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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 and Borrego Health Become One …

DAP Health and Borrego Health Become One Integrated Health Care System

The acquisition’s goal is to protect and expand local access to culturally competent care.

DAP Health is happy to announce that its acquisition of Borrego Health’s assets has been approved by both the Bankruptcy Court and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The two health care systems will now operate as one integrated system, with some 850 employees serving 100,000 patients of all ages, genders, ethnicities, orientations, and socioeconomic status at a total of 25 Southern California clinics located within 240 rural and urban zip codes from the Salton Sea to San Diego.

Pre-acquisition, DAP Health’s programs and services included primary care, infectious diseases, gender-affirming care, LGBTQ+ care, mental health, dentistry, harm reduction, recovery services, affordable housing, and social services. The Borrego Health disciplines now under DAP Health’s vast umbrella include family medicine, women’s health (including OB-GYN), pediatrics, veterans’ health, geriatrics, urgent care, and pharmacy services.

“It’s an honor to unite Borrego Health and DAP Health’s missions, as well as our region’s most exceptional, dedicated, and passionate health care professionals,” says DAP Health CEO David Brinkman. “Together, we will build a brighter future where every individual — regardless of who or where they are — has equal opportunity to live a healthy and fulfilling life.

“We will achieve this by replicating our time-tested, holistic, patient-centered care model, which addresses all applicable social determinants of health (SDOH) negatively affecting the patient population at each of our clinics. By addressing these SDOH — whether they pertain to language and literacy, housing, nutrition, transportation, education, employment and income, addiction, violence, and/or racism and other discrimination — we remove barriers to care, increase our patients’ quality and length of life, and create true health equity.”

Of note:

  • Every DAP Health and Borrego Health location will remain open, retaining its original name, branding, and signage for the time being.
  • All Borrego Health employees have been offered employment at DAP Health, and 99% have accepted to join the combined entity.
  • Any patient at DAP Health or Borrego Health can now make appointments at any of our locations in this expanded system.
  • FAQs for patients can be found here.
  • Alliance members (and fellow FQHCs) Innercare and Neighborhood Healthcare — with regional and cultural expertise in Riverside and San Diego Counties, respectively — will offer guidance, support, and community connections on an as-needed basis.

The Next 12 Months

Over the next 12 months, DAP Health’s fortified executive leadership team — consisting of individuals from both organizations — will analyze all SDOH negatively impacting the varied patient populations served by our larger combined entity. It will actively engage fellow community organizations, government agencies, educational institutions, and businesses to improve health outcomes for all, whether that be by adding programs and services or improving physical facilities. By combining a plethora of strengths, DAP Health will achieve new levels of excellence in delivering comprehensive, accessible, and culturally sensitive care to its diverse patient populations.

DAP Health Executive Team Members

David Brinkman, Chief Executive Officer

David joined DAP Health in 2006. He has led the organization through a period of unprecedented expansion, increasing the number of patients and volunteers, diversity and volume of services, number of staff, and size of the budget by 1000%. Under his leadership, DAP Health established a dental clinic, a permanent supportive housing complex, a community center, a department of community health, two sexual wellness clinics, and a vocational program. During this period, DAP Health was awarded full Federally Qualified Health Center status. David has served the nonprofit community for over 25 years. He previously worked as executive director of a nonprofit resource center for homeless youth and as development director for a nonprofit employment center for developmentally disabled adults. David earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and anthropology from Lewis & Clark College and completed his MBA with emphasis in ethical business management at Pepperdine University.

Judy Stith, Chief Administrative Officer

Judy will be stepping up from her current role as DAP Health’s chief financial officer to serve as the chief administrative officer for our combined organization. Judy was hired in February 2019, coming to DAP Health with extensive experience, including spending the last two years as the CFO for Horizon Health and Wellness, an FQHC in Arizona. Her position as controller at Goodwill Industries, combined with her health center tenure, makes her well-suited to lead DAP Health’s department of finance, where we benefit from diverse income streams such as our health center, fundraising (including grants), and a chain of resale stores. As CFO, Judy implemented and monitored systems of internal control for accounting functions to ensure the safeguarding of our assets and resources. She also oversaw the financial component of the 340B program. Judy earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting from Wright State University. She maintains memberships in the Arizona Society of CPAs and the California Society of CPAs. 

