• Sexual Wellness Services

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

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About …

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Sobriety & Recovery

Words by Daniel Hirsch

 

Trend alert: non-alcoholic beverages. More Americans report they’re giving up alcohol or describing themselves as “sober curious.” This comes at a time when the impact of excessive drinking and drug use couldn’t be more acute. The CDC reports deaths from alcohol and drug use has been sharply climbing over the last two decades.

In a culture of prevalent drinking, getting sober is no small feat, but there’s help. I talked to DAP Health Peer Support Specialist Bill Bruner — who just celebrated 34 years sober himself — to find out what recovery looks like at the nonprofit.

 

What is sobriety? Is it different for different people?

I’m old school, so for me sobriety is absence of all mind-altering drugs and substances being ingested into your body. Recovery is more than that. Anybody can go into rehab and detox. Well, now what do you do? I tell people: All you have to do after you stop the drugs and the alcohol is change everything else about you.

 

How do you get sober? How do you start recovery?

The biggest thing is you ask for help. Can people do it on their own? Sure. But most people need some kind of foundation. You need somebody to guide you.

 

I’ve heard DAP Health offers something called SMART Recovery. How is this different from the traditional the 12-step program outlined by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)?

SMART Recovery [Self-Management and Recovery Training] has a more scientific base than a traditional 12-step program. There’s no higher power, there’s no sponsorship. It offers tools for self-management and recovery training based on cognitive behavioral therapy. A lot of SMART recovery is open sharing in a support group. It’s being there for each other.

 

This question might be different for everyone, but why should someone get sober?

Because their life is falling apart. Thirty-four years ago, I weighed 120 pounds. I could barely walk and I was covered with open sores. I thought I was dying of AIDS. It turned out malnutrition and addiction were killing me. That’s why I got sober. All my other options were gone.

 

What recovery resources are available at DAP Health?

DAP Health offers 12-step groups as well as SMART Recovery groups on a weekly basis. The Everything A group is a mix of all the 12-step groups and has been meeting for over 10 years here. There is a CODA meeting, a 12-step group weekly also. This is for freedom from co-dependency and partners, with all the healing 12-step groups also.

Various 12-step groups have been in existence since the 1930s, starting with AA, and have been helping people with recovery ever since. In 2024, recovery groups have branched out with other forms of groups, including the three SMART Recovery groups offered here at DAP Health, as well as Dharma Recovery and Celebrate Recovery groups in our local community. Everything helps people. 

 

If someone is thinking about starting recovery, what should they know?

Things are going to change. Things will happen as you take control of your life. But things aren’t going to be perfect for the rest of your life because you don’t drink and use drugs anymore. It’s a journey. It’s not easy. It’s also not hard. And it’s really not easy. It’s not hard, because there are people like me to help. And it’s not easy, because it’s a big change.

June 27 is National HIV Testing Day

The Enduring Importance of National HIV Testing Day

HIV is still a threat. Every year in the U.S., tens of thousands of people acquire the virus. And the only way HIV becomes a manageable disease is to find out you have it — and get treatment if you do.

 

Many people today mistakenly believe HIV/AIDS is no longer a concern. This misconception arises from the reduced visibility of the epidemic in media, successful prevention measure such as PEP and PrEP (daily oral and bimonthly long-lasting injectable), and the substantial progress made in medical treatments that allow those with HIV to live long, healthy lives.

However, HIV/AIDS remains a significant global health issue, with new infections occurring daily and many individuals unaware of their status. This ongoing challenge underscores the importance of National HIV Testing Day, observed annually on June 27.

Initiated in 1995 by the National Association of People with AIDS, this day serves as a critical reminder that knowing your HIV status is a crucial step in managing and preventing the spread of the virus. The day is marked by efforts from health care providers, community organizations, and public health entities — like DAP Health throughout Southern California — to make testing more accessible and to educate the public about the benefits of early detection.

 

Why Get Tested

There are several compelling reasons to get tested for HIV, whether it’s your first time or a routine checkup. First, early detection of HIV can significantly improve health outcomes. Modern antiretroviral therapy (ART) can suppress the virus to undetectable levels, preventing the progression to AIDS and allowing individuals to lead normal lives. Early treatment also reduces the likelihood of transmitting the virus to others, as those with an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of sexually transmitting HIV to HIV-negative partners. Undetectable = Untransmittable. Or U = U.

Secondly, knowing your HIV status is empowering, as it enables you to make informed decisions about your health and take proactive measures. For those who test negative, it’s an opportunity to reinforce protective behaviors and consider preventive options such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a medication that not only significantly reduces the risk of contracting HIV, but that comes in a daily oral pill or a bimonthly, long-lasting injectable form.

HIV does not discriminate, and everyone who is sexually active should consider regular testing as part of their routine health care.

 

Reducing Stigma

National HIV Testing Day helps combat stigma by normalizing the conversation about HIV and encouraging a collective responsibility toward ending the epidemic.

At each of DAP Health’s three sexual wellness clinics (in Palm Springs, Cathedral City, and Indio), patients are guaranteed a stigma-and-shame-free experience when it comes to getting tested for HIV. If a patient receives a positive diagnosis, options for treatment are immediately discussed with them. And if they’re negative, there are PrEP navigators at the ready to discuss every HIV prevention option.

This year, in an effort to reduce societal stigma, DAP Health is encouraging people who choose to get tested to do so with a platonic friend or sexual partner. This buddy system is a form of support that doubles the impact of National HIV Testing Day.

