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HIV research study accepted for publicat …

HIV research study accepted for publication in AIDS journal

DAP Health Insights – Monday, June 21, 2021, from David Brinkman, CEO 

Dr. Tulika Singh co-authors major HIV clinical research study

The results from DAP Health’s first major clinical research study were posted online by AIDS, a top medical journal, earlier this month. The manuscript also will be published in the journal’s print edition.

Dr. Tulika Singh, associate chief medical officer and director of Research at DAP Health, co-authored the paper, which will be presented at the 11th IAS Conference on HIV Science in July. 

The ViiV Healthcare STAT study was one of the clinical research studies underway at DAP Health. It probed whether the antiretroviral drug Dovato could be used in a rapid start setting. Study participants started taking the medication within 14 days of their HIV diagnosis.

Five tips for staying active in the summer

Many people use the word gross to describe days when the mercury spikes past 120 degrees. Many of us sit in the air-conditioning streaming Netflix and praying a transformer doesn’t blow. We forget our workouts as the pounds pile up.

Exercise, though, is one of the pillars of good health. Our bodies need to stay active. The good news is that with a bit of planning and creativity, we can still enjoy leaving our homes during the summer. Take a look. You may get some ideas and enjoy summer.

Dr. Tulika Singh co-authors major HIV cl …

Dr. Tulika Singh co-authors major HIV clinical research study

By Robert Hopwood

Published: June 18, 2021

DAP Health is gaining recognition from the clinical research trials underway at the health center.

The results from a clinical research trial that DAP Health conducted were published online in early June by the medical journal AIDS. Additionally, the results will be published in the printed journal.

Dr. Tulika Singh, associate chief medical officer and director of research at DAP Health, co-authored the published manuscript that reports the study’s findings.

The ViiV Healthcare STAT Study researched if the antiretroviral drug Dovato could be used in a rapid start setting, said Greg Jackson, the clinical research manager at DAP Health. Study participants began the medication within 14 days of their HIV diagnosis.

ViiV Healthcare is a London-based pharmaceutical company. Its U.S. headquarters is located in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park.

“We’ve now become a preferred site for ViiV Healthcare’s research because of our successes,” Jackson said.

The FDA will look at the data from the STAT study and decide if doctors can prescribe Dovato to people within days of an HIV diagnosis.

DAP Health recruited 14 adults for the STAT study, Jackson said. That was the third-highest number of participants recruited among the organizations conducting the study. In total, the study had 131 participants.

“It has been an exciting honor to be part of the STAT study and being able to contribute to the science and the success of the rapid start treatment regimen for Dovato,” Singh said.

The STAT study, which concluded in 2020, will be presented at the 11th IAS Conference on HIV Science in July. It was one of several studies underway at DAP Health.

Currently, there are three active clinical research trials at the health center. DAP Health is studying whether patients can switch their current antiretroviral therapy drug for another, if a long-lasting injectable treatment for HIV can supplant a daily pill, and if screening and treatment of precancerous cells can prevent anal cancer.

The most recent study launched by DAP Health was the Biktarvy SWITCH Study, which began in May 2021. Singh and Jackson co-authored the study.

Participants in the study, which is open to HIV-positive patients aged 65 or older, will be switched from their current antiretroviral therapy to Biktarvy, which combines three HIV medicines into one pill.

“With the advent of successful treatment regimens, more than 25% of people with HIV will be over the age of 65 by the year 2030,” Singh said. “We are studying HIV regimens, such as Biktarvy, to determine the benefits to quality of life in patients 65 and older.”

Gilead Sciences Inc., a Bay Area biopharmaceutical company, is collaborating with DAP Health in the SWITCH study.

DAP Health wants to enroll 50 patients in the study. So far, the health center has enrolled two people in the clinical research trial.

“It is a lot of work to find these patients,” Jackson said.

DAP Health also is in the course of the GSK/ViiV SOLAR Study and the ANCHOR Study.

The SOLAR study, a global clinical research trial, also is being done in collaboration with ViiV Healthcare. Recruitment for the study ended in June 2021.

Patients in the SOLAR study will switch their HIV medication for a long-acting injection, according to ViiV Healthcare. The goal is to develop an HIV treatment that offers patients more convenience; a treatment that is easier to adhere to; and an increased quality of life.

“The treatment of HIV has evolved tremendously over the past three decades to a point where patients can now get long-acting treatments rather than take a pill once a day,” Singh said. “We are evaluating exciting regimens at DAP for safety and efficacy in where patients can get an injection once every two months to control their HIV.”