Corina Velasquez, Chief Operating Officer

Corina Velasquez, who first joined Borrego Health in 2007, has a history of success in health care operations. Corina moves into her role at DAP Health after serving as the chief operating officer and executive vice president of Borrego Health, where she has managed patient access and process improvements, overseen multiple departments, and led clinic operations throughout California. Prior to advancing to COO and executive vice president at Borrego Health, Corina served as the chief operating officer for Riverside County, where she managed medical clinics while introducing policies, procedures, and best practices in line with the CEO’s agenda. Corina holds a bachelor’s in business administration and is a Certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt. She has also completed executive leadership programs with the UCLA Anderson School of Management and the Clinic Leadership Institute.

Dr. David Morris, Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Morris joined DAP Health in January 2016, bringing over 30 years of outpatient clinical and hospital experience. He is board-certified in family medicine and credentialed with the American Academy of HIV Medicine. In his role as chief medical officer, Dr. Morris serves as the lead clinician in charge of all aspects of medical patient care services, including monitoring clinical quality improvement, developing clinical protocols, and supervising all medical providers. During the 16 years prior to joining DAP Health, he served as medical director and attending physician at Atlanta’s Pride Medical, Inc., an agency specializing in LGBTQ+ health and HIV specialty medical care. He previously served for over a decade as medical director and staff physician at the FQHC center at Georgia Highlands Medical Services, where the majority of the 8,000+ patient population is made up of very low-income individuals. Dr. Morris earned his Doctor of Medicine at Atlanta’s Emory University in 1984. 

Brande Orr, Chief Growth and Strategy Officer

Brande will soon rejoin DAP Health after previously serving as director of grants and then director of strategic initiatives from 2010-2019. She brings more than 25 years of experience serving nonprofit organizations in the health, equity, education, social justice, and human service sectors. Through collaboration with a wide variety of stakeholders, she has led strategic planning, fundraising, outreach, and quality improvement initiatives for organizations seeking to improve community well-being. Brande earned her MBA with emphasis in ethical business management at Pepperdine University. In her position as chief growth and strategy officer, she will lead the brand marketing and development departments at DAP Health.

Dana Erwin, Chief Compliance Officer

Dana joined Borrego Health in November 2021 as an interim chief compliance officer, and accepted the position of chief compliance officer in March 2022. As part of Borrego Health’s executive leadership team, Dana has assisted in developing an approachable and trustworthy quality and compliance team, and has worked with departmental leaders to support, educate, and build a collaborative quality and compliance department. Dana has an extensive health care background, beginning her career as a lead nurse in neurosurgery, and transitioning to labor and delivery for more than a decade. This foundational health care experience eventually led to a career in quality/risk and compliance in hospitals, ambulatory care, and FQHCs. Dana is certified in health care risk management and has a master’s in nursing leadership.

Sheri Saenz, Chief People and Places Officer

Sheri joined DAP Health in 1998. After serving as human resources assistant, human resources administrator, and director of human resources, she was promoted to her current role in November 2013. Sheri ensures compliance with state, local, and federal employment laws; advises on employment issues, including emergency preparedness, professional development, and cultural competency; oversees agency reception, facilities, and security; and manages employee benefit programs and agency insurance policies. Sheri earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from California State University San Bernardino, and an associate degree in business administration and an accounting certificate from the College of the Desert, Palm Desert. To enhance her education and expertise, Sheri has certifications in SHRM (senior certified professional) and HRCI (senior professional in human resources). She is an active member of the Society for Human Resources Management, Professionals in Human Resources Association, the Crisis Prevention Institute, and the National Notary Association.

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

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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Announcing The Chase 2023 Honorees, Ente …

DAP Health Announces Partnerships, Honorees, and Entertainment for Its Annual Fundraiser The Chase  

When the dazzling 29th Annual Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards (AKA The Chase) return as an all in-person event outdoors at the Palm Springs Convention Center on Saturday, March 25, the show will feature Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning actor and musician Darren Criss as its headline performer. The DAP Health Equity Award will be presented to fashion icon and philanthropist Donna Karan. Desert Healthcare District & Foundation CEO Dr. Conrado E. Bárzaga and the organization’s board of directors will be honored with the DAP Health Humanitarian Award.

Karan believes that through creativity, collaboration, connection, and community one can change the world. This conviction lies at the heart of Urban Zen, established by Karan in 2007. The foundation is dedicated to three initiatives: preservation of culture (past); bringing mind, body, and spirit to health care (present); and education (future).

“The Desert Healthcare District & Foundation is the epitome of what the DAP Health Humanitarian Award stands for, and we can think of no organization more deserving to receive this honor,” says DAP Health CEO David Brinkman. “It’s a testament to leadership shown by Dr. Conrado E. Bárzaga and the board during both the COVID-19 and mpox crises. It allowed our organization to make an enormous impact on the lives of valley residents.”