 

How to Get a Free HIV Test at DAP Health

There are two ways to get an HIV test at no-cost at DAP Health. The first is to visit one of our three sexual wellness clinics (in Palm Springs, Cathedral City, and Indio). The other is to request that an HIV self-test be discreetly mailed to your home.

Knowing one’s HIV status is still crucial. It is a step toward protecting one’s health and the health of others, contributing to the broader goal of ending the HIV epidemic.

Get tested with DAP Health on, before, or after National HIV Testing Day (June 27). And regularly thereafter. Protect yourself, protect others, and play a part in the global fight against HIV/AIDS.

 

Free Rapid HIV Testing at Walgreens Locations on June 27

Please note that DAP Health staff members will be offering free rapid HIV tests (blood draw; results in 20 minutes) at the six Walgreens locations below, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., on Thursday, June 27. No appointment necessary.

 

1700 East Vista Chino, Palm Springs, CA 92262

2465 East Palm Canyon Drive, Bldg. 14, Palm Springs, 92264

33975 Date Palm Drive, Cathedral City, CA 92234

72027 Dinah Shore Drive, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270

82955 Avenue 48, Bldg. B, Indio, CA 92201

8917 Trautwein Road, Riverside, CA 92508

TMVII: A New Sexually Transmitted Fungus

TMVII is a New Sexually Transmitted Fungus

 

Trichophyton Mentagrophytes Type VII (TMVII for short) is in the news, and you may have heard about it. It’s a rare fungus that causes a treatable rash on the skin. It was recently found in the U.S. for the first time. The patient is a male New Yorker in his 30s who traveled to California, England, and Greece, where he had sex with men.

He developed a red, itchy rash on his genitals, legs, and buttocks. Despite multiple oral antifungal treatments, it took more than four months for the rash to heal completely.

No one yet knows how TMVII will develop in this country. In France, 13 cases were reported last year, 12 of them in men who have sex with men.

For now, there is no need to panic. But there is a need for vigilance.

Since TMVII is spread through skin-to-skin contact, including during sex, it’s technically a sexually transmitted infection. And while the sole case in the U.S. has been in a man, the fungus can affect a person of any gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation. Stay informed, be aware, and know that seeing a doctor who can report the incidence helps with statistical data and research.

Also know that we are still seeing sporadic mpox cases, and that that poses a higher risk, especially for those who are immunocompromised. Please ensure you are fully vaccinated.

At DAP Health, we believe that good sex is good. Sex is healthy. Shame-and-stigma-free. Live your best sex life by going for regular STI testing, and learning about prevention measures such as DoxyPEP or DoxyPrEP for STI prevention, and PrEP or PEP for HIV prevention. If you’re HIV-positive, stay on your meds. Undetectable = Untransmittable.

 

More About TMVII

If you develop a new rash, please visit one of DAP Health’s three sexual wellness clinics (in Palm Springs, Cathedral City, or Indio), where our experts can see, diagnose, and treat you.

 

Symptoms

  • Appearance: TMVII infections typically present as red, itchy, and scaly rashes. The rashes often appear in ring-like patterns, which is characteristic of ringworm infections.
  • Affected Areas: Commonly affected areas include the groin, legs, buttocks, and other body parts. The rash can expand and may become more pronounced if left untreated.
  • Additional Symptoms: In some cases, the affected skin may blister, crack, or ooze. The infection can cause significant discomfort and may impact the quality of life due to persistent itching and irritation​.

Transmission

  • Direct Contact: TMVII is primarily transmitted through direct skin-to-skin contact with an infected individual. This can happen during close physical activities, including sexual contact.
  • Indirect Contact: The fungus can also spread through contact with contaminated objects such as towels, clothing, bedding, and surfaces.
  • Zoonotic Transmission: TMVII can be transmitted from animals to humans, particularly from pets like dogs and cats that may harbor the fungus​.

Prevention

  • Personal Hygiene: Maintaining good personal hygiene is crucial. Regularly washing and thoroughly drying the skin, especially after sweating or bathing, helps prevent fungal infections.
  • Avoiding Shared Items: Avoid sharing personal items like towels, clothing, and grooming tools with others.
  • Pet Care: Ensure pets are free from fungal infections by having them regularly checked by a veterinarian and treating any infections promptly.
  • Prompt Treatment: Treating fungal infections promptly in both humans and animals can prevent the spread of the fungus to others​.

Diagnosis

  • Clinical Examination: Clinicians typically diagnose TMVII through a clinical examination of the affected skin. The characteristic appearance of the rash often provides initial clues.
  • Laboratory Tests: Confirmation is done via laboratory tests, including:
    • Microscopic Examination: Skin scrapings from the affected area are examined under a microscope to detect fungal elements.

Treatment

  • Topical Antifungals: For mild infections, topical antifungal creams, lotions, or powders containing terbinafine, clotrimazole, or miconazole are often prescribed.
  • Oral Antifungals: In more severe or resistant cases, oral antifungal medications such as terbinafine, itraconazole, or fluconazole may be required. These medications have been effective, though resistance can complicate treatment​.
  • Combination Therapy: Combining topical and oral treatments may be necessary for persistent infections. Monitoring for side effects and interactions with other medications is important, especially with drugs like itraconazole, which can have significant side effects​.