The ANCHOR study, which is still accepting patients, is probing the best way to prevent anal cancer among people living with HIV. The National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health is funding the collaborative study.

More clinical research studies are in the planning process, but unfortunately, Jackson could not go into details.

Anyone who wants more information about any of DAP Health’s research should contact Greg Jackson at (760) 992-0445 or gjackson@daphealth.org. 

Eight reasons why now is the best time t …

Eight reasons why now is the best time to get a COVID-19 vaccine at DAP Health

DAP Health Insights – Monday, June 14, 2021, from David Brinkman, CEO 

Eight reasons why now is the best time to get your COVID-19 vaccination

More than half of Californians have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the California Department of Public Health. Many of those who haven’t been vaccinated have reservations, which is understandable. But the good news is these vaccines have been thoroughly tested, and they’ve proven to be safe and effective. 

The CDC recommends that people should get a vaccine as soon as possible. Unlike a few months ago, the state now has millions of doses available and has opened eligibility to those aged 12 and above. DAP Health offers two different COVID-19 vaccines (Moderna and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen). Here are eight reasons why now is the best time to get vaccinated.

Self HIV tests are another tool to treat HIV, protect health

One of the most important things people can do for their health is to learn their HIV status. Self HIV tests are one of the answers, and DAP Health provides them to anyone who asks for one, writes C.J. Tobe.

No one struggling with HIV is alone. Once a person takes a free self HIV test from DAP Health, he/she/they will have a support system on which to rely. And that person will be able to have an open, judgment-free conversation about their sexual practices with an expert educator certified by the state. 

There are treatments available that allow people to thrive with HIV. For example, a person living with HIV can take one pill a day, and their viral load will become undetectable. That means he/she/they won’t transmit the virus. Undetectable is un-transmittable. U=U. 

Overcoming stigma and shame leads to bet …

Overcoming stigma and shame leads to better health care

DAP Health Insights – Monday, June 7, 2021, from David Brinkman, CEO 

A forty year journey from fear to hope

A lot has changed since AIDS was first reported in 1981. Drugs have now made it possible to suppress viral loads to undetectable levels, which means HIV cannot be transmitted. Undetectable now equals un-transmittable.

The concept of U=U is the foundation of being able to end the HIV epidemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci says. Treatment as prevention combined with pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, is turning the tide on new infections.

Embarrassment and shame keep many from getting health care

One of the lessons we’ve learned from the COVID-19 health crisis is shame—not cost or convenience—is causing too many people to avoid medical and mental health care. 

For example, feeling embarrassed over finances might keep someone from seeking help even when that care is free or low-cost. Discrimination—against the poor, LGBTQ individuals and racial minorities—also increases the likelihood people will avoid essential care.

To break down barriers, DAP Health is making it easier for people to ask for help. And DAP Health’s dedication to cultural humility has its caregivers leaning in to getting to know their patients, instead of assuming a one-size-fits-all approach works.

COVID-19 vaccine available to those over 12

COVID-19 vaccines are now available to everyone who is 12 and above. Three vaccines have been approved by the FDA. They are made by Pfizer-BioNTech (two doses), Moderna (two doses) and Johnson & Johnson (one dose). Each vaccine has been vigorously tested and deemed safe by the FDA.

If you are a DAP Health patient and want to get the vaccine, please be sure you are registered in MyChart. When DAP Health has available vaccines, you will receive a message via MyChart and will be able to set up an appointment. Or pre-register for a free vaccination today.

Five tips for staying active in the summ …

Five tips for staying active in the summer

By Robert Hopwood

Exercise is one of the pillars of good health, and the Coachella Valley offers us a wealth of outdoor activities to enjoy.

Unfortunately, during the summer, as the daytime high shoots well past 100, too many of us sit at home in the air conditioning and stream Netflix. Workouts get forgotten, and our health suffers.

With a bit of planning and creativity, that doesn’t have to happen.

There are options for people who step outside. Below are ways to add activity to your life and make the summer a little more enjoyable.

Take a hike

  • The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway (1 Tramway Road, Palm Springs) takes people up Mount San Jacinto, where you will find much cooler temperatures and more than 50 miles of hiking trails. More: pstramway.com or (888) 515-8726.
  • The Pacific Crest Trail is a 2,650 mile trail that runs from Mexico to Canada. It crosses the San Jacinto Mountains, where it’s much cooler than the desert, before dropping into the valley and cutting through a corner of Palm Springs. There is a trailhead along State Route 74, just west of Pinyon Pines. More: pcta.org.
  • Idyllwild is a resort community nestled in the San Jacinto Mountains. It’s known for hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking and horseback riding. 
  • Oak Glen, located in the San Bernardino Mountains, is known for its apple orchards, family picnics and hiking. 

