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

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

DAP Announces First Three Positive Test …

MEDIA ALERT
Contact: Steven Henke
shenke@desertaidsproject.org
(760) 656-8401

DAP Announces First Three Positive Test Results at COVID-19 Triage Clinic 

(Palm Springs, CA) March 20, 2020-- Desert AIDS Project (DAP) announced tonight that three patients at its COVID-19 Clinic have tested positive for the virus. The patients visited the clinic after it was determined in a telephone screening with DAP medical staff that they met certain symptom criteria and should come in for testing.  Two patients are greater than age 55 and are believed to be community spread without travel or direct known exposure to a confirmed case. A third patient greater than age  30 also tested positive after coming to the clinic with a minor cough and recent international travel.  All three cases are mild and the patients are choosing to self-quarantine at home.

DAP clinicians will continue to care for the patients via telemedicine.  DAP case managers will deliver food, household supplies, and any needed medications.

DAP has put safeguards in place to protect non-infected people from COVID-19 while they are on the DAP campus. This includes heavily restricting exits and entrances to the COVID-19 Clinic and controlling pedestrian flow.  Clients receiving care are monitored by staff while they are onsite, and anyone entering DAP buildings is screened for symptoms and given masks when appropriate. 

DAP believes that offering treatment at the same site as screening and testing is essential to flatten the curve of an epidemic and especially Coronavirus. With every visit to the COVID-19 Clinic at DAP, clients will be evaluated for multiple upper and lower respiratory diseases.

While screening and some testing for COVID-19 are starting to become more available throughout the Coachella Valley, the COVID-19 Clinic at DAP is the only clinic offering treatment for other respiratory illnesses that can present in a similar manner. The uninsured are never turned away.

For more information about Desert AIDS Project's COVID-19 triage clinic and  how the innovative approach creates a model for other cities across U.S, click here.

Call (760) 992-0407 Before Visiting COVID-19 Clinic

Before being seen at the COVID-19 Clinic, patients must be screened and referred by a DAP clinician after calling the COVID-19 hotline: (760) 992-0407.

DAP is NOT offering on-demand testing for a-symptomatic clients. Anyone who thinks they might be suffering from COVID-19 should call (760) 992-0407 for information and the opportunity to talk to DAP clinicians about their symptoms.

Raising Funds for COVID-19 Clinic

DAP has launched its COVID-10 Clinic without the budget to do so and has just started a campaign to raise funds. The anticipated cost is at least $575,000 in the coming months to provide this service to the community. Please click here to learn more. 

Keeping up on COVID-19 

For DAP’s regularly updated Questions and Answers on Coronavirus page, click here.  
Preguntas y Respuestas del Coronavirus 

For The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) COVID-19 page, click here.

DAP Staff Ready for Coronoavirus

About Desert AIDS Project
Desert AIDS Project (DAP) is a Federally Qualified Health Center in Palm Springs, CA offering DAP Total Care – a combination of medical, dental, counseling, social services, support groups, alternative therapies, in-house pharmacy and lab, and other health and wellness services. DAP’s sexual health clinic, The DOCK, offers STD testing and treatment, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), and HIV and HCV testing. DAP’s Get Tested Coachella Valley campaign, the nation’s first region-wide free HIV testing and access to care initiative, was recognized by the White House for helping to bring about an AIDS-free future. DAP has earned a “Four Star” rating from Charity Navigator for the twelfth consecutive year – landing DAP in the top 6% of nonprofits rated. The distinction recognizes that we exceed industry standards in terms of our financial health, accountability, and transparency.

Visit www.desertaidsproject.orgwww.thedockclinic.org, and www.gettestedcoachellavalley.org to learn more.

DAP Doubles Impact at COVID-19 Clinic wi …

Contact: Jack Bunting
(408) 323-2118
jbunting@desertaidsproject.org

DAP Doubles Impact at COVID-19 Clinic with Treatment Plus Testing

Innovative approach creates model for other cities across U.S.

(Palm Springs, CA) March 20, 2020 -- DAP believes that offering treatment at the same site as screening and testing is essential to flatten the curve of any epidemic, and especially Coronavirus. With every visit to the COVID-19 Clinic at DAP, clients will be evaluated for multiple upper and lower respiratory diseases.

While screening and some testing for COVID-19 are starting to become more available throughout the Coachella Valley, the COVID-19 Clinic at DAP is the only clinic offering treatment for other respiratory illness that can present in a similar manner. The uninsured are never turned away.

DAP opened the COVID-19 Clinic to alleviate anticipated pressure on local emergency rooms and hospitals. As is the trend nationally, sick people needing emergency care for unchecked respiratory illness are expected to increase greatly in the Coachella Valley. Yesterday it was reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that the number of confirmed U.S. COVID-19 cases surpassed 10,000, doubling over two days.

