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A Menu Made-to-Measure for DAP Health …

Brad and Lynne Toles of Savoury’s Catering in Palm Springs Created a Custom Menu for 2023’s The Chase 

 

For veteran husband-and-wife culinary team Brad and Lynne Toles of Savoury’s Catering, DAP Health has never been just a client, and The Chase certainly isn’t just a gala.

“We’re so proud to be such longtime partners of this organization for its biggest annual fundraiser,” says Lynne. “Brad and I have lived in Palm Springs since 1997. We care very deeply about this community, and DAP Health is one of its pillars. We’ve been members of the nonprofit’s Partners For Life donor group for more than a decade, and I joined donor group 100 Women the very first year it was created. We’re just so honored to be invited to the party every year.”

Being a perennial participant in The Chase means the Toleses can use their experience of past galas to fine-tune immediate future ones. Last year was the first occasion the entire event — pre-show cocktail hour and main program — was held outside. It was also the initial offering of a cold entrée inside a bento box. “It’s exciting and fun to create food that will present well cold while maintaining all its flavor,” says Lynne. “Plus, whereas we usually try to keep hot foot hot at any venue, using Sterno canned heat in hotboxes, here we have refrigerated trucks and dry ice in those hotboxes to keep cold food cold. Every event is different, of course, and it comes down to the magic of putting all the pieces of the puzzle together. It’s an orchestrated dance, to be sure, but we love the challenge.”

Not only do the Toleses and their expert team of chefs, bartenders, bussers, and servers love the challenge, they meet it, and then some. Lynne reports that this year, Brad and his crew created a customized array of choices for The Chase’s gala co-chairs — DAP Health Board Members Kevin Bass, Lauri Kibby, and Scott Nevins — which resulted in a fun first: an entirely gluten-free menu.

Included in 2023’s new Koraku bento box — which translates from Japanese to “picnic lunchbox” — will be a golden and red beet salad with quinoa and a blood orange vinaigrette pipette, seared beef tenderloin with a port wine demi-glace, a poached salmon tower with sliced avocado-mango-papaya and a habanero glaze, and a kale and mushroom ravioli in a pomodoro sauce.

Vegan diners will be offered the same beet duo appetizer alongside a seared spiced tofu salad with miso dressing, the identical ravioli, and a roasted vegetable bundle that includes green beans, spiced portobello mushroom, and red pepper.

The sweet finish will consist of a mini raspberry and chocolate cone paired with a Mexican wedding cookie and a lemon bar. The vegan option will be a mini peach cobbler, a chocolate-dipped strawberry, and a double-chocolate pistachio brownie.

Prior to the formal sit-down dinner, guests will see and be seen — and hopefully engage in meaningful conversation — at Amazon’s Big Ideas Cocktail Party, which will be held inside the Palm Springs Convention Center so as to keep coifs and couture from wilting in the desert heat.

Here, Savoury’s will tray-pass a variety of cold and hot traditional, vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free hors d’oeuvres. Just some of the selections will be peppered ahi cones with a wasabi cream, mini grilled cheese sandwiches drizzled with tomato soup, a Middle Eastern beef sirloin lollipop with tzatziki sauce, caprese canapés, shrimp canapés, mini pigs in a blanket, and Belgian endive with butternut squash and dried cranberry.

To wash it all down, invitees can indulge in a full open bar, or imbibe a specialty cocktail created for the occasion — whose recipe is a well-guarded secret in order to not ruin the surprise: The Glamazon, named after Amazon’s LGBTQ+ affinity group. (Please note: A non-alcoholic version will also be available.)

As Savoury’s puts finishing touches on every detail for the fast-approaching big night, Lynne shares their philosophy of catering such a large-scale event. “First off, I love the collaboration with the client and the event producers. They come to you with their vision for the gala, and then you get to be part of trying to bring that to life,” she says. “Our goal at the end of the day is always the same, every year: to outdo ourselves, to exceed guest expectations, and to provide the best experience humanly possible.”

Borrego Health Announces Court’s Appro …

Borrego Health Announces Court’s Approval of  DAP Health Bid  

Today, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court approved DAP Health’s bid to acquire substantially all of the assets of Borrego Health. This follows the Feb. 15 announcement that the Borrego Health Board of Trustees had selected DAP Health’s bid as the winning bid. 

“With the Court’s approval of DAP Health’s bid, we are now focused on the important work of coordinating closely with DAP Health and its partners, Innercare and Neighborhood Healthcare, to support our patients and our teams through a smooth transition,” said Rose MacIsaac, Chief Executive Officer of Borrego Health. “Each of the communities our organizations serve have different needs, and I’m looking forward to seeing how our combined expertise and resources will strengthen access to quality care across the region and improve the lives of those who count on us.”  

Also today, the Court approved an agreement between Borrego Health and the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) that facilitates the sale and smooth transition of operations from Borrego Health to DAP Health. Importantly, the agreement also resolves pending litigation between Borrego Health and DHCS.  

The next step in finalizing the transaction is for the sale to receive regulatory approval from the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA). While that process is underway, leaders from Borrego Health, DAP Health, Innercare and Neighborhood Healthcare will begin collaborating toward their shared goal of facilitating a smooth transition that does not interrupt patient care or team members’ careers.  

Upon regulatory approval by HRSA, DAP Health would assume control of all Borrego Health clinics with operational and administrative support from Innercare and Neighborhood Healthcare.  

Borrego Health clinics remain open, and patients do not need to reschedule appointments as a result of this announcement.   

The Court’s approval is a key step in a careful, deliberate process that began in November 2022 to sell Borrego Health to a like-minded federally qualified health center (FQHC). Borrego Health’s goal throughout the process has been to secure continued access to a health home and safety net for the patients and communities it serves. 

“We entered this process with one goal – to ensure that people who receive care today will find the doors to that care open tomorrow,” said David Brinkman, Chief Executive Officer of DAP Health. “Today's decision begins a year of convening and collaborating with our partners to protect health care access for Borrego's patients. We look forward to working alongside leadership at each organization to create the path forward.”  

“We’re proud to be part of the DAP Health alliance and expand our quality, compassionate, whole-person care to more families in El Cajon, Escondido, Nuevo, and San Jacinto, regardless of their circumstances,” said Rakesh Patel, MD, Chief Executive Officer of Neighborhood Healthcare. “We believe healthier communities are more prosperous ones. This alliance is a key example of how to increase access to care by being better together.” 

“Innercare is honored to support DAP Health in its goal to protect access to care for thousands of people in Riverside and San Diego Counties,” said Yvonne Bell, Chief Executive Officer of Innercare. “We have been present in some of these communities for many years, and as an organization, we are excited to be part of a bright new future for Borrego Health.”   

