Call: (760) 323-2118
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Call: (760) 323-2118
8am to 5pm Mon - Fri

How Revivals is prioritizing people expe …

How Revivals is prioritizing people experiencing homelessness  

When Revivals and DAP Health decided to partner with Martha’s Village and Kitchen to provide clothing and supplies to people experiencing homelessness, they knew there was a need.  

But the demand caught them by surprise.  

The 2020 Riverside County Point-In-Time count suggests there were close to 200 unsheltered individuals in Palm Springs, but advocates for people experiencing homelessness say the true numbers might be double or triple that number. 

Martha’s Village and Kitchen is one of the largest providers of homelessness and impoverished services in Riverside County with over 8,000 people in need passing through its doors yearly.  

 Over the summer, Indio-based Martha’s Village opened The Palm Springs Access Center, providing wraparound services for people experiencing homelessness. These services include helping individuals obtain permanent and supportive housing, health, disability, Social Security, and other benefits, along with computer training, and assistance filling out job applications. 

Dane Koch, the director of retail, says it was an easy decision to partner with Martha’s Village. Revivals is part of DAP Health, an advocacy-based healthcare organization committed to removing roadblocks to human potential.  

Homelessness leads to increased feelings of uncertainty, vulnerability, and isolation. Homeless people experience great physical and mental stress. Many homeless people do not have access to medicine or regular physical or mental health care treatment. They tend to be hospitalized more often than people with homes.  

DAP Health believes that housing is healthcare and through a partnership with Coachella Valley Housing Coalition is breaking ground to begin construction of the 61-unit special needs affordable housing development known as Vista Sunrise II.  The Vista Sunrise II development will be constructed on the DAP Health campus at Sunrise and Vista Chino in Palm Springs.  This new development consists of studios and one-bedroom units for individuals and families who experience chronical illnesses, physical or mental disabilities, or those who are homeless.  

Martha’s Village provides vouchers for Revivals to its clients, who then come into a Revivals store to pick up necessities and clothing. Parents can shop at the store with their children enjoying the same retail experience as every other shopper in the store. A client can have up to four vouchers each year.  

Kris Fisher, the senior store coordinator at the Revivals in Palm Springs, says Revivals anticipated 15 clients per week. Instead, it was 50. 

“The response has been pretty overwhelming. I don’t think we expected to get the number of clients that we did,” Fisher says. “But I’m glad the program is being utilized and that we can be a resource.”  

George Sinatra, the senior director of development for Martha’s Village and Kitchen, shared two stories that illustrate the impact of this partnership.  

An elderly woman who had eye surgery needed protective eyewear.  

She came to Martha’s Village wearing disposable sunglasses. “We were able to get new sunglasses to her at Revivals that day,” Sinatra says. “That was super helpful.” 

Sinatra remembers a family of four who was living out of a car. They had come into Palm Springs looking for help.  

“They had one bag of clothing between the four of them that included undergarments and everything,” Sinatra explains 

The family came into Palm Springs, where they were able to get a shower and receive clothing from Revivals for the mother, father, and two young children under six. Then they were moved to Martha’s Indio location. 

“They are doing amazing and have been successful here going through Martha’s programs. They’re getting ready to get employment locally and then they’ll be able to move into their own home as a family.”  

 Koch says he is proud to be part of the new program. “People talk about the problem of homelessness a lot, but we see people, not problems.  It’s important to prioritize people experiencing homelessness and it just makes you feel good about coming to work every day, knowing you are making a difference.”  

How DAP Health improves physical wellbei …

How DAP Health improves physical wellbeing by addressing oral health

When sitting in Dr. Ryan Yamashiro’s dental chair at DAP Health, Robert Coughlin says he has gotten emotional enough to cry. 

Coughlin laughed when asked how many times he had cried in the dental chair.  

“I think he knows who I am,” Coughlin said. “I just get so overwhelmed sitting in that chair.”  

The emotion Coughlin feels is not fear, apprehension of drillings, or root canals. Living with HIV for decades, Coughlin said his treatments at dentist offices were degrading, whether it was having the room covered in plastic or being refused services when they saw his HIV status.  