Research and Future Directions

  • Ongoing research aims to better understand the genetic mutations that confer resistance to common antifungal treatments. International collaboration is crucial for tracking and managing the spread of TMVII and similar resistant strains​.

Pride-Themed Podcast Features Our Very O …

DAP Health's Director of Gender Health & Wellness Mita Beach Shines in IEHP iHeart Media Pride-Themed Podcast

 

The latest episode of the IEHP podcast “Covering Your Health” launched on iHeart Media this morning. In celebration of Pride month, host Evelyn Erives sat down with DAP Health’s Director of Gender Health & Wellness Mita Beach. Together, they delved into the unique challenges faced by the LGBTQIA+ community when it comes to health and wellness. From mental health support to inclusive health care practices, Mita shared valuable insights and strategies for promoting well-being, including how to best be an ally. “Educate yourself,” urged Mita. “Ally is a verb.”

 

Click here to listen to the Pride-themed episode.

 

To learn more about DAP Health’s Gender Health & Wellness programs, click here.

 

For more on Mita, please read below.

 

Mita Beach, LBBP, is the director of Gender Health & Wellness at DAP Health. In this role, Mita is leading the strategic development and implementation of health and wraparound services for trans and gender-diverse patients.

With an impressive background that includes serving as the manager of Gender Health & Wellness at DAP Health, Mita has a proven track record of enhancing program development and delivering comprehensive health services. Their experience extends to working as a trans health navigator at Borrego Health, where they conducted patient assessments and facilitated support groups.

Mita brings over 20 years of corporate leadership experience and 15 years of consulting expertise in LGBTQ+ rights, sexual health, and sexuality education. They have designed and facilitated numerous workshops across various sectors, demonstrating a commitment to fostering inclusive and supportive environments. 

Mita is an active member of several professional organizations, including the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), the Association of Medical Professionals with Hearing Loss (AMPHL), the National Association of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Addiction Professionals and Their Allies (NALGAP), and the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF).

Why Self-Esteem and Pride Are Good for Y …

Why Self-Esteem and Pride Are Good for Your Health

Self-love isn't just for Pride month, or just for LGBTQ+ people. Everyone can benefit!

Words by Trey Burnette

 

The Pride Month of June (celebrated most everywhere but in the Coachella Valley, which honors it when the heat is less intense, in November) is important for many reasons. It’s not just a time for celebrating openly en masse at parades throughout the world. It’s also an opportunity to look inward, reaffirm we are worthy, and get a boost of self-esteem.

 

LGBTQ+ people start our lives with a secret we’re not entirely conscious of, knowing something about us is different. We don’t name it because we’re usually too young to comprehend it, and somehow know to keep it to ourselves when we do figure it out.

 

We often conclude our secret is shameful and dangerous, and surmise we ourselves are shameful, learning to survive by bargaining, justifying, and making ourselves smaller. We carry our secret and shame until it almost breaks us.

 

It's About More Than Coming Out

Most of us eventually come out proudly, yet still strain to love and take care of ourselves in healthy ways because the falsehoods about who we are stay ingrained in our core. We’re told to have healthy self-esteem after being taught to have shame, but don’t know why or how we are supposed to achieve that.

 

Every LGBTQ+ person — actually, every person, period — deserves to have pride. It’s important because pride leads to good physical and mental health. “Self-esteem is at the core of psychological health,” says Jill Grover, PhD, the clinical supervisor of DAP Health’s Behavioral Health Internship program. “People with high self-esteem and self-compassion believe they are worthwhile, capable of helping themselves, and optimistic about the future.” These beliefs lead people to know they’re worthy of self-care and fulfilling their needs, no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity.  

 

To raise self-esteem, we have to work through and release shame. “Learning to refute and reject old, inaccurate, negative messages from childhood [and society],” Dr. Gover says, “is essential in forming a healthy self-concept.”

 

First, we must examine those sources of shame, guilt, and negativity we were taught, and then establish our own standard of values based on what we deem healthy, equitable, and just. Part of that process is letting go of good or bad judgment and adapting the “this is what I need and what is healthy for me” model of living. We also need to learn to forgive ourselves and move forward when we act on choices that are not the healthiest.

 

The Five Essential Elements

Moving forward, we can gain a better and healthier sense of security, identity, belonging, purpose, and personal competency. These five essential elements of pride and self-esteem lead us to a greater understanding of who we are, and help us express ourselves in healthier ways and have richer interpersonal relationships. “When we are inclusive and welcoming, inviting others to join us, we are creating a sense of belonging,” Dr. Gover says. “When we share with others our goals, dreams, and values, we build a sense of purpose.”

 

By being honest and consistent — and expecting that from others — we build trust and security. And by working toward our goals and trying new things, we learn personal competency. Our ability to make healthier choices strengthens, and we learn we can be visible, proud, and expressive. We can join that hiking group or take that art class.

 

Oscar Wilde said, “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance,” and having pride is a way for all people to love and care for themselves and every other member of the diverse communities they live within and among. During Pride Month, and all year long, practice the art of self-love, whether you’re a member of the LGBTQ+ community or not. The world will be better for it.

How Do I Sign Up For My Chart?

How Do I Sign Up For MyChart?

To sign up for a DAP Health MyChart account, just follow the simple steps below.

Versión en español a continuación

 

Visit the MyChart Website

Go to DAP Health’s MyChart sign-up page and follow the directions. You will be asked to enter at least your name, date of birth, legal sex, and email address.

