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DAP Health Honors Annette Bloch

Annette Bloch at the Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards

DAP Health Honors Annette Bloch 

DAP Health honors the passing of philanthropist and beloved community leader Annette Bloch. Bloch will be remembered for meeting her personal goal of "improving the lives of others.” The philanthropist found joy in seeing her generous gifts change lives in Kansas City and Palm Springs, the communities she called home. 

Bloch became part of DAP Health’s (formerly Desert AIDS Project) response to the HIV/AIDS crisis after her friend Barbara Keller gave her a tour of the organization's campus. She commented afterward, “It took my breath away—there’s not another facility like it.”  

In 2012, Bloch donated $1 million to establish the Annette Bloch Cancer Care Center at DAP Health. Her gift enabled DAP Health to diagnose and treat dysplasia and to offer services to clients susceptible to cancer due to their HIV infection. At the time, DAP Health CEO David Brinkman explained the impact, “The extraordinary gift from Annette Bloch to DAP will allow us to broaden our base of medical care in a way that we could have only dreamed about before.” 

Bloch used her philanthropy to help DAP Health fulfill its mission of enhancing community health and well-being. She received its 100 Women Award at the Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards in 2013 for her support of programs helping women and children. And her endorsement invited countless others to fund the organization. 

In 2016, Bloch announced a $3 million gift during the 22nd Annual Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards to fund the expansion of DAP Health's medical facilities. Brinkman, who counted Bloch as a close friend and an ally in the organization's advocacy-based healthcare work that today serves 9,700 individuals annually, recalls her passion for the organization's mission. “She was energized by her intention to make life better for anyone suffering. She often said, everyone, regardless of income, should have access to world-class healthcare. I remember showing her the plans for our new medical building and her saying, ‘I want to be the first one to get this building built. I’m going to give $3 million to start it.’” 

With the support of Bloch, DAP Health purchased the former Riverside County Health building on its campus and is in the process of renovating it. The building will be renamed the Annette Bloch Care Building to honor her legacy and impact. “Her investment enabled us to double our capacity, ensuring our doors to compassionate care remain open to everyone who walks through them seeking wellness.” Brinkman explains, “I will always remember her positive attitude, gratitude for life’s blessings, the value she placed on friendship and family, and as a woman who made a difference in the lives of others moving DAP Health boldly into the future in the process.”

Celebrating the Life of Marvin Sholl

Celebrating the Life of Marvin Sholl

Marvin Sholl, 93, of Rancho Mirage, CA, died peacefully on June 10, 2021, surrounded by his loving family.  He was born on June 21, 1927 to Louis and Jeanette Sholl in Chicago, IL, where he met and married his first love and wife of 56 years, Carol Phyllis Halper.  Carol preceded him in death, as did their beloved sons Scott and Barry Sholl. 

A lifelong car enthusiast, Marv turned his passion into his profession, running dealerships from a young age.  He was especially proud of being one of the youngest Jewish men to manage a Pontiac franchise in Chicago in the 1950s.  After moving to the Desert in 1976, Marv continued his long love affair with cars, and in 1981 opened Exotic Motor Cars in Palm Springs, where he never met a Rolls-Royce he didn’t like.  He was a proud Veteran of the United States Navy, serving during WWII, and always drove one of his signature cars in the Palm Springs parade.

After their youngest son, Barry, died from complications of HIV/AIDs, he and his late wife Carol became active volunteers with Desert AIDS Project (now DAP Health).  They both received recognition for their humanitarian efforts in the fight against AIDS, including the Warner Engdahl Community Service Award presented at the 2006 Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards. On World AIDS Day in 2016, the Marv Sholl Red Ribbon of Hope Award was established to honor his then 30-year commitment and presented at the Everyday Heroes ceremony, which Marv certainly was. 

   

In 2007 Marv met the second love of his life, his adoring wife, Ruth Ruffner.  Their late life love affair brought incredible joy to Marv as well as a whole new family that adored him.

Marv always had a twinkle in his eye, was quick with a joke, and was a generous friend.  When his grand children were young, they thought he must be the Mayor of Palm Springs, since wherever they went, he seemed to know everyone.  He loved and was loved by the many friends he made in the Coachella Valley. 

He is survived and will be forever missed by his beloved family: wife Ruth Ruffner; daughter Leslie Sholl Jaffe her husband David Jaffe, his grandchildren Dara and Gary Jaffe, and nephew Rick Sholl; as well as step-children, Sue Sherman and her wife, Pam Juhos; Richard Sherman and his children David, Greg and Jade. 

There will be a private Memorial Service at a later date.  However, to honor Marv’s memory, we request donations be made to DAPHealth.org.

 

DAP Health Unveils New Les Dames du Sole …

DAP Health Unveils New Les Dames du Soleil Wellness Space

By Jack Bunting

DAP Health continues to honor its history rooted in health equity, inclusivity, and community collaboration by unveiling a new lobby in its Barbara Keller Love Building, the first of two exhibitions planned this year.

Clients and visitors at DAP Health’s Wellness Wing will experience a space that has been transformed to pay homage to the fine art of drag, comedy and humanitarianism.

Now, warm colors and vintage cabaret posters, and a life-size photographic mural of the drag troupe Les Dames du Soleil are reminding everyone about this Valley’s rich history of inclusivity and fundraising.