Attendees of The Chase can expect a fast-paced evening led by returning host Michael Urie (a Drama Desk Award-winning star of the new Apple TV+ hit comedy series “Shrinking”), with additional performances by Broadway’s Nick Adams (Hulu’s “Fire Island”) and Saycon Sengbloh, a Tony Award nominee.

“Your presence at The Chase, beyond signaling your support for our honorees, shows your continued commitment to DAP Health’s 10,000+ patients and clients,” continues Brinkman. “Every attendee can count themselves among the bighearted humanitarians who help remove roadblocks to quality care and supportive services for their neighbors and friends so that everyone may live life to their fullest potential.”

Presenting Sponsor Eisenhower Health

The event is presented by Eisenhower Health, a longtime supporter of DAP Health that shares its vision of creating a community where everyone has access to health care and to lives lived with wellness. Eisenhower Health’s President and Chief Executive Officer Marty Massiello explains, “The health care needs of the Palm Springs community present unique challenges. According to recent statistics, the prevalence rate of people living with HIV in Palm Springs is more than 21 times higher than California overall. Eisenhower Health, like our community partner DAP Health, is dedicated to understanding and treating the specific needs of this first generation of people who are aging with HIV. Providing HIV specialists and focusing on both prevention and treatment are vital to advancing health care equality in our community. It’s events like The Chase that help raise awareness, and much-needed funds, to meet these unique health care advancements that both organizations see among our patients.”

Eisenhower Health has been a supporter of DAP Health for decades. “DAP Health and Eisenhower Health share the same vision and the same values,” continues Massiello. “Our organizations envision a community where everyone has access to the care they need, when they need it. We continue to collaborate and innovate together to meet the expanding needs of our valley. We are proud to support the work DAP Health is doing to redefine what health care is and what it can be in the future — including the many social determinants that inform wellness, including housing, health care access, nutrition, and mental health.”

Special Thanks to Amazon for Its Support.

Preceding the main event, guest arrival will take place on an expanded Blue Carpet that honors health care workers and that will grant entrance to Amazon’s Amazing Cocktail Party, where local sensation DJ Modgirl will spin. Amazon is proud to invite attendees of The Chase to think big during the cocktail party. “We imagine a room filled with local leaders communicating bold ideas that inspire our community to create a better path to health care,” says Amazon’s Head of External Affairs & Community Engagement for The West and Inland Empire David Ambroz.

Explaining the synergy between DAP Health and Amazon, Ambroz continues: “What I saw during my first tour has stayed with me all year. I noticed that DAP Health approaches innovation the same way Amazon does — we start with our customers and work backward. DAP Health remains patient-centric in its delivery of human care and development of new ways to improve health and wellness.”

Brinkman: “Amazon serves the valley’s residents, business owners, and employees. The organization has made a long-term commitment to our community, having done business here for more than 10 years, and we are grateful for the company’s prioritization of equitable access to health care for everyone. DAP Health looks forward to partnering with Amazon all year long as we increase the positive impact we can make together. As a leader in our community, Amazon has a vision for — and commitment to — our success.”

The Chase

Created by (and named after) the late, world-renowned interior designer Steve Chase — an early DAP Health donor, volunteer, and board member who worked touring the globe but loved Palm Springs best — this glittery gala is a golden star on the desert’s social calendar.

Co-chairs Kevin Bass, Lauri Kibby, and Scott Nevins promise an evening rife with messages to inspire guests to think more boldly about the future of wellness throughout the Coachella Valley.

Tickets, and more information, are available at daphealth.org/thechase.

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 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. 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.

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.

About Eisenhower Health

Situated on 130 acres in Rancho Mirage, and with outpatient clinics across the valley, Eisenhower Health has provided a full range of quality medical and educational services for 50 years for residents and visitors to the greater Coachella Valley. Over the past decade, Eisenhower has added physicians specializing in HIV, including respected researchers, to provide high-quality care to patients. Eisenhower has twice earned ANCC Magnet Recognition® for professionalism in nursing and excellence in patient care. The first accredited teaching hospital in the valley, Eisenhower trains physician residents in internal medicine, family medicine, and emergency medicine, and offers fellowships in sports medicine, addiction medicine, pulmonary disease, and infectious disease. For more information, visit EisenhowerHealth.org or follow Eisenhower Health on social media.

