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DAP Health Unveils Details of Its 2024 S …

DAP HEALTH UNVEILS DETAILS OF ITS 2024 STEVE CHASE HUMANITARIAN AWARDS

Legendary entertainer Barry Manilow donates his performance. Nine local honorees jointly receive the Community Legacy Award. Desert Care Network is presenting sponsor.

 

Humanitarians of all stripes are in for an electrifying evening indoors at the Palm Springs Convention Center on Saturday, March 30 as DAP Health celebrates its 40th anniversary at its biggest fundraiser of the year, the 30th Annual Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards (AKA The Chase), presented by Desert Care Network.

Internationally heralded solid gold hitmaker Barry Manilow — the Grammy-, Emmy-, and Tony-winning longtime Palm Springs resident who celebrates his seventh decade in show business in 2024 — will donate his performance to the internationally heralded DAP Health in honor of the organization’s four decades of lifesaving work.

This year’s Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards not only pay tribute to DAP Health’s long legacy of protecting and expanding health care access for the most vulnerable among us but recognize nine honorees who represent every community member who has helped fulfill DAP Health’s mission since it was founded as Desert AIDS Project by Palm Springs volunteers in 1984.

The joint recipients of the 2024 Community Legacy Award are:

  • Mark Adams
  • Frank Figueroa
  • Keisha Halverson (AKA Keisha D.)
  • Patrick Jordan
  • Terri Ketover
  • Michael Kiner
  • Andy Linsky
  • Tori St. Johns
  • Susan Unger

Gala Chair Kevin Bass promises that this year’s Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards will be bigger and better than ever — a memorable, inspiring evening that will boldly underline DAP Health’s remarkable past, present, and future as it takes its unique place on the Southern California health care landscape.

Also of note will be the live auction, with longtime DAP Health supporters El Paseo Jewelers and Hot Purple Energy both donating packages worth $40,000 in honor of DAP Health’s 40 years of service.

Tickets can be purchased at daphealth.org/thechase

ABOUT

DAP Health’s goal is to protect and expand health care access for all people regardless of who or where they are, their health status, or whether they have health insurance. In 2023, the nonprofit (founded by community volunteers in 1984 as Desert AIDS Project) made a successful bid to absorb the Borrego Health system, enabling 1,000 health care professionals to serve a total of more than 100,000 patients of all populations, genders, and ages — from newborns to seniors — at a total of 25 Southern California clinics located within 240 rural and urban zip codes from the Coachella Valley to the San Diego coast.

Barry Manilow is a world-renowned, award-winning singer-songwriter who has captivated audiences with his timeless music for the last seven decades. Beyond his considerable show business achievements, the Grammy-, Emmy-, and Tony-winning Manilow is actively involved in philanthropy, having supported various charitable causes throughout his career. Time and time again, he has stepped up as a major benefactor on behalf of DAP Health. His charitable endeavors are proof positive of a commitment to making a profound impact beyond the stage, further solidifying his legacy as both a musical icon and a compassionate humanitarian.

Mark Adams has been a central figure at The Chase, having chaired the event in 2001 and 2002. His commitment to DAP Health extends beyond the gala, as evidenced by his generous donation toward the acquisition of the Barbara Keller LOVE Building on the organization’s Sunrise campus in Palm Springs. Adams is deeply involved in cultural boards, including that of the Palm Springs Art Museum and the Palm Springs International Film Society. His involvement with DAP Health dates to the mid-1990s, showcasing a longstanding commitment to community well-being.

Dr. Frank Figueroa, the first openly gay elected official in the city of Coachella, has emerged as a trailblazer and advocate for inclusivity, making a profound impact in the eastern Coachella Valley. Previously having served on the Borrego Health board of trustees, Dr. Figueroa is a current DAP Health board member with a decade of experience in higher education administration. His history of prioritizing equal access to educational opportunities embodies values of integrity and compassion as he strives for positive change and serves as a beacon of hope in building an inclusive community.

Keisha Halverson (AKA Keisha D.) — a multifaceted figure in the Coachella Valley — has not only captivated audiences with her soulful voice but has also become an example of strength and resilience. In the face of personal challenges, including a health journey with lupus, she has continued her philanthropic efforts, creating the Keisha D. Music Scholarship to support high school seniors pursuing their passion. Her unwavering commitment to education and community well-being reflects her enduring impact as a singer, philanthropist, and beacon of strength.