Go for a walk 

  • Take an early morning walk around your neighborhood before it gets too hot. Late evenings are another option.
  • The Westfield Palm Desert mall (72-840 California 111, Palm Desert) has two floors where walkers can exercise during mall hours. More: westfield.com/palmdesert or (760) 346-2121

Jump in a pool

  • The Palm Springs Swim Center (405 S. Pavilion Way) features an Olympic-sized swimming pool for lap swimming. Reservations are required. More: bit.ly/swim-center or (760) 323-8278 and (760) 323-8279.
  • The Palm Desert Aquatic Center (730751 Magnesia Falls Drive) has three swimming pools, including one for lap swimming. Water exercise classes also are offered. Reservations are required. More: pdpool.com or (760) 565-7467.
  • Some local resorts offer residents the use of their pools. Rules and entry fees vary. Call to confirm the rules before you visit.

Practice yoga

  • The Urban Yoga Center, located at DAP Health (1695 N. Sunrise Way, Palm Springs), offers group classes, including at Ruth Hardy Park in Palm Springs. DAP Health patients and clients can exercise for free, but there is a fee for the general public. More: urbanyoga.org or (760) 320-7702.
  • Everyone can practice yoga. It can be done alone or in groups, inside or outside. You can find videos on YouTube or download apps to guide you through a workout.

Shake a leg

  • Step onto the dance floor at Agua Caliente Casino Palm Springs. Sunday Latin Nights kicks off weekly at 9 p.m. Nacho Bustillos and Quinto Menguante play salsa, cumbia, banda, bachata, reggaeton and pop. More: sparesortcasino.com or (888) 999-1995.
  • Dance workouts, which can be done indoors, are popular. You can find salsa dance workouts or Zumba classes online and on DVDs. More: To find a Zumba class, go to zumba.com.

Health Equity at The Chase and Sunnyland …

Health Equity at The Chase and Sunnylands 

DAP Health Insights – Monday May 17, 2021, from David Brinkman, CEO  

Health Equity Won at The Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards 2021 

The 27th Annual Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards was a testament to the healing power of hope, inspired by mothers, as well as all DAP Health frontline workers and their tireless commitment to HIV care, COVID relief, and access to ongoing medical and mental healthcare. 

Mother’s Day 2021 was a perfect day to celebrate and raise awareness about increasing health equity and improving the public health at a time when our community needs it the most. You can read more here.   

Sunnylands Opens DAP Health Storytelling with Deepak Chopra Meditation  

We kicked off our Health Equity Series at Sunnylands Center & Gardens in Rancho Mirage last week, and the weather could not be better for strolling through this iconic location while pondering messages of health access. NBC Palm Springs covered the opening, and you can watch it here. 

Health Equity Won at The Steve Chase Hum …

Press Contact: 

Jack Bunting 

Jbunting@daphealth.org

(760) 656-8472 

Health Equity Won at The Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards 2021 

The 27th Annual Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards was a testament to the healing power of hope, inspired by mothers, as well as all DAP Health frontline workers and their tireless commitment to HIV care, COVID relief, and access to ongoing medical and mental healthcare. 

Mother’s Day 2021 was a perfect day to celebrate and raise awareness about increasing health equity and improving the public health at a time when our community needs it the most. 

Host Scott Nevins kicked off the show with aerial views of the DAP Health campus, and by wishing all moms a happy MotherDay. 

“Whether you’re a long-time supporter or hearing our story for the first time tonight, we’ll give you a glimpse into the comprehensive quality and preventive care we provide to the entire community. 

By sharing incredible stories of DAP Health’s impact from donorspatients, and volunteers from around the Coachella Valley, Mr. Nevins made good on his promise.  

Viewers were treated to uplifting performances by activist and legend, Shirley Lee Ralph and beloved recording artist Shoshana Bean. 

This year’s program was a celebration of the Hope Begins with Health campaign — a $2 million fundraising initiative to propel DAP Health’s frontline work. Its ever-expanding patient population needs it to focus on: HIV care, COVID relief, and access to ongoing medical and mental healthcare 

After a brief introduction, Mr. Nevins started the show by chatting with CEO David Brinkman in front of mural in the new Les Dames du Soleil Lounge, created to honor the comedy drag troupe. For yearsLes Dames du Soleil helped fund health access in The Coachella Valley for people with HIV (PWH) through ticket sales and donations from their performances. 