 

Create Your Username and Password

Follow the instructions to create a MyChart username and password. Ensure your password is secure and meets the required criteria.

 

Verify Your Identity

You may be asked to verify your identity by answering security questions or receiving a verification code via email or SMS.

 

Set Up Security Questions

Choose and answer security questions to help protect your account.

 

Review and Accept Terms and Conditions

Read the MyChart terms and conditions, and accept them to complete the sign-up process.

 

Access Your MyChart Account

Once your account is created, you can log in using your username and password.

 

If you encounter any issues during the sign-up process, contact your DAP Health clinic by phone or in person at your next appointment.

 

To learn more about MyChart, please click on this link.

 

¿Cómo Me Registro en MyChart?

 

Para registrarse y obtener una cuenta DAP Health MyChart, simplemente siga los sencillos pasos a continuación.

 

Visite el Sitio Web MyChart

Vaya a la página de registro MyChart de DAP Health y siga las instrucciones. Se le pedirá que ingrese al menos su nombre, fecha de nacimiento, sexo legal y dirección de correo electrónico.

 

Crea tu Nombre de Usuario y Contraseña

Siga las instrucciones para crear un nombre de usuario y contraseña de MyChart. Asegúrese de que su contraseña sea segura y cumpla con los criterios requeridos.

 

Verifica tu Identidad

Es posible que se le solicite que verifique su identidad respondiendo preguntas de seguridad o recibiendo un código de verificación por correo electrónico o SMS.

 

Configurar Preguntas de Seguridad

Elija y responda preguntas de seguridad para ayudar a proteger su cuenta.

 

Revisar y Aceptar Términos y Condiciones

Lea los términos y condiciones de MyChart y acéptelos para completar el proceso de registro.

 

Acceda a su Cuenta MyChart

Una vez creada su cuenta, puede iniciar sesión con su nombre de usuario y contraseña.

 

Si tiene algún problema durante el proceso de registro, comuníquese con su clínica de DAP Health por teléfono o en persona en su próxima cita.

 

Para obtener más información sobre MyChart, haga clic en este enlace.

 

DAP Health Standardizes Electronic Healt …

DAP Health Standardizes Electronic Health Records Across its Entire Network

The upgrade to OCHIN Epic, Dax Copilot, and MyChart will greatly improve user experience for both patients and providers.

Versión en español a continuación

In the fast-evolving landscape of health care, embracing advanced technology is crucial for enhancing patient care and streamlining operations. DAP Health is proud to announce the organization-wide adoption of OCHIN Epic, a state-of-the-art electronic health record (EHR) system. Designed to improve health care delivery for both providers and patients, this comprehensive platform, along with its innovative components Dax Copilot and MyChart, promise to revolutionize the way we manage health information and interact with our patients.

Advantages for Providers

Seamless Integration and Efficiency

OCHIN Epic offers a robust and integrated solution that brings together various aspects of patient care into a single, user-friendly interface. Providers can access complete patient histories, lab results, and medication records in real time, reducing the need for multiple systems and paperwork. This integration ensures that health care professionals have all the information they need at their fingertips, enabling more accurate diagnoses and personalized treatment plans.

Enhanced Collaboration and Communication

One of the standout features of OCHIN Epic is its ability to facilitate better communication and collaboration among health care teams. With shared access to patient records, doctors, nurses, and specialists can collaborate more effectively, ensuring that every team member is on the same page regarding a patient’s care plan, whether those team members are at DAP Health or at other health organizations. This coordinated approach reduces the risk of errors, enhancing the overall quality of care.

Dax Copilot: Revolutionizing Documentation

The Dax Copilot component is a gamechanger for health care providers. This AI-powered assistant helps with clinical documentation (AKA charting), allowing providers to focus more on patient care and less on administrative tasks. By transcribing and organizing clinical notes in real time, Dax Copilot reduces the burden of documentation, improves accuracy, and frees up valuable time for providers to engage more meaningfully with patients.

Benefits for Patients

Empowerment Through MyChart

For patients, MyChart is a key feature of the OCHIN Epic system that offers a multitude of benefits. MyChart is an online portal that provides patients with secure access to their health records from a computer, tablet, or smartphone, enabling them to take a more active role in managing their health. While one does not have to have a MyChart account to remain or become a DAP Health patient, there are many advantages. Below are some of the ways MyChart empowers patients.

Access to Health Information

Patients can easily view their medical history, immunization records, and test results (past and current) through MyChart. This transparency helps patients stay informed about their health status and understand their treatment plans better.

Appointment Management

Scheduling, rescheduling, or canceling appointments has never been easier. MyChart allows patients to manage their appointments online, providing convenience and reducing the need for phone calls or in-person visits.

Medication and Prescription Management

Patients can request prescription refills and review their medication lists through MyChart. This feature helps ensure that patients adhere to their prescribed treatments and reduces the risk of medication errors.

Communication with Providers

MyChart facilitates direct communication between patients and their health care providers. Patients can send messages, ask questions, and receive responses from their care team, enhancing their engagement and satisfaction with the care they receive.

Telehealth Integration

In an era where telehealth is becoming increasingly important, MyChart offers seamless integration for virtual visits. Patients can attend telehealth appointments, receive follow-up care, and consult with specialists from the comfort of their homes, ensuring continuity of care even during challenging times.