Patrick Jordan is a dedicated AIDS activist, having contributed significantly to organizations such as the Elton John AIDS Foundation, Gay Men’s Health Crisis, AIDS Project Los Angeles, Treatment Action Group, and notably, Desert AIDS Project/DAP Health. With a decade-long service on the DAP Health board of directors, including four years as chair, Jordan is a tireless advocate for health causes.

Terri Ketover, the founder of the “Do the Right Thing” program, which spans 65 cities globally, has been recognized by the White House. Her philanthropic journey includes nine years on the DAP Health board of directors, chairing the organization’s 100 Women major donor program, receiving the 2014 Steve Chase Humanitarian Award, and earning the 2023 JFK "Person of Valor" Award. Her unwavering commitment to giving back extends to roles with Palm Springs Art Museum, the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center, Boys & Girls Club, and more.

Michael Kiner is a prominent figure in the Coachella Valley, showcasing not only his award-winning expertise in commercial and residential architecture but his compassion for giving back by contributing his leadership to organizations such as The Living Desert, Desert Cancer Foundation, and DAP Health, where he served as a board member in the ’80s.  He chaired the inaugural Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards in 1994 and the inaugural Desert AIDS Walk, further solidifying his commitment to community involvement.

Andy Linsky’s commitment to community service in Palm Springs spans over three decades, beginning in 1989 when he volunteered at DAP's front desk before joining its board of directors in 1990. Leading the board for five years, Linsky played a pivotal role in significant achievements, including the purchase of the building at 1695 North Sunrise Way, and the development of affordable housing complex Vista Sunrise I. His visionary leadership also led to the creation of the Partners For Life major donor program.

Tori St. Johns, a licensed therapist with 32 years at the Desert Sands Unified School District, is a dedicated advocate for the community, with a particular focus on LGBTQ+ students. Her service extends beyond education, with longstanding contributions to DAP Health and various boards, emphasizing her commitment to community health and well-being. She volunteered her services to HIV/AIDS patients at the height of the epidemic, demonstrating her history of dedication to providing vital support to those she serves.

Susan Unger, a key figure in DAP Health's success, served on its board of directors from 2003 to 2008, contributing significantly to crucial initiatives. Notably, in 2008, she founded the groundbreaking 100 Women major donor program, engaging women in supporting DAP Health’s work. Susan’s diverse contributions include leading client focus groups, introducing the Building Connections initiative, and directing the successful Get Tested Coachella Valley public health initiative.

SPONSORS

PRESENTING SPONSOR

Desert Care Network

PRODUCING SPONSORS

Amazon

Harold Matzner

MAJOR SPONSORS

Kevin Bass and Brent Bloesser

Jim Burba and Bob Hayes

Patrick Jordan

Scot and Lance Karp

Barry Manilow and Garry Kief

Steve Tobin and the Grace Helen Spearman Charitable Foundation

STAR SPONSORS

The Hammond Family Foundation

Walgreens

SUPPORTING SPONSORS

Carolyn and Daniel Caldwell

Anthony Colantino and Craig Grantham

Bruce W. Finch and Keith Reimann

Eve E. Fromberg-Edelstein, Esq.

Gilead

Living Out

Steven Anders

The Stonewall Group/Morgan Stanley Wealth Management

Trina Turk

David Zippel and Michael Johnston

BENEFACTOR SPONSORS

Coachella Valley Health Personnel

Diageo

Perry S. McKay

PATRON SPONSORS

Inland Empire Health Plan

Low Income Investment Fund

Palm Springs Disposal Services

Personal Stories Project

Henry Schein

UPS Stores

MEDIA SPONSORS  

Alpha Media

CV Independent

Desert Charities News

Gay Desert Guide

GED Magazine

Joey English Radio

Palm Springs Life

The Desert Sun/Local IQ

The Standard Magazine

THE CHASE GALA COMMITTEE

Kevin Bass (Chair)

Michael Brennan

Ron Davis

Grant Elder

Bruce W. Finch

Lynn Hammond

Cary Lowe

Rick Moran

Kasey Scott-Brown

David Sperber

 

DAP Health Continues to Fight for LGBTQ+ …

DAP Health Continues to Fight for LGBTQ+ Health Equity

 At the 2023 Greater Palm Springs Pride Festival, the organization will celebrate its long history of championing health care access for the queer community.

As it has done since the first Greater Palm Springs Pride in 1986, DAP Health will raise its rainbow flags high in the air and proudly participate in the 37th annual iteration of the event, to be held November 2 to 5.

With the recent integration of Borrego Health, DAP Health’s team now consists of 850 dedicated health care professionals serving 100,000 diverse patients in 240 of Southern California’s rural and urban zip codes, from the Salton Sea to San Diego.