“Steve Chase designed DAP’s first patient reception area noting the connection between physical surroundings and wellness,” explains David Brinkman, CEO. “Since then, we have continued to create welcoming and vibrant spaces for the community members we serve.”

To carry on this tradition, DAP Health partnered with Foley & Stinnette Interior Design, well known across North America for transforming residential and commercial spaces.

“Les Dames du Soleil are beautiful and vibrant inside and out, and we wanted the new waiting area to be a reflection of their empowering energy,” says Beau Stinnette. “Bold IS beautiful when curated the right way.”

Clients are used to waiting in the area for acupuncture, reiki, massage, and group meetings. It is also where the computer lab is located, used by many for resume building and job searches.

“I am really pleased with how they changed up the color and decorative scheme of the space,” said John, a DAP Health client. “It's just brighter, more vibrant, and a real change from the usual medical atmosphere, and I really appreciate it.”

For 30 years Les Dames du Soleil helped fund health access in The Coachella Valley, and their brand of humor and cabaret escapism improved the health of the entire community in an era when gay life was centered in bars, nightclubs, and galas. 

Douglas Woodmansee and Marshall Pearcy, life partners since 1976, started Les Dames du Soleil using their gift of bringing people out of their shells through laughter. With a revolving cast throughout the years, the troupe helped bring in much needed funding to DAP, giving people with HIV (PWH) a chance to access healthcare, sometimes for the first time.

“We were the drag queens for people who don’t like drag queens,” says Douglas. “We won them over with lots of comedy, artful costuming, and always affordable ways to pitch in and help people with HIV.”

Whether in a bar for change, or in a convention center with celebrities, Les Dames du Soleil spent decades engaging and delighting a loyal fanbase.

“Les Dames du Soleil had a valuable purpose,” says Douglas. “People wanted something to believe in; to enjoy—to laugh at and to cry over.”

During the early AIDS crisis, finding that kind of community support was much harder for LGBTQ people.

“Our shows struck at the heart of the community, which we realized was an extremely generous and caring one,” he said. “We kept delivering to our fans and our fans loved us for it.”

DAP Health has been increasing health equity for the LGBTQ people in The Coachella Valley for almost 40 years. This includes meeting health and inclusion needs for people in other categories who face disparities in accessing care, especially due to race, class and economic circumstance.

Building LGBTQ health equity has always included restoring the sense of belonging that many people lose because they are different. Due to open as well as cloaked hostilities, it still challenges many people to live authentically without facing isolation. Health experts warn that this is a serious health risk, and that community connection is a valuable antidote. 

Before there was crowdfunding, there was Les Dames du Soleil

Since 1994, they have raised $2 million so that people in the Coachella Valley with HIV can access the care and advocacy everyone deserves.

“Les Dames du Soleil gave the audience an avenue to donate money,” said Douglas. “And we gave them a quite a show in return for donating money to DAP.”

That support was essential, given the lack of funding for healthcare, especially for PWH. 

“We struggled along on nickels and dimes constantly,” says Ron Christenson, DAP’s founding treasurer. “Half the time we didn’t have the money to pay the rent—it was really hard.”

In a time before accessible healthcare and LGBTQ protections, DAP founders kept carrying on because the suffering that PWH were experiencing in their Valley was nothing short of a humanitarian crisis.

“The poverty was unimaginable,” says Ron. “People who were dying did not have food, and many could not work, because people were afraid of them.”

Fundraising was something that came with the territory if you wanted to make a difference, whether it happened in a bar or at a gala, and even if you had a day job in medicine.

To raise money, “We had big parties,” says Kathy McCauley, founding DAP RN. “And no matter who was coming, I always told them, ‘bring your wallet’.”

No matter the venue, audience participation was a regular part of the shows, and as the years went on, people who wouldn’t traditionally consider LGBTQ entertainment had become devoted supporters of Les Dames du Soleil.

“We gave them a cabaret for two-to-three hours,” Marshall said. “The idea was to come in, leave all your troubles behind, have a drink, have fun and laugh and sing along.”

Affordable Giving Can Move Mountains

“Les Dames du Soleil was founded on the premise that we wanted to include everyone,” says Marshall. “And by charging low admission rates, we made it so everyone could feel part of the community.”

Money was never the real reason; it was about community. People with HIV needed services and medication, and there were people of all income levels locally who wanted to support them.

“Everyone was able to participate and give somehow.” says Marshall. “You could take $25 and go to the bar by yourself, have a couple of drinks and throw the change into the tip jar.”

When Les Dames first started, they charged $3 at the door at the bars. Eventually when they started playing the ballrooms, prices went up to $20 and $25.

“I wouldn't let them go any higher because I said, the idea of  Les Dames du Soleil was founded on the premise that we wanted to include everyone. And we wanted everyone in the community to feel part of the community.”

“It might not have seemed like a lot of money, but every bit helped,” says Ron Christenson.

As fundraising events and venues went bigger in the 2000s, Les Dames du Soleil were in their element as they remained sought after in Palm Springs philanthropy, supporting many Coachella Valley non-profits, including The Center, AAP Food Samaritans, Jewish Family Service of the Desert, and Mizell Center.

However, they never stopped entertaining and making appearances at events where folks on a regular salary could show their pride with smaller sum donations.

Fans Supported the Cause Tirelessly

“What still gets me is the memory of a man who was terminally ill with AIDS, sitting in the audience and holding up a check for us,” says Douglas. “It was to honor the love of his life who had lost the fight himself.”