It is different when Coughlin sees Dr. Yamashiro at DAP Health.  

“They just come into the examination room with so much compassion and understanding,” Coughlin says. “I expected to be treated as a pariah with my HIV status as I had been with (past) dentists before. I just get emotional when they treat me with such kindness.” He explains that there is not a hint of judgment anywhere. And because of that he feels cared for. 

Coughlin says his oral health was in bad shape when he first came to DAP Health because of years living with addiction. Today, Dr. Yamashiro has Coughlin’s teeth and gums in much better shape. 

There have been bumps along the way. During the COVID lockdown, Coughlin broke his dentures. Dr. Yamashiro found a way to see Coughlin, addressing the dentures and working on getting him a new set.  

In contrast to Coughlin’s emotional expressions of gratitude, Dr. Yamashiro has a different take. Yamashiro says he is just doing his job.  

“It’s a real old-school way of seeing it, but that’s just how I was brought up. I am not trying to get any brownie points or anything like that. I’m just here to do what I’m trained to do,” Yamashiro explains.  

Dr. Yamashiro takes an honest approach when talking with his patients because he believes that a patient’s oral health has everything to do with self-care. 

It is not unusual to see a new patient 10 times in the same year. “I’ll ask ‘Are you going to keep brushing your teeth after I restore them,’” Yamashiro says. “I just want to know how dedicated they are to helping me because the other 355 days they aren’t in my chair requires them to brush and floss.” 

Yamashiro credits Kimberly Tollison for the dental clinic. Tollison came to DAP Health from a private practice 13 years ago. In 2021, the clinic saw 4,122 visits. The staff consists of two full-time dentists, a full-time hygienist, two full-time receptionists, two registered dental assistants and Tollison, the office manager.  

Case managers will screen a patient and complete a dental referral to the clinic as the clinic only takes Medi-Cal (non-HIV) or qualified Ryan White patients. Patients that are not insured can qualify for the sliding scale for discounted services.  

Currently, the dental clinic is closed to new patients while DAP Health works on hiring additional dental employees. Prior to COVID, Tollison said there were talks about expanding the service, which would include adding chairs to the current clinic and opening a satellite clinic.  

Tollison says she sees firsthand the need for a dental clinic for HIV positive patients.  

“It is refreshing to be able to offer much needed dental care to our HIV+ community and also service adults with Medi-Cal,” Tollison said. “In my private practice, our HIV+ patients would experience quite a bit of stigma, and it’s a pleasure to offer dental care at DAP Health in a stigma-free environment.” 

While Yamashiro downplays the impact he has on his patients' lives, he does have a simple philosophy to provide care: Treat them as he would treat a family member.  

DAP Health rolls out harm reduction prog …

DAP Health rolls out harm reduction program to provide care for people living with addiction 

Contact: Leighton Ginn                                  
Public Relations Specialist  
(760) 567-2983  

lginn@daphealth.org.    

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   

Program approved Jan. 10, 2022 by the California Department of Public Health 

This Spring, DAP Health will unveil its harm reduction program that will have two components. First, Overdose prevention and secondly a Syringe Services Program (SSP) that will include health services and behavioral health support to combat the rise in preventable overdoses and the increase in new HIV cases.  

The multi-layered program will focus on education for the community, HIV and Hepatitis C testing, distribution and collection of syringes and referrals to support folks through their addiction journey.  

Additional services to be provided: Naloxone/Narcan to reverse overdose and prevent death, and Fentanyl test strips for testing drugs before use to decrease likelihood of overdose.  

In the latest preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 100,000 people in the U.S. died from overdoses during the 12-month period from April 2020 through April 2021. (https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/drug-overdose-data.htm) 

In Riverside County, there has been an 800 percent increase in fentanyl-related deaths since 2016, according to Rivco.org.  (https://www.rivco.org/news/riverside-county-committee-combat-fentanyl-abuse).  

Palm Springs has an overdose death rate 300 percent higher than the state average.  

Palm Springs Police Department Chief Andy Mills was able to review the harm reduction program and was impressed with how complete it is.  

