Call: (760) 323-2118
8am to 5pm Monday - Friday

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

Revivals Online Artist Spotlight Feature …

Revivals Online Artist Spotlight Features DAP Health Clients

When words fail him, Robert Coughlin’s art speaks for him.

“I don’t know if I do too well in language, I feel a bit lacking in being able to communicate. I really think that painting for me is my voice.” Coughlin says. “I had a pretty rough childhood, so my images have always been really bright and colorful. I’ve always wanted anybody who sees them to feel lifted up.”

Coughlin, along with nine other DAP Health clients, will have his art for sale during the holiday season in an artist spotlight on Revival’s website (revivalsstores.com).

Corina Lujan, DAP Health Wellness Center Manager, says selling the art is an extension of a career development program at DAP Health that helps clients become productive. Through the program, it was apparent there were a number of talented artists. “A lot of them are really skilled with no place to sell their art,” Lujan explains.

“Selling their art is a way for them to make a little bit of extra money, especially since some of them are on disability. Their fixed income doesn’t allow for a lot.”

Normally, client art is displayed in the lobby of the Barbara Keller Love Building at DAP Health. But construction and COVID reduced the traffic flow through the hallway.

“We launched e-commerce at Revivals during the pandemic and felt the timing was right to use the online site to spotlight DAP Health clients,” says Director of Retail, Dane Koch. 100% of the proceeds will go directly to the artist. The timing of the online sale makes giving a gift for the greater good easier than ever before. The limited-timed event begins on November 25, 2021, and will end on January 2, 2022.

Coughlin says he is excited that he will be able to sell his watercolor and acrylic paintings. His paintings are a form of communication for him and one of the messages he wants to portray is his gratitude for DAP Health providing the care he needed.

“I wept the first time I went to the dentist there,” Coughlin says. “All my dental work was so necessary.

The dentists and everybody in the front office treated me with such compassion. It was very emotional for me that I wasn’t treated like a leper. I’m just so grateful for them, for Dr. (Tulika) Singh on the medical side and Josie (Pimentel) her assistant. They’ve just been so compassionate and kind and really supportive.”

Click here to meet the artists 

About Revivals

Giving Back Never Goes Out of Style. Shopping at Revivals funds hope and health for the 10,000 individuals who call DAP Health their healthcare home. Revivals Stores donate 100% of its profits, totaling over $1 million a year, to support comprehensive medical and mental healthcare at DAP Health.

Find Yourself at Revivals and support the community you want to create. Revivals has four locations throughout the Coachella Valley - Palm Springs, Indio, Cathedral City, and Palm Desert. Customers are also able to shop a broad collection of brand-new Mode furniture alongside vintage finds on its website.

DAP Health (DAP) is an advocacy-based health center in Palm Springs, CA offering medical and mental healthcare, STI testing and treatment, dentistry, pharmacy, and lab. 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. Visit Revivals Stores at www.revivalsstores.com.

The Partners for Life Season Opens with …

The Partners for Life Season Opens with a Story of Healing  

A beautiful evening, empowering messages, and a dazzling performance by Keisha D. This was the November 9 Season Opening Partners for Life event hosted at the home of Doug Chadwick, with catering provided by Lulu's California Bistro. It was the first Partners for Life gathering in almost two years continuing the theme of the organization's October 30 Desert AIDS Walk - Together Again.  

DAP Health CEO David Brinkman addressed supporters, providing an update on the advocacy-based healthcare organization and its focus on health equity.  

Explaining how DAP Health's roots in community care continue to guide future planning, Brinkman explained “We believe that everyone deserves to be healthy and that stems from our unique history." 

“Our founding 37 years ago at the beginning of the AIDS crisis was fraught with horrific human suffering, denied medical care, and outright cruelty. Hard-won lessons learned throughout our history led us to our health equity movement: Our fight to be healthy, our fight for our human rights.”  

Joining Brinkman on stage was singer and humanitarian, Keisha D who was honored with a star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars in 2020. Keisha D has a long history of supporting the LGBTQ+ community and young people in our community. She established the Keisha D scholarship, an endowment through the Palm Springs Unified School District (PSUSD) that is awarded to underserved minority students who wish to pursue education in music and performing arts. 

Keisha D shared her experience at DAP Health. When she arrived for her first appointment, she felt hopeless because of her medical challenges.   

“I was lying in bed, I was 105 pounds, and I could barely lift my head,” Keisha D told attendees. “They rolled me in a wheelchair to see Dr. (David) Morris and I told him that all I want you to do is set me up for hospice. I am sick of this. I want to die. I don’t want to do this anymore."  

“Dr. Morris (DAP Health’s Chief Medical Officer) told me, ‘That is not what we are in the business to do. We’re in the business to heal you."  

