a state of emergency as declared by WHO (World Health Organization) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.    

The emergency is the rapid spread, but that is not where the emergency ends:   

The emergency is that prior to this outbreak, the US had an effective monkeypox test, effective medications, and an effective vaccine, yet our highest-risk populations still do not have access to it.   

The emergency is that many people, presently infected with monkeypox, are experiencing severe pain; pain so significant that eating and eliminating waste requires pain medication and in some cases, hospitalization.  

The emergency is that even prior to this outbreak, organized political discrimination against LGBTQ+ populations has been steadily increasing.   

DAP Health was founded because many in power failed our community. While AIDS attacked us from one side, apathy, and hatred towards the LGBTQ+ community slowed the response, leaving us alone with a virus that robbed us of loved ones.   

It took until July 23 for the WHO to declare monkeypox a global health emergency - stating it was partly because the disease had not moved out of the primary risk group, men who have sex with men. Sadly, it should come as no surprise the US response remains slow and inadequate for LGBTQ+ community members worried about contracting monkeypox and to the thousands of people who have already been diagnosed.   

The only reason the monkeypox virus has not been contained is that the U.S. has yet to treat this threat to the health of gay, bisexual, and transgender people as the health emergency it is. New York and San Fransisco, both early in the response to HIV and COVID, have declared a state of emergency. Like DAP Health, they have been here before and they know that now is the time for a coordinated and swift response.   

DAP Health, with a patient population of 10,000, has only received 497 doses of vaccine and has yet to receive the TPOXX medication for treatment. Our nation’s LGBTQ+ community health centers, with a history of treating the community’s physical and mental health; with expertise in addressing stigma and discrimination, are most likely to reach those at risk for monkeypox, and yet, we are being overlooked and under-resourced.    

There is a solution to this health emergency:  

LGBTQ+ organizations should be the priority for vaccine supply and medications for treatment; because our approach strengthens the LGBTQ+ community. To end monkeypox, we must confront the discrimination in the US that has enabled this preventable crisis.   

LGBTQ+ health equity goes beyond a “shot in the arm.”  Our approach addresses the health disparities faced by LGBTQ+ communities by incorporating free HIV and STI testing and treatment, free PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis), and PEP (Post-Exposure Prophylaxis) services, and access to affordable primary care, mental health, and substance use recovery.   

Every one of us needs to do our part. Let our elected officials know there is NO EXCUSE for another week of cases doubling while people suffer in excruciating pain. Let our elected officials know we are in a state of emergency and that the time has come to prioritize LGBTQ+ health equity. 

Here is an update about how we are prioritizing the distribution of the doses received and how we continue to respond to the current health emergency.  

DAP Health administered all 160 doses provided in our first allotment from the Riverside Department of Public Health.  

On Friday, DAP Health received 337 additional doses. High-risk DAP Health patients and community members who fit the current priority guidelines received an invitation to schedule an appointment for the JYNNEOS vaccine.   

DAP Health’s monkeypox hotline launched on August 1, and we are adding invitation-only Saturday vaccine clinics beginning August 6.  

DAP Health MPX Hotline: 760-656-8432 or MPOX@daphealth.org   

To stay up to date on the latest developments regarding Monkeypox please visit our landing page: daphealth.org/monkeypox