In addition to hosting its DAP Health Wellness Pavilion along Palm Canyon Drive (directly across the street from Lulu California Bistro) — from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 4 and from 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 5 — more than a hundred of the organization’s employees, patients, donors, volunteers, board members, and other supporters are expected to march shoulder to shoulder in the Sunday morning Pride Parade.

“Participating in Greater Palm Springs Pride is always a personal highlight of the fall season, not just for me, but for everyone who calls DAP Health home in one fashion or another,” says longtime CEO David Brinkman. “At DAP Health, we have always fought for the LGBTQ+ community, championing health care access for nearly four decades. Our acquisition of Borrego Health hasn’t weakened our commitment; it’s fortified our resolve.

“With our expanded size and reach, we pack a mightier punch in our quest for health care justice. Our unified voice, advocating for our communities alongside elected officials, is now louder than ever, and our team of dedicated care providers has grown threefold. We believe health care should know no boundaries. Our goal is to continue to honor the memory of those lost to HIV/AIDS by removing barriers, and by creating a more just world through equitable access.”

Employees from the nonprofit’s 25 clinics will carry signs emblazoned with the name of their home location. Others will carry placards sporting such slogans as “Mental Health is Health Care,” “LGBTQ+ Care is Health Care,” and “Drag is Love” (the catchphrase printed on DAP Health’s official 2023 Pride Parade T-shirt).

Riding in a vehicle just ahead of the group will be Donald Beck, one of the founders of Desert AIDS Project (as the nonprofit was originally known) who is this year’s recipient of Greater Palm Springs Pride’s Spirit of Stonewall Lifetime Achievement Award.

Loudly announcing DAP Health’s presence will be a large assortment of blue/robin’s egg, purple/lavender, and orange/red balloons respectively spelling out the D-A-P of the organization’s acronym and hoisted high above a banner that will read “Together for Better Health,” a nod to DAP Health recently absorbing the Borrego Health system.

Also part of the DAP Health delegation, riding in a vintage convertible in glorious full drag, will be Les Dames du Soleil Dottie & Maude (AKA Douglas Woodmansee and Marshall Pearcy). The tribute is designed to honor the longtime married couple of entertainers — who were at the forefront of early HIV/AIDS efforts, raising much-needed funds for DAP at the dawn of the epidemic, when other resources and supporters were scarce — for their vital role in DAP Health’s history of LGBTQ+ activism.

“Long before our community had the economic and political strength we now proudly possess, before the emergence of LGBTQ+ advocacy or health care organizations, drag queens were tirelessly raising funds for our cause, one dollar at a time,” says DAP Health Chief of Brand Marketing Steven Henke. “They courageously championed our rights and well-being until we found the strength to fight for ourselves. We should never forget the legacy they forged in high heels.”

As for the Wellness Pavilion, it will be staffed with employees and volunteers from DAP Health’s community health department, who will be providing full, free sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing, harm reduction services, and general outreach. Representatives will also be talking with attendees about the free pregnancy testing and birth control consultations now available at its sexual wellness clinics.

The Pavilion will also be home to a Recovery Oasis, where revelers can pick up information about DAP Health’s host of recovery services, including various meetings and its Outpatient Drug-Free (ODF ) program.

The 2023 DAP Health Equity Walk Funds Ca …

The 2023 DAP Health Equity Walk Funds Care for Those Living with HIV

 

The Desert AIDS Walk may have been renamed the Health Equity Walk this year, but the fight against HIV/AIDS will forever be at the heart of the nonprofit’s work. On National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day, DAP Health reaffirms its commitment to all those living with the virus.

Earlier this year, the internationally renowned humanitarian health care organization and federally qualified health center (FQHC) whose goal it is to protect and expand health care access for all people — especially the marginalized, regardless of who or where they are, their health status, or whether they have health insurance — made a successful bid to acquire the Borrego Health System, enabling it to now serve more than 100,000 patients of all populations, genders, and ages (from newborns to seniors) at a total of 25 Southern California clinics located within 240 rural and urban zip codes from the Salton Sea to San Diego.

To some, this expansion signals that the organization — founded as Desert AIDS Project in 1984 by a group of community volunteers determined to provide support, care, and treatment options to gay men with HIV who had been ostracized by the mainstream and abandoned by their government — is drifting from its initial mission.

In truth, HIV prevention, testing, and treatment remains as central to DAP Health’s work as it ever has been, and will forever remain so.