"That’s what they have done". Keisha D pointed out as she confidently stood on the stage.   

But Keisha D can do much more than that today.  She performs every Monday night at The Purple Room in Palm Springs, as well as several other venues and events around the Coachella Valley.  Her voice was strong and empowering as she performed “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going,” from the hit musical Dreamgirls.  

She expressed what DAP Health means to her and the community. 

Illustrating the importance of access to comprehensive health care. Keisha D pointed out her illness was not HIV-related. The care she received at DAP Health was something she was not receiving from her previous care teams.  

“I’m telling you, from my heart, thank you for letting it be possible that this facility is open for anybody. I have a lot of other doctors who could not help me. And so, what you are doing, it's amazing.”  

In his update, Brinkman shared that DAP Health is working hard to expand its services. Free STI testing and treatment has been extended, partially due to the growing demands during the pandemic. 

During the pandemic, DAP Health opened the Marc Byrd Behavioral Health Clinic to address a growing need in mental health. A move that will double the organization's capacity to meet a growing and urgent need for care.  

Sharing that DAP Health will soon break ground on a new affordable housing project, Brinkman said “Together we can build a more just, equal, and healthy community right here in the desert."  

"Because of you, the DAP Health community is a leader in the work of health equity. Our founding, our advances in our health equity movement, drive us to find solutions for hunger, housing, addiction and to expand health access for our diverse community.”     

About DAP Health's Partners for Life

For over 30 years, members of the Partners for Life (PFL) program have provided generous financial support to help DAP Health with their ongoing battle to end epidemics like HIV and COVID; to provide equitable patient-centered health care to anyone who needs it; and to focus on the entire person's health through behavioral health and addiction services, dentistry, career counseling and placement, housing, social services, youth outreach and education, and more.  

As an advocacy-based health care organization, DAP Health offers access to care to over 10,000 clients annually, plus over 80 new individuals who visit our campus for the very first time every month.  

Learn more about becoming a member of Partners for Life 

DAP Health Advocates for and Supports LG …

DAP Health Advocates for and Supports LGBTQ+ Community at Greater Palm Spring Pride 

DAP Health walked with pride alongside a bright progressive rainbow of other community organizations that support the LGBTQ+ community during the 35th Annual Greater Palm Springs Pride Festival.  The advocacy-based healthcare organization has provided community healthcare since 1984 and proudly sponsored this year's community stage which highlighted local talent. 

This year's Pride event drew tens of thousands of enthusiastic participants from around the globe who gathered in Palm Springs for a weekend of community, music, friends, and of course, the legendary Palm Springs Pride Parade which featured over 250 entrants this year. 

“It was overwhelming to be together again at this year’s parade,” says Nick Valenziano, DAP Health Manager of Executive Affairs.  Valenziano organized DAP Health’s participation in Pride this year alongside a committee made up of DAP Health employees.  “As I watched the street fill up with all the participants, it really hit me that I hadn’t been among the community in this way in such a long time.” 

DAP Health’s Pride Parade contingent returned to its advocacy roots this year inviting employees and supporters to carry signs that amplified the organization's commitment to health equity. Some of the signs read “No Stigma,” “Sex Work Is Work,” “Mental Health is Health”, “Black Lives Matter,” and “U=U”.   

DAP Health Director of Brand Marketing, Steven Henke explains.  “Our approach was to focus our messaging on the very real challenges faced by the communities we serve.  Stigma and shame remain barriers to health care for too many people living with HIV or mental health challenges.  The U=U campaign (undetectable equals untransmittable) aims to end the stigma around HIV that keeps too many people from getting tested for HIV or obtaining the care they need to stay healthy. At the end of the day, the message we wanted to deliver is that DAP Health welcomes all people. Period."    

“You could feel the energy moving in both directions, all of us greeting them and them waving back, shouting and clapping,” Valenziano said. “It was like we were all rediscovering humanity.”   

DAP Health’s Department of Community Health team provided education, counseling, and testing to hundreds of Pride goers who took advantage of free and confidential HIV testing, STI testing, PrEP consultations, and the condom bar offerings.  The message they delivered:  We offer judgment FREE testing and treatment.  

DAP Health's focus on sexual wellness remains on the forefront of a trend that has seen an increase in STI's 

CJ Tobe, Director of Community Health and Sexual Wellness at DAP Health, explains "we’ve continued to see an increase in STIs through the COVID pandemic, but even more specifically in the last 6 months we’ve seen a significant increase in syphilis and gonorrhea.”   

DAP Health continues to offer free services in its Orange Clinic.  Free services include testing and treatment for gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis;HIV and hepatitis C testing; andpre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, and post-exposure prophylaxis, or PEP— treatments available for those at risk of coming into contact with HIV and those who may have already been exposed to it. 