“Tireless humanitarians in high heels represent the story of DAP Health,” Mr. Brinkman said.  “It’s grassroots, it’s the LGBTQ community and our allies combatting stigma and discrimination, fighting for health equity with love and fearlessness.” 

Mr. Nevins was quick to noteDAP Health’s wisdom and learning from the worst years of the AIDS crisis is driving new ways of increasing health equity today. 

With COVID, “I felt like yet, once again, history was repeating itself and DAP Health was there for the community,” Mr. Nevins said, “Stepping up during a pandemic to take care of their own.”  

The lounge was recently created as part of a promise to never forget DAP Health’s history. 

DAP Health Brand Emerged to Fight COVID 

A recent brand refresh and logo change took years of development and input from all stakeholders, and its 2021 launch came just in time for a community in distress. Mr. Brinkman was candid about why DAP Health’s approach to health equity is so essential today, and he included a challenge for everyone listening. 

“It’s COVID. It’s racism. It’s poverty,” Mr. Brinkman said. “Our country needs all partners of all human rights movements to come together, including the LGBTQ community, to step up, leverage all our knowledge, our assets, and to create health equity—period.”  

“It’s our evolution,” he said. 

Providing healthcare based on patient needs rather than their ability to pay is necessary for health equity, and DAP Health’s new logo conveys its commitment to helping more people. 

“Our new logo conveys modernity, strength, freshness, and an innovative approach to healthcare–that it should be there for everyone,” Mr. Brinkman said. 

This year’s Steve Chase event was a celebration of survival and perseverance. An entire community worked through its fear to ensure medical services remained continuous for patientsAfter 15 months of weathering a pandemic that has killed more than 580,000 people in the U.S. alone, DAP Health has added even more patients for ongoing medical care. 

“Thousands of people in the last 12 months have come here seeking our help,” said Mr. Brinkman. “The response of our donors and volunteers and our staff have been to band together to treat the medical and mental health impacts of the last year. 

“The response has been challenging, but beautiful,” he said.  

Mr. Brinkman remained focused on addressing what it will take to deliver on health equity, COVID care, ending HIV, and mental health services.   

While great progress has been made, we’re not out of the woods yet. 

This year’s Chase amplified the Hope Begins with Health campaign, aimed at addressing four areas of need greatly affecting people over the last year, and expected to get worseDAP Health will: 

  • Increase our reach with HIV prevention, care and advocacy. 
  • Double the amount of mental healthcare services with more clinicians and a new Behavioral Health Clinic. 
  • Increase new medical healthcare patients, and offering them services to help with joblessness, food insecurity, and homelessness. 
  • Continue our COVID Clinic and hotline to ensure everyone can access preventioninformation and treatment. 

Board Chair Patrick Jordan helped everyone remember that funding care is still critical, even if things are different this year. He thanked everyone who donated. 

“Tonight’s Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards might be a little different from years past, but the spirit of giving continues to honor the legacy of our event’s namesake, Steve Chase, he said. “To everyone who’s donated so far, thank you.” 

Mr. Jordan acknowledged his event co-chairs Laurie Kibby and Kevin Bass, and he thanked DAP Health board member Scott Nevins for hosting the show. 

Board member Laurie Kibby explained how more people can be served since the brand evolution, supported by Hope Begins with Health. 

“The rebranding of DAP Health takes us out of one lane and puts us in multiple lanes and allows us to broaden our reach across the community,” Ms. Kibby said. “And Hope Begins with Health is a message for the entire Coachella Valley.”  

Kibby went on to cover an important topic many people don’t talk about; women living with HIV in our valley. Although local numbers skew towards white men who are middle agethis is hardly a complete picture of everyone. Her message?  

“There’s a whole community of women throughout the entire Coachella Valley who are need of the same services that the men are,” Ms. Kibby said. “Those with HIV need help in finding support services. They need mental health support services. They need healthcare, they need dental care, and DAP Health provides all of that. 

Health equity also means giving women with HIV opportunities to overcome and avoid isolation, a health risk for PWH, especially womenFor DAP patient Lawanda Manigo, it has made all the difference. 

“When I came up into DAP Health, the support and the love and the community of not just women, also men, transgender peoplejust the whole communitywas so welcoming, and so loving, and so supportive, and so ready to help to see me succeed, Ms. Manigo said. “Which helped me to believe that I could succeed and helped me to feel like even though I may be by myself a lot of times, I’m never alone. 