“It’s important to remember the dynamics that go into a program like this,” Mills says. “That’s what excites me. Not only is DAP Health looking at helping people, but genuinely helping people so they are not destructive to themselves or our community.” 

DAP Health is only the second state certified Syringe Services Program (SSP) in Riverside County, which is the 10th most populated county in the United States.  

Because of the rising numbers, Secretary of Health and Human Services, Xavier Bacerra says the federal government supports harm reduction, which includes direct support and care to people who actively struggle with substance misuse.  

“DAP Health will begin deepening our relationship with people living with addiction by adding a harm reduction approach to our first-aid kit of solutions,” says C.J. Tobe, the Director of Community Health and Sexual Wellness. “We will do this without stigma or judgment because you cannot treat someone who does not trust you. Harm reduction is an important tactic in DAP Health’s ongoing work to end the HIV epidemic.  Work that begins with meeting folks where they are.” 

Education  

  • Overdose prevention  
  • Safer injecting  
  • Risk reduction counseling  
  • Education to community partners  

Testing  

  • Free HIV/HCV testing  
  • Fentanyl strips for testing drugs before use to decrease likelihood of overdose  

Equipment  

  • Naloxone/Narcan to reverse overdose and prevent death  
  • Phone number and email to DAP Health for the community to report used syringes that need to be picked up and disposed of, or to request education related to harm reduction strategies at HarmReduction@DAPHealth.org or 760 992-0453. 
  • New syringes and intake/dispose of used syringes  
  • New injecting supplies  
  • Safer sex kits  
  • Safer smoking kits   

Referrals To 

  • Substance use counselors  
  • Outpatient Drug Free program DAP Health 
  • Local recovery and treatment centers  
  • DAP Health’s peer support specialist  
  • Early Intervention Specialist (EIS) for anyone with HIV and/or Hepatitis C for treatment  
  • Insurance enrollment and connection to health care and other social support services  
  • DAP Health’s Sexual Wellness Clinic (Orange Clinic) for STI testing and/or Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)  
  • Food and housing    

 

About DAP Health 

DAP Health is an advocacy-based health center in Palm Springs, Calif., serving more than 10,000 patients, offering medical and mental health care, 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.     

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

DAP Health’s sexual health clinic offers STI testing and treatment, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), and HIV and hepatitis C (HCV) testing. DAP Health has earned Charity Navigator’s highest rating for the twelfth consecutive year — landing DAP 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.  

Make a New Year’s Resolution: Choose w …

Make a New Year’s Resolution: Choose words that matter when you want to make a positive impact

Resolutions do not have to expire shortly after the new year. For yours, we hope you will make person-first language your pledge throughout 2022.  

Person-first language helps someone know that you see them as much more than their condition or diagnosis. As 2022 brings more uncertainty, keeping each other close and cared for may become more challenging. DAP Health has been doing this since 1984 with unending curiosity, and by consulting with the people we serve. 

Choosing different words might seem trivial to you. But you have the power to help someone who has suffered from stigma feel welcome for the first time. We take person-first language seriously because we have witnessed our patients and clients experiencing dramatically better health outcomes, after facing fear and shame in other medical and behavioral health settings.  

After trying to survive in a world of stigma, a person can heal from fear once they enter culturally competent care. They feel less like an outsider. Suddenly, they start dreaming about their own future. And with care and resources from DAP Health, living a fuller life often becomes a reality.  

Change can start with you. Below are the areas of health care urgently needing people-first language. We also added links for you to find out more.  

Addiction 

Instead of addict or user, consider saying they have a substance use disorder (SUD). Using person-first language shows that SUD is an illness. Find out more at https://www.drugabuse.gov/drug-topics/addiction-science/words-matter-preferred-language-talking-about-addiction 

For DAP Health’s Outpatient Drug Free (ODF) program, contact our Behavioral Health Patient Services Representative at 760-323-2118. 

HIV Health 

Instead of saying HIV patient, consider saying “person living with HIV” or PLWHIV. 

The Undetectable Equals Untransmitable (U=U) movement is undoing decades of stigma that was built on a mistruth. With proper antiretroviral therapy (ART), PLWHIV cannot sexually transmit the virus to others. Find out more at preventionaccess.org. 