The Orange Clinic provides anyone who tests positive for HIV with rapid start medication and links them to care. 

DAP Health offers free grief group for t …

DAP Health offers free grief group for those who've lost ones they love 

The holiday season is a time of joy, but it can also be a period of stress and anxiety for many of us—and even tinged with sadness if you're unable to spend it with family, or have recently lost someone special.  

Yet according to Dr. Jill Gover, DAP Health's Director of Behavioral Health, it’s normal to feel sad this time of year if someone has recently died. "Don’t pretend to be happy just because it’s the holiday season." 

To help people on their journey through what may be a difficult holiday season for them, DAP Health is offering "Grief’s Courageous Journey: A Bereavement Therapy Group." This free, 10-week program—which begins on December 1—has been designed to process grief and the loss of a loved one. Based on the workbook titled “Grief’s Courageous Journey,” Dr. Gover created a 12-week curriculum seven years ago when she was the Mental Health Director at the Scott Hines Mental Health Clinic @ The Center. "I had found the book was very helpful to grieving patients and I wanted to create a structured treatment protocol that would lend itself to group work," she says. 

The therapy group is limited to a maximum of 12 to 15 people (and can be as small as 6 participants) and is a "closed group," meaning the same people attend each week. "At the beginning, everyone reviews the confidentiality code and is asked not to discuss anything personal about group members outside of the group," says Dr. Gover. "Trust comes from sharing the therapeutic exercises and getting to know each other over time—and because it's a closed group that makes it easier to trust others."  

She goes on to say that, "This is a very specific, evidenced-based structured psycho-educational bereavement group that uses therapeutic exercises to help participants process their grief." So it's unlike regular group therapy which is not focused on a specific topic.  

"The therapeutic exercises help the group participants to identify and acknowledge their feelings, explore any survivor’s guilt, resentment or anger that might be stuffed away, provides opportunity to reflect on all aspects of the death, and then offers ways to move forward," explains Dr. Gover. 

The group will meet in person on Wednesdays from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. in DAP Health's Behavioral Health Clinic. For more information, or to enroll, contact Ian Struthers, LCSW at 760-323-2118, extension 408. 

If you're unable to participate in the group, try to remember that the holidays don't have to be perfect. Dr. Gover has pointed out that it's vital to recognize that others are also experiencing holiday stress and depression. "I think it’s really important to be kind to yourself, reassess, and let go of perfectionistic, unrealistic expectations, and perhaps establish new rituals for the holidays this year that reflect who you are now." 

Anti-Anxiety Notebook – How journals h …

Anti-Anxiety Notebook – How journals help serve as beneficial tools for our self-care   

It may seem like a quaint idea in our digital-mad era but, sometimes, one of the best ways to relieve anxiety is to grab a pen and write in a journal. "I LOVE journaling as a therapeutic intervention, and I use it frequently with patients," says Dr. Jill Gover, DAP Health's Director of Behavioral Health. (By the way, everyone who knows Dr. Gover calls her "Dr. G.")

As evidence of the renewed interest in journaling, a recent article in The New York Times noted that, "Over many centuries, journals have served as tools for recording history, as emotional outlets and as creative stimulants." The Times story goes on to mention a logbook titled "The Anti-Anxiety Notebook." Its publishers say that it provides users with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)-based entries to "help you track your emotions, become more aware of thought patterns, and grow over time specifically to reduce anxiety and manage stress."

But, wait, maybe you're asking yourself, "What's CBT? You're not alone if you haven't heard of it. CBT is a form of talk therapy that helps people become more aware of their negative thinking so they can change their way of looking at things and respond in a more positive manner to challenging situations.

"Whether I give a patient CBT handouts, or they use a journal to identify the feelings, thoughts, and distorted thinking patterns in order to reframe perspective, the therapeutic experience is the same," says Dr. G. She adds that the Anti-Anxiety Notebook is a great tool to be used in conjunction with therapy and that it includes a lot of the same exercises and strategies that she uses in therapy from other sources, like “The Anxiety Workbook.”

But she goes on to say that she also thinks it's important that people don't just use journaling on their own as a replacement for therapy. "It doesn’t work that way. Self-help material is wonderful and a great resource, but it needs to be used along with therapy to be truly effective."

Dr. G explains that some of the components she uses in CBT treatment of anxiety involve breathing/relaxation techniques; cognitive restructuring, where you challenge distorted "catastrophizing" (How else might you look at this situation that is not worst case scenario?); exposure to the feared stimulus; and ritual prevention.