 “It’s in the very DNA of Desert AIDS Project to respond quickly to public health crisis using science and medicine to create a humanitarian response,” said David Brinkman, CEO. “We are using our tested roadmaps from the HIV and HCV epidemics to respond to COVID-19." Helping people survive epidemics is in the Coachella Valley has been the core specialty of DAP for 35 years. With the largest infectious disease team of clinicians in this region of California, DAP offers modern medical care, anchored by a deep understanding of Coachella Valley epidemiology.

Although largely due to increased testing, the numbers send a clear message that to mitigate calamity due to COVID-19 in our valley, we must act now to test, treat and monitor those who are suffering.

By linking those who need it to care immediately, we are able to stop the spread of respiratory illness and alleviate suffering.

DAP’s approach to COVID-19 in our valley is:

  1. Educating the public via 760-992-0407, desertaidsproject.org and all social media channels,
  2. Testing those who are screened and found to be at risk,
  3. And treating mild-to-moderate symptomatic patients.

Treatment provided for upper and lower respiratory infections at DAP’s COVID-19 Clinic includes:

  • Oxygen Therapy for patients who have lower than normal levels
  • Nebulizer treatments to open airways and address shortness of breath
  • IV Fluids for dehydration
  • Fever control with medication
  • Community Acquired Pneumonia Treatment – Injection of antibiotics and ability to prescribe medications to our DAP Walgreens (overnight home delivery available)
  • Influenza A & B testing and treatment
  • Strep Throat testing and treatment

Useful Links

About Desert AIDS Project
Desert AIDS Project (DAP) is a Federally Qualified Health Center in Palm Springs, CA offering DAP Total Care – a combination of medical, dental, counseling, social services, support groups, alternative therapies, in-house pharmacy and lab, and other health and wellness services. DAP’s sexual health clinic, The DOCK, offers STD testing and treatment, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), and HIV and HCV testing. DAP’s Get Tested Coachella Valley campaign, the nation’s first region-wide free HIV testing and access to care initiative, was recognized by the White House for helping to bring about an AIDS-free future. DAP has earned a “Four Star” rating from Charity Navigator for the twelfth consecutive year – landing DAP in the top 6% of nonprofits rated. The distinction recognizes that we exceed industry standards in terms of our financial health, accountability, and transparency.

Visit www.desertaidsproject.orgwww.thedockclinic.org, and www.gettestedcoachellavalley.org to learn more.

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COVID-19: I’m a bodyworker or sex work …

COVID-19: I’m a bodyworker or sex worker and I want to keep my clients and me safe – what should I do?

Answer: Coronavirus is spread through close contact with a person who has the virus. It’s spread through droplets, such as from coughing or saliva. And it can stay behind on doorknobs, toilets, light switches, sinks, massage tables, and anything made of latex or silicone.

Keeping your environment wiped down with disinfectant wipes after each client is part of your role in your business. But assessing risks from your client is also very important.

  • Your client could have it on their skin if they have not washed thoroughly.
  • An infected client could transmit it to you by coughing or sneezing near you if they don’t wear a mask.
  • The virus is also present in feces, which makes touching the anal area another way of possibly transmitting.
  • You could also give it to your client easily if you are infected.

Before you begin any session with a client, we recommend you screen them so that you can assess your own risk. When negotiating services, prices, and laying ground rules, cover off on Coronavirus too. Here is how you might ask the question:

“I just want to check in with you first on a few things to make sure we’re both safe about Coronavirus.” Clarify the following:

  1. Do you know if you’ve been exposed to Coronavirus? 
  2. Have you recently had a temperature of more than 100 degrees or other symptoms of respiratory illness, like cough, fever, shortness of breath? 
  3. Have you or someone you live with traveled internationally lately?

If your client answers “yes” to one or more of these, you are taking a risk by continuing the session. If you choose to continue, here are some tips to help cut down the risks:

  • Make sure you are already washing your hands several times throughout the day for a full 20 seconds with warm water. Use hand sanitizer when you cannot wash your hands.
  • Latex gloves, condoms, and dental damns are highly recommended for sex work, now more than ever.
  • Have your client wear a paper mask during the entire session if they have symptoms like coughing or shortness of breath, or wheezing. If wearing a mask, use it only once and then throw away immediately in a trash can. Do not reuse masks.
  • Use sanitizer gel generously. You can make your own by mixing 3 parts isopropyl alcohol to 1 part aloe vera gel. It’s perfectly OK to also add a few drops of your favorite oil (like tea tree) to give it a nice smell.
  • Do not touch your own face – this is one of the surest ways to contract any virus.
  • Shower thoroughly after each client and change clothes to minimize possible spreading of Coronavirus.

Have questions about COVD-19?

Call our COVID-19 hotline at (760) 992-0407

DAP Statement on Coronavirus for Friday, …

For updated information, please visit https://www.daphealth.org/questions-and-answers-on-coronavirus/

Desert AIDS Project (DAP) is committed to providing useful information for our clients concerning COVID-19, otherwise known as Coronavirus.