Indeed, it is precisely thanks to the nonprofit’s nearly 40 years of experience and proven success in the field of HIV/AIDS that it has been able to thrive and grow as it has. The agency’s hard-won expertise in providing health care to one marginalized community has permitted it to transfer its unique, patient-centered model of care to a vast array of other such groups, including women, people of color, the poor, the undocumented, those with substance use disorder, and more.

By standing on the shoulders of all those lost to HIV/AIDS, and all those living and aging well with the virus today, DAP Health’s broadened mission remains perfectly in line with that of its founders, whose singular goal was to provide for those dismissed by the mainstream. Expanding health care access is just one of the ways DAP Health honors the memory of those lost to HIV/AIDS.

“While I may consider myself to be somewhat of an open book, I realize most people don’t know I once experienced the stigma and shame of being gay, that I live today with HIV, that I once was unhoused, and that I long ago faced mental health issues,” says DAP Health Chief of Community Health C.J. Tobe. “I am a survivor who is as thankful as I am excited about the tremendous impending expansion of our community health department. I believe it is my and my team’s duty and privilege to advocate and fight daily on behalf of every member of our diverse communities — but especially for those who are LGBTQ+ and/or living with HIV — so that they may get the second, third, and fourth chances I received, which enabled me to see my bright future and to live my happiest and healthiest life.”

Just some of the ways in which DAP Health daily confirms its commitment to those living with HIV — while honoring the memory of the millions who have succumbed to the disease in the last four decades — include:

  • Providing free HIV testing and treatment (such as Rapid StART antiretroviral therapy) plus free access to preventive measures (such as PrEP and PEP) not only at its sexual wellness clinics in Palm Springs and Indio (and soon at the Stonewall Medical Center in Cathedral City) but via its mobile clinic’s presence throughout the Coachella Valley.
  • Delivering primary, mental health, and HIV care to people living with the virus.
  • Offering a host of client wellness initiatives and other social services — including affordable housing at our 81-unit, on-campus Vista Sunrise complex at DAP Health Sunrise — to clients with HIV/AIDS.
  • Serving as the co-presenting sponsor of the Positively Aging Project, the eighth annual Coachella Valley conference on HIV and aging presented as a hybrid gathering (in person at the Mizell Center and virtually via Zoom) on September 23, 2023.
  • Donating $50,000 to the AIDS Memorial Sculpture created by acclaimed artist Phillip K. Smith III, which will be prominently displayed at Palm Springs’ Downtown Park located at Belardo Road and Museum Way.

At its 2023 Health Equity Walk — which kicks off at 9:00 a.m. at Palm Springs’ Ruth Hardy Park on Saturday, October 28, 2023 — DAP Health will honor long-term HIV survivors and those lost to AIDS via:

  • A special tribute performance by the Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus.
  • The observance of a minute of silence.
  • A memorial pavilion where Health Equity Walk participants and supporters can display photos of loved ones living with, or lost to, HIV/AIDS.
  • The display, at the pavilion, of two AIDS quilts, one of which is made of 20 vintage Desert AIDS Walk T-shirts.
  • A keynote address by DAP Health CEO David Brinkman about what loss has taught us. 
  • A ribbon-cutting by DAP Health’s Community Advisory Board, made up of long-term HIV/AIDS survivors.

“The mission, vision, and purpose of DAP Health’s Community Advisory Board (CAB) is to advocate for its clients and patients while considering diversity, equity, and inclusion,” says CAB Co-Chair Michael O’Neill. “We CAB members congratulate the organization’s staff and leadership on its 2023 Health Equity Walk, which continues the commitment to existing and identified needs while expanding the lens throughout Southern California. This act of ‘paying it forward’ includes those often ignored or forgotten, giving everyone a place to be honored and embraced. We stand completely by this greater care and respect for all, marching alongside DAP Health with pride.”

For more information about DAP Health’s efforts on behalf of all those living with or affected by HIV/AIDS, please contact Chief of Brand Marketing Steven Henke at 760.656.8401 or shenke@daphealth.org.

DAP Health Announces Date For Its 2023 H …

DAP Health Announces Date For Its 2023 Health Equity Walk

 

The popular event, formerly known as the Desert AIDS Walk, kicks off at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 28

at Ruth Hardy Park in Palm Springs.

 

Consistent with DAP Health’s almost 40-year history of protecting and expanding access to health care, the organization has renamed its perennially popular Desert AIDS Walk the DAP Health Equity Walk as an affirmation of its mission to remove all barriers to care.