About Amazon

Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Amazon strives to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, Earth’s best employer, and Earth’s safest place to work. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Career Choice, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, Alexa, Just Walk Out technology, Amazon Studios, and The Climate Pledge are some of the things pioneered by Amazon.

About Donna Karan

Donna Karan’s philosophy is reflected in the unique retail experiences her brand offers, which features globally inspired apparel as well as products she has sourced and developed with artisans all over the world. A voracious traveler and lifelong yogi — as well as a mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother — Karan considers her foundation Urban Zen the realization of her dream not just to dress people, but to address them as well. Throughout her career as a designer, Karan has founded or helped lead many legendary philanthropic efforts, including Seventh on Sale benefiting AIDS research, Super Saturday supporting the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, and Pediatric AIDS Foundation family carnival Kids for Kids.

About Desert Healthcare District & Foundation and CEO Dr. Conrado E. Bárzaga

The Desert Healthcare District is a local government agency formed in 1948 to build a hospital in Palm Springs. Today, through a robust grants program and collaborative community outreach, 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. It is governed by a seven-member board of elected directors. The District and Desert Healthcare Foundation, together, are one of the largest funders in the valley. The agency has awarded $92.7 million in funds since 1998. These funds are used to assist residents — especially the underserved — in accessing vitally needed resources, such as primary and behavioral healthcare.

Conrado E. Bárzaga, MD, is an internationally recognized public health leader with over 20 years of experience. He currently serves as chief executive officer of the Desert Healthcare District & Foundation. Since joining the agency staff in July 2019, Dr. Bárzaga has guided the District in achieving state certification from the California Special Districts Association and the Association of California Healthcare Districts. In 2020, he led the development of the Coachella Valley Equity Collaborative to implement an equitable COVID-19 response. He officially joined the Association of California Healthcare Districts Board of Directors in 2021, and currently is chairperson of its Advocacy Committee. Dr. Bárzaga has directed the development of public health programs in the U.S. and abroad. He is a fellow of the Global Child Dental Fund at King’s College, London, and a health leadership fellow of Coro, a leading nonpartisan public policy institution. A native of Cuba, Dr. Bárzaga has extensive experience in philanthropy and international public health systems, such as developing the community health infrastructure with the Bolivian Ministry of Health and Doctors without Borders. He earned his Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree from the University of Havana in 1994.

About Michael Urie

Returning for the second year in a row to do the honors as host of The Chase is Michael Urie, who found sudden fame soon after graduating from New York City’s The Juilliard School with 2010’s “Ugly Betty” on ABC, in which he played assistant Marc St. James and for which he was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award. From there, Urie accumulated a slew of celebrated film and TV credits, including “Younger,” “Modern Family,” “Hot in Cleveland,” and “The Good Wife.” In 2021, he was the star of Netflix’s first gay-themed holiday movie, “Single All the Way.” Onstage, he originated the role of Alex More in Jonathan Tolins’ Off-Broadway Streisand satire “Buyer & Cellar,” which he then took on a national tour. He’s also stomped the boards as the lead of such revered pieces as “Angels in America,” “Torch Song,” “Hamlet,” How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” “The Cherry Orchard,” “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” “A Bright Room Called Day,” and “Jane Anger.” He currently co-stars with Harrison Ford in the Apple TV+ hit comedy series “Shrinking.”

About Darren Criss

Since bursting onto the pop culture landscape over a decade ago, Darren Criss has embodied the kind of kaleidoscopic artistry that’s entirely uninhibited by form or genre. For this concert, he will be performing a playlist of songs featured throughout his wildly eclectic career as both a songwriter and performer.

Before Darren Criss exploded into the internet’s subculture as both an actor and songwriter for the YouTube viral hit “A Very Potter Musical” in 2009, he had made a small name for himself playing unique interpretations of popular songs he’d perform at cafés and bars in his hometown of San Francisco. Little did he know that the same knack for covering tunes would serve him well in 2010, when he was cast on FOX’s massively successful musical series “Glee,” from which many of his performances of popular songs would lead to several Billboard-topping records. In 2015, his songwriting also landed him an Emmy nomination for Best Original Music and Lyrics for penning the song “This Time” for the show’s series finale.

Criss has continued to write and produce music extensively through the years, whether for his own releases as an artist or as a songwriter for theater, film, and television. In 2019, he created, executive produced, starred in, and provided all the original songs for his short-form musical comedy series “Royalties,” and earlier this year provided the music and lyrics for the opening number of the 2022 Tony Awards: “Act One.” As an artist, he most recently delivered a genre-diverse collection of “character-driven” singles as part of his 2021 solo EP titled “Masquerade” (BMG), and in the same year, released a full-length Christmas album titled — aptly — “A Very Darren Crissmas” (Decca).