For HIV care at DAP Health, visit daphealth.org or call 760-323-2118. 

Gender Affirming Care 

Introducing yourself with your pronouns means you are starting the conversation with respect.  

If you say, “Hi, I’m David. My pronouns are he, him, his.” This shows that you are comfortable with your own identity and that you understand that gender identity is up to each person to name themselves. It also makes the other person feel safe to share theirs if they choose to.  

A substantial number of transgender and gender diverse people avoid health care because of stigma. When someone does not acknowledge their gender identity, it is as a form of discrimination. 

To find out more about Gender Affirming Care, visit daphealth.org or call 760-323-2118. 

Mental Health 

Instead of saying someone has a mental or emotional health challenge, consider just referring to them by their name. Always ask how they want to identify.  

For more about person-first language and behavioral health, visit https://www.mhanational.org/person-centered-language 

To find out about therapy at DAP Health, contact our Patient Services Representative at 760-323-2118. 

Sexual Wellness 

Instead of promiscuous, consider saying multiple partners.  

Instead of unprotected sex, consider using condomless sex or condomless sex with (or without) PrEP, or condomless sex with treatment-as-prevention. 

Instead of prostitution, consider sex worker or transactional sex. 

Sexual expression is a normal part of the human experience, but it is one of the most stigmatized areas of health care. Fear, anger, and shame keep many from STI and HIV testing but modifying how we talk about it can help us bring down California’s rising epidemics.  

To find out about free sexual wellness services and more about overcoming sexual stigma, visit https://www.daphealth.org/hiv-sti-care/sexual-health-clinic/ or call (760) 323-2118.  

Experiencing Homelessness  

Instead of homeless person, consider saying person experiencing homelessness.  

DAP Health understands that people experience being unhoused, but that it does not define them. Our Community Health team goes to where people need services, wherever that is. Find out more about our mobile services and outreach by calling 760-323-2118 or visiting daphealth.org. 

Find out more at https://www.usich.gov/news/people-experience-homelessness-they-arent-defined-by-it/ 

Five DAP Health clinicians recognized by …

Five DAP Health clinicians recognized by the American Academy of HIV Medicine

There are numerous names that Dan Ebeling must scroll through in his role as the Director of Credentialing and Technology for the American Academy of HIV Medicine (AAHIVM), he says one organization pops up often -- DAP Health.  

AAHIVM is a Washington D.C.-based agency and the nation’s leading independent organization of health care professionals dedicated to providing excellence in HIV care and prevention.  

This year, Ebeling credentialed 1,500 professionals. While he doesn’t know DAP Health on a personal level or the individuals who apply or renew their credentials specifically, he can surmise the level of commitment DAP Health exhibits.  

“They are committed to those high standards,” Ebeling said from his office in Washington D.C. “When an organization takes that extra step and says, ‘We’re going to help and support all of the people who work for us to earn this credential, it says something strong about that organization -- the organization is making a commitment to the highest standards of care.”  

This year, five DAP Health clinicians earned or renewed their credentials – Dr. David Morris (Chief Medical Officer), Dr. Tulika Singh MD (Director of Research, Associate Chief Medical Officer), Anthony Velasco (Senior Nurse Practitioner Specialist), Felipe Saavedra MD (Primary Care Physician) and Trent Broadus (Nurse Practitioner). 

“It’s not an easy process. It requires a lot of specialized knowledge in HIV care,” Ebeling says. “Going through the process  can be very rewarding.”  

The credentials are the first and only one of its kind offered domestically and internationally to physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and pharmacists specializing in advanced-level HIV care.  

In 2019, DAP Health, then known as Desert AIDS Project, distinguished itself as an organization when it won the Peter M. Fox Excellence in AAHIVM Credentialing Award, which recognizes organizations where all eligible practitioners  hold a credential. 

Being credentialed through AAHIVM helps ensure that medical professionals are up to date with new practices to provide optimal care.  

“It’s the gold standard. It’s what we want, it’s what we expect, and it’s what we do. It says that we reach for the top shelf,’ Dr. Morris says. “We expect our clinicians to be certified by the American Academy of HIV Medicine, and we proudly maintain that certification.”  