As of today, there are no confirmed cases in Riverside County of locally acquired COVID-19 disease.

DAP is working closely with the County of Riverside Department of Public Health (RIVCO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to track the epidemic of COVID-19 disease.

Fortify yourself from respiratory illness

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Stay home when you are sick.

Stay updated on COVID-19 disease in Riverside County and the U.S.

If you are interested in daily updates, please visit the following websites:

RUHS-PH COVID-19 page: http://rivcoph.org/coronavirus/

CDC COVID-19 page: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/

Current CDC travel advisories: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html

You can also find out more by calling the following:

CDC Information Line:
800-CDC-INFO
(800) 232-4636
TTY 888-232-6348

Riverside County Public Information Line: (951) 358-5134

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Proposed Federal Budget Cuts Could Drama …

Congressman Ruiz, M.D. and Community Say No to Slashing Medicare and Medicaid

Local healthcare providers stand up for affordable care

DAP thanks Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D. (CA-36) for speaking out against the proposed federal budget for Fiscal Year 2021, which would cut $1.6 trillion from health care programs over the next 10 years. Dr. Ruiz brought attention to the steep cuts the proposed budget would bring to programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. We applaud the Congressman's commitment to ensuring our Coachella Valley community has access to quality and affordable healthcare. 

To learn more, please watch our live stream below or visit https://ruiz.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/trump-prepares-visit-palm-springs-area-congressman-raul-ruiz-md-takes

Where You Get Your Rx Filled Can Make a …

When your DAP clinician sends your prescription order to a participating pharmacy, DAP receives valuable cost savings that translate into better health outcomes for you and our whole community.

Already picking up your medications from our onsite Walgreens pharmacy at DAP? Great–you’re doing your part!

Please consider getting your prescriptions filled at DAP or at any participating pharmacy throughout the Coachella Valley.

There are almost 50 participating walk-in and mail order pharmacies you can choose from.

In addition to all Coachella Valley Walgreens, here are some other popular 340B pharmacies nearby:

Desert Hospital Outpatient Pharmacy 1180 N Indian Canyon Dr., Palm Springs, CA 92262

Vons Pharmacy #2384 4733 E Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs, CA 92264

Albertsons / Sav-On Pharmacy #1569 1751 N Sunrise Way, Palm Springs, CA 92262

Walgreens Store #01079 1700 E Vista Chino Road, Palm Springs, CA 92262

CVS #01520 68010 Vista Chino, Cathedral City, CA 92234

CVS #09804 425 S Sunrise Way, Palm Springs, CA, 92262

White Cross Pharmacy 1717 E Vista Chino Road Suite B2, Palm Springs, CA 92262

Kristin Chenoweth to Headline Steve Chas …

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Steven Henke

shenke@desertaidsproject.org

(760) 656-8401

‘The Chase’ 2020 Honors Humanitarians Removing Roadblocks to Human Potential

PALM SPRINGS, CA- January 1, 2020 – Desert AIDS Project (DAP) has announced that Kristin Chenoweth will headline its 26th Annual Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards on February 8 where Hank Plante, Garry Kief and Ambassador Deborah L Birx, M.D. will be honored for their work in removing roadblocks to human potential.

Emmy and Tony Award winning actress and singer Kristin Chenoweth’s career spans film, television, voiceover and stage. In 2015, Chenoweth received a coveted star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2009, she received an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her role in “Pushing Daisies”. In 1999, she won a Tony Award for “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown” and she was also nominated for her original role of Glinda the Good Witch in “Wicked” in 2004. Chenoweth has been nominated for two Emmy Awards and for a People’s Choice Award for her role on “Glee.”

Returning as co-chairs are Desert AIDS Project Board Members Kevin Bass, Patrick Jordan, and Lauri Kibby. Kibby recently shared the co-chairs vision. “This year’s Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards will focus on how Desert AIDS Project and the people who support the organization remove blocks to human potential,”she said. “The work we honor is deeply personal and about human well-being.”

Desert AIDS Project CEO, David Brinkman is expected to share DAP’s vision for the future during the event. “Desert AIDS Project’s story includes a long history of identifying and responding to epidemics,” he said. “We intend to pay forward what we’ve learned during our first 35 years by reaching more people and changing more lives. We have and continue to be a humanitarian organization which removes road-blocks to human potential.”

The last decade alone has seen DAP make substantial in-roads in addressing epidemics.

2010 2.7 million people worldwide were newly infected with HIV in 2010. DAP begins the decade focused on ending the epidemic.

2012 Annette Bloch donates $1 million to fund a cancer care center dedicated to specialized HIV-related cancer research, screenings, treatment and prevention.

2014 DAP launches Get Tested Coachella Valley as the nation’s first non-profit-led, region-wide HIV testing, prevention, education and linkage to care initiative.

2015 DAP launches The DOCK, a walk-in clinic that provides HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) testing, linkage to care and access to HIV preventative medication Pre-Exposure Prohylaxis (PrEP) and Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP).