For additional information please visit www.borregohealth.org   

About Borrego Health 

Borrego Health provides high-quality, comprehensive, compassionate primary health care to the people in our communities, regardless of their ability to pay. We serve these communities and adjoining regions with respect, dignity and cultural sensitivity as a medical home and safety net for essential health care and social services. Borrego Health is a non-profit 501(c)(3) Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) and a Federal Tort Claims Act Deemed (FTCA) facility. 

 

About the Alliance   

Founded in 1984 as Desert AIDS Project, DAP Health was the first community-based clinic dedicated to serving low-income patients with HIV/AIDS. In 2012, it was designated as an FQHC Look-Alike, in 2015 became a 330 grantee, and today serves the general community with a full complement of integrated and lifecycle-appropriate care. DAP Health’s service area boundaries are located within the Coachella Valley, a unique desert community located in Eastern Riverside County in the Inland Empire of Southern California. The Coachella Valley comprises nine major cities as well as several unincorporated areas. The valley encompasses approximately 675 square miles, and its service area includes 310 square miles. CEO since 2006: David Brinkman.   

Established in 1970, Innercare (formerly known as Clínicas de Salud del Pueblo, Inc.) is a private nonprofit FQHC operating 10 health care centers; five dental clinics; and three Women, Infant, and Children Programs in Imperial and Riverside counties. Its service area encompasses 30 rural and urban zip codes boasting a total population of over 680,000. This area includes communities along the U.S.-Mexico and Arizona borders. It also serves communities ranging in size from Niland (pop. 1,610) to Hemet (pop. 127,443). There is significant overlap in some of the areas currently served by Borrego Health, with approximately 21% of Borrego Health’s patients currently seeking secondary care at Innercare sites. CEO since 2003: Yvonne Bell.    

Founded in 1969, Neighborhood Healthcare operates 24 health centers in San Diego and Riverside counties, serving upwards of 87,000 unique patients each year, 97% of whom are at or below 200% of FPL. Some 61% identify as Hispanic and 41% are best served in a language other than English. With deep cultural understanding, Neighborhood Healthcare excels at providing health care for all stages of life, including pediatric and adult primary care, prenatal care, family planning, HIV testing, women’s health, dental services, and basic pharmacy and lab services. Due to a large and growing Middle Eastern refugee/immigrant population in East San Diego County, Neighborhood Healthcare has developed a strong culturally and linguistically responsive program to care for Arabic speakers. CEO since 2017 (but at Neighborhood Healthcare since 2002 as a physician): Dr. Rakesh Patel.   

 

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Wondering What to Wear to The Chase on M …

Wondering what to wear to The Chase?

Susan Stein has some ideas...

Being one of the most glamorous soirées on the desert’s social calendar, DAP Health’s annual gala The Chase (presented this year by Eisenhower Health) attracts all manner of fashionistas flaunting their fabulous baubles and threads in the pursuit of eclipsing other guests’ voguish get-ups. 

I mean, would any clotheshorse worth their weight in leather and lamé be caught dead engaging in the utmost of scintillating repartee at Amazon’s Amazing Cocktail Party in anything but their very best creative formal garb and trappings? 

But what is creative formal, exactly? To suss out the answer — not to mention a few chichi tailored tips — we turned to Palm Springs Life Fashion Director and Scene Editor Susan Stein, a doyenne of haute couture and outré sartorial style who works not only in publishing, but with businesses, charities, designers, marketing teams, and private clients all around the world. Here’s what Stein had to say:   

Warning: This is based on reality-fiction. I’ve taken many “liberties,” and hope this is all taken with both a grain of salt and a plentiful sense of humor. 

When opening another invitation and seeing a “black tie” dress code, I immediately run to my closet, where I’ve crammed in a few (10) long gowns that have been collecting dust for years. Well, maybe four or five years. What could be easier…or more boring? Luckily, I’ve been able to attend The Chase many times since I moved to the desert 20 years ago, and I’m always thrilled by the chance to have some fun and play with fashion. Do I really have 10 gowns? I’ll never tell.  

So — about creative formal. I suggest an eclectic collection of fun pieces that can work together to create an interesting ensemble and can be most appropriate for one of the grandest events of the desert. My mind is churning. “Does this go with this? What will I do for shoes? Jewelry? How hot will it be outside? How windy?” So much indecision. So many challenges. You’re tempted to go right back to that closet with those long gowns and find one that still fits and has the proper accessories close at hand. But let’s not be boring. Time to challenge our sense of style. 

In order to make this as simple as possible, here’s a list of many options, all of which could lead to a fun solution that doesn’t smack of serious black-tie dressing yet fits the bill. After all, veritable royalty will not be in attendance. But there is fashion icon Donna Karan to consider. She’ll love your creativity! 

 

Long skirts are IN (as in, LONG … to the ankles!) 

Take a look at what you have in your eclectic wardrobe. There’s probably a collection of long skirts — leather, prints, taffetas, plaids, and luckily (one of this year’s biggest trends), a rather interesting long denim skirt (hmmm… could it use some feather trim at the hem?)  Pleats are the rage. There’s nothing more elegant than a sweeping entrance in a long knife-pleated skirt. 

Remember to mix high and low 

It’s so much fun to match that great, big ballgown skirt with a black turtleneck or a sleeveless tee that you found at Revivals. 

Sequins work with anything 

A sequin jacket in any color or silhouette makes almost everything black tie-appropriate. I mean, not sweats, but what about a catsuit with great, black, short boots … or one of those long skirts? 

This is the year for feathers 

Not flying bird feathers, but those fluffy ones that move with the breeze (ostrich is a bird, I know!) Use them as an accessory and attach to handbags, top of shoes, neckline and cuffs, or just as a short jacket over something basic. 

Fishnets are the trendy catch of the season 

Fishnet hosiery is really easy to find and very flattering. However, this is also the year of the fishnet tank or dress. Just remember to wear the proper undergarments. That slip dress from years ago goes perfectly under a long fishnet dress. Time to adopt that beautiful bra or midriff-baring undergarment. But take a good look in the mirror before you leave the house. 

Tuxedos 

Split them up or wear pants and jacket together. A satin stripe down the side of a pantleg will make any top look great — maybe even that sequin jacket. A tux top with a pair of sequin or flowy satin full trousers? Think Katherine Hepburn at a black-tie gala. 

Above all… 

Be sure to feel comfortable, handsome or pretty, and to enjoy the wonderful evening al fresco! 