Criss is also a stage veteran whose Broadway credits include the titular role in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” (2015), “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” (2012), and the 2022 revival of David Mamet’s seminal play “American Buffalo,” alongside Laurence Fishburne and Sam Rockwell. In 2018, his work in Ryan Murphy’s “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” received wide critical acclaim, earning him a Primetime Emmy, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, and Critics’ Choice awards. Criss most recently starred in Netflix’s hit series “Hollywood,” for which he also served as executive producer.

About Nick Adams  

Nick Adams is an award-winning actor, singer, and dancer. He co-stars as Cooper in the critically acclaimed Searchlight feature film “Fire Island” (a Gotham Award winner, People’s Choice Award nominee for Comedy of the Year, and GLAAD Award nominee). Notably, Adams originated the role of Adam/Felicia in the Tony-winning Broadway musical “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert,” which earned him an honor from the American Theater Hall of Fame, two Broadway Audience Choice Awards, and an Astaire Award nomination for Best Dancer on Broadway. He received national critical acclaim for his portrayal of Whizzer in the North American tour of Lincoln Center Theater’s Broadway production of “Falsettos,” directed by James Lapine. Adams was the final actor to star as Fiyero in the first national touring production of “Wicked.” He recently originated the role of Alexis Gilmore in the Broadway World Award-winning world premiere of “Drag: The Musical” in Hollywood, California, and can be heard on the studio cast album.

About Saycon Sengbloh

Saycon Sengbloh is an award-winning actress with a gift for dramatic storytelling and soaring vocal prowess. The Atlanta native is known for her incredible breadth and versatility, both as an actress and a singer, and has had an exciting year with tentpole projects on the big and small screens. Sengbloh currently stars in the ABC reboot of the classic 1980s family comedy “The Wonder Years” from executive producers Saladin Patterson and Lee Daniels. Saycon plays Lillian Williams, the sharp and confident mother of the young protagonist Dean, narrated by Don Cheadle. She was also recently seen as Erma Franklin, sister to Aretha, in the biopic “Respect,” starring Jennifer Hudson (MGM/United Artists). Having started her career on the stage, Sengbloh has since appeared in nearly a dozen Broadway productions. She starred opposite Lupita Nyong’o in award-winning playwright Danai Gurira’s “Eclipsed” (both on and off-Broadway), which earned her a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play, an Obie Award, and a Tony Award nomination.

SPONSORS

PRESENTING SPONSOR

Eisenhower Health

PLATINUM SPONSOR

Amazon

MAJOR SPONSORS

AEG

Desert Care Network

The Desert Sun / Local IQ

Barry Manilow and Garry Kief

Harold Matzner

NBC Palm Springs

Steve Tobin & Johnny Krupa/Grace Helen Spearman Charitable Foundation

STAR SPONSOR

Steven Anders/The Elizabeth Firth Wade Endowment

SUPPORTING SPONSORS

Kevin Bass & Brent Bloesser

Fromberg Edelstein Fromberg

Gilead

Scot & Lance Karp

KESQ

Lauri & Charles Kibby

Scott Nevins & Philip Hodges

Savoury’s

Trina Turk

Walgreens

Marc Walters

BENEFACTOR SPONSORS

Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians

Daniel & Carolyn Caldwell

Coachella Valley Health Personnel

Diageo

HR Simplistic

JJLA

John Holley Pugh Gift Fund

Labcorp

Living Out Palm Springs

Maximum Security

Perry S. McKay

Palm Springs Disposal Services

Revive Wellness

PATRON SPONSORS

JP Morgan Chase

John Williams & Jean-Guy Lachance

Queer Works

MEDIA SPONSORS

Alpha Media

CV Independent

Gay Desert Guide

Palm Springs Life

PromoHomo.TV

The Hollywood Times

The Standard Magazine

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  

 

 

U.S. Secretary of Health & Human Se …

U.S. Secretary of Health & Human Services Xavier Becerra Visits DAP Health’s Palm Springs Headquarters 

October 28, 2022

As part of his tour of Southern California — and upon the invitation of Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz — U.S. Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra (the first Latino to hold the office) visited the Palm Springs headquarters of DAP Health on the morning of Friday, October 28, 2022. 

The tour encompassed both the Annette Bloch CARE Building and the Barbara Keller LOVE Building, which together house not only administration offices but primary care and dental clinics, the Sexual Wellness Clinic, and the Marc Byrd Behavioral Health Clinic. 