2016 The DAP Hepatitis Center of Excellence opens to deliver comprehensive state-of-the-art expertise to manage, support and cure those afflicted with Hepatitis C.

2017 DAP opens Transgender Health Program offering gender-affirming services and care.

2018 DAP kicks off Vision 2020, a capital campaign which will result in the agency more than doubling its ability to provide patient-centered primary, HIV Specialty, Dental and Behavioral Health care to our community.

2019 Desert AIDS Project Celebrates 35 Years of Caring for our community.

How Desert AIDS Project Removes Roadblocks to Human Potential:

  • Medical Care- 7,000 clients call DAP their patient centered medical home, and about half do not have HIV. In the earliest days of the AIDS crisis, DAP discovered health outcomes for our HIV positive clients increased when we provided health care to their life partners and family members who were acting as caregivers. Today, DAP offers leading HIV specialty care as well as primary care for our community members not living with HIV. Because there is enough love in this valley to help everyone thrive and also prevent new cases of HIV.
  • Transgender Care- DAP is guiding more and more transgender, intersex, and gender diverse clients on their gender journeys. In a little over a year, DAP has seen its client enrollment quadruple for these services. Too many transgender individuals in the Inland Empire assume they won’t ever access stigma-free and competent care. At DAP they never have to worry.
  • Hepatitis Center of Excellence- 202 clients have been cured of Hepatitis C since 2017. DAP averages 9 weeks to cure clients, and never turns people away if they do not have insurance. HCV is a silent killer, but DAP’s advocacy is a lot louder.
  • Dental Care- Dental access is vital for good health, especially for people living with HIV. DAP’s dental clinic had 5,354 visits last year, and continues to add clients. A healthy mouth helps clients stay ahead of HIV, and everyone smile wider.
  • The DOCK-- $25 STI screening and treatment. Free Confidential HIV and HCV testing. PrEP and PEP navigators to onboard new clients and help access cost assistance. Because we won’t stop the spread of HIV and STIs in the Coachella Valley if we don’t make testing and treatment available to everyone.
  • Behavioral HealthCare—Psychiatrists, Psychologists and Psychotherapists. Coping with HIV and life can be overwhelming. DAP Behavioral Health clinicians help clients find hope. Because with the right support, we can get through almost any storm.
  • Social Services –Case managers make accessing healthcare and support services a reality for DAP clients. Transportation, food, housing, and enrolling for federal, state and local resources to cover care. In a complex healthcare system, DAP takes the worry out of obtaining and keeping care. 
  • Housing - DAP helps clients into permanent residences, and is developing more opportunities. Housing assistance is part of our prescription. Because access to medication is not enough to treat HIV—it also requires a place to live.
  • Back to WorkDAP’s back to work program has assisted over 200 clients re-enter the workforce when they were ready. This includes computer access, resume coaching, and job placement. DAP helps clients determine readiness for employment, and supports them throughout the process. Because having a job can be powerful medicine.
  • Client Wellness—A range of services, classes and support groups make DAP a community hub. Chair massage, yoga, tai chi, acupuncture and reiki. Because the AIDS crisis taught us that holistic health works. Strength training, art, sculpting and sewing classes. Because curiosity is healthy. Aging with HIV, addiction and recovery advocacy, and many other support groups. Because DAP understands that when a few people get together to support each other, an entire humanitarian movement can be born.

2020 Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards Honorees:

Hank Plante will receive the Arts & Activism Award, Garry Kief will receive the Partners for Life Award and Ambassador Deborah L Birx, M.D. will receive the Science & Medicine Award.  

Henry A. "Hank" Plante is an American television reporter and newspaper columnist. He is on-air at NBC Palm Springs and he is a member of the Editorial Board of Gannett's Desert Sun newspaper in Palm Springs. Winner of the George Foster Peabody Award and multiple Emmys, he covered California for three decades for TV stations in San Francisco and Los Angeles. He now writes occasional columns for newspapers in California, usually focusing on politics or gay and lesbian issues. One of the first openly gay TV reporters in the United States, Plante is the recipient of various honors from LGBTQ rights advocacy organizations and trade groups. In addition, Plante was featured in the documentary "5B" 5B (film), which was honored at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. The film is about the first AIDS ward in the nation, which Plante covered as a reporter. A native of Detroit, Plante worked in both radio and television journalism, including 25 years at KPIX-TV (CBS 5) in San Francisco, before retiring in April 2010. Before that, he worked in print journalism, including at The Washington Post. At KPIX-TV, he interviewed a range of national and state political figures, including five U.S. Presidents and numerous Governors, legislators and opinion makers from Richard Nixon to Al Gore, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Barack Obama, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jerry Brown and Hillary Clinton.