“Adopting OCHIN Epic, along with its powerful components Dax Copilot and MyChart, represents a significant step forward in our commitment to not only providing high-quality, patient-centered care, but to enriching the relationship between patients and their provider, and provider workplace experience as well,” says DAP Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Joseph Aquilina. “This advanced EHR system not only enhances efficiency and collaboration among providers, but empowers patients to take control of their health. By leveraging this technology, we aim to create a more connected, informed, and engaged community. Together, we can achieve better health outcomes and a brighter future for all.”

Please note that MyChart is not intended for urgent or life-threatening situations. In such cases, patients are urged to visit urgent care or the ER, or to call 9-1-1.

To learn more about MyChart, please click on this link.

DAP Health Estandariza los Registros Médicos Electrónicos en Toda su Red

La actualización integral a OCHIN Epic, Dax Copilot y MyChart mejorará enormemente la experiencia del usuario tanto para los pacientes como para los proveedores.

En el panorama de la atención médica en rápida evolución, adoptar tecnología avanzada es crucial para mejorar la atención al paciente y agilizar las operaciones. DAP Health se enorgullece de anunciar la adopción en toda la organización de OCHIN Epic, un sistema de registros médicos electrónicos (EHR) de última generación.

Diseñada para mejorar la prestación de atención médica tanto para proveedores como para pacientes, esta plataforma integral, junto con sus componentes innovadores Dax Copilot y MyChart, prometen revolucionar la forma en que administramos la información de salud e interactuamos con nuestros pacientes.

Ventajas Para los Proveedores

Integración Perfecta y Eficiencia

OCHIN Epic ofrece una solución sólida e integrada que reúne varios aspectos de la atención al paciente en una interfaz única y fácil de usar. Los proveedores pueden acceder a historiales completos de pacientes, resultados de laboratorio y registros de medicamentos en tiempo real, lo que reduce la necesidad de múltiples sistemas y papeleo. Esta integración garantiza que los profesionales de la salud tengan toda la información que necesitan al alcance de la mano, lo que permite diagnósticos más precisos y planes de tratamiento personalizados.

Colaboración y Comunicación Mejoradas

Una de las características destacadas de OCHIN Epic es su capacidad para facilitar una mejor comunicación y colaboración entre los equipos de atención médica. Con el acceso compartido a los registros de los pacientes, los médicos, enfermeras y especialistas pueden colaborar de manera más efectiva, asegurando que todos los miembros del equipo estén en sintonía con respecto al plan de atención de un paciente, ya sea que esos miembros del equipo estén en DAP Health o en otras organizaciones de salud. Este enfoque coordinado reduce el riesgo de errores y mejora la calidad general de la atención.

Dax Copilot: Revolucionando la Documentación

El componente Dax Copilot cambia las reglas del juego para los proveedores de atención médica. Este asistente impulsado por IA ayuda con la documentación clínica (también conocido como gráficos), lo que permite a los proveedores centrarse más en la atención al paciente y menos en las tareas administrativas. Al transcribir y organizar notas clínicas en tiempo real, Dax Copilot reduce la carga de documentación, mejora la precisión y libera tiempo valioso para que los proveedores interactúen de manera más significativa con los pacientes.

Beneficios Para los Pacientes

Empoderamiento a Través de MyChart

Para los pacientes, MyChart es una característica clave del sistema OCHIN Epic que ofrece una multitud de beneficios. MyChart es un portal en línea que brinda a los pacientes acceso seguro a sus registros médicos desde una computadora, tableta o teléfono inteligente, lo que les permite desempeñar un papel más activo en la gestión de su salud. No es necesario tener una cuenta MyChart para permanecer o convertirse en paciente de DAP Health, existen muchas ventajas. A continuación se detallan algunas de las formas en que MyChart empodera a los pacientes.

Acceso a la Información de Salud

Los pacientes pueden ver fácilmente su historial médico, registros de vacunación y resultados de pruebas (pasados ​​y actuales) a través de MyChart. Esta transparencia ayuda a los pacientes a mantenerse informados sobre su estado de salud y comprender mejor sus planes de tratamiento.

Gestión de Citas

Programar, reprogramar o cancelar citas nunca ha sido tan fácil. MyChart permite a los pacientes administrar sus citas en línea, brindando comodidad y reduciendo la necesidad de llamadas telefónicas o visitas en persona.

Gestión de Medicamentos y Recetas

Los pacientes pueden solicitar resurtidos de recetas y revisar sus listas de medicamentos a través de MyChart. Esta característica ayuda a garantizar que los pacientes cumplan con los tratamientos prescritos y reduce el riesgo de errores de medicación.

Comunicación con Proveedores

MyChart facilita la comunicación directa entre los pacientes y sus proveedores de atención médica. Los pacientes pueden enviar mensajes, hacer preguntas y recibir respuestas de su equipo de atención, lo que mejora su compromiso y satisfacción con la atención que reciben.

Integración de Telesalud

En una era en la que la telesalud se está volviendo cada vez más importante, MyChart ofrece una integración perfecta para las visitas virtuales. Los pacientes pueden asistir a citas de telesalud, recibir atención de seguimiento y consultar con especialistas desde la comodidad de sus hogares, lo que garantiza la continuidad de la atención incluso en tiempos difíciles.