Opening of DAP Health’s Orange Clinic …

Opening of DAP Health’s New Orange Clinic Officially Commemorated

On the evening of Wednesday, February 15, some 75 invitees attended the formal ribbon-cutting of DAP Health’s new Orange Clinic, which is devoted to sexual wellness and housed in the Annette Bloch CARE Building at the main Palm Springs headquarters.

The occasion marked yet another important milestone for Vision Forward, the organization’s 10-year strategic plan that will see it grow to serve 25,000 patients a year by 2025 thanks to expanded medical, dental, and mental health clinics and a new on-campus affordable housing complex that will add 60 units at Vista Sunrise II to the existing 81 units at Vista Sunrise.

As guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres provided with compliments of major donor Jerry Keller’s Lulu California Bistro, DAP Health CEO David Brinkman took center stage first, announcing that 90% of Vision Forward’s required funding has been amassed, but stressing that $6 million remains to be raised.

Brinkman went on to thank not only the late, great Annette Bloch and her daughter Linda Lyon — who together bequeathed a total of $4 million to the effort — but other major campaign patrons such as Desert Care Network, Mark Adams and the Ridgeway-Adams Community Center, Dorothy and Mel Lefkowitz (in memory of Keller’s wife, Barbara), Steve Tobin and Johnny Krupa of the Grace Helen Spearman Charitable Foundation (whose donation endowed the Orange Clinic reception area), Mike Feddersen and Tom McClay (who funded the Blue Clinic lobby), DAP Health Board Chair Patrick Jordan, Board Secretary Mark Hamilton and Juan Francisco (who gave to establish the café that will reside in the future Tenet Health Pavilion), Charles Robbins and Damon Romine (benefactors of Exam Room 1 in the Orange Clinic), Board Vice Chair Lauri Kibby, Board Member Kevin Bass and Brent Bloesser, Paul Kowal, Keith Kincaid and Chris Harms, DAP Health Chief Financial Officer Judy Stith, and Lulu’s Keller.

“From Day One, demand has been high and so has patient satisfaction,” continued Brinkman, speaking specifically to sexual wellness needs in the Coachella Valley — including free HIV and STI testing as well as prevention services such as PrEP and PEP. “But one thing was missing — a permanent home. A suitable home. A home that says everyone is welcome and everyone deserves to be cared for in a clean, professional, and dignified environment.”

Orange Clinic Nurse Practitioner Anna Daymon spoke more to that point when she related the story of a transgender patient, Erica, who is living with HIV and who had refused to seek care in the past for fear of attitudes of unenlightened health care professionals. “Erica immediately connected with our Orange Clinic staff, speaking openly with our nurses Chris and Johnny without embarrassment,” said Daymon. “She was shocked by the support that DAP Health’s team provided, which included transportation and insurance assistance. What she realized is that staying in care is actually really easy when one has the right team caring for you. At DAP Health, we accept all people — sex workers, male, female, and trans alike. They all come to the Orange Clinic because they know they’re going to receive competent, compassionate care without stigma or judgment.”

Before noting that in 2022, 5000 patients were cared for at the Orange Clinic — free of cost, as well — Daymon said many patients refer to themselves as “bad” or “stupid” for their actions. “Shaming themselves, just for living,” she revealed. “I simply say, ‘No’ to shame. It’s just sex. You’re just living your life and you’re taking care of yourself and others by being here today. And we got you.”

Charles Robbins — who has spent most of his life working in LGBTQ+ and HIV/AIDS nonprofit spaces — spoke last, adding to Daymon’s message on behalf of himself and of his husband, Damon Romine. “DAP Health is sex-positive,” he affirmed. “The staff is sex-positive. We know that in the Coachella Valley, and especially here in Palm Springs, there’s a lot of sex going on and we love it! It’s healthy, and we want to make sure people are not only taking care of themselves but of the community. That’s why coming in and getting regular testing and treatment is such an important activity. The fact that they can do so in a stigma-free and beautiful environment — that’s why my husband, Damon, and I decided to make an investment. We believe in this community. The work the staff does here is making a difference, making an impact in people’s lives. That’s why we made a gift. We’re just happy to be part of the family.”

It was at that point that Robbins, Krupa, and Tobin took giant orange scissors and — flanked by Brinkman, staff members, and other donors — cut the long orange ribbon, proving that, at DAP Health, everyone is part of the family.

Announcing The Chase 2023 Honorees, Ente …

DAP Health Announces Partnerships, Honorees, and Entertainment for Its Annual Fundraiser The Chase  

When the dazzling 29th Annual Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards (AKA The Chase) return as an all in-person event outdoors at the Palm Springs Convention Center on Saturday, March 25, the show will feature Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning actor and musician Darren Criss as its headline performer. The DAP Health Equity Award will be presented to fashion icon and philanthropist Donna Karan. Desert Healthcare District & Foundation CEO Dr. Conrado E. Bárzaga and the organization’s board of directors will be honored with the DAP Health Humanitarian Award.

Karan believes that through creativity, collaboration, connection, and community one can change the world. This conviction lies at the heart of Urban Zen, established by Karan in 2007. The foundation is dedicated to three initiatives: preservation of culture (past); bringing mind, body, and spirit to health care (present); and education (future).

“The Desert Healthcare District & Foundation is the epitome of what the DAP Health Humanitarian Award stands for, and we can think of no organization more deserving to receive this honor,” says DAP Health CEO David Brinkman. “It’s a testament to leadership shown by Dr. Conrado E. Bárzaga and the board during both the COVID-19 and mpox crises. It allowed our organization to make an enormous impact on the lives of valley residents.”

Attendees of The Chase can expect a fast-paced evening led by returning host Michael Urie (a Drama Desk Award-winning star of the new Apple TV+ hit comedy series “Shrinking”), with additional performances by Broadway’s Nick Adams (Hulu’s “Fire Island”) and Saycon Sengbloh, a Tony Award nominee.

“Your presence at The Chase, beyond signaling your support for our honorees, shows your continued commitment to DAP Health’s 10,000+ patients and clients,” continues Brinkman. “Every attendee can count themselves among the bighearted humanitarians who help remove roadblocks to quality care and supportive services for their neighbors and friends so that everyone may live life to their fullest potential.”