New DAP Health Sexual Wellness clinic op …

DAP Health expands Sexual Wellness in Indio, CA opening new clinic opening June 2022 and MISTR partnership expand the reach of health care services  

DAP Health made two significant moves to expand free testing and treatment to the East Valley by signing a lease to a new facility in Indio and partnering with MISTR to provide virtual PrEP services statewide.  

On Nov. 29, DAP Health signed a lease for a building in Indio to open a sexual wellness clinic.  The organization hopes to open the new space by June 2022.  

Free services will include STI (Sexually Transmitted Infections) testing and treatment (gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis), HIV prevention (pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP; post-exposure prophylaxis, or PEP), and HIV and hepatitis C testing.  

If anyone tests positive for HIV, the sexual wellness clinic DAP Health will provide that person with rapid start medication and linkage to care, an essential step in reducing new HIV infections and improving the health outcomes of the person living with HIV. While the cost of ongoing HIV treatment is not part of the free services, DAP Health offers financial assistance.  

In 2019, 25% of all HIV-positive test results at DAP Health were Hispanic men. “Many folks were driving from the East Valley to Palm Springs to utilize DAP Health’s sexual wellness services. We noticed not only a high volume of patients but most of those patients were already having symptoms of an STI or testing positive for HIV,” says C.J. Tobe, the Director of Community Health and Sexual Wellness at DAP Health. Tobe believes free testing and treatment, with the convenience of not having to drive a great distance, will encourage more people to get tested.   

DAP Health is changing the system to meet the person. Since eliminating the cost barriers in its Orange Clinic that houses its sexual wellness services in July 2021, DAP Health has seen ongoing STI increases while HIV has remained the same, according to Tobe.   

DAP Health knew access to these services would be vital while social activities increased.    

In the first four months:    

  • The Orange Clinic saw over 2,000 patients.   
  • On average, DAP Health is seeing 170 more patients per month than when patients were being charged for services.    
  • The clinic started the same number of people on PrEP during the four months than they did in the prior 12 months.    
  • There were over 50 appointments for rapid start to ensure people newly diagnosed with HIV, or returning to care, have access to HIV medications within 7 days.    

“We are proactively protecting the community’s health,” Tobe said. “Eliminating the cost barrier has proven to increase access to folks in our community for PrEP and STI services.”   

“One of those barriers is cost. DAP Health learned many people testing positive for STIs and HIV had limited incomes. For them, the prior $25 fee for STI testing and PrEP was an impediment to care. DAP Health decided to remove that cost barrier to improve health equity.”  

In addition to the new Indio site, DAP Health now offers PrEP services virtually through MISTR, a discrete online service that provides access to PrEP, the once-daily pill regimen that prevents HIV. With its secure online platform, MISTR can determine if an individual is a candidate for PrEP and makes PrEP completely free. Moreover, MISTR manages all paperwork and back and forth with insurance companies and the various patient assistance programs, creating a seamless experience for the end-user.   

With the new clinic and the partnership with MISTR, DAP Health looks to make its services available to more people.  

DAP Health continues to make sexual wellness a priority by providing more people with more access to health services. It also continues to expand its ability to treat more people.   

"We welcome all people, period. And now we are eliminating more barriers to access sexual wellness services," Tobe said. “We are changing the system to meet the person. We continue to do this; First by eliminating the cost barrier and now opening a free sexual wellness clinic to people most impacted by HIV/STIs. That is health equity.”  

For more information, visit https://mistr.com/dap/ or https://mistr.com/dap-sistr/  

Outpatient Drug Free (ODF) treatment pro …

DAP Health’s Outpatient Drug Free (ODF) treatment program offers an alternative for individuals struggling with substance abuse.

The concept of going to stay at a rehab facility to treat a drug or alcohol addiction is something that we've all heard about. But another option is outpatient rehab where you visit a facility for recovery help, but don't stay overnight. Outpatient treatment is actually a very common option that allows individuals struggling with substance abuse to receive structured care while continuing to work and maintain their social connections.