"We all worry, but people with anxiety disorders have a 'faulty alarm system' that is hypersensitive to danger," she says. "Therefore they experience a lot of 'false positives' where they think they are in danger and they’re not. The goals of CBT treatment for anxiety involve learning how to block fear structures. CBT techniques increase tolerance for distress by replacing negative thought such as 'I can’t cope' to 'I can cope.' With anxiety, the goal isn’t to eliminate the symptoms, but instead to change how we interpret those symptoms."

In other words, you can develop a new narrative where you tell yourself, “I’ll handle whatever happens" and come up with a plan to help reduce your fear and lower the intensity of your anxiety symptoms.

If you'd like to know more about the Anti-Anxiety Notebook, visit shop.therapynotebooks.com. 

2021 Desert AIDS Walk reaches new milest …

Contact: Leighton Ginn
Public Relations Specialist
(760) 567-2983
lginn@daphealth.org


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 2, 2021

2021 Desert AIDS Walk reaches new milestone, surpassing the $400,000 mark

FUNDS FROM THE OCTOBER 30 EVENT WILL GO TOWARDS COMPREHENSIVE CARE AT DAP HEALTH

PALM SPRINGS, CA –   The 2021 Desert AIDS Walk returned for its first in-person event since before the pandemic, and the community donated in record numbers with $400,786.24, which all goes to support DAP Health and the vital services it provides the community.

The previous record was $350,000, which was the event’s goal for this year.

“The community came together again and blew our previous record out of the water,” says Darrell L. Tucci, Chief Development & Strategy Officer at DAP Health. “To see the community come together at the very beginning of the program for the first time in 20 months was deeply moving. I had tears streaming down my face. It was really beautiful to see.”

It was DAP Health’s first in-person event since the 2019 Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards. The 2020 Desert AIDS Walk went virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tucci said it’s a testament to the community, as well as the DAP Health teams – marketing, development and volunteer coordinators, who were “the backbone on the staff side leading the event.” With the effects of the COVID-19 Pandemics being felt economically in communities across the country, Tucci said he wasn’t sure how fundraising for the walk would turn out.

This year’s event had 594 registered walkers, 71 teams and 1,836 donors. The average gift was $112.94.

The top fundraiser this year was DAP Health Board Chair Patrick Jordan, who raised $15,100 to lead individual fundraisers and his PS Properties team raised $41,710 to lead all teams.

“My passion is making sure that people in our community lead healthy lives. So whether that's somebody living and managing themselves with HIV, whether that's somebody that needs behavioral health counseling, whether that's somebody that needs food assistance, whatever it might be,” Jordan said. “I think we all have a responsibility in my eyes to care of humankind and take care of one another. And so that is what drives my passion.”

Jordan also points out that telling donors that 100 percent of the funds they raised would go directly to DAP Health programs was an incentive as the event was underwritten by the sponsors. Tucci points out that the sponsors, such as Desert Care Network and Walgreen’s, helped generate over $100,000 this year, also a record.

Revivals stores has been donating 100% of their profits to DAP Health each year since it first opened in 1994. Director of Retail, Dane Koch joined leaders from each of the four Revivals stores for a special check presentation before the walk. “Our team of volunteers and employees came together this year to make an impact.  Over 6,500 customers donated an average of three dollars as they were checking out of our stores.  The collective impact of their generosity resulted in $20,000 raised at our stores for this year's walk. To me, it’s a great reminder that every person's effort matters when we come together with a shared purpose.”

The annual Desert AIDS Walk helps fund the vital work of DAP Health, previously Desert AIDS Project, an advocacy-based health care organization that provides service to more than 10,000 individuals.

“The fight to end HIV and address health inequities is far from over and we are in this together,” said C.J. Tobe, the Director of Community Health and Sexual Wellness. “The funds raised through the Desert AIDS Walk this year is a major win for the community.”

This year marks 40 years of HIV with the first reported cases about what would become known as HIV and AIDS published in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

DAP Health CEO and President David Brinkman says, “AIDS taught us a community response is the most effective response. It taught us that we cannot turn our backs when communities are in need and in fear, that we must remember our humanity and the gift of giving back and be there to help. And as we have learned through our recent human rights and health equity movements, equality cannot be experienced by one until it is experienced by all.”

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 healthcare, 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.

DAP Health offering “Mind Over Mood” …

DAP Health offering “Mind Over Mood” group to help individuals battle Holiday blues

 

The Holidays are a time of joy, Black Friday deals, and endless hours of Hallmark Christmas movies.  

But they can also bring an unwelcome guest – depression, and anxiety.  

DAP Health is offering Mind Over Mood, a structured support group to help individuals change negative thinking patterns that often can lead to challenges such as anxiety, depression, guilt, shame, substance misuse, and relationship problems.  