“La adopción de OCHIN Epic, junto con sus potentes componentes Dax Copilot y MyChart, representa un importante paso adelante en nuestro compromiso no solo de brindar atención de alta calidad centrada en el paciente, sino también de profundizar la relación entre los pacientes y su proveedor, y la experiencia en el lugar de trabajo del proveedor. también”, dice el Dr. Joseph Aquilina, director médico de DAP Health. “Este avanzado sistema EHR no sólo mejora la eficiencia y la colaboración entre los proveedores, sino que también permite a los pacientes tomar el control de su salud. Al aprovechar esta tecnología, nuestro objetivo es crear una comunidad más conectada, informada y comprometida. Juntos podemos lograr mejores resultados de salud y un futuro más brillante para todos.”

Tenga en cuenta que MyChart no está destinado a situaciones urgentes o que pongan en peligro la vida. En tales casos, se insta a los pacientes a visitar la atención de urgencia o a la sala de emergencias, o llamar al 9-1-1.

Para comenzar a usar MyChart, haga clic en este enlace para ver un video instructivo.

Medi-Cal Now Available to All Low-Income …

Medi-Cal Now Available to All Low-Income Families Regardless of Immigration Status

Words by María José Dúran

Versión en español a continuación

 

A new California law that went into effect in January 2024 allows all low-income residents — regardless of immigration status — to qualify for free or low-cost health insurance through Medi-Cal.

“It’s a great step to include all who contribute to California,” says DAP Health’s Community Education and Enrollment Manager Joanna Ibarra.

This new rule making undocumented adults ages 26-49 eligible for Medi-Cal is the last in a series that started in 2016 with coverage for immigrant children, then older adults, youths, and lastly, all age groups.

To qualify for Medi-Cal, individuals’ or families’ income must be under the 138% line of the Federal Poverty Level, which varies depending on household size.

With Medi-Cal Full-Scope, families and individuals can get all their health needs covered.

“It covers everything, not just emergency services at the hospital,” explains Ibarra, “from sick visits, primary care, preventive care, basic dental care, medications, x-rays, imaging, prenatal care continues to be a benefit, labor and delivery, behavioral health, hospitalization, physical therapy, occupational therapy, to transportation.”

However, fears of the public charge rule — a noncitizen who is likely to become primarily dependent on the government — stop many who qualify for Medi-Cal from applying for this benefit, as it can hinder immigration court cases or applications.

“There’s a lot of misinformation,” says Ibarra. “We have encountered a lot of fear around public charge. A lot of patients refuse to apply for anything because of it.”

In 2022, the government made an amendment to the Public Charge Rule, excluding noncash benefits such as health care.

“It clearly tells us that noncash benefits shouldn’t affect you, which includes health care,” Ibarra says.

The application for Medi-Cal can be submitted online through info.benefitscal.com. An identification document (not necessarily a state ID), proof of address, and proof of income are necessary for the process.

“Another way [to apply for Medi-Cal] is to come to one of our clinics and we have enrollment counselors who can assist from step one to last,” Ibarra explains. “We guide people, enter their information for them.”

For those who still don’t qualify for Medi-Cal due to income limits, DAP Health offers financial assistance on a sliding scale, also regardless of immigration status. Low-income families earning up to 200% of the Federal Income Poverty Guidelines can benefit from discounted medical visits.

“Health care is expensive for everyone,” Ibarra says, “so the sliding-fee scale is something that really has been beneficial to our community.”

Many uninsured patients in Southern California’s Latino communities suffer from conditions that require constant preventative care and access to medication, such as diabetes or high blood pressure. Ibarra says these patients can benefit from access to Medi-Cal. “Preventative medicine is what people did not have access to.” 

Ibarra points out the importance of accessing health insurance. “We need to maintain being healthy, active, and involved in our lives, not worried about “Am I going to get sick?” or “Will I have to go to work sick?”

 

Medi-Cal Admite a Personas de Bajos Ingresos Sin Estatus Migratorio de Cualquier Edad

Por María José Dúran

 

Ahora todas las personas que califican sin importar su estatus migratorio pueden acceder a seguro de salud gratuito o a bajo costo a través de Medi-cal.

Una nueva ley que entró en vigor en enero de 2024 permite que todos los residentes de California de bajos ingresos puedan solicitar seguro de salud gratuito a través del programa Medi-Cal.

“Es un gran paso para incluir a todos los residentes de California”, dice la jefa de Educación de Salud para la Comunidad y Registro de DAP Health Joanna Ibarra.

Con Medi-Cal Full-Scope (cobertura completa), las familias o individuos que califiquen pueden conseguir cobertura para todas sus necesidades de salud.

“Lo cubre todo, no solo servicios de emergencia en el hospital”, explica Ibarra, “desde visitas de enfermedad, atención primaria, cuidados preventivos, cuidado dental básico, radiografías y otras pruebas de imagen, cuidado prenatal, parto y nacimiento, salud mental, hospitalizaciones, fisioterapia, terapia ocupacional, hasta transporte.”

Para poder acceder a Medi-Cal, las familias o individuos de California deben tener unos ingresos anuales que estén por debajo del 138% del Nivel de Pobreza Federal, algo que varía dependiendo del número de personas en el hogar. Puede consultar si su familia califica en este enlace.

Sin embargo, el miedo a convertirse en carga pública impide que muchos soliciten este beneficio. La carga pública es una norma por la que una persona que no es ciudadana de los Estados Unidos y esté en riesgo de convertirse en mayoritariamente dependiente del gobierno es penalizada en los casos de inmigración o de corte migratoria.

“Hay muchísima desinformación”, dice Ibarra, “nos hemos encontrado mucho miedo alrededor de la carga pública. Muchos pacientes no quieren solicitar ningún beneficio por esto”.