At DAP Health, we aim to improve the quality of life for our patients by providing effective outpatient drug-free (ODF) substance use disorder treatment services integrated into our Behavioral Health Clinic. The goal is to help you reduce or eliminate alcohol and/or other drug use, address associated physical and/or mental health problems, and restore participants to maximum functional ability. "Our services are designed to treat the individual who meets the diagnostic criteria for Substance Use Disorder (SUD) and presents with the ability to participate in low intensity, outpatient treatment," says Dr. Jill Gover, DAP Health's Director of Behavioral Health.

The average participant in the ODF program, which last for 16 weeks, has 6.5 hours of treatment each week. That includes 1 hour of individual therapy; 1.5 hours, twice a week of ODF group therapy; 1.5 hours with a support group; and 1 hour at a 12-step meeting. The ODF program includes evidence-based curricula; the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) screening tools; measured progress of treatment outcomes; and referral resources.

All participants in the ODF program receive a client handbook with handouts that will help them get the most out of their treatment. Some handouts ask questions and have spaces for answers, while others ask you to read and think about a subject or an idea, and contain advice or reminders about recovery.

During each group treatment session, the counselor gives clients time to think about their responses and then the group discusses the handout. Everyone is encouraged to share their thoughts and ask questions. "The more participation you have in group therapy, the more benefit you will receive from it," says Dr. Gover. "Part of the work is reading, completing, and reflecting on the handouts."

To fully benefit from group therapy, Dr. Gover also advises that, among other things, participants attend every group session; listen carefully and respectfully to the facilitator and the other participants and be supportive; maintain confidentiality and don't share other clients’ personal information outside the group so that everyone feels comfortable sharing their thoughts and experiences; and complete the homework assignments.

But all of these specifics aside, remember that taking that first step and joining our ODF program is the most important one. As the introduction to our handbook says, "Congratulations! You have taken the first step towards your recovery. You should be very proud of your decision to enter treatment and your commitment to recovery."

To sign up for the ODF program, contact our Behavioral Health Patient Services Representative, at 760-323-2118, who will make an appointment for you with our intake coordinator. Once a comprehensive assessment intake has been completed, if appropriate, you will referred to the ODF group as part of their treatment plan.   

10 Best Movies/Series on HIV/AIDS

10 Best Movies/Series on HIV/AIDS  

The compilers of "Top 10" lists, "Best of the Year," etc. can try to take the high road and explain that their choices are based on a variety of extremely rational-sounding criteria. But, let's face it, creating a Top 10 list is a highly subjective endeavor. A roundup of the best films in any genre can be held up as a prime example. Just think about movie reviews. How many times have you read a glowing appreciation of a film by one critic, only to find another reviewer has a slightly less effusive opinion? 

Despite these hurdles, we're presenting our list of the Top 10 movies about HIV and AIDS. While some of these films were released years ago, their impact has not diminished. They serve as a measure of how far we've come in the battle against HIV and AIDS. But they also remind us that there's still work to be done to end the AIDS crisis. 

Since 1984, residents of the Coachella Valley have been coming together as a community in action caring for those living with and now aging with HIV. DAP Health is proud to be an integral part of that effort and is committed to the greater good and the diversity of over 9,700 people calling DAP Health their health care home. 

Now, sit back and enjoy our list. It's not perfect and people will certainly suggest that some of the movies we considered, such as Longtime CompanionRent, and Mapplethorpe, should be moved up from also-ran to the Top 10. So let the debate begin. Remember, nobody's right and nobody's wrong. It's all subjective. 

Dallas Buyers Club, 2013: The real-life story of Texan Ron Woodroff who was diagnosed with AIDS in the mid-80s when treatment options were limited. Desperate for help, Woodroof formed the Dallas Buyers Club to smuggle non-approved medications for his use and to distribute themfor a monthly membership feeto others. Matthew McConaughey (as Woodroff) and Jared Leto won Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor Academy Awards for their roles. 

Philadelphia, 1993: One of the first mainstream Hollywood films to confront HIV and AIDS. Tom Hanks won a Best Actor Academy Award for his portrayal of a lawyer who sues his law firm after he realizes he's been dismissed because of his sexual orientation and AIDS diagnosis. 