It meant the world to Douglas, because even in this man’s grief and with failing health, he wanted to come to the show, where he knew he was with friends, and he knew he belonged, he said.

“Everyone was welcome,” says Marshall.

Giving Back Worked Both Ways

Earlier in the AIDS crisis, Douglas felt an urgent need to make a difference by speaking at support groups for families who had lost loved ones. Despite their grief, he said, many families still carried so much homophobia. Expressing it in therapy was part of their journey, but he knew he could not handle the toxicity.

Then he saw the magic that was possible with a show, friends and fundraising—no matter what the venue.

“Now this, I can do!”

Marshall found a way to feel connected, and it was through using drag and cabaret for the well-being of people who needed healthcare and advocacy.

Talented Design Team Infused Heart

Volunteering his time and expertise for this project came naturally for Beau Stinnette, who together with Dann Foley make up Foley & Stinnette Interior Design.

“This project was truly an honor for me in many ways,” Beau says. “I have lived in Palm Springs since 1999 and I was a DAP client from 2000 to 2002.”

Maude and Dottie, played by Douglas and Marshall, were part of Beau’s memories from his early Palm Springs days, and as the years went by he came to know the incredible impact they were making, “and how they shined their bright light on The DAP community.”

"I needed to be true to the festiveness that's already happening with these ladies," says Beau. To do this, Foley & Stinnette used color palettes of red, blue and purple.

It also meant keeping the existing floor, already with a distinctive design and many more years of usefulness left.

"We also needed to be bolder than the floor," says Beau. The floor in the designated corridor, he says, is very specific with colors of Dark Tan and Navy Blue that run in a swirled pattern.

“I knew I had to be careful and consider everything as a whole,” he says. “The memorabilia, the mural, the flooring and the odd shape of the corridor were all part of the new plan.”

Foley & Stinnette selected the paint colors, the new Revivals chairs and tables, and the new diamond shaped wall sconces.

The mural is a big part of the plan, and it spans almost 15’ and is hugely colorful, he says. “As people begin to see and use the new space, all eyes will be up, not on the floor.”

As if with a cosmic wink, the spirit of HIV awareness and prevention made its way into every detail, even in the name of the paint that was used.

Sherwin Williams "Positively Red" was chosen, but Beau had selected the paint color before he knew the actual name.

“When I saw “SW6871 Positively Red,” I was elated, and I knew it was all meant to be.”

About Foley and Stinnette

Interior Designers Dann Foley and Beau Stinnette have built a reputation for great style, taste and quality through their namesake firm Foley & Stinnette Interior Design. For more than 25 years, they have honed their interior design craft with clients in the U.S. and Canada.

The Trevor Wayne Pop Art Store and Galle …

The Trevor Wayne Pop Art Store and Gallery Supports Free Self HIV Testing

by Robert Hopwood

Artist Trevor Wayne wants more people to get tested for HIV, and he is using his popular storefront to make an impact.  

The Palm Springs artist has created four pieces of art to promote DAP Health’s free self HIV tests.  

The test kits can be mailed or picked up in person at the health center. The tests are a convenient, confidential way for people to determine their HIV status. 

People interested in a test kit have three options: by visiting DAPHealth.org, calling (760) 567-2431, or scanning the QR code on advertisements.  

“I think everyone should get tested because it’s the best way of stopping the spread of HIV,” Wayne says. “It’s also really important to know if you have any health issues because managing them early on will make things much easier.” 

Wayne’s artwork, which features doll heads and smiles, carries a simple message: “Free self HIV test mailed to you!”  

DAP Health is using Wayne’s art to promote the test kits on bus shelters and through dating services, online ad networks, social media and email.  

“What we want to do is bring more awareness to (the tests) because as of now, 49% of the Coachella Valley has not been tested,” Wayne says. 

DAP Health started its free self HIV test program in August 2020. 

Since then, they have sent out more than 100 kits a month, says C.J. Tobe, DAP Health’s director of Community Health. 

DAP Health follows up with everyone who requests a kit and provides counseling, Tobe says. They also connect people with resources, if needed. 

Having an artist like Wayne portray self-testing will help combat the stigma around HIV, Tobe says. 

“It’s really going to be able to get the message out there about knowing your status,” he said.  

Wayne’s artwork features pop culture themes and items, from horror movies to entertainment icons. 

“I pretty much just do what I find funny or amusing in the minute and pretty much hope that people get it,” he says. 

Wayne, whose art is sold in more than 120 stores, moved from Los Angeles to Palm Springs in 2017. In February 2020 he opened Pop Art! along Palm Canyon Drive. 

He says it’s an honor to be asked to create artwork for DAP Health.  

“It makes me feel like I’m a part of the community,” Wayne says. “It’s kind of nice that they trust my art to talk about such a subject in a way that makes it more approachable.” 

Health Equity Drives the 2021 Steve Chas …

Health Equity Drives the 2021 Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards  

Honoring the art of caring on Sunday May 9, 2021 starting at 5:30 p.m. PT 

DAP Health and community sponsors will host the 27th annual Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards, reimagined this year as a digital experience that will honor this community’s legacy of giving and the compassion of its namesake, all in a format that made safe and accessible for everyone.   

Registration is open: The 27th Annual Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards is May 9, 2021. Click here to register and keep up to date on all the details, celebrity entertainment, online auction opportunities and more. 

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

DAP Health’s largest fundraising event is in its 27th year and is named for one of our earliest financial supporters, the designer Steve Chase.   