Following the informal walk-through, DAP Health CEO David Brinkman moderated a roundtable discussion in the non-profit’s board room, which focused on the top five health equity priorities shared by HHS and DAP, all of which are of urgent concern to the local LGBTQ+ community: ending the pandemic, reducing health care costs, expanding access to care, tackling health disparities, and strengthening behavioral health. 

Speaking specifically to barriers that prevent community members from accessing health care, stakeholders were unanimous in highlighting such issues as a widely diverse population (from newly arrived retirees from across the country to migrant farm workers living in Mexico), the lack of efficient public transportation (a unique hindrance in such a large geographical area that extends from Palm Springs to the Eastern Coachella Valley cities of Indio, Thermal, Oasis, Mecca, and North Shore), our region’s higher prevalence of HIV and MPX, and the challenges of building relationships with people who are still unaware of DAP Health and the wide array of wraparound services it offers. 

In thanking Secretary Becerra for accepting his invitation, Congressman Dr. Ruiz voiced his appreciation for the Secretary showing this community that it mattered not only to him and his department, but to the president of the United States, and to his administration. 

“It was an honor to host Secretary Becerra here in the 36th District to discuss mental health care services in our communities,” he said. “Our region faces a physician shortage crisis, and we have an increased need for mental health care services, especially after the pandemic. That is why today, I’m so glad we were able to bring local stakeholders together to collaborate with the county and local clinics like DAP Health for a discussion on how we can bring home necessary federal resources to expand access to care in our region.” 

“All of us at DAP Health are deeply indebted to Congressman Dr. Ruiz for extending this invitation — and to Secretary Becerra for immediately accepting it,” said Brinkman. “We are obviously very proud of our facilities and of our efforts and successes, both past and present.” 

Secretary Becerra expressed how impressed he was with DAP Health — officials of which have travelled to the White House and to Africa — and the fact that the organization treats its patients not just as patients, but as family members. “What DAP Health is doing is knocking people’s socks off,” he said, adding, “I want in. I want to help. If I have money, I’m gonna send it your way.” 

The Honorable Lisa Middleton — who as mayor of Palm Springs is the first openly transgender person to serve in that civic role in California — spoke of the dangerous politicization of trans health care and the need to protect medical professionals who care for members of that community. “This administration is the best we’ve ever had,” she commented, to which Becerra replied, “We don’t shy away from this issue.” 

Innercare Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jonathan Slone, in referring explicitly to behavioral health, said our current number of available professionals locally is inadequate to deal with present demand, and that said demand is just “the tip of the iceberg.”  

Palm Springs City Council member Christy Holstege not only spoke to the contradiction inherent in Palm Springs — its world-renowned wealth and glamor mask some of the most extreme poverty in the nation — but commended DAP Health for so generously sharing the expertise it has earned in dealing with the HIV epidemic for the last 40 years, and for stepping up on behalf of the entire community as a powerful force against both COVID-19 and MPX.” 

Brinkman was not only very happy with how the visit and subsequent dialogue unfolded but stressed how important it was for DAP Health to invite others to the table. “Community partners and city and federal leaders spoke passionately about our region’s unmet mental health needs,” he said. “What’s working? Building mental health safety nets through creative collaborations that address housing, substance use, employment, healthcare, and mental health. When we join forces and approach care in a diverse manner, our effectiveness increases. It’s through diversity that our community heals and evolves. Of the utmost importance is for none of us to ever forget that we’re all in this together. If our joint advocacy is to result in true health equity for all, we must work alongside one another, from the grassroots all the way to the national level. 

ATTENDEES 

 

From WH/USG 

From DAP Health 

Invited Guests 

Xavier Becerra, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 

 

Jeffrey Reynoso, HHS Regional Director, Region IX 

 

Dr. Raul Ruiz, Congressman (D-CA-36)  

 

CDR Michelle Sandoval-Rosario, Region IX PACE Program Director, OASH  

David Brinkman, CEO 

 

CJ Tobe, Director of Community Health and Sexual Wellness Services 

 

Patrick Jordan, Board Chair 

 

Scott Nevins, Board Member 

 

The Honorable Lisa Middleton, Mayor of the City of Palm Springs 

 

Christy Holstege, Palm Springs City Council Member 

 

Dr. Jonathan Slone, Senior VP and Chief Medical Officer of Innercare 

  

Kim Saruwatari, Director of Public Health, Riverside University Health System  

 

Dr. Christopher G. Fichtner, 

Director of Public Health and  

Interim Chair of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, UC Riverside 