Boys on the Side, 1995: This comedy/drama follows three very different women as they set out on a cross country road trip. Whoopi Goldberg, a musician who's recently broken up with her girlfriend; Drew Barrymore who is trying to escape an abusive relationship; and Mary-Louise Parker as a real estate agent who initially hides her HIV-positive status.  

Common ThreadsStories from the Quilt, 1989: This powerful documentary uses a combination of photo montages, interviews with friends and family members, home movies, and news footage to tell the story of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. 

Paris is Burning, 1990: In a cultural collision, this documentary on the ball culture in New York City was released just six months after Madonna brought international attention to "voguing." The film explores the AIDS challenges and racism, transphobia, and homophobia faced by the primarily African-American and Latino communities who were at the heart of drag ball's heyday. 

The Normal Heart, 2014: The rise of the HIV/AIDS crisis is chronicled based on Larry Kramer's semi-autobiographical play of the same name. In 1981, a "gay plague" began sweeping through New York City and Kramer's anger at the lack of support from the media and medical community, as well as his fellow members of ACT UP, is palpable. The film is a powerful and emotional reminder of the terror of those early days and what a Los Angeles Times review referred to as "a howling call to action."

Angels in America, 2003: A man who is abandoned by his lover when he reveals to him he has AIDS; a closeted Mormon attorney; a dying Roy Cohn; the ghost of Ethel Rosenberg. It's no surprise the Tony Kushner's play, upon which this made-for-cable film is based, was titled "Angels in AmericaA Gay Fantasia on National Themes." As columnist Frank Rich noted in The New York Times, "This epic is, among other things, a searing indictment of how the Reagan administration's long silence stoked the plague of AIDS in the 1980's."

An Early Frost, 1984: This made-for-television movie was the first time a major network (NBC) broadcast a program about AIDS. Michael (Aidan Quinn), is a lawyer who contracts HIV from his boyfriend who had sex outside their seemingly monogamous relationship. It depicts much of the fear and ignorance that surrounded the disease at that time: Nurses leave Michael's food outside his hospital room, his sister is afraid to let her son near him and then won't visit him when she becomes pregnant. 

Straight Outta Compton, 2015: Nominated for an Academy Award for best original screenplay, this biographical film follows the rise and fall of the gangsta rap group N.W.A., including the AIDS death of member Eric "Eazy-E” Wright in 1985. At time of the movie's release, MTV News noted that, "The rap icons passing at 31 was an eye-opener for many people who werent educated about the disease at the time." 

The Living End, 1992: Perhaps the least known movie on our list, this film written and directed by Gregg Araki was nominated for a Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. Some reviewers dubbed it "a gay Thelma and Louise" for its plot revolving around two gay, HIV-positive men who go on the run after one of them murders a homophobic police officer.

Palm Springs AIDS Memorial Sculpture Tas …

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Press Contact: The Development Department Inc.

Phone Number:  760-669-3366

PSAMS@devdeptinc.com

Palm Springs AIDS Memorial Sculpture Task Force Launches Capital Campaign During World AIDS Day

November 30, 2021

The Palm Springs AIDS Memorial Sculpture Task Force is excited to announce that the AIDS Memorial Sculpture is one step closer to becoming a reality. The Palm Springs City Council recently unanimously approved the acceptance of the Sculpture to be placed in the new Downtown City Park. The Task Force has also partnered with DAP Health to provide a dedicated link to enable community members to help fund the Palm Springs AIDS Memorial Sculpture, visit https://psaidsmemorial.org to donate and for more information.  

“December 1, World AIDS Day was chosen as the launch, as it signifies the remembrance of those we’ve lost to HIV/AIDS and gives renewed hope that one day, the virus will be eradicated. It is our responsibility to remember their lives and to continue to tell their stories, so that they are never forgotten,” said Mike Richey, Co-Chair National AIDS Memorial. “AIDS has affected every community across the world, and it is for this reason that AIDS Memorials should be established to honor & remember those lost.”  

The Task Force’s vision is to provide the AIDS Memorial Sculpture as a gift to the City of Palm Springs and people of the Valley. Internationally acclaimed artist based in the Coachella Valley, Phillip K. Smith, III, has been commissioned to design the memorial, which will provide an opportunity for reflection, remembrance and hope once its placed in the new City of Palm Springs Downtown Park.

