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

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

Dr. Christopher Foltz Moving to Cedars-S …

Dr. Christopher Foltz Moving to Cedars-Sinai in L.A.  

After five years of providing culturally competent care for patients at DAP Health, Dr. Christopher Foltz is joining the Infectious Disease Department at Cedars-Sinai Medical Group in Los Angeles. He will be remembered for opening the COVID Clinic and for inspiring many to thrive with HIV in the Coachella Valley.  

At Cedars-Sinai, he will provide outpatient infectious disease care. He will also work part-time in the hospital seeing patients with complicated infectious diseases, specifically working with organ transplant patients. Additionally, he will teach Residents and Fellows in the Internal Medicine and Infectious Disease programs. This move is effective February 1.  

Dr. Foltz spearheaded opening DAP Health’s COVID Clinic and COVID Hotline as soon as the pandemic emerged in March 2020.  He inspired a team of healthcare professionals to join him as frontline responders at a time when little was known about how to protect oneself. He also managed validation testing for the antibody test, an important step in those days to establish reliability, as clinicians everywhere grappled with unproven testing products.  

“I honestly feel like he made that clinic,” says Kimmie Miller, LVN and Clinical Documentation Improvement Specialist at DAP Health. “He needed the rest of us, but he was the brains behind it.”  

Created to alleviate overcrowding at area emergency rooms, the DAP Health COVID Clinic offered care and advice at a time when little was understood about the COVID virus; supplies were scarce, and fear ran high everywhere, even with DAP Health staff.  

“He taught us a new way to think, and he made sure that we were as up to date as possible,” Kimmie says. “He made sure that we were trained properly and would do a daily rundown of what happened and how we could do it better the next day.” 

As always, the proof was in the community feedback.   

“The patients were so appreciative and attentive to what he was telling them,” She says. “We got many calls about how much they wanted to thank him for all his caring and dedication.” 

Dr. Foltz believes the uniqueness of the Coachella Valley, known for its charity and sense of community, had a lot to do with the clinic’s success.  

“The outpouring of help from the community was something I never expected,” he says. “From the donations to just every day “thanks” we received; it was very rewarding.” 

Opening the COVID Clinic was in line with the Infectious Disease training he has devoted his life to. It also groomed him for this next chapter in an already impressive career.  

“All the expertise I was able to provide during the early COVID period really gave me the thirst to diversify what type of medicine I am able to practice,” he says. “This new position will allow me to see more Infectious Disease patients, both in and out of the hospital.” 

He wants his DAP Health patients to retain their focus on staying healthy in the time of COVID.  

“Stay engaged in your health,” he says. “As always, you are your own best advocate.” 

Dr. Foltz has a reputation for asking his patients questions and getting to know them, rather than just talking “at” them during care.  

“A patient-clinician relationship is just that—a relationship,” he says. “It takes time to build the trust to allow someone into your life to manage your healthcare.”   

“I always try to approach it with communication and understanding.” 

That is exactly how it has been for Pete, an established patient of Dr. Foltz.  

“He took the time to try and figure me out, and I could tell he actually cared,” says Pete. “He always took anything I said into account.” 

This encouraged Pete to ask questions about his care, and together they would explore different approaches. 

“This made me feel safe,” Pete says. “And it made me realize that I can really be healthy.” 

For Dr. Foltz, this is part of his strategy for helping patients thrive. 

“I strive to educate my patients with as much information as appropriate so they can ultimately make the best decisions in their own healthcare,” Dr. Foltz says. “I also try to do my best to provide a safe and respectful atmosphere where they feel listened to, and their concerns acknowledged.” “I hope to always remain part of the DAP Health family,” he says.  

To read more about Dr. Foltz’s training in the Midwest and opening the COVID Clinic, visit: https://www.daphealth.org/greater-kansas-city-or-coachella-valley-dr-foltz-lives-to-heal-his-community/ 

 

 

DAP Health rolls out harm reduction prog …

DAP Health rolls out harm reduction program to provide care for people living with addiction 

Contact: Leighton Ginn                                  
Public Relations Specialist  
(760) 567-2983  

lginn@daphealth.org.    

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   

Program approved Jan. 10, 2022 by the California Department of Public Health 

This Spring, DAP Health will unveil its harm reduction program that will have two components. First, Overdose prevention and secondly a Syringe Services Program (SSP) that will include health services and behavioral health support to combat the rise in preventable overdoses and the increase in new HIV cases.  

The multi-layered program will focus on education for the community, HIV and Hepatitis C testing, distribution and collection of syringes and referrals to support folks through their addiction journey.  

Additional services to be provided: Naloxone/Narcan to reverse overdose and prevent death, and Fentanyl test strips for testing drugs before use to decrease likelihood of overdose.  

In the latest preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 100,000 people in the U.S. died from overdoses during the 12-month period from April 2020 through April 2021. (https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/drug-overdose-data.htm) 

In Riverside County, there has been an 800 percent increase in fentanyl-related deaths since 2016, according to Rivco.org.  (https://www.rivco.org/news/riverside-county-committee-combat-fentanyl-abuse).  