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 

 

DAP Health Celebrates East Valley Expans …

DAP Health Celebrates East Valley Expansion with Two Exciting Events

Sexual Wellness Clinic and Revivals Indio Ribbon Cutting Ceremonies to be held Saturday, July 16

 

In its continued mission to meet clients where they are with what they need, DAP Health announced the opening of its new sexual wellness clinic at 81-719 Doctor Carreon Blvd, Suite D in Indio. The clinic, which officially opens on July 11, 2022, will operate Monday through Friday from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm and will offer testing for HIV, hepatitis C, and sexually transmitted infections including gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis. The clinic will also provide free pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) services. Case management and referrals to additional resources will also be available. Testing and treatment are confidential and free of charge. 

 “Our mission is to enhance and promote the health and well-being of our community and we do that by meeting people where they are,” said CJ Tobe, director of community health and sexual wellness at DAP Health who led the project. “We are adjusting the system to meet the needs of the community by not asking for your insurance while providing free services that don’t take weeks to be seen by a clinician. We will test you, treat you, prescribe Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), and connect you to any other medical or social support needs you may have. All of these services at the clinic are free from cost and free from judgment and shame.” 

Indio Artists Help Make DAP Health's New Sexual Wellness Clinic a Safe, Welcoming Space

DAP Health is also celebrating the first anniversary of its Indio Revivals resale store.  Located at 82-150 CA-111, Indio (corner of Monroe and Hwy 111), Revivals offers an affordable shopping experience while raising funds for comprehensive care at DAP Health.  “We are truly branching out to bring DAP Health to the east county,” said Dane Koch, director of retail for Revivals.  “Revivals is there to provide that affordable shopping experience while supporting the mission of DAP Health.”    

Comprised of a unique blend of staff and volunteers, the welcoming community feeling at Revivals would not be possible without the generosity of those who volunteer. Over 180 volunteers donate over 13,000 hours each year, reselling gently used furniture, home goods, and fashion that has been donated by the generous local community at their four store locations. 

 The magic really happens behind the scenes where the team of volunteers sorts, prices and touches every donated item before it comes to the sales floor.  Together, the team has created a unique shopping experience - an exciting treasure hunt that delivers on their promise of affordability, discoverability, and community connection. 

To commemorate these two milestones, DAP Health will host individual ribbon-cutting ceremonies on Saturday, July 16, 2022.  The first will take place at 10:00 a.m. the DAP Health sexual wellness clinic and will include a tour of the facility.  The second will occur an hour later at 11:00 a.m. at Revivals Indio and will include a free taco cart lunch, family-friendly give-a-ways, and a storewide sale.  All are invited to attend. 

Together, the clinic and the store represent DAP Health’s commitment to providing more people with more access to health services and expanding affordable shopping opportunities.  “We are looking forward to building a deep relationship with the community and becoming part of the community,” said Koch.  “As we mark this anniversary, this is a personal invitation to join us and see our store. If you are new to Revivals, come see what we have to offer.  If you are already a Revivals shopper, come celebrate with us.”  

 

About DAP Health 

DAP Health is an advocacy-based health center in Palm Springs, CA serving over 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 hotlines to 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 clinic offers 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 rating for the twelfth consecutive year – landing DAP Health in the top 6% of nonprofits rated. The distinction recognizes that DAP Health exceeds industry standards in terms of financial health, accountability, and transparency.      

Visit www.daphealth.org to learn more.      

 

About Revivals Stores 

To help fund services, DAP Health opened its own thrift store in 1994 called Revivals which offers the valley’s best collection of resale items alongside brand new furniture at bargain prices under its owned brand - Mode. Revivals raises over $1 million annually for the non-profit, turning over 100% of profits to DAP Health each year since it first opened in 1994, and as the advocacy-based healthcare organization opened its doors wider to welcome more neighbors into care, Revivals opened more stores to help fund the work. 

Revivals’ newest store location is in Indio, CA. at the corner of Monroe and Highway 111. The store was designed to embrace the brand evolution of DAP Health and reflect the organization's commitment to community throughout.   

You can support this great cause by volunteering, shopping, or donating to Revivals or directly to DAP Health. All donations provide comprehensive care for the 10,000 individuals who call DAP Health their health care home.  Learn more at www.revivalstores.com 

Visit www.revivalsstores.com to learn more. 