His experience includes reporting and anchoring at TV stations in various cities, including KHJ-TV in Los Angeles, KRIV in Houston, KMSP-TV in Minneapolis and WVEC-TV in Norfolk, Virginia. He also served as Assignment Editor at WTTG-TV in Washington, D.C., and as News Editor at WRC (NBC) Radio in Washington D.C. He began his career as a journalist in Washington, D.C. at the Sentinel Newspapers, where he was managing editor, and at The Washington Post, where he worked on the city desk.  His awards have included several local and national Emmys, as well as the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award, in 1986, as part of CBS 5's "AIDS Lifeline" reporting team. He has also been awarded the Pioneer Award at the GLAAD Media Awards, and the James R. Harrison Award from the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. He was also named "Reporter of the Year" by the Associated Press (APTRA'S "Chris Harris Award"). Hank was inducted into the Emmy Silver Circle by the National Television Academy, which honors individuals who have made a significant contribution to broadcasting. In addition, his work has been singled out for praise by The New York.

Garry Kief is a former DAP Board Member and currently serves on the boards of the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center, Palm Springs International Film Festival, McCallum Theatre, and the Annenberg Theatre Counsel. In addition, Kief has served as National President and Chairman of the Trustees of his national fraternity – Sigma Phi Epsilon, raising money for programs and scholarships to support undergraduate men. Kief is President/CEO at Stiletto Entertainment Group and President of Barry Manilow Productions. He has produced ‘A Gift of Love’ for four years raising millions of dollars for local charities. Kief also oversees the Manilow Music Project which empowers underfunded school music programs to provide quality music education. By donating instruments and equipment and providing scholarships nationwide, it gives disadvantaged young people the opportunity to experience community, passion, and creativity through the gift of music.

Ambassador-at-Large, Deborah L. Birx, M.D., is the Coordinator of the United States Government Activities to Combat HIV/AIDS and U.S. Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy. Ambassador Birx is a world-renowned medical expert and leader in the field of HIV/AIDS. Her three-decade-long career has focused on HIV/AIDS immunology, vaccine research, and global health. As the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, Ambassador Birx oversees the implementation of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the largest commitment by any nation to combat a single disease in history, as well as all U.S. Government engagement with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Serving as the U.S. Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy, she aligns the U.S. Government’s diplomacy with foreign assistance programs that address global health challenges and accelerate progress toward: achieving an AIDS-free generation; ending preventable child and maternal deaths; and preventing, detecting, and responding to infectious disease threats.

In 1985, Ambassador Birx began her career with the Department of Defense (DoD) as a military-trained clinician in immunology, focusing on HIV/AIDS vaccine research. From 1985-1989, she served as an Assistant Chief of the Hospital Immunology Service at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Through her professionalism and leadership in the field, she progressed to serve as the Director of the U.S. Military HIV Research Program (USMHRP) at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research from 1996-2005. Ambassador Birx helped lead one of the most influential HIV vaccine trials in history (known as RV 144 or the Thai trial), which provided the first supporting evidence of any vaccine’s potential effectiveness in preventing HIV infection. During this time, she also rose to the rank of Colonel, bringing together the Navy, Army, and Air Force in a new model of cooperation – increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the U.S. Military’s HIV/AIDS efforts through inter- and intra-agency collaboration. Then known as Colonel Birx, she was awarded two prestigious U.S. Meritorious Service Medals and the Legion of Merit Award for her groundbreaking research, leadership, and management skills during her tenure at DOD.

From 2005-2014, Ambassador Birx served successfully as the Director of CDC’s Division of Global HIV/AIDS (DGHA), which is part of the agency’s Center for Global Health. As DGHA Director, she utilized her leadership ability, superior technical skills, and infectious passion to achieve tremendous public health impact. She successfully led the implementation of CDC’s PEPFAR programs around the world and managed an annual budget of more than $1.5 billion. Ambassador Birx was responsible for all of the agency’s global HIV/AIDS activities, including providing oversight to more than 400 staff at headquarters, over 1,500 staff in the field, and more than 45 country and regional offices in Africa, Asia, Caribbean, and Latin America. Recognized for her distinguished and dedicated commitment to building local capacity and strengthening quality laboratory health services and systems in Africa, in 2011, Ambassador Birx received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the African Society for Laboratory Medicine. In 2014, CDC honored her leadership in advancing the agency’s HIV/AIDS response with the highly prestigious William C. Watson, Jr. Medal of Excellence.

Headline performer, Kristin Chenoweth is a passionate supporter of charities that dedicate their time and efforts to helping those in need. She formed a charity partnership with the Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center (BAPAC) Foundation in her home state of Oklahoma. Chenoweth's accomplishments were honored by her hometown with BAPAC naming "The Kristin Chenoweth Theatre" in 2012. Partnering with the BAPAC in a labor of love, Kristin launched an annual Broadway Bootcamp in 2015, providing young Broadway hopefuls with the opportunity to take classes, hold performances and learn from top mentors in the entertainment industry including Kristin herself. In her lifelong mission to cultivate arts education across the globe, Chenoweth has also created “Places! The Kristin Chenoweth Tour Experience," a unique educational program for young singers that puts them right next to her performing on stage. Each concert in Chenoweth’s ongoing tour will feature local participants from higher education conservatories, universities, and colleges for the immersive educational experience.