Pero la norma de carga pública excluye los beneficios que no son en dinero efectivo. “Claramente nos dice que si el beneficio no es en efectivo no te afecta, lo que incluye los seguros de salud”, dice Ibarra.

Los interesados pueden solicitar Medi-Cal a través de la página web info.benefitscal.com. Para el proceso son necesarias una identificación (no necesariamente un documento oficial estatal), prueba de residencia y prueba de ingresos.

“Otra manera [de solicitar Medi-Cal] es venir a una de nuestras clínicas donde tenemos consejeros de registro que pueden asistir desde el primer al último paso”, explica Ibarra. “Nosotros guiamos a las personas, les ayudamos a llenar los formularios con su información”.

Para los que tengan ingresos anuales superiores y no puedan solicitar Medi-Cal, DAP Health ofrece asistencia financiera en escala gradual sin importar el estatus migratorio. Familias con ingresos que no sobrepasen el 200% del Límite de Pobreza Federal pueden solicitar servicios médicos con descuento.

“Los seguros de salud son caros para todo el mundo”, dice Ibarra,”por eso la escala gradual que ofrecemos en DAP Health ha sido de gran ayuda para nuestra comunidad”.

En el sur de California, muchos pacientes latinos sin seguro médico padecen enfermedades crónicas que requieren atención preventiva constante y acceso a medicamentos, como la diabetes o la presión arterial alta. Ibarra afirma que estos pacientes se podrían beneficiar del acceso a Medi-Cal. "La medicina preventiva es a lo que la gente no tenía acceso."

Ibarra resalta lo importante que es tener accesso a un seguro ide salud como Medi-Cal. “Necesitamos mantener nuestra salud, actividad y desarrollo de nuestras vidas, y no estar preocupados de si me voy a enfermar o voy a tener que ir a trabajar enfermo.”

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About …

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Injectable PrEP to Prevent HIV

Words by Daniel Hirsch

When it first came out in 2012, Truvada — the first-to-market pre-exposure prophylactic (PrEP) to prevent HIV — was a gamechanger. Since then, the CDC reports that more than 300,000 people in the U.S. take PrEP in the form of a daily pill. The FDA also ultimately approved both generic Truvada and a gentler-on-the-kidneys PrEP medication known as Descovy. In 2022, a new player hit the field: Apretude, a brand of longer-lasting injectable PrEP.

To learn more about injectable PrEP, I spoke with DAP Health PrEP Navigation Manager Andrew Glorioso, who has worked in HIV care for 25 years, and who has lived with HIV for even longer.

What is Apretude?

Apretude is an injectable medication that’s used to prevent someone from acquiring HIV. It involves coming to the clinic once every two months for an injection.

What’s the benefit of injectable PrEP over taking a pill? Isn’t oral PrEP enough?

It’s all about lifestyle and being able to provide more options. There was a time when all we had to provide people were condoms. Then we got PrEP. We’ve been continuing to expand what’s available.

Both oral and injectable PrEP protect against HIV with the same level of efficacy — both are 99.9% effective [if taken as prescribed]. However, what Apretude has is the benefit of medication adherence. People who are on oral medication are taking one pill once a day, but are they really taking it once a day? Having to come into the clinic every two months for Apretude actually helps with medical adherence.

Who exactly is injectable PrEP for?

It can help people in situations where it’s difficult to adhere to a regimen. It’s not a one size fits all kind of thing. It takes talking to each individual and determining what makes sense based on their lifestyle. We deal with lots of individuals who may have mental health, substance use, or housing stability issues. Apretude might be a great option because they don’t have to worry about storing their medication or keeping track of pills.

Also, if somebody comes in and they’re interested in Apretude, one of the first things I ask them is: How do you feel about getting a shot? If you really don’t like needles, Apretude is not the thing for you.

Do the shots hurt? Are there any other side effects?

It’s a regular-gauge shot. It’s not like a little pin prick in the shoulder. Some people have reported having injection-site soreness for a couple of days and maybe a little nodule developing under the skin. So, it’s not completely without its possibility of adverse effects. That said, we also have people who are using Apretude and love it. They love knowing they don’t have to worry about taking their PrEP for two months.

Is injectable PrEP more expensive? Is it covered by insurance?

Our ability to get Apretude for individuals depends greatly on the type of health care coverage they have. If somebody is on the state’s Medicaid program (MediCal), or IEHP out here in the Coachella Valley, those programs actually give individuals the option of injectable or oral PrEP, so it’s great. Medicare will cover both versions of PrEP. For people who have private insurance, it depends on the plan. And then for people who are uninsured, we don’t really have a mechanism right now to get them access to Apretude. We can easily get them access to oral PrEP medication for little to no cost. Anybody who wants PrEP can be on oral PrEP. All they have to do is visit Injectable PrEP - DAP Health to make an appointment to see me or one of my colleagues in the PrEP Navigation department.

Meet DAP Health CEO David Brinkman

Once Upon a Time in Iowa: A Profile of DAP Health CEO David Brinkman

In a new, ongoing series, writer Kay Kudukis profiles the executive and senior leaders who have found their mission match at DAP Health.

 

“I’m from Iowa, we don’t know what cool is.” ~ Ashton Kutcher

 

DAP Health CEO David Brinkman is a fifth-generation Iowan who actually is cool, Ashton.