It was through DAP Health that I was able to get connected with other women who are experiencing some of the same issues that I’m going through. And that we’re able to surround me with a community that I was able to discuss these issues with and that I can feel safe and secure with to discuss these issues. 

Women Brought Activism Through Art and Heart 

This year’s entertainers tugged at our heartstrings with moving vocal renditions of the classics, and powerful sentiments spoken from the heart. 

Sheryl Lee Ralph shared about how losing a third of her fellow cast members to AIDS as she became the first Deena Jones in Dreamgirls on Broadway, galvanized her to become an activist for ending HIVShe delivered an inspiring combination of When I First Saw You” and “Listen”. 

Shoshana Bean captivated the audience with renditions of “With A Little Help From My Friends” and “This Is Me. 

Messages of Love to Mom 

DAP Health frontline workers were featured giving video messages to their moms, and gratitude was the common thread.  

Dining Out For Life 

Palm Springs Dining Out For Life ranks in the top three fundraising markets in North America for the event. Thanks to more than 80 desert restaurants participatingevery year DOFL brings in about $300,000 for client services at DAP Health. Mr. Nevins encouraged everyone to help these eateries bounce back by remembering to eat local. 

“As a way to give back to them for their contributions, we’re toasting all of them this evening and asking you our viewers to support these local eateries. 

Board member Kevin Bass explained why Dining Out For Life is so popular in Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley. 

“Dining Out For Life has become an event into itself where the community can come together, have fun, eat, drink, and enjoy themselves,” he said. “At the same time, supporting the amazing work of DAP Health.” 

Board member Athalie LaPamuk called on everyone to take a cue from the tourists. 

“We already have so many businesses that are skewed towards travelers,” she said.  “So, the best way to ensure that Palm Springs continues to thrive as a city is to do as the tourists do–as localsand dine and drink out, and shop local, and support our own businesses.” 

A Special Appearance by Hometown Gem 

Keisha Howardson is known on stage as Keisha D. Her kids just call her mom, but her grandkids call her ‘Punky’Besides her family, singing is everything to her. When COVID hit, one of Palm Springs’ most popular cabaret singers became so sick that she had been given a year to live.  

That was before she became a patient of Dr. Morris, DAP Health’s chief medical officer. He had a different message for Ms. Howardson.  

“Let’s, let’s talk about this, Keisha,” said Dr. Morris. “I’m here to help you live.” 

From there, the journey of care began, helped along with a lot of encouragement.   

From walking in to see Dr. Morris, and hardly being able to even talk,” Ms. Howardson said, “to Dr. Morris saying, trust me, you’re going to be back on stage. I’m going to watch you on stage. I’m going to applaud you. I’m going to be there and applaud that day when you take that stage at the Purple Room again.’” 

Keisha is singing again these days.  

“I’m really thrilled and happy to be able to find that fighter inside of me, through the nurses and through the doctors at DAP Health,” she said. “Without their help, I probably would have been in a hospice situation, or maybe not even having this conversation with you today.” 

New Behavioral Health Clinic Serving Double in 2021 

Al Jones is a donor and on the Partners For Life leadership team, and he is in support of efforts to double capacity for mental health services at DAP Health with a new clinic. For him, this is personal.  

Al’s partner and husband of 26 years, Mark Bird, passed away after keeping his depression a secret. Help was all around them, but Mr. Bird’s depression led him to cease his HIV treatment without telling anyone.  

“Had we known we would have been able to get him the assistance that he needed,” said Mr. Jones. “DAP had the assistance, but we didn’t know.” 

Debilitating depression in some longterm HIV survivors leads them to stop taking their medication, and the results are often fatal. The condition is being studied currently. Mr. Jones also believes that the COVID pandemic is placing many other people at risk because of depression and isolation, and he wants to make a difference 

In the Mark Bird Behavioral Health Clinic, people who need to be met where they are at in their mental and emotional health journey will be given the competent care they deserve, thanks to Mr. Jones. 

He also was eager to share his excitement about DAP Health’s mental health program leader, Dr. Jill Gover.  

There’s somebody at DAP Health that you need to be aware of, and that’s Dr. Jill Gover.  She’s absolutely amazingShe’s very sensitive, but moreover, she’s very intuitive,” Mr. Jones said. “And that intuitive nature is what’s so important in a therapist. To be able to match a client with the appropriate therapist is really an art that you can’t replicate, unless it’s really innate.” 

Dr. Gover explained why DAP Health is doubling its mental health capacity in 2021 with a new behavioral health clinic, and the new role everyday technology in connecting people. 