The program begins November 4 and the group will meet every Thursday for 12 weeks at DAP Health. The sessions run from 2-4 p.m. and are free and open to the community.   

For more information, or to register, call (760) 323-2118, ext. 567. 

The holiday seasons can be a very difficult time for many people, but especially in the LGBT community, when family becomes such a major focus or in the holidays,” said Dr. Jill Gover, the Director of Behavioral health at DAP Health. “It can be a very distressing time. It was important to offer this group that provides a very specific tool, a psychological tool that can really help people change their negative thinking and really help them alleviate some of the depression and anxiety you might experience in holidays.” 

Gover said this year was particularly crucial because of the COVID pandemic, which left people more isolated and created more mental health issues for individuals.  

“That's one of the reasons why I thought it was so important to start this group this holiday season because we're coming out of almost a two-year period of extreme stress that is really unprecedented,” Gover said. “There's a pent-up demand to celebrate this holiday because so many people have had to put that on hold and, and so many families have been unable to come together because they weren't able to be geographically in the same place.  

“This year, as we move towards the new normal, we're starting to resume a lot of those activities that we had pre-pandemic. Because of that, there's a heightened intensity, a pent up demand for the best holiday season ever to make up for all the really crappy ones we had last year.” 

The program is also part of a new clinical instructor training program at DAP Health. One of the new interns, Chris Cassirer, will run the group. Gover said it allows Cassirer a chance to learn how to facilitate a group as well as hone his clinical skills.  

The service is available to the entire community.  

Gover also points out that the program is based on a cognitive-behavioral therapy model developed by Christine A. Padesky, a clinical psychologist who is also the co-founder of the Center for Cognitive Therapy in Huntington Beach and author of seven books.  

“It’s a wonderful book that I think everybody should learn because it really helps with daily living, and it will be particularly useful as we head into the holidays,” Gover said. “So many of us are going to feel that excess stress.”  

Over the summer, mental health took center stage in the sports world when top tennis player Naomi Osaka withdrew from the French Open because she wanted to prioritize her mental health.  

It created a much-needed discussion in the sports world, with other athletes chiming in on the lack of help or understanding about mental health.  

“Mental health matters, right?” Gover said. “It’s so important and it’s so important to publicize it. In the media, it’s so important in terms of how it tells the story. If we can eliminate the stigma associated with mental health services and allow people to really talk about their emotions, their feelings, their mental health issues, then we can intervene before they get so far upstream. That’s really my goal here at DAP Health. I really want people to come in before things get to a crisis point that they’re off the cliff.  

And that's really what this group is about. It's for the community.” 

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

If you've been seeing more pink ribbons lately, it's because October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an event that began in 1985. 

You've probably seen people wearing little pink ribbons from time-to-time and know that they symbolize the fight against breast cancer.

One of the most prominent people involved with that first event was former First Lady Betty Ford, wife of President Gerald R. Ford. Mrs. Ford was a survivor of breast cancer and was diagnosed while her husband was still in office. (The Fords enjoyed a very happy retirement in Rancho Mirage after leaving the White House and, in 1982, Mrs. Ford established the city's Betty Ford Center, which specializes in treatment programs for addiction to alcohol and other drugs.) 

Today, the ongoing goal of Breast Cancer Awareness Month is to not only educate women about symptoms, but also to learn about early detection tests that allow you to take charge of your breast health. Aside from self examination—feeling the breasts for lumps—a routine screening mammogram is a quick and simple process, and you'll often receive results the same day, or within 24 hours. 

If you're wondering about other possible symptoms of breast cancer, the World Health Organization lists some things to look out for: Alteration in the size, shape, or appearance of a breast; dimpling, redness, pitting, or other alteration in the skin; a change in nipple appearance, or alteration in the skin surrounding the nipple; and abnormal nipple discharge. 

While many people put off preventive care visits to their doctors during the pandemic, now is not the time to skip an annual mammogram. "The past year has posed a challenge to just about everything and breast cancer prevention is no exception," says Dr. Shubha Kerkar, DAP Health's Director of Infectious Diseases. 

"For the past 30 years, the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) has supported women by helping them get access to the education, screening, and support they need," she adds. And echoing the motto of the NBCF, Dr. Kerkar says, "This is our moment to rise up and do even more. October is the month of raising awareness." 

Dr. Kerkar also notes that there are charitable organizations that can help women who are unable to afford mammography services. A couple of local resources you can contact are: Borrego Health, 855-436-1234; and the Department of Health Care Services' Every Woman Counts, 800-511-2300. 

If you're a cancer survivor, like Dr. Kerkar who survived breast cancer in 2015, she highly recommends a support group called Shay's Warriors: Life After Cancer that was initially founded to help women who had gone through breast or other reproductive cancers. "It is now helping women and men to have a healthy, inspiring, and safe space for survivors to thrive," says Dr. Kerkar. Their website, www.shayswarriors.org/community, also lists many local resources. 