“Making health equity a priority in this Valley through this pandemic calls for us to remember the spirit and lessons we learned from Steve Chase,” says David Brinkman, CEO. “DAP Health continues to be guided by his example of activism and giving, which saves and changes lives today. 

Themes in 2021 Serve the Greater Good 

This year's awards are a celebration of the Hope Begins With Health campaign — a $2 million fundraising initiative to propel DAP Health's frontline work. 

Our ever-expanding patient population needs us to focus on: health equity, COVID, mental health, and ending HIV.  

Health Equity Means Access  

Experts warn us that too many people are falling out of essential medical and mental healthcare, but throughout 2021 DAP Health is offering them solutions tailored for these times.  

  • Public health outreach to isolated patients will connect them to care based on need and not wealth, 
  • Added resource navigators will help more people access care with insurance, plus help with everyday living essentials,  
  • Mobile medical services will serve a wider patient population, 
  • Added home services will keep more patients feeling self-sufficient.  

Increasing Access Takes a Commitment to Cultural Humility  

We understand that cultural humility calls for us to be more curious, and much less set in our ways. Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach to accessing and engaging in healthcare, DAP Health believes that each person deserves a connection that works for them.   

To do this, we constantly examine our approaches. We lean in and get to know the cultural and social realities of our patients and clients by actively listening, so that we can offer them care and services that meet their unique needs 

DAP Health has been bringing people in the Coachella Valley health and inclusion since 1984 by identifying new and emerging public health needs of people who face disparities in accessing care, especially due to race, class and economic circumstance. 

Especially now, the intersection of race and health equity is one of the most important public health challenges facing this Valley and this nation 

Meeting the diverse needs or our community takes a lifelong commitment to question our own approaches, and the willingness to evolve.  

DAP Health was born out desperate need for innovation, which is why our history is one worth remembering and emulating. It calls for us to always be ready to embrace change, to continue making everyone feel welcome and wanted at DAP Health. 

COVID Response 

DAP Health opened one of California’s first COVID Clinics and over 9,700 patients have been seen. These services will continue, and in 2021 DAP is working to improve many social determinants of health that are preventing so many from better health outcomes during this pandemic. 

Food and housing insecurity, joblessness, isolation, and access to healthcare can have a considerable effect on COVID outcomes, compounded by factors like race, ethnicity, and LGBTQ status. (CDC) 

DAP Health joins with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to declare that beating COVID will require solutions that promote health equity. 

Behavioral Health Expansion 

Building health equity has always included restoring the sense of belonging that many people lose because they are different. Homophobia, racism, and COVID fatigue are top challenges causing isolation for many people. Health experts warn that this is a serious health risk 

Throughout 2021  the DAP Health Behavioral Health department is doubling its capacity to see patients for individual and group therapy by California licensed clinical psychologists and licensed clinical social workers.  

Thriving with HIV and Ending the Epidemic 

DAP has the region’s largest team of HIV-specialized doctors with expertise in aging and thriving with HIV, and although the word “AIDS” no longer appears in the DAP Health logo, providing care to people with HIV (PWH), and ending the HIV epidemic, remain core to DAP Health.  

Despite COVID, providing more HIV testing and better treatment for PWH remains essential to ending the HIV pandemic. We will continue offering free self HIV-test kits to anyone who requests one.  

We are cutting the time between diagnoses of HIV and entry into care for patients in 2021, and are making medication available quicker, a move to prevent people from falling out of care. We know this will also help decrease HIV transmission rates. 

Patients can count on us to help them stay healthy and untransmittable to others. They become part of the DAP Health family beginning with testing, to linkage into care, and then being enrolled in medical and mental healthcare, dentistry, social services, and prescription access.  

Find Out Why Hope Begins with Health 

The economic impact of COVID on our community is not just a change in financial circumstances. The implications have far-reaching consequences on medical and mental health. Click here to explore our Hope Begins With Health campaign and find out how DAP Health is meeting the needs of our patients and clients during this pandemic, and how you can help. 

About DAP Health  

DAP Health (DAP) is an advocacy-based health center in Palm Springs, CA serving over  9,700 patients, offering medical and mental healthcare, STI testing and treatment, dentistry, pharmacy, and lab. A variety of wraparound services enable patients to experience optimal health, including social services, support groups, alternative therapies, and other wellness services. Excellent HIV care is provided by the largest team of specialized clinicians in the area.      

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

DAP’s sexual health clinic offers STI testing and treatment, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), and HIV and HCV testing. DAP has earned Charity Navigator’s highest rating for the twelfth consecutive year – landing DAP in the top 6% of nonprofits rated. The distinction recognizes that DAP exceeds industry standards in terms of financial health, accountability, and transparency.      

Visit www.daphealth.org to learn more.      

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DAP Increasing Mobile STI Program Thanks …

DAP Increasing Mobile STI Program Thanks to Direct Relief and The Pfizer Foundation 

(Palm Springs, CA) December 10, 2020 -- STI rates remain the highest they have been for California in three decades, and many in the Coachella Valley continue facing new barriers to care and treatment as COVID continues. But with a recent award from Direct Relief, DAP’s Mobile Testing team will bring STI testing and treatment directly to neighborhoods where the need is greatest for these services.  