“We’ve seen tremendous demand as stress surges across the nation and across the world, and it’s no different here in Coachella Valley.” 

This pandemic has been very triggering for many, because it reminds all of us who went through those harder years, the early days of the AIDS epidemic, there’s been a lot that has been brought up emotionally for long-term survivors, remembering those, those painful memories.” 

Other causes include needing to isolate and needing to be extra careful during COVID, because of the increased vulnerability and co-morbidities that long term survivors worry about. 

I think one thing that we learned from this pandemic is it’s very important that we use the technology that we have available to us,” Dr. Gover said. “We were able to pivot quickly in this pandemic to telehealth and I don’t see us going back.  

I think accessing technology in a way that increases availability is going to be increasingly important as we move forward, she said. “Because we know the need for mental health services will only increase as time goes on. 

Dr. Gover was brimming with gratitude as she thanked Mr. Jones, Partners for Life, and everyone who contributes to DAP Health. 

It’s all of these contributions that make it possible for us to do our work here at DAP Health,” Dr. Gover said. And for that, I’m just enormously grateful. 

Health Equity Through Access to Healthcare 

DAP Health believes health equity takes the work of our entire community. Advocating for each other is improving health outcomes for everyone. A few of our allies joined us this year to talk about synergy with DAP Health. 

Western Wind Foundation 

Helping people who are overlooked by traditional philanthropy is driving Jeremy Hobbs, founder of Western Wind FoundationWhen he thinks of the potential locally, he wants to focus on what he calls building the ‘human infrastructure’ of the Coachella Valley. 

I want to work with organizations to help them get better, be able to better serve the people who are in need and who are working in the community. That makes the whole community better and makes all of us better. 

Questions he wants to answer are “How do we develop social strength? How do we develop economic strength? And how do we really let these communities be heard, make their own decisions about how they want to move forward and help them to do that?” 

Alianza Coachella Valley 

Health equity near the Salton Sea is priority one for Silvia Paz, founder and executive director of Alianza Coachella Valley 

When you’re talking about health, I like to think about access to food, access, to recreational spaces, to safe living conditions,” Ms. Paz said. “On top of having access to see a doctor, there are very few of those options offered for the people who live surrounding the Salton Sea. Alianza Coachella Valley and DAP Health have a shared value of creating safe spaces for our communities. 

“We want to see the community surrounding the Salton Sea access health in all of its forms. Not just going to the doctor, but also having the built infrastructure. That’s going to allow them to exercise, to eat healthy and to even have better mental health, she said.  

Help From Our Friends: Desert Regional Medical Center and Desert Care Network 

“DAP health, your team members are heroes. We’re honored to be partnered with you,” said Michelle Finney, CEO, Desert Care Network. 

“Tonight, we commend DAP Health for its immediate and thorough pandemic response its experience with HIV AIDS allowed it to quickly transition to serve our community during the pandemic DAP provided not only additional healthcare services, but testing vaccinations, its counseling, tele-health and much more.”  

“Desert Regional Medical Center and Desert Care Network have enjoyed a long working partnership with DAP Health,” Ms. Finney said. “We share not only a history of caring for persons living with HIV, but also a commitment to serving the community.”  

How COVID Hotline Made A Difference 

When COVID hit, Dr. Ann Dew came out of retirement to volunteer her time and expertise for the response effort at DAP Health’s COVID Clinic, one of the first of its kind in California. 

Originally, we were just taking calls to take care of the people, get them scheduled for testing,” said Dr. Dew. “But then as more people became COVID positive and were discharged from the hospital, we also started keeping in touch with those people to make sure that they were doing well at home. 

The DAP Health COVID Hotline has been one of the only easily available sources for COVID information in the throughout the pandemic and continues serving callers today. 

Sometimes at the end of the day, when we get home, we were exhausted because so many of these people had questions about the virus,” Dr. Dew said. “And they had friends who didn’t believe it and were in denial. 

Other callers had family members with COVIDand others were exposed to somebody at workNo matter what, Dr. Dew and her team were available with information and if necessary, an appointment. 

“It was good that DAP Health had the COVID Clinic because there were not any information posts throughout the Valley,” said Dr. DewEverybody else just set folks up for the testing. 

The COVID Clinic could not have moved as swiftly as it did to help protect Palm Springs, Palm Desert, and the whole Valley,” said Dr. Dew. “If it hadn’t been for all of the donors.”  

All we can say is you have saved lives. You have touched hearts. And because of you, we were able to help people find peace in this quarantine that they may not have been able to find otherwise. 