In addition, you can visit the DAP Health website, daphealth.org, to learn about the many client wellness services we offer, such as behavioral health, yoga and meditation, nutritional counseling, group therapy, and more. 

Together Again, a community comes togeth …

Contact: Leighton Ginn
Public Relations Specialist
(760) 567-2983
lginn@daphealth.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 22, 2021

Together Again, a community comes together to end HIV and fund comprehensive care at DAP Health

IN-PERSON EVENT RETURNS TO RUTH HARDY PARK ON OCTOBER 30

PALM SPRINGS, CA –   More than 2,000 local humanitarians will come together to end the HIV epidemic, expand healthcare access, and remember those friends and family members who we lost because of AIDS.

The 2021 Desert AIDS Walk, presented by Desert Care Network, will be an in-person event Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021, beginning at Ruth Hardy Park and following a route through downtown Palm Springs. The family and pet-friendly event includes a Health and Wellness Village presented by Walgreens.

WHO: DAP Health

WHAT: Desert AIDS Walk 2021 ’Together Again'

WHEN: Saturday, October 30

  • Registration and Health & Wellness Village Opens 7:00 am
  • Main Stage Entertainment and Presentations 8:00 am
  • Walk Kick-Off 9:00 am
  • Walkers Return to Park 10:30 am

WHERE: Ruth Hardy Park - Route through Downtown Palm Springs

WHY: End HIV/Fund Comprehensive Health Care

HOW: Register Today www.desertaidswalk.org

The annual Desert AIDS Walk helps fund the vital work of DAP Health, previously Desert AIDS Project, an advocacy-based health care organization that provides service to more than 10,000 individuals. DAP Health CEO David Brinkman says, "We remain committed to ending the epidemic and caring for people living with HIV. That work includes the vital services we offer, including HIV prevention and specialty care, STI screening, and treatment, housing support, benefits navigation, medical, dental, and behavioral healthcare.”

The goal for this year’s event is to raise $350,000. With 5 days to go, fundraising is already at a record pace.

This year marks 40 years of HIV with the first reported cases about what would become known as HIV and AIDS published in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Brinkman says, “AIDS taught us a community response is the most effective response. It taught us that we cannot turn our backs when communities are in need and in fear, that we must remember our humanity and the gift of giving back and be there to help. And as we have learned through our recent human rights and health equity movements, equality cannot be experienced by one until it is experienced by all.”

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 Chief Development and Strategy Officer Darrell Tucci says, “Desert AIDS Walk brings together the collective power of community and our shared vision of a future where everyone has the comprehensive care they need to live their best lives.”

Revivals Stores has been donating 100% of their profits to DAP Health each year since it first opened in 1994. Director of Retail, Dane Koch will join leaders from each of the four Revivals stores for a special check presentation before the walk. “Our team of volunteers and employees came together this year to make an impact.  Over 6,500 customers donated an average of three dollars as they were checking out of our stores.  The collective impact of their generosity resulted in $20,000 being raised at our stores for this year's walk. To me, it’s a great reminder that every person's effort matters when we come together with a shared purpose.”

The presenting sponsor of the walk’s Health & Wellness Village, Walgreens, got its team members and customers involved in the fundraising effort again this year setting a new fundraising record. Walgreens will present DAP Health with a check for $17,000 when they take the stage before the walk.

Health and Wellness Village presented by Walgreens

  • Over 40 Booths including DAP Health, Desert Care Network, Eisenhower Health, Desert Oasis Healthcare, The Center, Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest, and IEHP.,
  • Urban Yoga, G-Force Workout, Club Pilates,
  • Rock Climbing Wall
  • Breakfast and Coffee by Koffi starting at 7 AM
  • Lunch provided by Sysco at 10:30 am (sandwiches, chips, fruit, granola bars)
  • Hot Purple Energy will be powering the main stage with their solar truck – a first for the walk!
  • The Memorial Wall is where walkers can write notes to loved ones that have passed or are currently living with HIV.

This year’s walk will be kicked off by Ted Guice, who created the G-Force Workout Crew, a grass-roots fitness group that began during the darkest times of the pandemic, and now boasts 585 members on its Facebook page. His free workouts at Ruth Hardy Park kept the community active and connected during COVID-19 attracting anywhere from 60-100 participants each morning. “I’ve been teaching the class at World Gym for 11 years, but when COVID hit, we moved outdoors into someone's back yard.  As the class grew, we transitioned into Ruth Hardy Park.  I don’t think anyone imagined how important the daily workout and the sense of community it created would become when we began.” 