Presenting Sponsor Eisenhower Health

The event is presented by Eisenhower Health, a longtime supporter of DAP Health that shares its vision of creating a community where everyone has access to health care and to lives lived with wellness. Eisenhower Health’s President and Chief Executive Officer Marty Massiello explains, “The health care needs of the Palm Springs community present unique challenges. According to recent statistics, the prevalence rate of people living with HIV in Palm Springs is more than 21 times higher than California overall. Eisenhower Health, like our community partner DAP Health, is dedicated to understanding and treating the specific needs of this first generation of people who are aging with HIV. Providing HIV specialists and focusing on both prevention and treatment are vital to advancing health care equality in our community. It’s events like The Chase that help raise awareness, and much-needed funds, to meet these unique health care advancements that both organizations see among our patients.”

Eisenhower Health has been a supporter of DAP Health for decades. “DAP Health and Eisenhower Health share the same vision and the same values,” continues Massiello. “Our organizations envision a community where everyone has access to the care they need, when they need it. We continue to collaborate and innovate together to meet the expanding needs of our valley. We are proud to support the work DAP Health is doing to redefine what health care is and what it can be in the future — including the many social determinants that inform wellness, including housing, health care access, nutrition, and mental health.”

Special Thanks to Amazon for Its Support.

Preceding the main event, guest arrival will take place on an expanded Blue Carpet that honors health care workers and that will grant entrance to Amazon’s Amazing Cocktail Party, where local sensation DJ Modgirl will spin. Amazon is proud to invite attendees of The Chase to think big during the cocktail party. “We imagine a room filled with local leaders communicating bold ideas that inspire our community to create a better path to health care,” says Amazon’s Head of External Affairs & Community Engagement for The West and Inland Empire David Ambroz.

Explaining the synergy between DAP Health and Amazon, Ambroz continues: “What I saw during my first tour has stayed with me all year. I noticed that DAP Health approaches innovation the same way Amazon does — we start with our customers and work backward. DAP Health remains patient-centric in its delivery of human care and development of new ways to improve health and wellness.”

Brinkman: “Amazon serves the valley’s residents, business owners, and employees. The organization has made a long-term commitment to our community, having done business here for more than 10 years, and we are grateful for the company’s prioritization of equitable access to health care for everyone. DAP Health looks forward to partnering with Amazon all year long as we increase the positive impact we can make together. As a leader in our community, Amazon has a vision for — and commitment to — our success.”

The Chase

Created by (and named after) the late, world-renowned interior designer Steve Chase — an early DAP Health donor, volunteer, and board member who worked touring the globe but loved Palm Springs best — this glittery gala is a golden star on the desert’s social calendar.

Co-chairs Kevin Bass, Lauri Kibby, and Scott Nevins promise an evening rife with messages to inspire guests to think more boldly about the future of wellness throughout the Coachella Valley.

Tickets, and more information, are available at daphealth.org/thechase.

Why DAP Health

Today, thousands of our friends and neighbors have no access to health care. Together, likeminded philanthropists of all stripes can change that by joining the nonprofit’s mission to create a healthier tomorrow by giving a voice to the often forgotten and by making sure none of us ever forgets that health care is not only human care, but a human right.

About DAP Health

Founded in 1984 by a group of community volunteers, DAP Health is an internationally renowned humanitarian health care organization and federally qualified health center (FQHC). In 2012, the nonprofit expanded its scope to care for all people.

Thanks to nearly 40 years of caring for people both directly and indirectly affected not only by the HIV/AIDS epidemic but by various other public health emergencies, DAP Health has the physical and intellectual resources, the desire, and — most importantly — the imagination to effect even greater positive change in the desert and beyond.

The next epidemic hasn’t surfaced — yet. But just as DAP Health met earlier community health crises decisively and successfully, its experts stand at the ready.

Vision Forward

DAP Health currently serves more than 10,000 patients annually, and every month, more than 100 new patients walk through its doors seeking comprehensive, quality health care. Clearly, there is unmet need.

Vision Forward is DAP Health’s 10-year strategic plan that will see the nonprofit grow to serve 25,000 patients a year by 2025 thanks to expanded medical, dental, and mental health clinics and a new on-campus affordable housing complex that will add 60 units at Vista Sunrise II to the existing 81 units at Vista Sunrise. Grand total: 141.

The future of health care is holistic, innovative, agile, collaborative — and above all — patient-centric. DAP Health puts humanity back into health care. It meets community members where they are. It seeks out and lifts up allies for the betterment of all.

Health care is...

Advocacy • Cultural Competency • Dental Care • Ending Epidemics • Equitable Access

Food Assistance • Gender-affirming Care • Harm Reduction • HIV Care • Housing

LGBTQ+ Health • Mental Health • Mobile Health Care • Primary Care • Recovery

Sexual Health • Social Services • Women’s Health

DAP Health... is health care.

About Eisenhower Health

Situated on 130 acres in Rancho Mirage, and with outpatient clinics across the valley, Eisenhower Health has provided a full range of quality medical and educational services for 50 years for residents and visitors to the greater Coachella Valley. Over the past decade, Eisenhower has added physicians specializing in HIV, including respected researchers, to provide high-quality care to patients. Eisenhower has twice earned ANCC Magnet Recognition® for professionalism in nursing and excellence in patient care. The first accredited teaching hospital in the valley, Eisenhower trains physician residents in internal medicine, family medicine, and emergency medicine, and offers fellowships in sports medicine, addiction medicine, pulmonary disease, and infectious disease. For more information, visit EisenhowerHealth.org or follow Eisenhower Health on social media.

About Amazon

Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Amazon strives to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, Earth’s best employer, and Earth’s safest place to work. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Career Choice, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, Alexa, Just Walk Out technology, Amazon Studios, and The Climate Pledge are some of the things pioneered by Amazon.

About Donna Karan

Donna Karan’s philosophy is reflected in the unique retail experiences her brand offers, which features globally inspired apparel as well as products she has sourced and developed with artisans all over the world. A voracious traveler and lifelong yogi — as well as a mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother — Karan considers her foundation Urban Zen the realization of her dream not just to dress people, but to address them as well. Throughout her career as a designer, Karan has founded or helped lead many legendary philanthropic efforts, including Seventh on Sale benefiting AIDS research, Super Saturday supporting the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, and Pediatric AIDS Foundation family carnival Kids for Kids.

About Desert Healthcare District & Foundation and CEO Dr. Conrado E. Bárzaga

The Desert Healthcare District is a local government agency formed in 1948 to build a hospital in Palm Springs. Today, through a robust grants program and collaborative community outreach, its mission is to achieve optimal health at all stages of life for all District residents. The District includes more than 400,000 residents and encompasses the entire Coachella Valley. It is governed by a seven-member board of elected directors. The District and Desert Healthcare Foundation, together, are one of the largest funders in the valley. The agency has awarded $92.7 million in funds since 1998. These funds are used to assist residents — especially the underserved — in accessing vitally needed resources, such as primary and behavioral healthcare.