His father was an endocrinologist. Mom was not only a nurse but executive director of a women’s health organization. Involved in the women’s rights movement her entire career, she also served on a committee approving FDA medical devices.

Sundays, she took the three kids to church while Dad visited the forgotten in local nursing homes. That was his church, and he never missed a Sunday. Both parents gave of themselves tirelessly, instilling those values in their brood.

Thirteen-year-old Brinkman didn’t exactly know he was gay, but he was a fashionista — side note: he’s still got it — with a pension for dying his hair colors not found in nature. Dad surmised his son might not survive tiny-town high school. ‘Out’ didn’t exist in Mason City, but surprisingly it did at Shattuck-St. Mary’s Episcopal Boarding School in Faribault, Minnesota, where Brinkman was sent to receive his secondary education. With only eight students to a classroom, you couldn’t hide in the back. Brinkman had a best friend named Megan, whose father was gay and out.

There was also the gay boy across the hall, who’d pester him with “You’re gay, Brinkman. Admit it!” Brinkman never did. Maybe that was confusion, but it was definitely influenced by the sounds of the beatings the other boys gave the gay one. That he never did anything to help that kindred spirit agonized Brinkman for years, until he finally tracked his former classmate down. There was grace and understanding on the other end of the line: “I would have done the same thing.”

 

The Birth of an Activist

The Lewis & Clark College campus in Oregon was a beehive of activism. Brinkman led the student LGBTQ organization for his four years, majoring in sociology and anthropology, minoring in gender studies. He came out to his parents, then promptly had his first panic attack. He felt lost. It was the early nineties. His community was dying. He was afraid for them. And for himself. Sophomore year, he fought for his rights in response to a statewide ballot initiative to outlaw homosexuality. “Run to the front line, son,” his parents suggested. “Do not back away. When whatever happens, happens — you want to be there.”

So, he did, applying at the Cascade AIDS Project for the only job available: condom fairy. Late nights spent at bathhouses distributing condoms and literature had its moments, but didn’t pay the bills. Two other hourly jobs — running a support group at Harry’s Mother, a homeless youth organization, and running another for LGBT kids at the Urban League of Portland, weren’t much help. And sleep? What was that?

Brinkman wanted to stay on the front line at Cascade AIDS, so he took a 40-hour-a-week salaried position: case manager. Every week, two or three clients died. His psyche couldn’t handle this reality, and when he wasn’t working, he was depressed.

He eventually stopped caring about himself altogether. His friend, an undergrad in psychology, recognized the once tireless activist’s darkness. “You can’t do this anymore, David,” she said. “It’s affecting your health. You have to leave.”

Brinkman informed his boss, Susan Stoltenberg, who gave him not a lifeline but, as it turned out, his life’s work. “You’re smart, dedicated, and charming AF,” she said. “You’d be great at fundraising.” She taught him the ropes, took him to benefits at wealthy gay men’s homes, and together they watched the donations come pouring in.

 

Finding His Groove Leading Nonprofits

The next step was to lead the charge, so Brinkman got his MBA at Pepperdine Graziadio Business School in Los Angeles, with an emphasis in ethical business management. He was now armed and ready.

He spent four years as executive director at My Friend’s Place, a nonprofit for homeless kids in L.A., but when the executive director position opened up at what was then known as Desert AIDS Project in Palm Springs, it was as if everything Brinkman had done in his life up until that point had led him to this. Except he almost didn’t get the gig.

It was at his fifth “audition” dinner with the board of directors that a member questioned their responsibility to write personal checks to DAP. Brinkman stated in no uncertain terms that he believed members of the community would only make contributions to the nonprofit if they firmly understood the board was similarly invested — that each of its members had skin in the game. “If you don’t believe in that,” Brinkman told the group, “then I’m not the executive director for you.”

Every board member voted Brinkman in. Except for that skinless square peg, who resigned. That was 17 years ago.

 

Three Marvelous Humans

Through DAP Health, Brinkman has met many a marvelous human, but three get a shout-out here. The first, Marvin Sholl, proclaimed himself Brinkman’s “West Coast dad,” and 12 years ago, over dinner, said, “David! Ruthie and I love you. But we need to tell you…” Long pause for dramatic effect. “There’s another man in our lives.”

Brinkman waited for a punchline that never came. “This man is your husband,” Sholl continued. “You have yet to meet, but for two years, Ruthie and I have been preparing.”

The next evening, Dr. Will Grimm walked into Barry Manilow’s Gift of Love concert at the McCallum Theatre for his blind date with Brinkman, and fairy dust appeared anywhere the good doctor was. It danced from his fingertips, and when he spoke, it came out of his mouth like cartoon music from a saxophone. The men married in 2019. So, there you have Marvelous Human Shout-Out Number Two.

Number Three is a Ugandan physician working for UNAIDS in Rwanda four years ago, when Brinkman was part of a DAP delegation presenting at an international AIDS conference in Kigali. The man goes by Musah Lumumba because to say his real name would be catastrophic for him and for those he loves.

He and Brinkman spoke this past Ramadan, while Lumumba was in the streets serving the hungry. He said something that skyrocketed across the Atlantic ocean and two continents, piercing Brinkman’s core existence. “David,” he said, “the reason you and I are alive today is to address the issues our communities are facing today.”

That, Brinkman says, is the why of it all. “It’s why DAP was founded,” he says. “It’s why Borrego Health was acquired. And it’s why I came into work today.”

Your move, Kutcher!