Jase Nagaia is one of the people who participate in the G-Force work-out and looks forward to the warmup. “Ted has that energy to warm people up. It’s going to be exciting to be upfront helping get people pumped up for the walk. I'm hoping that we have a good turnout because DAP is a wonderful organization and I really love what they do for the community. I really think the energy we bring to class is great energy to bring to the walk.

Guice promises to bring that G-Force level of fun and fitness to the pre-walk warm-up “It's going to be a fun time. We promise them that they'll be ready to walk.”

DAP Health Director of Development, James Lindquist remembers his first Desert AIDS Walk.  He moved to Palm Springs from Oregon in 2016, and the first thing he did was volunteer for the Desert AIDS Walk. He helped register volunteers and handed out ice cream.

“By the end of the day, I was covered in ice cream. It was a lot of fun,” Lindquist says. “I told my friends when I moved to Palm Springs, my goal was one day to be the Director of Development for DAP Health. I just knew it was something I wanted to do.

Ending HIV stigma is a passion for Lindquist who lives with HIV. “It’s the stigma that was associated with it and just the feeling of being lesser when you would talk to people about it,” Lindquist says. “It took a while for me to find my voice and it was not until I started working for an AIDS organization that I found that. And so, for me doing this job, is helping somebody else find their voice and knowing that they are important and cared about. We are people living with HIV, but it doesn't define us. It's not going to dictate how I'm treated.”

“I just think it's such a great inclusive, fun event that raises money for the bottom line, because it's underwritten by some very generous sponsors,” says DAP Health Board Chairman Patrick Jordan. “So, every cent actually goes directly to client care. And to me, that's the most important part.”

Desert AIDS Walk 2021 Sponsors

Presenting Sponsor: Desert Care Network

Health & Wellness Village Sponsor: Walgreen’s

Major Sponsors: Avita Pharmacy, Desert Sun, Gilead Sciences, Inc., NBC Palm Springs, Steve Tobin, Johnny Krupa and the Grace Helen Spearman Foundation, Revivals, The Chandi Group, The City of Palm Springs

Sponsors:  Abbvie, Heffernan Financial Services HR Simplistic, Inland Empire Health Plan, Janssen Therapeutic, Lovitt – Touche’, Palm Springs Disposal, Palm Springs Motors, SBEMP, SoCalGas, The City of Cathedral City, The Stonewall Group at Morgan Stanley

Breakfast Sponsor: Koffi

Lunch Sponsor: Sysco Riverside

Media Sponsors: Alpha Media, Channel Q, Desert Health, Gay Desert Guide, GED Magazine, KGAY Radio, Metrosource, Promo Homo TV, Radio 111, The CV Independent, and The Standard Magazine.

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 healthcare, 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.

Revivals Back Alley Event 2021 Shines a …

Revivals Back Alley Event 2021 Shines a Light on Leather Community

This community is ready to start coming out again, and the numbers prove it.

The Revivals Back Alley After Dark event brought in $13,000.00 for patient services at DAP Health, more than double from last year’s, and $3,000 more than the team’s goal. In its first collaboration, co-sponsoring was Palm Springs Leather Order of the Desert (PSLOD), a significant fundraiser for HIV and health equity in the Coachella Valley. PSLOD will also host Palm Springs Leather Pride Weekend, from October 28-31.

Event organizers and partners say After Dark’s healthy turnout is a sign that people are feeling safer and eager to re-connect with others.

“These sales numbers are unheard of,” says Revivals volunteer Mark Musin.

Eager for the hunt, 278 shoppers didn’t mind queuing up at the Palm Springs Revivals for almost three hours before doors opened at 6 p.m. More than 700 shoppers had made purchases by closing time.

Very little was left after two hours and more than 1,000 clothing items, including leather jackets, chaps, vests, and hats were scooped up.

It was easy for shoppers to fill containers with leather and other treasures after finding them neatly displayed on racks by friendly volunteers who offered sizing and selection advice. This included an impressive amount of revamped and shiny leather shoes and boots.

Check-out lines never stopped moving, and volunteers engaged customers to collect hangers and help guide them as they finished.

Volunteers Make the Difference

After Dark brought together 30 volunteers from all four Revivals stores, ten more compared to last year.

“We all like working together so much,” says Mark. “It was a wonderful opportunity for volunteers to see each other and even for some to meet for the first time.”

When Mark saw volunteers from other Revivals locations working so naturally with the Palm Springs team to straighten and restock items, plus help customers, he knew it was all worth the effort.

“It’s about the community they love to serve, and it’s the camaraderie they share,” he says. “It had them all joining in, and they did a great job!”