Chenoweth recently released her latest album “For The Girls,” debuting at #3 on the Current Pop Albums chart and #11 on the Billboard Top Albums chart. The album is a heartfelt tribute to the great female singers throughout history, particularly some of Kristin’s heroes and friends. Guest artists include Ariana Grande, Dolly Parton, Jennifer Hudson and Reba McEntire. The album includes Chenoweth’s personally charged interpretations of classic songs identified with such iconic artists as Barbra Streisand, Lesley Gore, Linda Ronstadt, Dinah Washington, Dolly Parton and more.

2020 Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards Sponsors

PRODUCING: Harold Matzner, Walgreens

MAJOR: Elgart Aster & Paul Swerdlove, Desert Care Network, Desert Sun, Eisenhower Health, Grace Helen Spearman Foundation, Living Out, LULU California Bistro

STAR: Mark Adams, Steven Anders/The Elizabeth Firth Wade Endowment, Annette Bloch, Desert Oasis Healthcare, NBC Palm Springs, Saks Fifth Avenue

SUPPORTING: Blackbook, Jim Burba & Bob Hayes, Diageo, Lynn Hammond, Lauri & Charles Kibby, Neil Lane Jewelers, Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel, UC Riverside School of Medicine, Wells Fargo Foundation

BENEFACTOR: Anthem Blue Cross, Carolyn & Daniel Caldwell, Colleen Crowley & Jack Martin, Coachella Valley Health Personnel, Diageo, Freehold Communities, Gilead Sciences, Annette Guzman, Heffernan Insurance Brokers, Image360, Patrick Jordan, Kaiser Permanente Foundation, Frank Kurland, Laboratory Corporation of America, Perry McKay, Supervisor V. Manuel Perez, Revive Wellness, Ann Sheffer & Bill Scheffler, Sysco Riverside, White Cross Pharmacy

MEDIA: CV Independent, Gay Desert Guide, LOCALE Magazine, Palm Springs Life, PromoHomo.TV, Rage Monthly, The Hollywood Times, The Standard Magazine

About Desert AIDS Project

Desert AIDS Project (DAP) is a Federally Qualified Health Center in Palm Springs, CA offering DAP Total Care – a combination of medical, dental, counseling, social services, support groups, alternative therapies, in-house pharmacy and lab, and other health and wellness services.  DAP’s sexual health clinic, The DOCK, offers STI testing and treatment, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), and Free HIV and HCV testing. DAP’s Get Tested Coachella Valley campaign, the nation’s first region-wide free HIV testing and access to care initiative, was recognized by the White House for helping to bring about an AIDS-free future.  DAP has earned a “Four Star” rating from Charity Navigator for the sixth consecutive year – landing DAP in the top 6% of nonprofits rated. The distinction recognizes that we exceed industry standards in terms of our financial health, accountability, and transparency. Visit www.desertaidsproject.org, www.thedockclinic.org, and www.gettestedcoachellavalley.org to learn more.

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For growing STI crisis, HIV, HCV and Pov …

Contact: Jack Bunting
jbunting@desertaidsproject.org
(760) 656-8472

At a time when the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) reports a 30 year high in STIs in California —particularly syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia—Desert AIDS Project (DAP) affirms that in addition to HIV and HCV, these are among the most serious public health issues facing Californians today.

DAP is in a unique position to apply the lessons it has learned over 35 years in HIV prevention, testing and treatment. With the increasing prevalence of Californians suffering from two or more of these infections simultaneously, we must no longer approach HIV, HCV, and STIs as if they belong in separate silos. Nor can we continue to overlook the roles that poverty and social isolation play in this crisis.

To end these epidemics, Californians need:    
   • Routinized education, testing and treatment for all five infections: HIV, HCV, syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia.       
   • Access to ongoing medical and behavioral healthcare, and stable housing.
   • Community and wellness services for psychosocial support to avoid isolation and poor medical treatment adherence.

We represent our community’s voice in state and federal discussions, and constantly looking at new developments, models and funding sources to deploy new efforts in the Coachella Valley. Regardless of access to funding, our commitment to outreach through our community health department enables us to reach at-risk populations.

DAP is also part of End The Epidemics, a statewide working group of approximately 160 public health and community organizations urging Governor Newsom and the California Legislature to empower key stakeholders as soon as possible to fund and implement California’s strategy to end the HIV, HCV, and STI epidemics.

“Funding is essential to fight the spread of newly acquired STIs in California, but it will not fix the entire problem,” said Carl Baker, director of legal and legislative affairs at DAP. “To test and link people to care, we have to meet them where they are; not where we wish they were.”

DAP staff provide testing and education in jails, prisons, drug rehabilitation centers and where our homeless neighbors live.