 

 

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INDIO ARTISTS HELP MAKE DAP HEALTH’S N …

INDIO ARTISTS HELP MAKE DAP HEALTH’S NEW SEXUAL WELLNESS CLINIC A WELCOMING, SAFE SPACE 

Words by Ellen Bluestein 

May 30, 2022 

When clients arrive at DAP Health’s new sexual wellness clinic in Indio, the first thing they will see is a colorful mural in the waiting room.  Designed by Indio artists Cece Cruz and Evelyn Sofia Rivera, together known as Mujeres Murals, the full-scale artwork creates a warm and familiar environment to help alleviate the anxiety of those seeking services. 

The clinic, located at 81-719 Doctor Carreon Blvd, Suite D in Indio, is set to open on July 11, 2022, and will operate Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. It will offer testing for HIV, hepatitis C, and sexually transmitted infections including gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis. The clinic will also provide pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). Case management and connections to additional resources will also be available. Testing and treatment are confidential and free of charge. 

To celebrate the opening of the new clinic, DAP Health will host a ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday, July 16, 2022, at 10:00 a.m., with a tour of the facility. All are invited to attend. 

“We started to do planning a year before the COVID pandemic to address unmet needs in our community and to respond to where we're finding new HIV cases and why new infections are happening to certain members of our community,” said CJ Tobe, director of community health and sexual wellness services. “[We] identified that there's such an unmet need for sexual wellness services, specifically surrounding Indio... The data showed new HIV cases located in the east valley. Latinos with lower income and under the age of 39 are most at risk. So, everything just made sense for us to respond to the need by opening a clinic there.” 

“What was happening is that[clients] weren't doing routine testing, Tobe continued. “They were coming in for treatment which means they're having symptoms. They had to be seen right away. So, it wasn't just regular asymptomatic testing. We also identified through trends that the majority of new HIV cases were in people living under 200% of the federal poverty level. So, we also knew then that there was a cost barrier that may be preventing people in our community from accessing a clinic.” 

At the new Indio clinic, “the patient will be able to come in, they'll be able to see our clinicians... and then they'll be able to get their medication right there too,” said Tobe. “They don't have to go across the street or down the road and maybe run into their cousin or, you know, something like that.” 

Another barrier to service is the discomfort that often accompanies talk of sexuality. “There is a lot of stigma and shame attached to sexual wellness specifically in the Latino community in Indio,” said Tobe. “We're hoping, when we open the doors, that we start reaching the community and establishing trust with people.”   

Part of establishing that trust included enlisting Cruz and Rivera to create the serene scene on the walls of the clinic’s waiting room. “I think once the community learns that Cece and her team created this beautiful mural in the clinic, that it will be welcoming and representative of the community, [it will start] building that trust,” said Tobe. 

While Tobe picked the color palette and some elements for the wall-sized painting, Cruz and Rivera had artistic license to design the rest.  “Both of us are very grateful for how much freedom we've had with this mural,” said Rivera.  “We've been really appreciative of the fact that CJ has been completely open to the ideas and our styles.” 

The scene features a wide range of colors – from browns and blues to pinks and purples - that can often be found in a desertscape. “It's not super bright. It stands out, but it's not aggressive,” said Rivera. Added Cruz, “It’s warm but it’s not dull.  It’s not muted.” 

The overall design concept was a collaborative process. “I really wanted to incorporate that feeling of not just the desert with the fields and the community and the people but also that feeling of nurturing with the tree and the Mother Earth,” said Cruz.  “And so that was my idea of the part that I had sketched.” 

“I really like cactuses,” added Rivera. “I feel like they're a symbol of home. I think that [they are] especially familiar.” 

“We put together sketches but then we got community input as to which sketch, they wanted to go with,” Rivera explained. “We submitted three different sketches and then put them online and asked, ‘okay, which ones do you guys like better? Or do you want them all included?’ And everybody decided they wanted all of them. So now we've done a mixture of the three.” 

Connecting with community is key to how both Cruz and Rivera work. “I think the rapport that we've been able to build with the community, throughout our mural painting is that people enjoy visually what it is that we've created so it's not going to be taken likely, Rivera said. “They trust us, and we trust them. It's mutual.” 

“When I think about the mural...my hopes are that people see it and they feel just warm and welcomed and peace and it's familiar. Like whatever fear and anxieties anybody might be feeling, when they see it, they're like, ‘oh, okay,’ and kind of take a deep breath and say ah,” Cruz said demonstrating a stress-releasing exhalation. 

“We wanted it to feel very welcoming,” she added. “You walk in and you're just like, oh, okay, I feel good here.” 

Indio artists Cecelia Cruz and Evelyn Sogia Rivera, designed the new community mural in the Indio Sexual Wellness Clinic.