Conrado E. Bárzaga, MD, is an internationally recognized public health leader with over 20 years of experience. He currently serves as chief executive officer of the Desert Healthcare District & Foundation. Since joining the agency staff in July 2019, Dr. Bárzaga has guided the District in achieving state certification from the California Special Districts Association and the Association of California Healthcare Districts. In 2020, he led the development of the Coachella Valley Equity Collaborative to implement an equitable COVID-19 response. He officially joined the Association of California Healthcare Districts Board of Directors in 2021, and currently is chairperson of its Advocacy Committee. Dr. Bárzaga has directed the development of public health programs in the U.S. and abroad. He is a fellow of the Global Child Dental Fund at King’s College, London, and a health leadership fellow of Coro, a leading nonpartisan public policy institution. A native of Cuba, Dr. Bárzaga has extensive experience in philanthropy and international public health systems, such as developing the community health infrastructure with the Bolivian Ministry of Health and Doctors without Borders. He earned his Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree from the University of Havana in 1994.

About Michael Urie

Returning for the second year in a row to do the honors as host of The Chase is Michael Urie, who found sudden fame soon after graduating from New York City’s The Juilliard School with 2010’s “Ugly Betty” on ABC, in which he played assistant Marc St. James and for which he was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award. From there, Urie accumulated a slew of celebrated film and TV credits, including “Younger,” “Modern Family,” “Hot in Cleveland,” and “The Good Wife.” In 2021, he was the star of Netflix’s first gay-themed holiday movie, “Single All the Way.” Onstage, he originated the role of Alex More in Jonathan Tolins’ Off-Broadway Streisand satire “Buyer & Cellar,” which he then took on a national tour. He’s also stomped the boards as the lead of such revered pieces as “Angels in America,” “Torch Song,” “Hamlet,” How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” “The Cherry Orchard,” “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” “A Bright Room Called Day,” and “Jane Anger.” He currently co-stars with Harrison Ford in the Apple TV+ hit comedy series “Shrinking.”

About Darren Criss

Since bursting onto the pop culture landscape over a decade ago, Darren Criss has embodied the kind of kaleidoscopic artistry that’s entirely uninhibited by form or genre. For this concert, he will be performing a playlist of songs featured throughout his wildly eclectic career as both a songwriter and performer.

Before Darren Criss exploded into the internet’s subculture as both an actor and songwriter for the YouTube viral hit “A Very Potter Musical” in 2009, he had made a small name for himself playing unique interpretations of popular songs he’d perform at cafés and bars in his hometown of San Francisco. Little did he know that the same knack for covering tunes would serve him well in 2010, when he was cast on FOX’s massively successful musical series “Glee,” from which many of his performances of popular songs would lead to several Billboard-topping records. In 2015, his songwriting also landed him an Emmy nomination for Best Original Music and Lyrics for penning the song “This Time” for the show’s series finale.

Criss has continued to write and produce music extensively through the years, whether for his own releases as an artist or as a songwriter for theater, film, and television. In 2019, he created, executive produced, starred in, and provided all the original songs for his short-form musical comedy series “Royalties,” and earlier this year provided the music and lyrics for the opening number of the 2022 Tony Awards: “Act One.” As an artist, he most recently delivered a genre-diverse collection of “character-driven” singles as part of his 2021 solo EP titled “Masquerade” (BMG), and in the same year, released a full-length Christmas album titled — aptly — “A Very Darren Crissmas” (Decca).

Criss is also a stage veteran whose Broadway credits include the titular role in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” (2015), “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” (2012), and the 2022 revival of David Mamet’s seminal play “American Buffalo,” alongside Laurence Fishburne and Sam Rockwell. In 2018, his work in Ryan Murphy’s “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” received wide critical acclaim, earning him a Primetime Emmy, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, and Critics’ Choice awards. Criss most recently starred in Netflix’s hit series “Hollywood,” for which he also served as executive producer.

About Nick Adams  

Nick Adams is an award-winning actor, singer, and dancer. He co-stars as Cooper in the critically acclaimed Searchlight feature film “Fire Island” (a Gotham Award winner, People’s Choice Award nominee for Comedy of the Year, and GLAAD Award nominee). Notably, Adams originated the role of Adam/Felicia in the Tony-winning Broadway musical “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert,” which earned him an honor from the American Theater Hall of Fame, two Broadway Audience Choice Awards, and an Astaire Award nomination for Best Dancer on Broadway. He received national critical acclaim for his portrayal of Whizzer in the North American tour of Lincoln Center Theater’s Broadway production of “Falsettos,” directed by James Lapine. Adams was the final actor to star as Fiyero in the first national touring production of “Wicked.” He recently originated the role of Alexis Gilmore in the Broadway World Award-winning world premiere of “Drag: The Musical” in Hollywood, California, and can be heard on the studio cast album.

About Saycon Sengbloh

Saycon Sengbloh is an award-winning actress with a gift for dramatic storytelling and soaring vocal prowess. The Atlanta native is known for her incredible breadth and versatility, both as an actress and a singer, and has had an exciting year with tentpole projects on the big and small screens. Sengbloh currently stars in the ABC reboot of the classic 1980s family comedy “The Wonder Years” from executive producers Saladin Patterson and Lee Daniels. Saycon plays Lillian Williams, the sharp and confident mother of the young protagonist Dean, narrated by Don Cheadle. She was also recently seen as Erma Franklin, sister to Aretha, in the biopic “Respect,” starring Jennifer Hudson (MGM/United Artists). Having started her career on the stage, Sengbloh has since appeared in nearly a dozen Broadway productions. She starred opposite Lupita Nyong’o in award-winning playwright Danai Gurira’s “Eclipsed” (both on and off-Broadway), which earned her a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play, an Obie Award, and a Tony Award nomination.

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Know Your PrEP Options

PrEP: So Many Options

As seen in GED Magazine

The HIV prevention world has changed dramatically in the more than 10 years since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Gilead Sciences’ Truvada as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in July 2012.

Following the discovery that Truvada can pose renal and bone density problems in some individuals (which, thankfully, go away after the medication is discontinued), the FDA approved Gilead’s more kidney-and-bone-friendly Descovy as PrEP in October 2019. While Truvada is currently available as a generic equivalent, Descovy is still under patent.