Presented by Desert Care Network, the event will take place throughout Palm Springs — kicking off from Ruth Hardy Park at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 28 — and will feature a Health & Wellness Village sponsored by Walgreens.

The pet- and kid-friendly affair is an opportunity for all residents across the Coachella Valley to walk out loud so that every member of the community — regardless of who or where they are — can achieve optimal health in a more just system.

“When we were founded as Desert AIDS Project almost 40 years ago, there were no HIV medications, advocacy was in its infancy, and the prognosis for those sickened by the disease was inevitably grim,” says DAP Health CEO David Brinkman. “Four decades later, our work to end HIV continues through prevention and education, but our measurable successes have enabled us to also create a unique patient-centered model of care we can replicate in other marginalized communities, removing barriers for those who need it most. Honoring our past to create health equity is part of our history and how we plan to continue making history for decades to come.”

With the recent acquisition of the Borrego Health system, a total of more than 100,000 patients of all populations, genders, and ages — from newborns to seniors — at a total of 25 Southern California clinics located within 240 rural and urban zip codes from the Salton Sea to San Diego now fall under DAP Health’s protective umbrella of care.

“Because DAP Health now works on behalf of such a large swath of individuals, it makes sense to broaden our walk’s mission to reflect the totality of our patient population,” continues Brinkman. “While compassionate, state-of-the-art HIV care and prevention is in our organization’s DNA, and will forever be at the heart of our work, the truth is that today, our lifesaving efforts are carried out on behalf of everyone in disciplines that include primary care, OB-GYN, pediatrics, gender affirmation, mental health, harm reduction, and recovery, to name but seven. The walk, one of our biggest annual fundraisers, is now representative of the incredible diversity of services we offer.”

Participants and supporters of the 2023 DAP Health Equity Walk are being asked to do the following:

Walk Out Loud to End HIV. HIV/AIDS care, testing, and prevention have always been at the heart of DAP Health’s mission, and that simple fact will never change. The organization’s clinical expertise has been hard-won from its vast experience, and is what has enabled it to expand as it has. 

Walk Out Loud For LGBTQ+ Care. Every stripe of the rainbow, including those seeking gender-affirming care, have continually found a safe haven here, free of shame and stigma.

Walk Out Loud For Women’s Health. The recent acquisition of the Borrego Health system has brought a multitude of clinics that serve women (and their children) into the DAP Health fold. The nonprofit is very proud to now boast robust OB-GYN and pediatric services, among many others.

Walk Out Loud to End Epidemics. This has forever been DAP Health’s superpower, with the organization swiftly and successfully addressing a number of community health crises. For instance, its on-campus COVID-19 clinic was the first to open in the Coachella Valley, and the agency successfully lobbied the powers that be for the community’s fair share of the much-needed mpox vaccine.

Walk Out Loud For Mental Health. Thanks to the 2022 opening of the Marc Byrd Behavioral Health Clinic — which offers in-person and telehealth individual psychotherapy, as well as medication management — this long-held DAP Health dream is now a reality.  

Walk Out Loud to Care For Everyone. Health equity means all people have the same access to health care, no matter what social determinants of health negatively impact them. At DAP Health, everyone is welcome, with no one ever turned away due to their lack of health insurance.

Of note, the Ryan White Western Regions Provider Meeting — which brings together nearly 50 peers who specialize in HIV care, and who receive the Ryan White Western Regions Provider Meeting — which brings together nearly 50 peers who specialize in HIV care, and who receive Ryan White Part C and Part D funding — will take place October 26 and 27 in Palm Springs. At the event, these like-minded colleagues, from Denver to Hawaii, will share best practices to improve the quality of care and services they provide to their patients.

healthequitywalk.org

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).

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:

Dine Out For Life to End HIV on April 27

It’s Time to Dine Out For Life on Behalf of DAP Health on April 27

Dining Out For Life® — the annual, North American gastronomic fundraising event that has collected more than 100 million dollars for community-based organizations that serve people living with or impacted by HIV since its inception in 1991 — will take place in Palm Springs and across the Coachella Valley on Thursday, April 27, 2023.

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 on behalf of DAP Health. And on each of those occasions, locals, snowbirds, and even tourists have swelled with pride and come out with a vengeance to earn much-needed monies while enjoying the generosity of participating local restaurants, bars, and bakeries that donate anywhere from 30 to 110% of their entire day and evening’s receipts — not just the profits — to the popular effort.