Saving Best Inventory for Back Alley Event

Leather themed clothing and gear is always costly, and many find exploring the subculture intimidating.  But at Revivals, shoppers were able to pick up leather chaps for $20 used, instead of $400 new. Leather jackets were plentiful and started at $10 instead of $500 new.

Harnesses, suspenders, and belts sold out in the first ten minutes.

Special toys for grownups, gay literature and nude magazines, movies,  and framed art that need new homes wind up at Revivals year-round. Saving them for an appropriate and safe venue like After Dark means that these items can be re-used, and members of this community continue to enjoy great care from DAP Health. 

The idea for Back Alley After Dark was born over three years ago as Revivals Stores took a stand on recycling and decided that tossing donations that were considered too racy was not an option. And the more Revivals talked to the community it serves, the more it learned this gently used merchandise is in demand in a valley where economic disparities abound.

“We live in a desert mirage of two valleys,” says Steven Henke, director of brand marketing at DAP Health and in charge of marketing and communications for Revivals. “There are lucky folks with great jobs, who can afford to buy new leather gear and brand new anything they want, and there are other folks who need to find things on a budget.”

With Revivals After Dark, anyone who wants to be part of the leather community or even just buy the look can find truly affordable deals, he says.

“That is so on-brand for DAP Health, because we are all about inclusivity, collaboration, and bringing folks together in a positive way,” Steven says.

Health remains the driving motivation for this event, with proceeds funding comprehensive medical care at DAP Health, including through Desert AIDS Walk, and a donation to PSLOD.

“We are so grateful for this collaboration with Palm Springs Leather Order of the Desert,” says Steven. “We can’t wait to see what the future holds through partnering.”

More freedom this year to socialize

Thanks to vaccinations, masks, and a public eager to experience our Southern California fall, outdoor events like Desert AIDS Walk 2021 and Palm Springs Gay Pride 2021 will return to being “peopled” for the first time since the pandemic began.

And for largely indoor events like Palm Springs Leather Pride, safety protocols ensure everyone in attendance can enjoy and explore without forfeiting safety.

This is good news for a very in-person community beginning its social season. After more than 18 months of avoiding crowds, people want to see each other again.

“It’s becoming so nice to approach people whom I haven’t seen since the pandemic started, simply to say, ‘I’m happy you’re here still here’,” says Dan Smith, co-chair of Leather Pride Weekend.

Charitable PSLOD Helps Members Honor True Selves

Palm Springs Leather Order of the Desert has raised and donated over $250,000.000 for HIV services and health equity in the Coachella Valley in its almost 30-year history. The organization is honoring more diversity within the LGBTQ population here, and Dan Smith, co-chair of Leather Pride Weekend, is ready.

“We’re really looking forward to re-inventing the club, including making it a place for everyone,” Dan says.

More inclusion for PSLOD means welcoming more people of color, more women, and more transgender folks as new members. It also means challenging longstanding assumptions about what it means to be “leather”.

According to Dan, if it isn’t about pursuing your own authenticity, it’s time to challenge your perception.

“There’s this idea that a leather person has to be male, macho, hairy, have a beard, and be gruff—the whole hyper masculine image,” he says.

The truth is that there is room for everyone, no matter what they look like, he says.

“I just want people to be who they are, and we all struggle with that.”

PSLOD is experiencing a surge itself with 12 new members joining in the last two months and counting.

“I don’t want anyone prevented from exploring the leather community,” Dan says. One of his trusted methods for helping first timers feel OK exploring new things is simple; be friendly. 

“I would rather step up our hospitality, rather than have someone come to an event and experience no one talking to them,” Dan says. “People are starving for some type of connection.”

Find out more about Palm Spring Leather Order of the Desert (PSLOD) and Palm Springs Leather Pride Weekend [October 28-31, 2021] here.

About Revivals

The very first Revivals store was opened in 1995, in a back corner of the Desert AIDS Project office on Vella Road. Since those earliest days, the funds raised through selling donated goods at Revivals has gone back to support comprehensive care at DAP Health, while also providing a great volunteer opportunity for those who wanted to support the organization with their time and retail talents. Today, all of the stores are largely volunteer-run, enabling Revivals to make a significant financial contribution to the annual budget of DAP Health.

About DAP Health

DAP Health (DAP) is an advocacy-based health center in Palm Springs, CA serving over 10,000 patients, offering medical and mental healthcare, STI testing and treatment, dentistry, pharmacy, and lab. 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 opened one of California’s first COVID clinics and hotlines to offer screening, testing, and treatment. DAP 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 healthcare. 

DAP’s sexual health clinic offers STI testing and treatment, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), and HIV and HCV testing. DAP 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 exceeds industry standards in terms of financial health, accountability, and transparency.     

Visit www.daphealth.org to learn more.     

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