More than a year ago — on December 20, 2021 — the FDA approved GSK’s Apretude, the first and only long-acting injectable form of PrEP, which requires a new dose every two months.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), when taken as prescribed, PrEP reduces the risk of HIV infection from sexual activity by more than 99%, and by at least 74% for those who use intravenous drugs. You should be on PrEP for HIV protection if you are 18 years or older, are sexually active (or soon planning to be), and are HIV negative.

“The great news with injectable PrEP is that it is a wonderful alternative for people who have issues with adherence and may forget to take their daily pill,” says DAP Health Clinical Supervisor of Sexual Wellness, Nurse Practitioner Trent Broadus. “It’s also very helpful for unhoused people who may have nowhere to store their meds, or who may be concerned that they’ll be stolen. Even more exciting, longer-lasting forms of injectable PrEP are currently being studied. Data are promising on one injection that would last a full six months.”

Before starting PrEP — whether orally or by injection — you’ll need to get tested for HIV, STIs, kidney function, and Hepatitis B and C.

Some people experience gas, nausea, or headache when beginning PrEP. These side effects typically go away within the first week. Note that it takes at least one week on PrEP before you’re protected for anal sex, and three weeks for vaginal sex.

Most insurance plans cover oral PrEP for HIV. Injectable PrEP is covered by Medi-Cal, but some Medicare and private insurance plans may require you to go through your primary care provider.

All forms of PrEP require regular follow-up HIV, STI, and kidney function testing. Every three months for oral PrEP; every two months for injectable PrEP.

You should talk to your doctor before stopping any medication. And if you stop taking PrEP, talk to a health care provider about using other HIV prevention strategies.

If you’re interested in PrEP, contact a DAP Health PrEP navigator at 760.656.8400. You can also talk to any nurse or nurse practitioner during your visit if you want to discuss which PrEP may be right for you.

If you don’t have health care insurance, or if you need financial assistance, a PrEP navigator can also explain your options, help you get access, and answer questions about finding a doctor or working with your pharmacy.

And remember: All PrEP visits and lab work done at DAP Health’s sexual wellness clinics in Palm Springs and Indio are always free of charge to all patients.

DAP Health Makes Bid to Protect Health C …

DAP Health Makes Bid to Protect Health Care Access for 120,000 People

In line with its mission — and in tandem with longtime community allies Innercare and Neighborhood Healthcare — the Palm Springs nonprofit leads a life-saving alliance to acquire Borrego Health. 

 

PALM SPRINGS, February 5, 2023 – Palm Springs-based Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) DAP Health made a bid to acquire Borrego Health, which on September 12, 2022, filed for bankruptcy and solicited potential acquisitors to assimilate its clinics and assets. The proposed investment would be based on total enterprise value, assuming a debt-free, cash-free transaction.    

At its height, Borrego Health served 275,000 patients annually across its various sites throughout San Diego and Riverside counties. Today, the system continues to cater to an estimated 120,000 individuals a year. Through their shared commitment to care for all members of their communities, DAP Health, Innercare, and Neighborhood Healthcare formed an alliance and are joining forces to continue operating Borrego Health — with DAP Health acting as the acquirer in order to protect patient access to integrated outpatient services.   

“Our approach ensures patients who currently rely on Borrego Health for high-quality, culturally competent care would not experience an interruption in their service,” says DAP Health CEO David Brinkman. “With distinct service lines and expertise, all three alliance members are uniquely positioned to care for Borrego Health’s patients. Building upon longstanding relationships, and through strong leadership collaboration, our alliance has the experience, operational expertise, depth of management, and strategic foresight to be successful in this endeavor.”    

The winning bidder will be notified this week. In hopes that the Borrego Health board of directors selects its bid proposal, the alliance has developed a comprehensive three-year operational plan that would allow for stabilization, optimization, and ultimately, growth of the current Borrego Health system.    

The initial steps would focus on the stabilization of the clinics, with a substantial investment of managerial time and material investment in the system. Employees at DAP Health, Innercare, and Neighborhood Healthcare would not see a change in their employment terms, benefits, or compensation resulting from this process. Rather, the alliance intends to make significant investments to retain the current staff of Borrego Health and to reinforce Borrego Health teams by addressing staffing shortages while bringing the current system up to a higher standard of staffing ratios and workflows.   

“Speaking for the remaining few founders and myself, it’s very rewarding to observe how this current outreach resonates with the agency’s nearly 40-year heritage,” says inaugural Desert AIDS Project Executive Director George Sonsel. “Through the decades, DAP Health has consistently demonstrated its perpetual readiness to share its expertise and professional guidance in support of the community’s needs.”   

About the Alliance  

Founded in 1984 as Desert AIDS Project, DAP Health was the first community-based clinic dedicated to serving low-income patients with HIV/AIDS. In 2012, it was designated as an FQHC Look-Alike, in 2015 became a 330 grantee, and today serves the general community with a full complement of integrated and lifecycle-appropriate care. DAP Health’s service area boundaries are located within the Coachella Valley, a unique desert community located in Eastern Riverside County in the Inland Empire of Southern California. The Coachella Valley comprises nine major cities as well as several unincorporated areas. The valley encompasses approximately 675 square miles, and its service area includes 310 square miles. CEO since 2006: David Brinkman.   

Established in 1970, Innercare (formerly known as Clínicas de Salud del Pueblo, Inc.) is a private nonprofit FQHC operating 10 health care centers; five dental clinics; and three Women, Infant, and Children Programs in Imperial and Riverside counties. Its service area encompasses 30 rural and urban zip codes boasting a total population of over 680,000. This area includes communities along the U.S.-Mexico and Arizona borders. It also serves communities ranging in size from Niland (pop. 1,610) to Hemet (pop. 127,443). There is significant overlap in some of the areas currently served by Borrego Health, with approximately 21% of Borrego Health’s patients currently seeking secondary care at Innercare sites. CEO since 2003: Yvonne Bell.   

Founded in 1969, Neighborhood Healthcare operates 24 health centers in San Diego and Riverside counties, serving upwards of 87,000 unique patients each year, 97% of whom are at or below 200% of FPL. Some 61% identify as Hispanic and 41% are best served in a language other than English. With deep cultural understanding, Neighborhood Healthcare excels at providing health care for all stages of life, including pediatric and adult primary care, prenatal care, family planning, HIV testing, women’s health, dental services, and basic pharmacy and lab services. Due to a large and growing Middle Eastern refugee/immigrant population in East San Diego County, Neighborhood Healthcare has developed a strong culturally and linguistically responsive program to care for Arabic speakers. CEO since 2017 (but at Neighborhood Healthcare since 2002 as a physician): Dr. Rakesh Patel.   