DAP will also use the award to provide more STI testing and treatment at the DAP campus in its sexual health clinic, staffed by DAP clinicians and following COVID health and safety protocols. DAP is the only California health center among 10 others nationwide winning the Innovation Awards in Community Health: Addressing Infectious Disease in Underserved Communities.  

“We are grateful to Direct Relief and The Pfizer Foundation for this generous award for our Mobile Testing program,” said David Brinkman, DAP CEO. “Together we can address areas of need in our community for STI testing and treatment that that been complicated by COVID.” 

The award is intended to support innovative approaches to infectious disease education, screening, testing, treatment, and care. The awards program is implemented by Direct Relief and is funded by The Pfizer Foundation. 

"The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing systemic health inequities, resulting in vulnerable patients and their loved ones experiencing even greater hardship," said Caroline Roan, President, The Pfizer Foundation and Chief Sustainability Officer, Pfizer Inc. "We are proud to support Direct Relief and its network of frontline safety-net clinics across the U.S. to break down barriers to good health in underserved communities and increase access to life-saving infectious disease prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care." 

“These awards are intended in part to allow providers to test and improve new care models and solutions, which is of utmost importance as healthcare is drastically changing due to COVID-19,” said Thomas Tighe, CEO and President of Direct Relief. “We are humbled by the dedication of these largely unheralded safety-net health providers to improve the lives and health of the people they care for.” 

About The Pfizer Foundation 
The Pfizer Foundation is a charitable organization established by Pfizer Inc. It is a separate legal entity from Pfizer Inc. with distinct legal restrictions. The Foundation’s mission is to promote access to quality healthcare, to nurture innovation, and to support the community involvement of Pfizer colleagues. 

About Direct Relief 

A humanitarian organization committed to improving the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies, Direct Relief delivers lifesaving medical resources throughout the world to communities in need—without regard to politics, religion, or ability to pay. For more information, please visit https://www.DirectRelief.org. 

About DAP Health Center 

DAP Health Center (DAP) is a humanitarian health center in Palm Springs, CA serving over 8,000 people, offering medical and mental healthcare, STI testing and treatment, dentistry, pharmacy, and lab. A variety of wraparound services enable patients to experience optimal health, including social services, support groups, alternative therapies, and other health and wellness services. Excellent HIV care is provided by the largest team of specialized clinicians in the area.  

DAP’s sexual health clinic offers STI 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.  

Visitwww.desertaidsproject.orgto learn more.  

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To Honor our Values, We Offer Hope

To Honor our Values, We Offer Hope

Weekend Wrap Message – Saturday, December 5, 2020, from David Brinkman, Desert AIDS Project CEO

On World AIDS Day 2020 We Re-Committed  

Fighting COVID did not distract us from marking World AIDS Day 2020 with an even greater commitment to end new transmissions and care for our patients living with HIV throughout their lives. We have reached significant milestones, yet the AIDS crisis isn't over. HIV infects 1.7 million people each year and kills another 690,000. 

Hope Begins with Health is our battle cry and our new campaign as we fight to continue care for PWH, as COVID continues to challenge us like nothing before.   

Our roots are deep from the lessons of compassionate care that the AIDS crisis taught us. From them we learned the importance of health equity for all, and COVID is calling on us to pay those lessons forward. We know that our founders would want us to expand our care to include COVID, a health crisis that long-term survivors are comparing to the earliest days of AIDS. You can read more here. 

Everyday Heroes 2020 Announced 

DAP is proud to honor the following Everyday Heroes for 2020: Dr. Terri Ketover and Dr. Tom Truhe.  

We honor them for their years of dedicated service and generous contributions of their passion, time and talents to DAP, and thousands of lives touched by their incredible leadership.   

We hope to resume our in-person event next year on World AIDS Day. This tradition bestows the title of Everyday Hero to humanitarians in our Valley leading the way to help people thrive with HIV, and to help prevent new infections.  

DAP In The News  

NBC Desert Living Now 

I spoke with Sandie Newton about how we are preparing for the future needs of our patients now.  I described our Hope Begins with Health campaign, our goal to raise the capital to continue offering HIV care, our COVID Clinic, and ever-expanding access to primary healthcare for our community. You can watch it here. 

Channel Q on Radio.com 

I talked with AJ Gibson and Mikalah Gordon about the significance of World AIDS Day, our origins as a volunteer-led organization, and how our HIV response has taught us that to defeat COVID, we have to eliminate stigma and discrimination and act to anchor our response in human rights. You can listen here. 

KESQ Evening News 

Steven Henke talked with Peter Daut about how DAP is echoing our roots, remembering that the solution for this epidemic, like the solution for COVID, is a community led solution. You can watch it here.  

DAP Talks: U=U  

With proper antiretroviral treatment (ART), people with HIV (PWH) cannot transmit the HIV virus to others. Treatment as prevention is a major breakthrough in the fight to stop new infections of HIV, and it offers hope in chipping away at the stigma PWH can carry with them. In this DAP Talks, U=U founder Bruce Richman explains. You can listen here

DAP On World AIDS Day 2020: Hope Begins …

Media Contact: 
Jack Bunting 
(760) 323-2118 
jbunting@desertaidsproject.org 

DAP On World AIDS Day 2020: Hope Begins with Health 

(Palm Springs, CA) December 1, 2020 -- DAP marks World AIDS Day 2020 by remembering the millions we have lost globally to AIDS, and by renewing our commitment to offer care and services that enable people with HIV (PWH) to live their best lives. When COVID arrived, we immediately fortified our HIV care program so that our patients would remain connected to care and receiving specialized services. We also increased options for anyone in our community to access prevention and testing for HIV. You can read more about our COVID Response here. 