“The AIDS Memorial Sculpture will be a touchstone for unity, hope, grief, and healing in the Coachella Valley.  As a monolithic, singular stone sculpture, the carved surfaces will dance with light, shadow, and reflection.  Through rotating grooves cut into the gloss surface as matte marks signifying unity through struggle or the soft curve of undulating forms evoking healing over grief, this is a memorial to be touched, to be felt. It is a timeless, enduring landmark delicately placed on the land. It is heavy, but light -- lifting hope, lifting struggle, and lifting up what is important,” described Phillip K. Smith, III.

The Palm Springs AIDS Memorial Task Force’s mission is to ensure the lives of those lost are never forgotten, and that their stories and lives are remembered into the future.  We also envision an opportunity to use this memorial as a means to educate the public about HIV prevention, diagnosis and treatment options available to everyone who seeks information and to help direct individuals to resources available to them throughout the city, and the country.

The goal of the Task Force is to raise the necessary funds to support the creation, installation and ongoing resources to maintain this sculpture for generations to come.  Given the impact that HIV/AIDS has had on our community, we believe there will be great support for securing the necessary funds to make this AIDS Memorial Sculpture a reality. 

To help facilitate that fundraising goal, the Task Force has enlisted Paul Clowers and Ellen Wolf of The Development Department Inc. to lead the project. The Task Force has also partnered with DAP Health to act as the fiscal processing agent for donations which can be made by visiting daphealth.org/aids-memorial-fund. For addition information or donation assistance please contact The Development Department Inc. at PSAMS@DevDeptInc.com, call 760-669-3366, or visit https://psaidsmemorial.org

DAP Health sees large uptick in HIV and …

DAP Health sees large uptick in HIV and STI testing since offering free service  

Eliminating cost barrier has drawn more people to get tested and care in past four months 

PALM SPRINGS, CA – Since eliminating the cost barriers in its Sexual Wellness Clinic/Orange Clinic, DAP Health has seen an ongoing STI increases while HIV has remained the same, according to CJ Tobe, the Director of Community Health and Sexual Wellness.  

DAP Health knew access to these services would be vital while social activities increased 

In the first four months:  

  • The Orange Clinic saw over 2,000 patients. 
  • On average, DAP Health is seeing 170 more patients per month than when patients were being charged for services.  
  • The clinic started the same amount of people on PrEP during the four months than they did in the prior 12 months.  
  • There were over 50 appointments for rapid start to ensure people newly diagnosed with HIV, or returning to care, have access to HIV medications within 7 days.  

“We are proactively protecting the community’s health,” Tobe said. “Eliminating the cost barrier has proven to increase access to folks in our community for PrEP and STI services.” 

Free services include STI testing and treatment (gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis), HIV prevention (pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP; post-exposure prophylaxis, or PEP), and HIV and hepatitis C testing.

If anyone tests positive for HIV, the sexual wellness clinic will provide that person with rapid start medication and linkage to care, an essential step in reducing new HIV infections and improving the health outcomes of the person living with HIV. While the cost of ongoing HIV treatment is not part of the free services, DAP Health offers financial assistance. 

DAP Health continues to make sexual wellness a priority by providing more people with more access to health services. It also continues to expand its ability to treat more people. 

"We welcome all people, period. And now we are eliminating more barriers to access sexual wellness services," Tobe said while explaining why DAP Health has decided to offer free sexual wellness services. 

“One of those barriers is cost. DAP Health learned many people testing positive for STIs and HIV had limited incomes,” Tobe says. “For them, the prior $25 fee for STI testing and PrEP was an impediment to care. DAP Health decided to remove that cost barrier to improve health equity.”

About DAP Health 

DAP Health is an advocacy-based health center in Palm Springs, Calif., serving more than 10,000 patients, offering medical and mental health care, 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.     

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

DAP Health’s sexual health clinic offers STI testing and treatment, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), and HIV and hepatitis C (HCV) testing. DAP Health has earned Charity Navigator’s highest rating for the twelfth consecutive year — landing DAP 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.    

 

 

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