HIV Expertise Prepared Us for COVID Fight  

Mike Fedderson anThomas McClay are donors and Partners for Life MembersTo them, offering COVID Clinic, plus expanding healthcare access for more people, is possible while working to end HIV. 

“The mission of providing help for HIV and AIDS is still a core principle, but not having universal healthcare means a lot of people go without healthcare and basic health needs,” said Mr. Fedderson. “In order to have a really healthy thriving community, everybody needs to have access to quality health care. 

DAP Health really fills that gap in the Coachella Valley,” he said. “It’s critically important to the community, and therefore to me and my husband.” 

At Show’s Ending, Focus Remained on Mission  

Scott Nevins closed the show from a mountain hilltop and reminded viewers about DAP Health’s behavioral health expansion, its response to the COVID 19 pandemic, and its groundbreaking work in HIV care. He thanked viewers and donors, and once again wished a happy Mother’s Day to the audience. 

You can watch the The 27th Annual Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards at: Welcome to the 2021 Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards! 

About DAP Health 

DAP Health is an advocacy-based health center in Palm Springs, CA serving over 9,700 patients, offering medical and mental healthcare, STI testing and treatment, dentistry, pharmacy, and lab. A variety of 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 is also working to improve social determinants of health to prevent 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 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. 

The DAP Health Research Program is a leader in research that supports better health outcomes for people with HIV (PWH). The Program offers The ANCHOR Study at DAP Health, and research studies exploring antiretroviral medication and the effects of wellness on health. 

Visit www.daphealth.org to learn more. 

Different Voices of Health Equity

Different Voices of Health Equity 

DAP Health Insights – Monday May 10, 2021, from David Brinkman, CEO  

Health Equity Storytelling at Sunnylands Center & Gardens 

Shame over asking for help is keeping people from getting healthcare. But we are partnering with Sunnylands Center & Gardens to make understanding health equity easier. Audio and visual exhibits will explore how shame about race, ethnicity, being LGBTQ, or financial status can prevent people from accessing the healthcare they need. The Health Equity Series includes a special meditation from Deepak Chopraand will be available from Wednesday, May 12 at  Sunnylands, plus online at DAPHealth.org. You can read more here. 

Honoring Dr. Shubha Kerkar for Business Leadership 

This pandemic has healthcare professionals exploring uncharted territory for the first time, but Dr. Shubha Kerkar’s medical experience from the worst years of the AIDS crisis has made her invaluable to the public’s health. Palm Springs Life just recognized her outstanding achievements, innovations, and contributions to the communityYou can read more here. 

Art, Activism and The Steve Chase Humani …

Art, Activism and The Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards 

DAP Health Insights – Monday, May 3, 2021, from David Brinkman, CEO  

Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards 2021 Is This Sunday 

Experts warn us that during this pandemic, too many people are falling out of essential medical and mental healthcare. Meeting these challenges is driving this year’s Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards, this Sunday, May 9 at 5:30 p.m. PTRegistration is still open by clicking here. 

You can participate by tuning in to NBC Palm Springs or by joining us on any of DAP Health’s social media channels (Facebook, YouTube or Twitter).   

Noticing the Impact of Our Work  

Our ever-expanding patient population needs us to focus on health equity, COVID, mental health, and ending HIV. The work is already underway to make accessing these things a reality for more people in our Valley. You can hear C.J. Tobe, our director of Community Health, talk about how we are meeting patients for health in 2021 in an interview with Out Agenda here 

Sheryl Lee Ralph: Art Can Be Activism  

We cannot change the past, but we can learn from it. Sheryl Lee Ralph began working to raise health equity for others after witnessing continued indifference to the suffering of people dying of AIDS.  

As she introduced everyone to the first Deena Jones in Dreamgirls on Broadway, she coped with losing a third of her original fellow cast members to AIDS. This galvanized her to use art and activism to raise awareness about access and care. You can read more here. 

 

Sheryl Lee Ralph: Art Can Be Activism

Sheryl Lee Ralph: Art Can Be Activism 

By Jack Bunting

We cannot change the past, but we can learn from it. Sheryl Lee Ralph began working to raise health equity for others after witnessing widescale indifference tthe suffering of people dying of AIDS 

As she introduced everyone to the first Deena Jones in Dreamgirls on Broadway, she coped with losing a third of her original cast to AIDS. This galvanized her to using art and activism to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS 

In this Q&A, Sheryl Lee Ralph gives her perspective about what health equity looks like to her, based on the AIDS epidemic, and the last 40 years of her humanitarian work. 