Globally, 38 million people today are living with HIV. And since the pandemic began, about 35 million people have died from AIDS-related illnesses. Here in the Coachella Valley, new cases of HIV continue to dramatically outpace other parts of California (CDC). 

Hope Begins with Health is our battle cry as we fight to continue care for PWH, as COVID continues to challenge us like nothing before.  

COVID is presenting unique challenges for PWH, increasing the need for our services.  

They are:  

  • Increased health problems from increased isolation, fear and anxiety, 
  • A higher risk of joblessness, food insecurity, and homelessness. 

 “Our roots are deep from the lessons of compassionate care that the AIDS crisis taught us,” says David Brinkman, CEO. “From those roots we learned the importance of health equity for all and COVID is calling on us to pay those lessons forward. 

Using our knowledge, compassion, and infrastructure for the greater good, we are committed to the dual purpose of continuing to care for our 8,000 clients while also supplying support to all those in our community affected by the pandemic. 
 
New HIV Testing Set-Up on Old Turf 

Palm Springs Revivals, a location steeped in DAP history, will once again serve as the backdrop for bringing people closer to their health. The community will start noticing DAP’s Mobile Testing Van, with staff dispensing anonymous HIV tests that are self-administered at home. Follow up and linkage to care is always offered with testing from DAP, and we are answering our patients calls for additional ways of HIV testing, accessible in more places.  A $10 gift card will be offered with each test. 

Decades ago in the same complex, a group of off-duty medical professionals would meet AIDS patients at night to administer treatments in an era when HIV was still a mystery and conventional healthcare providers in the area were forbidden from treating people with AIDS. This was the beginning of Desert AIDS Project. 

Everyday Heroes 2020: Honoring Valley Leaders 

Each year on World AIDS Day, DAP bestows the title of Everyday Hero to humanitarians in our Valley leading the way to help people thrive with HIV, and to help prevent new infections.  

COVID is not stopping us from honoring the following Everyday Heroes for 2020: Dr. Terri Ketover and Dr. Tom Truhe. 

We honor them for their years of dedicated service and generous contributions of their passion, time and talents to DAP, and thousands of lives touched by their incredible leadership.  

Familiar Worries for Long Term Survivors  

Danny Kopelson serves on DAP’s Client Advisory Board and considers himself as thriving with HIV, although living during a second major pandemic for him is full of reminders of the hardest days of HIV he survived 

When COVID was identified as a deadly virus, that immediately triggered a 40-year-old nightmare,” Danny says. “The bleak memories of AIDS in the 80s and 90s flooded into my head.” 

“Much of the language being used related to COVID is exactly the same as with AIDS,” says Danny.  

Familiar phrases and keywords can include testing positive or negative, antiretrovirals, antibody, resistance, viral loads. 

“This is not an everyday conversation, so hearing it on the news immediately takes me back to the past.” 

As life during COVID becomes a reality, keeping Virtual Visits with doctors and using Zoom meetings for wellness services and groups are keeping life open for Danny and others. 

“I’ve started to feel more hope,” he says. “I’ve gone back to doing yoga, meditating, volunteering and being in regular contact with family and friendsmasked, distanced and with Zoom. 

If you or anyone you know needs information about HIV treatment or prevention, visit daphealth.org. 

About DAP Health Center 

DAP Health Center (DAP) is a humanitarian health center in Palm Springs, CA serving over 8,000 people, offering medical and mental healthcare, STI testing and treatment, dentistry, pharmacy, and lab. A variety of wraparound services enable patients to experience optimal health, including social services, support groups, alternative therapies, and other health and wellness services. Excellent HIV care is provided by the largest team of specialized clinicians in the area. 

DAP’s sexual health clinic offers STI 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. 

Visitwww.desertaidsproject.org to learn more. 

Revivals After-Dark Event Raised Funds a …

Revivals After-Dark Event Raised Funds and Evoked Origins of DAP 

Mental health advocacy and patient access were focus

(Palm Springs, CA) November 19, 2020 -- This community raised $6,000 in the first hour as it shopped last Sunday for all things leather at the Revivals After Dark Back Alley Event.

Volunteers worked to make the event safe, so that everyone attending could focus on finding incredible deals on a variety of leather clothing, plus accessories, erotic art and literature. These items are donated to Revivals Stores throughout the year and put aside for this special occasion.

Hosting the event outdoors was the right thing to do for safety, and it also created an urban feel that was enhanced with upbeat music as people shopped.

“We did this to say thank you to the Leather Community also,” says Michael McCartney, Revivals area manager. “From day one they have been a major part of Revivals.”

For some, it was an opportunity to experience a popular gay subculture that can be intimidating and costly as well.

“This event gives people who want to explore leather, kink, and fetish, but who don’t want to invest too much money up front,” says Charlie Harding, Mr. Palm Springs Leather 2020.  “They get to dip their toe in the water.”

There is more to it than that, he says.

“We’re providing a sex-positive environment that welcomes everyone to come together while we raise money for healthcare access and mental health awareness,” Charlie says.

Volunteers Hosted and Monitored Safety

Revivals volunteer Mark Musin is usually running the lamps department, but he and about 40 other volunteers pulled together and set up a browsing experience that put safety and spaciousness first.