It also links clients to Pre Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) as key strategies to decrease new infections. We know that regular STI testing that is part of the PrEP protocol identifies people who are infected with STIs who would not have been tested otherwise. 

In the Coachella Valley, and Palm Springs in particular, STIs are historically higher than the rest of the county, and have been rising steadily. Higher poverty rates than in the rest of California, plus a thriving tourism industry create an atmosphere for STIs to spread.

In 2018, Riverside County reported syphilis cases ran about 12 per 100,000 people. In the Coachella Valley: 32 cases per 100,000.

The numbers sharply increase in Palm Springs, with over 100 cases per 100,000, and especially North Palm Springs, with 185 cases per 100,000 people. (Riverside University Health System)

To address this trend, in May 2018 DAP lowered the price for testing and treatment for STIs to just $25, and no charge in extreme cases of lack of funds. Access to these services at other organizations in the Coachella Valley cost about seven-to-ten times as much, and prevents many from accessing testing and treatment.

Currently we are noticing about 30 additional clients per week at The DOCK for STI testing and treatment.

“Who knows how many of our clients would wait longer to get screening and treatment if they had to pay as much as ten times what The DOCK charges?” said C.J. Tobe, interim director of community health. “If our clients test positive, we can get them on treatment which is vital to stop the epidemics, and we can even go further, offering them ongoing primary medical and behavioral healthcare and other services.”

DAP knows from experience, and the CDC agrees, that our clients experience better health outcomes when they can access stable housing, and when they receive support to fight drug abuse, poverty, and stigma.

Besides accessing primary and behavioral healthcare, nutritious food and fighting isolation by connecting to other humans is also essential. Wellness services like yoga and chiropractic, and re-entering the workforce have shown to be essential to our clients as they rebound from an array of health challenges.

What Is A Syndemic?

Together, HIV, HCV and STIs create a syndemic—a set of linked health problems that interact synergistically and exacerbate poor health outcomes.

For example, having an STD increases the likelihood of acquiring HIV.  Among people who are living with HCV and HIV, HCV progresses faster and more than triples the risk for liver disease, liver failure, and liver related death. These epidemics are also driven by similar social and economic conditions and disproportionately impact many of the same disadvantaged communities.

About End The Epidemics

The California HIV/AIDS Policy Research Centers, together with HIV, viral hepatitis, and STD community-based organizations across California, have launched a community-driven effort to inform development of a statewide plan to end the HIV, HCV, and STD epidemics in California. What makes this initiative innovative and unique – in addition to community leadership – is its ambitious goal of addressing these health conditions as a syndemic – a set of linked health problems that interact synergistically and exacerbate poor health outcomes. The syndemic approach differs from the biomedical approach in that it treats diseases concurrently and also addresses the social determinants of health that drive these epidemics. To learn more, visit: www.chprc.org/end-the-epidemics/

About Desert AIDS Project

Desert AIDS Project (DAP) is a Federally Qualified Health Center in Palm Springs, CA offering DAP Total Care – a combination of medical, dental, counseling, social services, support groups, alternative therapies, in-house pharmacy and lab, and other health and wellness services.  DAP’s sexual health clinic, The DOCK, offers STD testing and treatment for only $25 per visit, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), and HIV and HCV testing. DAP’s Get Tested Coachella Valley campaign, the nation’s first region-wide free HIV testing and access to care initiative, was recognized by the White House for helping to bring about an AIDS-free future.  DAP has earned a “Four Star” rating from Charity Navigator for the sixth consecutive year – landing DAP in the top 6% of nonprofits rated. The distinction recognizes that we exceed industry standards in terms of our financial health, accountability, and transparency.

Visit
www.desertaidsproject.org
www.thedockclinic.org
www.gettestedcoachellavalley.org
to learn more

Long-Term Behavioral Health Advocate Dr. …

Contact: Jack Bunting

jbunting@desertaidsproject.org

(760) 656-8472

Palm Springs, CA – (September 18, 2019) — Desert AIDS Project (DAP) is proud to welcome Dr. Jill Gover as Behavioral Health Manager. In this role, she will enrich the department and the agency with her expertise and proven commitment to putting clients first. Affectionately known in the community as “Dr. G”, she brings decades of expertise and compassion in helping people living with HIV / AIDS (PLWHA).

At DAP, she will steer operations of the department and the Behavioral Health clinic, supervise staff, and see clients in a therapeutic capacity.

Most recently, Dr. Gover served as a clinical psychologist and director of the Scott Hines Mental Health Clinic @ The Center in Palm Springs, providing eight years of tireless service to clients.

She has emerged in the Coachella Valley as a steady voice calling for more resources and vigilance around mental health issues facing the LGBTQ community, especially PLWHA.

“We feel immense gratitude to have Dr. Gover join the Behavioral Health staff at DAP,” said David Brinkman, CEO. “Living with HIV is overwhelming for many of our clients, but she has mastered the understanding required to give them the vigilance and support they deserve.”