Important Opportunities Presented by This Alliance  

  • DAP Health would be the acquirer of the Borrego Health system with Innercare and Neighborhood providing clinical, administrative and leadership services to the alliance.  Together, the managing organizations would bring deep experience with the patient population and strong relationships with key partners such as health plans, social services agencies, and elected officials.   
  • Many employees within the expanded network may wish to transfer to a site closer to their home, offering a retention incentive for current Borrego Health and partner clinic employees alike.   
  • Each organization has unique areas of expertise it brings to the alliance. This strong partnership allows for operational and clinical cooperation for the best possible outcomes for each unique site. Innercare has deep expertise in caring for migrant and farmworker populations as well as an established presence in many of the communities served by Borrego Health. Neighborhood Healthcare offers strength in primary and family health, with strong ties in the greater San Diego area. DAP Health’s outstanding care for LGBTQ+ patients, and HIV/AIDS patients, as well as its best-practice approach to culturally responsive and relevant services, rounds out this outstanding team of partners.    
  • With strong executive leadership, oversight, and compliance, all three of the partners in this proposal can lend executive support to various sites during the transition period as the system rehires and augments operations.   
  • Neighborhood Healthcare has already successfully transferred several former Borrego Health sites to its management. This direct experience would further inform and strengthen the alliance’s approach to assuming operations for the remaining Borrego Health sites.   

DAP Health’s priority in acquiring Borrego Health is to ensure that all existing sites remain open; that services are stabilized, optimized, and expanded; and that every aspect of operations is culturally and regionally appropriate to its respective communities. Given the wide footprint of the Borrego Health system, DAP Health is honored to partner with longtime ally organizations Innercare and Neighborhood Healthcare to realize the goal of providing highly effective, compliant, and culturally tailored care throughout the region.    

“For almost 40 years, DAP Health has been dedicated not only to keeping its doors open but to extending them even wider so that an ever-expanding number of community members in need can be cared for,” concludes Brinkman. “The alliance we’ve formed with Innercare and Neighborhood Healthcare — two local organizations with similarly very deep roots in the communities Borrego Health has served — ensures that nearly 120,000 patients would not see health centers they’ve grown to depend on be shuttered by an acquisitor less familiar with and committed to our neighbors in need.”   

 

Media Contact:  

Steven Henke, DAP Health Director of Brand Marketing  

Shenke@daphealth.org  

 

 

DAP Health Thrives on Community Collabs

DAP Health Thrives on Community Collaboration

No individual is an island. There’s strength in numbers. That’s what friends are for.

These maxims don’t just hold true for human beings, but for organizations as well. That’s why DAP Health is so deeply committed to collaborating with other local non-profits, as it did with Brothers of the Desert for its Desert AIDS Walks last October, with the Riverside County Department of Public Health at its Pride Pavilion in November, and with Presenting Sponsor Eisenhower Health at its upcoming annual benefit gala The Chase (AKA The Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards) on March 25.

DAP Health’s most recent collab is between the LGBTQ Community Center of the Desert (thecentercv.org) and Revivals Thrift Stores (revivalsstores.com). The Center, plus all four resale retail locations (Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Palm Desert, and Indio) are currently welcoming donations of pre-loved red wear and red accessories as they ramp up toward the big Red Sale event, to be held only at the Palm Springs Revivals Thrift Store on Friday, February 24 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Anyone who has attended the Center’s annual Red Dress Dress Red benefit knows that — alongside The Chase — it’s one of the hottest tickets on the desert’s social calendar. Regular revelers of that cherry-colored soirée also probably have enough dresses, skirts, tutus, gowns, frilly frocks, uniforms, gear, jackets, pants, hats, shoes, belts, ties, purses, and costume jewelry to style the entire current cast of “Ru Paul’s Drag Race.” All red-hued items are graciously being accepted so that other partygoers may benefit from the recycled couture and accouterments. Who knew that by donating red, one could actually go green?

Drop-offs can be made during regular business hours at the Center (1301 North Palm Canyon Drive) or at any Revivals locations, no later than Thursday, February 23. Bequeathed merchandise will then be consolidated at the Palm Springs Revivals outpost on the day of the Red Sale event.

Seriously — why would one hang on to garb in which one has already been seen? And don’t just drop off your claret, cardinal, and carmine trappings and trimmings — come back to shop for yourself at Revivals Palm Springs on February 24. Who knows? You might just find your fabulous 2023 Red Dress Dress Red ensemble. Monies raised at the Red Sale will be shared between the Center and Revivals.

“No good work can be accomplished in a vacuum,” says Center Membership Manager Charles Huff. “Assisting, lifting, and partnering with others is paramount to the word ‘community.’ When we had the idea to have people donate their previous Red Dress Dress Red wardrobe, the natural choice was Revivals, due to DAP Health and the Center’s collaborative relationship. We’re very happy another first can be accomplished between our agencies.”

“DAP Health takes every opportunity to partner with other local non-profits for the benefit of everyone in the community, and the same can be said for Revivals,” adds Director of Retail Dane Koch, explaining that in addition to joining forces with Palm Springs Leather Order of the Desert on its popular Revivals After Dark affair, the brand has teamed up with the likes of Sanctuary House, Martha’s Village & Kitchen, the Salvation Army, Mizell Center, and Angel View. “It is the Palm Springs Revivals store’s great pleasure to host the Red Sale event in tandem with the Center. May an endless sea of ruby, scarlet, and crimson flow out our doors that evening.”

DAP Health Rounds Out Its Fundraising Te …

DAP Health Rounds Out Its Fundraising Team 

 As seen in Desert Charities News 

 

With two new hires, DAP Health enriches its development department just in time for the Coachella Valley’s season of giving.  

Chief Development Officer Cortney Weir joins the advocacy-based non-profit after nearly 30 years at such organizations as the American Heart Association, the Arthritis Foundation, Best Buddies, and most recently, the California Southland Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. 

For his newly created role, Assistant Chief of Philanthropy and Presidential Priorities Chris Boone recently relocated to Palm Springs from Los Angeles. Boone comes to DAP Health having spent time at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Los Angeles Youth Network, The People Concern, and most recently, the National Parks Conservation Association. 

“Removing barriers to care requires financial resources, which requires hiring top fundraising talent,” says DAP Health CEO David Brinkman. “Cortney and Chris are the best of the best in the field of philanthropy. Together, I have no doubt we will fulfill our mission to bring wellness to our valley by providing health equity to all.” 

Neither Weir nor Boone are new to the desert. 