Q: With health equity, “access” to health is very much about feeling welcome and comfortable, once we enter the front door of a health clinic. We have come a long way since the 80s, but not nearly enough. What would you like to see today in 2021?

A: I would love to erase hate for all! Not just some but for everyone. I would us like to grow in compassion. I would like to see an end to systemic racism. I also know that this is all very difficult because human beings always seem to need to hate, ignore, disrespect, disregard somebody – I’ve seen it get worse over the yearsI want us to grow out of our pain and despair, not create more of it. 

Q: Do you see any familiar mistakes from the AIDS epidemic being repeated with the COVID pandemic? Is there any opportunity to do things better for people during this pandemic? What would that be? 

A: The similarities are so eerily familiarWe must make a genuine effort to crush hate. The AIDS epidemic grew because many in this world hated gay people and didn’t care whether they lived or diedThey most certainly didn’t care about Black Africans eitherHate fueled the disease globallyIt was an awful time, like many other moments, in our history. 

COVID-19 isn’t much different. The world was slow to take action because it labeled and associated the virus to a nation of peopleBy the time the rest of the world realized it was a human disease, it was too late, resulting in the death of over half a million in the U.S. alone 

If only we could get humans to truly care about other human beings, maybe things would be different for us all. If only we could get humans to value themselves and their health betterBack in the day we knew that condoms were a proven barrier to the virus, and it was a battle to get people to use them! I see the same battle raging now with anti-maskers and COVID-19. 

Q: Women living with HIV arepractically invisiblein research and most other forms of HIV prevention and treatment efforts, compared to men. If we were to take a pulse right now, are we getting nearer to better equity for women living with HIV?  

A: I think we’re getting close, but we need more from the healthcare system 

WomenBlack and Brown womenare invisible because the system doesn’t want to see us. They are in many ways blinded by their own perceptions of who we are and our need for care. The healthcare system must lose their bias and increase their research and treatment efforts to meet Black women where they are and include in the studies. They must work to develop trust where it is sorely needed.  

Q: Trust is an issue that many people of color have with healthcare, and for good reason. What do you think it will taketo help more people start to trust healthcare? 

A: By helping society and the healthcare systems to see the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) communities as human beings. There was a time when the healthcare community operated on Black people without anesthesia because it was thought that we didn’t feel pain. That’s hard to forget. Still there are doctors who ignore the cries for help from people of color because they don’t value or care about non-white, traditional patients or people who look like them. To be trans or ‘othered’ in certain medical spaces is to be totally ignored and disrespected. We must change the hearts and minds of other human beings. 

Q: Can you help us understand how the arts, especially music and theater—can help heal people?

A: One of the ways is by delivering messages of hope through words, music, and images. Writing scripts that normalize marginalized and stigmatized peopleOpening the door of opportunity for those same people to have their productions producedWhen people are SEEN and REPRESENTED WELL across distribution platforms, illumination takes placeWhen this occurs, we begin to normalize what was once marginalizedThen and only then can the healing start.  

Q: You were in the cast of the CBS daytime soap opera “Search for Tomorrow” while starring on Broadway in Dreamgirls. That seems like a busy schedule. What made you press on? Any anecdotes? 

A: I learned very early in my career that your 15 minutes of fame can be over quickly so it’s best to strike while the iron is hot in order to mold a long-lasting time in the industry. 

I pressed on because it became apparent to me that thDreamgirls and I were becoming a symbol of acceptance for young black girls and a symbol of hope for so many others especially the LGBT communityThe soap opera made me the business paramour of an older white man and that was way ahead of its time! 

Q: What can we all do to honor the memory of your cast members from Dreamgirls—and everyone else who has been taken by HIV? What is your advice?

A: I can hardly believe that it has been 40 years since the debut of Dreamgirls on Broadway. I am still saddened by losing a third of our original company to AIDS 

I founded The D.I.V.A. Foundation to never forget them and the art we lost with their deaths. We continue to create programs to raise awareness still for HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening diseases. We must all find our voices and use them. Sometimes we just need to pass the mic and help others speak. 

Q: How can the arts–especially music and theater—help heal people as we rebuild our hope and continue enduring this pandemic?

A: I created DIVAS Simply Singing! in an effort to raise HIV/AIDS awareness one song and committed artist at a time. Over 30 years we have seen that artistic activism works. 

If you paint, paint. If you sing, sing. If you dance, dance. Your art speaksArtists are the gate keepers to truth, and they must tell itI always encourage people to find their voice, because someone is waiting to hear it, learn from it, find their voice, and pay it forward! 

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