Thanks to the benevolent support of participating restaurants, volunteers, and community members, Greater Palm Springs has grown to become the second-most-successful market in the country. 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. In fact, the desert — with its Indio-Cathedral City-Palm Springs 2022 metro population of 487,000 — came in second only to Denver, whose current population is almost 3 million!

With more than 12,000 local bighearted gourmands expected to dine out for life at breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner this year, the 2023 goal is for Dining Out For Life Greater Palm Springs to grab the number one spot.

Eager participants are urged to visit daphealth.org/dofl, make reservations well in advance, and prepare to sate their hunger and thirst three times or more on April 27 to beat the North American record right here in our back yard. If their favorite breakfast, lunch, or dinner spot hasn’t yet made its participation public, diners should speak up and urge the powers that be to sign up ASAP.

The umbrella organization’s website states that each year, “more than 50 local HIV service organizations 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. The best part? All funds raised through a city’s Dining Out For Life event stay in that city to provide help and hope to people living with or impacted by HIV/AIDS.”

“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,” says 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.”

To register as a Dining Out For Life in-restaurant volunteer ambassador on April 27 — or to sign on as a participating establishment — please contact Avery Bell at abell@daphealth.org or 760.992.0441, or Bruce Benning at bbenning@daphealth.org or 760.320.7854.

Why DAP Health

Today, thousands of our friends and neighbors have no access to health care. Together, likeminded philanthropists of all stripes can change that by joining the nonprofit’s mission to create a healthier tomorrow by giving a voice to the often forgotten and by making sure none of us ever forgets that health care is not only human care, but a human right.

About DAP Health

Founded in 1984 by a group of community volunteers, DAP Health is an internationally renowned humanitarian health care organization and federally qualified health center (FQHC). In 2012, the nonprofit expanded its scope to care for all people.

Thanks to nearly 40 years of caring for people both directly and indirectly affected not only by the HIV/AIDS epidemic but by various other public health emergencies, DAP Health has the physical and intellectual resources, the desire, and — most importantly — the imagination to effect even greater positive change in the desert and beyond.

The next epidemic hasn’t surfaced — yet. But just as DAP Health met earlier community health crises decisively and successfully, its experts stand at the ready.

Vision Forward

DAP Health currently serves more than 10,000 patients annually, and every month, more than 100 new patients walk through its doors seeking comprehensive, quality health care. Clearly, there is unmet need.

Vision Forward is DAP Health’s 10-year strategic plan that will see the nonprofit grow to serve 25,000 patients a year at its main Palm Springs campus by 2025 thanks to expanded medical, dental, and mental health clinics and a new affordable housing complex that will add 60 units at Vista Sunrise II to the existing 81 units at Vista Sunrise. Grand total: 141.

The future of health care is holistic, innovative, agile, collaborative — and above all — patient-centric. DAP Health puts humanity back into health care. It meets community members where they are. It seeks out and lifts up allies for the betterment of all.

HIV/AIDS at DAP Health

Despite its substantial growth, HIV/AIDS care remains a cornerstone of DAP Health. Today, the nonprofit continues to:

  • Offer free onsite and mobile HIV and STI testing, including the mailing of 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). 

2022 Community Impact

  • 32,496 HIV tests administered at the main campus and in the mobile clinic
  •    1,062 HIV self-test kits mailed to homes 
  •          75 patients welcomed into HIV care immediately after testing positive 
  •        130 people resumed antiretroviral treatment (ART) after lapses
  •        639 patients accessed PrEP for the first time
  • 35,000 condoms made available through DAP Health’s Condom Club 

Health care is...

Advocacy • Cultural Competency • Dental Care • Ending Epidemics • Equitable Access

Food Assistance • Gender-affirming Care • Harm Reduction • HIV Care • Housing

LGBTQ+ Health • Mental Health • Mobile Health Care • Primary Care • Recovery

Sexual Health • Social Services • Women’s Health

DAP Health... is health care.