In particular, Dr. Gover is one of this community’s loudest voices calling for heightened awareness around suicide prevention, and there is a compelling reason.

  • In the 2014 Riverside County Public Health LGBT Health and Wellness Profile study, LGBTQ+ adults reported having two-to-four times as many suicidal thoughts as heterosexual peers, with bisexuals at highest risk. 
  • In the 2015 Inland Empire Transgender Health and Wellness Profile Report, transgender adults were asked, “Have you ever seriously considered committing suicide?”  Seventy-five percent of the participants responded, “Yes” compared to six percent of the general population. 

These are truly shocking statistics, according to Dr. Gover. But by choosing to join DAP, she plans to continue her lifelong work to help humankind.

“I have been assisting people living with HIV / AIDS, both personally and professionally, since the early days of the epidemic as a gay rights and AIDS activist,” said Dr. Gover.  “This is my community and I cannot think of an agency that is a better fit for the work I love to do.”

Experience From Decades Of Treating People Living With HIV / AIDS

Dr. Gover completed schooling and started her psychology practice in the earliest years of the AIDS crisis in California. She has practiced in the Bay Area, Northern California, and the Inland Empire. 

By spending decades treating her clients living with HIV / AIDS, she understands their suffering, and offers approaches for them to find hope and wellness.

As she explains, for PLWHA, the AIDS epidemic has been a series of traumatic events. Sustained trauma can present as a myriad of symptoms, such as anger, hypervigilance and anxiety, depression, insomnia and nightmares, survivors’ guilt, substance abuse, sexual risk-taking, low self-esteem, hopelessness, emotional numbness and social withdrawal. 

According to Dr. Gover, behavioral health strategies that develop a new, positive “internal narrative” of self-talk are crucial to combating the challenges and fears that overwhelm so many people living with HIV.

“I want to establish a safe environment in therapy where patients can learn and practice the tools and skills needed to make the changes they want to make in their life.” 

Her Therapeutic Approach

Dr. Gover believes that the story we tell ourselves can often be distorted, and because of that, we experience unnecessary emotional distress.  As a cognitive behavioral therapist, she is interested in exploring the mistaken beliefs, unhelpful schemas (rules we live by), and faulty thinking that causes problems in our lives. 

With curiosity and without judgment, she invites the patient into a collaborative approach to investigate the evidence and efficacy of particular thought patterns, and helps patients reconstruct a “new narrative” of self-talk that improves quality of life.

More about Dr. Gover

Jill Gover, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, specializing in addiction, anxiety, depression, aging, chronic pain, HIV, and LGBT+ issues. For 15 years she was the Coordinator of Student Assistance Programs for the Vallejo USD, responsible for developing a large internship program and bringing mental health services into the schools. For the next 13 years, she was the Director of Mental Health Services for an FQHC community health center, responsible for integrating behavioral health into a primary care setting. In 2011 she joined the staff at The LGBT Community Center of the Desert, where she created a clinical internship program for mental health professionals and established The Scott Hines Mental Health Clinic to provide low cost mental health services to the community. Dr. Gover oversaw clinical internship training and several treatment programs for the LGBT community, including a Long-term Survivors (LTS) therapy group for gay men living with HIV. She has been an active member of HARP-PS (HIV and Aging Research Project) for the past five years. 

Dr. Gover has published numerous articles and developed psycho-educational curricula on anger management, suicide prevention, adult children of alcoholics, HIV, and healthy aging. She is a well-respected presenter on various issues related to mental health, and has delivered numerous workshops and trainings throughout California.

About Desert AIDS Project

Desert AIDS Project (DAP) is a Federally Qualified Health Center in Palm Springs, CA offering DAP Total Care – a combination of medical, dental, counseling, social services, support groups, alternative therapies, in-house pharmacy and lab, and other health and wellness services.  DAP’s sexual health clinic, The DOCK, offers STD testing and treatment, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), and HIV and HCV testing. DAP’s Get Tested Coachella Valley campaign, the nation’s first region-wide free HIV testing and access to care initiative, was recognized by the White House for helping to bring about an AIDS-free future.  DAP has earned a “Four Star” rating from Charity Navigator for the sixth consecutive year – landing DAP in the top 6% of nonprofits rated. The distinction recognizes that we exceed industry standards in terms of our financial health, accountability, and transparency.

Visit www.desertaidsproject.orgwww.thedockclinic.org, and www.gettestedcoachellavalley.org to learn more.

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MyChart Users – Important Information

Desert AIDS Project (DAP) has transitioned from “OCHIN” to a Desert AIDS Project MyChart log-in page.
 
What do I need to do?
 
1. Switch from the OCHIN MyChart selection on your phone application to the new Desert AIDS Project MyChart selection
 
2. If using MyChart from a PC / Device, update any saved URL (web address) to this new URL (web address): https://mychart.ochin.org/mychartdap/
 
Call 760-323-2118, ext 711 and ask for Albert or Curtis if you have trouble with your username or password or if you have questions about the new MyChart.