Palm Springs has an overdose death rate 300 percent higher than the state average.  

Palm Springs Police Department Chief Andy Mills was able to review the harm reduction program and was impressed with how complete it is.  

“It’s important to remember the dynamics that go into a program like this,” Mills says. “That’s what excites me. Not only is DAP Health looking at helping people, but genuinely helping people so they are not destructive to themselves or our community.” 

DAP Health is only the second state certified Syringe Services Program (SSP) in Riverside County, which is the 10th most populated county in the United States.  

Because of the rising numbers, Secretary of Health and Human Services, Xavier Bacerra says the federal government supports harm reduction, which includes direct support and care to people who actively struggle with substance misuse.  

“DAP Health will begin deepening our relationship with people living with addiction by adding a harm reduction approach to our first-aid kit of solutions,” says C.J. Tobe, the Director of Community Health and Sexual Wellness. “We will do this without stigma or judgment because you cannot treat someone who does not trust you. Harm reduction is an important tactic in DAP Health’s ongoing work to end the HIV epidemic.  Work that begins with meeting folks where they are.” 

Education  

  • Overdose prevention  
  • Safer injecting  
  • Risk reduction counseling  
  • Education to community partners  

Testing  

  • Free HIV/HCV testing  
  • Fentanyl strips for testing drugs before use to decrease likelihood of overdose  

Equipment  

  • Naloxone/Narcan to reverse overdose and prevent death  
  • Phone number and email to DAP Health for the community to report used syringes that need to be picked up and disposed of, or to request education related to harm reduction strategies at HarmReduction@DAPHealth.org or 760 992-0453. 
  • New syringes and intake/dispose of used syringes  
  • New injecting supplies  
  • Safer sex kits  
  • Safer smoking kits   

Referrals To 

  • Substance use counselors  
  • Outpatient Drug Free program DAP Health 
  • Local recovery and treatment centers  
  • DAP Health’s peer support specialist  
  • Early Intervention Specialist (EIS) for anyone with HIV and/or Hepatitis C for treatment  
  • Insurance enrollment and connection to health care and other social support services  
  • DAP Health’s Sexual Wellness Clinic (Orange Clinic) for STI testing and/or Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)  
  • Food and housing    

 

About DAP Health 

DAP Health is an advocacy-based health center in Palm Springs, Calif., serving more than 10,000 patients, offering medical and mental health care, STI testing and treatment, dentistry, pharmacy, and lab services. 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 Health opened one of California’s first COVID clinics and hotlines to offer screening, testing, and treatment. DAP Health also is working to address the 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 Health’s sexual health clinic offers STI testing and treatment, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), and HIV and hepatitis C (HCV) testing. DAP Health 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 Health exceeds industry standards in terms of financial health, accountability, and transparency.     

Visit www.daphealth.org to learn more.  

Mode – Take it Home Today

Take It Home Today – Mode Furniture at Revivals 

Sometimes the feedback Kris Fisher gets about Mode furniture at Revival’s makes him feel like he is in the 1993 film Groundhog Day about a meteorologist who finds himself living the same day repeatedly.  

The reaction many furniture shoppers have when they see the quality, design, and affordable prices of Mode is “Why didn’t I stop by Revivals first?”   

Fisher says “I cannot tell you the number of times I have heard that. People have purchased from us and then canceled their six-month sofa order because they can take it home today when they buy furniture at Revivals.”   

Fisher is the Senior Store Coordinator at the Palm Springs Revivals store and spends much of his time helping customers shop for or special-order brand-new Mode furniture, lighting, rugs, and art.  

The pandemic has created chaos for most retailers struggling with supply chain issues.  Backlogs of shipping containers in Los Angeles and Long Beach, which account for 40 percent of sea shipping freights in the U.S. remain a challenge. 

What that has meant for furniture shoppers is lengthy delays of having their furniture delivered. Commonly, it is taking three months or longer.   

For those in the know, the Mode brand is known for quality, design, and affordable price points. Revivals has an added feature that appeals to shoppers - the ability to see it, buy it, and take it home the same day. Many shoppers are savvy decorators, mixing resale and brand-new pieces in their homes to create a unique look and feel that reflects their individuality. 

Each of the four Revivals stores buys for its area and sells the furniture directly off its sales floor while offering some styles to be special ordered. This allows Palm Springs to offer a different assortment than the stores in Cathedral City, Palm Desert, and Indio. It is a byproduct of each Revivals store listening to its customers and reflecting those needs in its collection of Mode furniture.  

Earlier this year, a realtor was looking for nightstands to help him stage his properties. Fisher is strategic in his ordering of new furniture and is quick to respond to changing customer needs. At the beginning of the pandemic, the Palm Springs store had only a few desks on its sales floor. When the world went into lockdown, it became apparent that desks would become a necessity for people working from home. In turn, Revivals launched a new campaign ‘Home Means More Now’ featuring all the many ways Americans were expecting their rooms and their furniture to pull double duty. 