Participating Restaurants at Press Time

 533 Viet Fusion

1501 Uptown Gastropub

Alcazar

Aspen Mills Bakery & Café

Birba

Blackbook

Chicken Ranch

Clandestino

Coachella Valley Coffee

Eight4Nine Restaurant & Lounge

El Mirasol at Los Arboles Hotel

El Mirasol Cocina Mexicana

El Patio Palm Springs

Elmer’s

FARM

Gelato Granucci

Hunters Nightclub Palm Springs

Impala Bar & Grill PSP

Johannes

Johnny Costa’s Ristorante

Juniper Table

King’s Highway

Lulu California Bistro

Mr. Lyons

Palm Greens Café

Purple Room

Seymour’s

Shop(pe) Ice Cream & Shop

So-Pa at L’Horizon

Tac/Quila

The Front Porch

The Tropicale Restaurant & Lounge

Toucans Tiki Lounge

Townie Bagels Bakery Café

Trio Restaurant

Willie’s Modern Fare

Proud 2023 Dining Out For Life Sponsors

Gilead

Steve Tobin & Johnny Krupa/Grace Helen Spearman Charitable Foundation

Roadrunner

Media Sponsors

100.9 FM NRG The Deserts Dance Station

Alpha Media

CV Independent

Gay Desert Guide

NBC Palm Springs

PromoHomo.TV

The Desert Sun / Local IQ

The Standard Magazine

A Menu Made-to-Measure for DAP Health …

Brad and Lynne Toles of Savoury’s Catering in Palm Springs Created a Custom Menu for 2023’s The Chase 

 

For veteran husband-and-wife culinary team Brad and Lynne Toles of Savoury’s Catering, DAP Health has never been just a client, and The Chase certainly isn’t just a gala.

“We’re so proud to be such longtime partners of this organization for its biggest annual fundraiser,” says Lynne. “Brad and I have lived in Palm Springs since 1997. We care very deeply about this community, and DAP Health is one of its pillars. We’ve been members of the nonprofit’s Partners For Life donor group for more than a decade, and I joined donor group 100 Women the very first year it was created. We’re just so honored to be invited to the party every year.”

Being a perennial participant in The Chase means the Toleses can use their experience of past galas to fine-tune immediate future ones. Last year was the first occasion the entire event — pre-show cocktail hour and main program — was held outside. It was also the initial offering of a cold entrée inside a bento box. “It’s exciting and fun to create food that will present well cold while maintaining all its flavor,” says Lynne. “Plus, whereas we usually try to keep hot foot hot at any venue, using Sterno canned heat in hotboxes, here we have refrigerated trucks and dry ice in those hotboxes to keep cold food cold. Every event is different, of course, and it comes down to the magic of putting all the pieces of the puzzle together. It’s an orchestrated dance, to be sure, but we love the challenge.”

Not only do the Toleses and their expert team of chefs, bartenders, bussers, and servers love the challenge, they meet it, and then some. Lynne reports that this year, Brad and his crew created a customized array of choices for The Chase’s gala co-chairs — DAP Health Board Members Kevin Bass, Lauri Kibby, and Scott Nevins — which resulted in a fun first: an entirely gluten-free menu.

Included in 2023’s new Koraku bento box — which translates from Japanese to “picnic lunchbox” — will be a golden and red beet salad with quinoa and a blood orange vinaigrette pipette, seared beef tenderloin with a port wine demi-glace, a poached salmon tower with sliced avocado-mango-papaya and a habanero glaze, and a kale and mushroom ravioli in a pomodoro sauce.

Vegan diners will be offered the same beet duo appetizer alongside a seared spiced tofu salad with miso dressing, the identical ravioli, and a roasted vegetable bundle that includes green beans, spiced portobello mushroom, and red pepper.

The sweet finish will consist of a mini raspberry and chocolate cone paired with a Mexican wedding cookie and a lemon bar. The vegan option will be a mini peach cobbler, a chocolate-dipped strawberry, and a double-chocolate pistachio brownie.

Prior to the formal sit-down dinner, guests will see and be seen — and hopefully engage in meaningful conversation — at Amazon’s Big Ideas Cocktail Party, which will be held inside the Palm Springs Convention Center so as to keep coifs and couture from wilting in the desert heat.

Here, Savoury’s will tray-pass a variety of cold and hot traditional, vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free hors d’oeuvres. Just some of the selections will be peppered ahi cones with a wasabi cream, mini grilled cheese sandwiches drizzled with tomato soup, a Middle Eastern beef sirloin lollipop with tzatziki sauce, caprese canapés, shrimp canapés, mini pigs in a blanket, and Belgian endive with butternut squash and dried cranberry.

To wash it all down, invitees can indulge in a full open bar, or imbibe a specialty cocktail created for the occasion — whose recipe is a well-guarded secret in order to not ruin the surprise: The Glamazon, named after Amazon’s LGBTQ+ affinity group. (Please note: A non-alcoholic version will also be available.)

As Savoury’s puts finishing touches on every detail for the fast-approaching big night, Lynne shares their philosophy of catering such a large-scale event. “First off, I love the collaboration with the client and the event producers. They come to you with their vision for the gala, and then you get to be part of trying to bring that to life,” she says. “Our goal at the end of the day is always the same, every year: to outdo ourselves, to exceed guest expectations, and to provide the best experience humanly possible.”