“We used more tables than I thought we would, and we put more space in between them for social distancing,” he says.

Mark and the team placed all of the art for sale facing in one direction, a move to help guide the flow of people walking without getting too close.

“We did the same thing with books and accessories,” Mark says. “We could not have anyone feeling as though they were crowded.”

Throughout the event Mark and the team used mobile devices to monitor crowd size and report in with each other.  From inside the Palm Springs Revivals store and throughout the back alley, volunteers were ensuring everything was orderly, although guests were already eager to comply with safety guidelines.

“Customers know we take safety seriously, and they are supportive,” Mark says.

And not just at the Leather Event.

“Every morning there is a line before the store opens, and it’s because Revivals customers know it is safe.” Mark says.

Raising Awareness for Mental Health Advocacy

Taking a community approach for mental health advocacy, DAP co-sponsored this pop-up event to support work by Charlie Harding, Mr. Palm Springs Leather 2020, and his organization to bring more people into services they need.

“I try to help people understand and get past the stigma of mental illness,” he says.

While mental health challenges disproportionately affect LGBTQ+ people, the CDC says COVID is increasing them for everyone and overwhelming communities.

According to Charlie, when someone is struggling with a mental health challenge, everyone in their life needs to be united in providing support. He educates the leather community on the red flags that someone who is struggling may display, and how to offer help to that person.

“To help people feel better, you need your doctors, the support groups, the families and friends all to be supportive of each other,” Charlie says. “To improve quality of life.”

After years of raising awareness for more LGBTQ+ mental health access, Charlie believes it is finally translating into more available services locally, as advocates and health experts continue pointing to alarming statistics.

“The LGBTQ+ community has led the way in calling attention to it because of our higher suicide rates and societal negativity that is still in place around coming out,” he says. “But we are starting to see support groups and mental health services available, and it will increase the quality of life for everybody who struggles.”

Getting past stigma, towards understanding

“You tell people you have diabetes and they’re ok, but you say you are bipolar, and they immediately take pause,” Charlie says.

Stigma around mental illness can keep people from seeking services. But by openly sharing about his life with bipolar disorder, Charlie helps bring hope to others who are struggling. Describing the feelings can help people understand.

“It’s feeling like you rule the world,” he says. “And then, feeling like it’s about to end.”

He also describes how confusing it can be if friends and family don’t understand what mental health challenges look like.

“You’ll see someone who seems to be the life of the party,” he says, “And you cannot understand why they might have such mood swings and get so low.”

The alley has a very special significance to DAP 

Decades ago in an office above, a group of off-duty medical professionals would meet AIDS patients at night to administer treatments in an era when HIV was still a mystery and conventional healthcare providers in the area were forbidden from treating people with AIDS. This was the beginning of Desert AIDS Project.

It seemed fitting that in the midst of another pandemic, volunteers were once again using the space for an unintended purpose--to promote the welfare of the community.

About Charlie Harding, Mr. Palm Springs Leather 2020

As Mr. Palm Springs Leather 2020, Charlie hopes to further issues important to him and our community such as sex positivity, mental health support, and gender diversity. He is developing a mental health initiative "Charlie Harding's Angel Project in Service," also known as CHAPS, and working towards eliminating the stigma attached to mental illness. Find out more at mrpalmspringsleather.com.

About Palm Springs Leather Order of the Desert 

PSLOD welcomes community members to explore membership in our organization. All new members are required to complete a pledge process prior to assuming the duties of a PSLOD General Member. Find out more at pslod.org. 

About Revivals

The very first Revivals store was opened in 1995, in a back corner of the Desert AIDS Project office on Vella Road. Since those earliest days, the funds raised through selling donated goods at Revivals has gone back to support client services at D.A.P., while also providing a great volunteer opportunity for those who wanted to support the organization with their time and retail talents. Today, all of the stores are largely volunteer-run, enabling Revivals to make a significant financial contribution to the annual budget of Desert AIDS Project, which has earned a national reputation as one of the most comprehensive HIV/AIDS service providers in the U.S. Learn more at www.revivalsstores.com.

About DAP Health

DAP Health (DAP) is a humanitarian health center in Palm Springs, CA serving more than 8,000 people, offering medical and mental healthcare, STI testing and treatment, dentistry, pharmacy, and lab. A variety of wraparound services enable patients to experience optimal health, including social services, support groups, alternative therapies, and other health and wellness services. Excellent HIV care is provided by the largest team of specialized clinicians in the area.

DAP’s sexual health clinic offers STI 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.org to learn more.

Revivals Stores Celebrating 25 Years Rei …

Revivals Stores Celebrating 25 Years

Reinventing resale to raise millions for DAP 

(760) 656-8401 
shenke@desertaidsproject.org 
Contact: Steven Henke 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

PALM SPRINGS, CA- October 30, 2020 – Revivals Stores, with locations in Palm Springs, Cathedral City, and Palm Springs marks its 25th anniversary in business this month.  From its beginning as one store on Vela Rd. near the Palm Springs Airport in 1995, Revivals continues to keep customers, volunteers, and donors coming back, even during this health crisis.

Promotion to Thank Shoppers

To celebrate more than two decades of support and excellent shopping deals, Revivals Stores is inviting everyone to “Join the Treasure Hunt” and enjoy 50% OFF on select items throughout its stores beginning November 1 and extending through the 25th.

These special sale items will have a Revivals 25th Anniversary sticker on them and will be from Revivals new and resale inventory from all store departments.