In 1984, at the age of 18, Weir moved from her native San Francisco to Palm Desert, where she and her roommate were the only two women living in a 10-unit apartment complex inhabited by gay male couples of various ages. “Those dear men really took me and Elizabeth under their wings,” says Weir. “I remember we couldn’t afford a Christmas tree, and suddenly, a Christmas tree appeared. If we were dating young men we should not be dating, they would chase them off. Whatever we needed, they would provide.”  

When those same men became sick within a year, it was Cortney and her roommate’s turn to provide for them, going so far as to drive them to appointments at the original, tiny Vella Road offices of Desert AIDS Project, as DAP Health was formerly known. 

“I remember taking people to the hospital and having them be turned away because they were living with HIV/AIDS,” Weir recalls. “I remember calling their mothers to say, ‘Your son is dying,’ and having them reply, ‘My son died for me a long time ago.’ I was in shock. My mother would have crawled over broken glass for me — and she was with me many times when one of my friends was incoherently calling for his mom. She’d hold their hand and say, ‘I’m here, honey. I’m here.’  Back then, the only comfort we had was one another and Desert AIDS Project. For me, coming to DAP Health is coming home.” 

Born and raised in Seattle, Boone has been a longtime visitor to Palm Springs. Speaking to his role and to DAP Health’s purpose, Boone — who served as a board member of the Human Rights Campaign for six years — says, “It was honestly a unicorn of an opportunity. To be able to take what I’ve learned at other organizations I’ve worked at or volunteered with and apply it to a mission I’m so passionate about was very appealing.” 

While Weir wasn’t looking to leave her previous employer, all it took was a campus tour led by Brinkman to convince her. “David is an impressive leader and visionary,” she says. “He’s so good at painting a picture of where he wants to go — what’s been achieved, what’s possible. And he’s right here! There’s nobody he has to answer to in Chicago, Miami, or wherever. Trust me, I asked around. Everyone said, ‘Seriously, DAP Health and David Brinkman are the real deal.’” 

Boone will focus on DAP Health’s major benefactors. “David saw the need for someone to specifically do this work,” he says. “My biggest task, but an opportunity I relish, is getting to know the organization’s dedicated donors — their passion and personal story that bring them to support the organization. There are so many generous people in the desert. Some are currently supporters, but many we still need to meet and introduce to our work.”  

For Weir, the biggest hurdle is time. “I can be an impatient person,” she says with a chuckle. “I want everybody to know — now! — that while we remain very respectful to the history of this organization, what it’s meant to the community, and whom we’ve served, the impact we can have on an even larger group of community members is very real. Donors are going to be very interested in what we’re building over here at DAP Health. Once we’re done with the next phase of our growth, people are simply going to be blown away.” 

DAP Health Joins Millions Around the Glo …

DAP Health and the Palm Springs Community Join Millions Around the Globe to Mark World AIDS Day 2022 

Words by Daniel Vaillancourt 

 

On Thursday, December 1, millions of concerned men, women, and children around the globe will make a special observance of World AIDS Day. Its theme for 2022 is “Equalize.”  

But here at DAP Health — for the last 38 years, 365 days per — we’ve made it our mission to advocate and equalize, to remember all those whom we’ve lost, to manifest our commitment to those currently living and aging well with HIV — and most importantly, to help end the epidemic once and for all. 

So far in 2022, we have:

  • Administered 3,902 free HIV tests at our Sexual Wellness Clinics in Palm Springs and Indio, and through our mobile clinic. 
  • Distributed 793 free self-HIV tests for home use. 
  • Enrolled 80 patients in our Rapid StART Program, whereby each received two free HIV-related medical visits plus treatment regimens. 

DAP Health also continues to provide free access to both Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) to those who request it. 

Thriving with HIV is more than seeing a doctor and taking medication to become undetectable, therefore making HIV untransmissible,” says DAP Health Director of Community Health & Sexual Wellness CJ Tobe. “It’s all aspects of what leads to a person attending their first medical appointment and addressing the negative social determinants of health so that person remains in medical care.  

Regardless of the barriers preventing one from knowing their HIV status or seeking care upon HIV diagnosis, DAP Health works tirelessly to remove those barriers to improve the patient's access, not only to free testing but to our Rapid StART Program at both of our wellness clinics, in Palm Springs and Indio. The first two visits are free, and we also provide transportation assistance (via Lyft, gas cards, and bus passes), food vouchers, TracFones, behavioral health and substance use support, and more.” 

By the Numbers 

According to the most recent statistics (2020) available from the Riverside HIV/STD Program of the Riverside University Health System, there are currently “6,820 people reported to be living with HIV in east Riverside County [AKA, the Coachella Valley, which includes Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs, Thousand Palms, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indio, Coachella, La Quinta, Thermal, Mecca, and Blythe]. The prevalence rate of PLWH [people living with HIV] in Palm Springs (7,535.2 per 100,000) is over 21 times higher than California overall … and two thirds of PLWH in Riverside County reside in east Riverside County.” 

Furthermore, per the World Health Organization (WHO), “The global HIV response is in danger, even as HIV remains a major public health issue that affects millions of people worldwide. Over the last few years, progress toward HIV goals has stalled, resources have shrunk, and millions of lives are at risk as a result. Division, disparity, and disregard for human rights are among the failures that allowed HIV to become and remain a global health crisis.  

“On 1 December WHO joins partners to commemorate World AIDS Day 2022, under the theme ‘Equalize.’ WHO is calling on global leaders and citizens to boldly recognize and address the inequalities which are holding back progress in ending AIDS; and equalize access to essential HIV services particularly for children and key populations and their partners — men who have sex with men, transgender people, people who use drugs, sex workers, and prisoners.” 

Globally, it is estimated that some 38 million people are living with HIV today. Since 1984 — the year DAP Health (formerly Desert AIDS Project) was founded — more than 35 million men, women, and children have died of HIV or AIDS-related illnesses, making this health crisis one of the costliest in history. 

Again according to WHO, “To reach the new proposed global 95–95–95 targets set by UNAIDS, we will need to redouble our efforts to avoid the worst-case scenario of 7.7 million HIV-related deaths over the next 10 years, increasing HIV infections due to HIV service disruptions during COVID-19, and the slowing public health response to HIV.” 

If you feel compelled to act on World AIDS Day, get tested, wear a red ribbon, and talk about HIV/AIDS to anyone who will listen. And of course, please consider donating as generously as you can to DAP Health.  

On December 1, all of us must join the huge-hearted men, women, and children on our planet who commemorate World AIDS Day. But there will be no need for we at DAP Health to roll up our sleeves and continue our great work in this great fight.  

Why not? 

Because we’ve simply never stopped. Nor will we, until the HIV/AIDS epidemic is truly history.