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! 

Opening of DAP Health’s Orange Clinic …

Opening of DAP Health’s New Orange Clinic Officially Commemorated

On the evening of Wednesday, February 15, some 75 invitees attended the formal ribbon-cutting of DAP Health’s new Orange Clinic, which is devoted to sexual wellness and housed in the Annette Bloch CARE Building at the main Palm Springs headquarters.

The occasion marked yet another important milestone for Vision Forward, the organization’s 10-year strategic plan that will see it grow to serve 25,000 patients a year by 2025 thanks to expanded medical, dental, and mental health clinics and a new on-campus affordable housing complex that will add 60 units at Vista Sunrise II to the existing 81 units at Vista Sunrise.

As guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres provided with compliments of major donor Jerry Keller’s Lulu California Bistro, DAP Health CEO David Brinkman took center stage first, announcing that 90% of Vision Forward’s required funding has been amassed, but stressing that $6 million remains to be raised.

Brinkman went on to thank not only the late, great Annette Bloch and her daughter Linda Lyon — who together bequeathed a total of $4 million to the effort — but other major campaign patrons such as Desert Care Network, Mark Adams and the Ridgeway-Adams Community Center, Dorothy and Mel Lefkowitz (in memory of Keller’s wife, Barbara), Steve Tobin and Johnny Krupa of the Grace Helen Spearman Charitable Foundation (whose donation endowed the Orange Clinic reception area), Mike Feddersen and Tom McClay (who funded the Blue Clinic lobby), DAP Health Board Chair Patrick Jordan, Board Secretary Mark Hamilton and Juan Francisco (who gave to establish the café that will reside in the future Tenet Health Pavilion), Charles Robbins and Damon Romine (benefactors of Exam Room 1 in the Orange Clinic), Board Vice Chair Lauri Kibby, Board Member Kevin Bass and Brent Bloesser, Paul Kowal, Keith Kincaid and Chris Harms, DAP Health Chief Financial Officer Judy Stith, and Lulu’s Keller.

“From Day One, demand has been high and so has patient satisfaction,” continued Brinkman, speaking specifically to sexual wellness needs in the Coachella Valley — including free HIV and STI testing as well as prevention services such as PrEP and PEP. “But one thing was missing — a permanent home. A suitable home. A home that says everyone is welcome and everyone deserves to be cared for in a clean, professional, and dignified environment.”

Orange Clinic Nurse Practitioner Anna Daymon spoke more to that point when she related the story of a transgender patient, Erica, who is living with HIV and who had refused to seek care in the past for fear of attitudes of unenlightened health care professionals. “Erica immediately connected with our Orange Clinic staff, speaking openly with our nurses Chris and Johnny without embarrassment,” said Daymon. “She was shocked by the support that DAP Health’s team provided, which included transportation and insurance assistance. What she realized is that staying in care is actually really easy when one has the right team caring for you. At DAP Health, we accept all people — sex workers, male, female, and trans alike. They all come to the Orange Clinic because they know they’re going to receive competent, compassionate care without stigma or judgment.”

Before noting that in 2022, 5000 patients were cared for at the Orange Clinic — free of cost, as well — Daymon said many patients refer to themselves as “bad” or “stupid” for their actions. “Shaming themselves, just for living,” she revealed. “I simply say, ‘No’ to shame. It’s just sex. You’re just living your life and you’re taking care of yourself and others by being here today. And we got you.”

Charles Robbins — who has spent most of his life working in LGBTQ+ and HIV/AIDS nonprofit spaces — spoke last, adding to Daymon’s message on behalf of himself and of his husband, Damon Romine. “DAP Health is sex-positive,” he affirmed. “The staff is sex-positive. We know that in the Coachella Valley, and especially here in Palm Springs, there’s a lot of sex going on and we love it! It’s healthy, and we want to make sure people are not only taking care of themselves but of the community. That’s why coming in and getting regular testing and treatment is such an important activity. The fact that they can do so in a stigma-free and beautiful environment — that’s why my husband, Damon, and I decided to make an investment. We believe in this community. The work the staff does here is making a difference, making an impact in people’s lives. That’s why we made a gift. We’re just happy to be part of the family.”

It was at that point that Robbins, Krupa, and Tobin took giant orange scissors and — flanked by Brinkman, staff members, and other donors — cut the long orange ribbon, proving that, at DAP Health, everyone is part of the family.