Known for influencing Coachella Valley resale industry by combining vintage and retail, Revivals is well known for affordability, discoverability, and its commitment to community. 

100% of Revivals Stores profits (about $1 million annually) support comprehensive healthcare for the 7,000 residents of the Coachella Valley who call DAP their healthcare home.

The resale store chain’s broad community of generous donors guarantees a steady supply of stellar resale merchandise alongside brand-new furniture and home décor. 

Early Safety Modifications Paid Off

A major funding source for DAP Health, Revivals Stores implemented COVID safety measures over weeks of planning during the early months of the crisis. They include social distancing markers throughout the stores and some minor policy changes. To keep safety a priority, fitting rooms were closed, returns are no longer accepted, and customers now bag their own products unless it is a larger item that requires assistance.

“We quickly focused on how we could provide shoppers a safe Revivals experience,” says Dane Koch, DAP director of retail.  “Acting early has led to us being able to keep our doors open today and into the future.”

Volunteers Make Revivals Special

The retailer is also celebrating the volunteers who make Revivals a unique shopping experience. 

“For twenty-five years, volunteers at Revivals have been changing the world, one hour at a time,” says Marci Lerner, volunteer coordinator for Revivals Stores.  “We asked them to share why they donate their time and talent – the reasons are as unique as the volunteers themselves.”   

  • “As a retired IRS Agent, I like the focus and responsibility volunteering provides me.  It is especially important during COVID to keep my life on a steady keel.” - Steve S
  • "Volunteering provides me a unique opportunity to give back to an organization that has done and still is unreserved in its support of those who live with HIV and AIDS.  They have been a beacon of hope for so long.  It is a small, yet significant way for Revivals to continue to champion the needs of the community.” - Gary
  • "Volunteering helps me to feel part of the greater picture of supporting those in need.  It also enables me to use my skills to help others.  In addition, the social interaction and attention to detail assists in building cognitive strength.” - Guy
  • "Due to COVID, I’m unemployed and for the first time I have time to give back to my community.” - Sue
  • "Volunteering gives me purpose.  Revivals is the best volunteer organization.  What DAP services provide to clients is par none.  And the treatment of volunteers is amazing at Revivals.” - John

Revivals Stores Roots Are in Making Healthcare Attainable

The financial contribution that Revivals Stores provides to DAP Health is more important today than ever before, according to David Brinkman, CEO. 

“The AIDS crisis taught us that a community response is the most effective response if we want to address gaps in healthcare,” he said. “When people are in need and in fear, we must remember our humanity and take a place on the front lines.”

As DAP continues fighting to end HIV in the Coachella Valley, it has is also addressing healthcare inequities affecting the poor, which COVID has increased.

The Mystique of Revivals Stores

Revivals is reinventing resale, adding brand new items at affordable prices.  Selling never-used items such as bedding is old hat for the 25-year-old retailer; it’s been doing that for more than a decade-and-a-half. But five years ago, the decision was made to get into the new home décor business. Today, locals vote Revivals ‘Best Furniture Store’ because of its affordable collection of trend-right items. A leader in retail,  Revivals is the only thrift shop in America to feature its own brand of new furniture, lighting, rugs, and accessories. Shoppers at Revivals can choose from brand new furniture and accessories while mixing their new style with thrift store finds from the decade of their choice. 

“We saw a real need in the valley for merchandise that was stylish, had good quality and was affordable,” adds Dane Koch, director of retail. 

Revivals offers home furnishing from more than 50 vendors—including brand names such as Ashley, Diamond, and Coaster—but much of its inventory is custom-made for the store, and all of its selections fall under Revivals’ Mode label. While the Palm Springs shop focuses on all things midcentury modern, the Cathedral City branch trades on value, and the Palm Desert outlets’ assortment is more traditional in style. 

About Revivals Stores  

Revivals has three locations: Palm Springs, Cathedral City, and Palm Desert.  The stores are staffed by 180 volunteers who support the mission of Desert AIDS Project (DAP), enabling Revivals to make an annual $1 million contribution to DAP. DAP has earned a national reputation as one of the most comprehensive HIV/AIDS service providers in the United States. Revivals employees and dedicated volunteers create a unique retail experience for the 29,000 people who shop the stores each month looking for a unique thrift store find while shopping brand new furniture and accessories. “There’s an excitement in our stores that you don’t feel at traditional retailers.  Part of that is the thrill of the hunt, but there’s something else happening and I think that is connection to community.  Our volunteers have created a unique community of neighbors helping neighbors inside Revivals three store locations.  They know we are selling product with a purpose,” says Director of Brand Marketing, Steven Henke. 

Greater Palm Springs residents know and love Revivals Stores and have voted it as Best Resale \ Thrift \ Furniture \ Consignment\ or Vintage Clothing Store in four local reader contests this year.   Revivals Stores won Best Furniture Store and Best Consignment / Resale Store in Desert Sun’s 2019 Ultimate Pride Contest, Best Consignment / Resale Store in Desert Magazine’s 2019 Best of the Valley, Best Thrift Store in CV Independents 2019 Best of Coachella Valley Contest, Best Thrift Store in GED Magazines 2019 Out Awards Contest, and Best Consignment / Best Thrift Store and Best Vintage Clothing Store in Palm Springs Life’s 2018 Best of the Best Contest.  

 
 Visit to learn more: desertaidsproject.org and revivalsstores.com 

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