“We get a lot of compliments on the comfort of our furniture and especially the comfort of our beds. I have overheard customers say, ‘oh my goodness, I can’t believe I’m able to get a bed for $400,” Fisher says. Customers come back and tell him, “We put the mattress in our guest bedroom and now our guests are asking where we got it so they can buy one for their home.” 

Shopping at Revivals also Benefits the Community 

For 26 years, 100% of Revivals profits have benefited DAP Health (formerly Desert AIDS Project). DAP Health (DAP) is an advocacy-based health center in Palm Springs, CA serving over 10,000 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.   

“It’s rewarding to know you are part of something that’s the backbone of this community,” Fisher said. “DAP has always done a lot for this community. That is why people donate to us. 

Revivals is staffed by a mix of employees and community volunteers who care about the experience customers have in each of the stores. “Revivals is committed to providing a shopping experience that makes folks smile,” says Dane Koch, the Director of Retail. “Shopping at Revivals is a unique experience that creates a feel-good effect. We want our shoppers to know that they matter to us.”   

If you have not already experienced the thrill of the save at Revivals, you can find a store near you on the retailer's website revivalsstores.com. While there, you can preview or buy select items from the Mode collection along with a specially-curated collection of ‘mixed century modern’ resale items.

Make a New Year’s Resolution: Choose w …

Make a New Year’s Resolution: Choose words that matter when you want to make a positive impact

Resolutions do not have to expire shortly after the new year. For yours, we hope you will make person-first language your pledge throughout 2022.  

Person-first language helps someone know that you see them as much more than their condition or diagnosis. As 2022 brings more uncertainty, keeping each other close and cared for may become more challenging. DAP Health has been doing this since 1984 with unending curiosity, and by consulting with the people we serve. 

Choosing different words might seem trivial to you. But you have the power to help someone who has suffered from stigma feel welcome for the first time. We take person-first language seriously because we have witnessed our patients and clients experiencing dramatically better health outcomes, after facing fear and shame in other medical and behavioral health settings.  

After trying to survive in a world of stigma, a person can heal from fear once they enter culturally competent care. They feel less like an outsider. Suddenly, they start dreaming about their own future. And with care and resources from DAP Health, living a fuller life often becomes a reality.  

Change can start with you. Below are the areas of health care urgently needing people-first language. We also added links for you to find out more.  

Addiction 

Instead of addict or user, consider saying they have a substance use disorder (SUD). Using person-first language shows that SUD is an illness. Find out more at https://www.drugabuse.gov/drug-topics/addiction-science/words-matter-preferred-language-talking-about-addiction 

For DAP Health’s Outpatient Drug Free (ODF) program, contact our Behavioral Health Patient Services Representative at 760-323-2118. 

HIV Health 

Instead of saying HIV patient, consider saying “person living with HIV” or PLWHIV. 

The Undetectable Equals Untransmitable (U=U) movement is undoing decades of stigma that was built on a mistruth. With proper antiretroviral therapy (ART), PLWHIV cannot sexually transmit the virus to others. Find out more at preventionaccess.org. 

For HIV care at DAP Health, visit daphealth.org or call 760-323-2118. 

Gender Affirming Care 

Introducing yourself with your pronouns means you are starting the conversation with respect.  

If you say, “Hi, I’m David. My pronouns are he, him, his.” This shows that you are comfortable with your own identity and that you understand that gender identity is up to each person to name themselves. It also makes the other person feel safe to share theirs if they choose to.  

A substantial number of transgender and gender diverse people avoid health care because of stigma. When someone does not acknowledge their gender identity, it is as a form of discrimination. 

To find out more about Gender Affirming Care, visit daphealth.org or call 760-323-2118. 

Mental Health 

Instead of saying someone has a mental or emotional health challenge, consider just referring to them by their name. Always ask how they want to identify.  

For more about person-first language and behavioral health, visit https://www.mhanational.org/person-centered-language 

To find out about therapy at DAP Health, contact our Patient Services Representative at 760-323-2118. 

Sexual Wellness 

Instead of promiscuous, consider saying multiple partners.  

Instead of unprotected sex, consider using condomless sex or condomless sex with (or without) PrEP, or condomless sex with treatment-as-prevention. 

Instead of prostitution, consider sex worker or transactional sex. 

Sexual expression is a normal part of the human experience, but it is one of the most stigmatized areas of health care. Fear, anger, and shame keep many from STI and HIV testing but modifying how we talk about it can help us bring down California’s rising epidemics.  

To find out about free sexual wellness services and more about overcoming sexual stigma, visit https://www.daphealth.org/hiv-sti-care/sexual-health-clinic/ or call (760) 323-2118.  

Experiencing Homelessness  

Instead of homeless person, consider saying person experiencing homelessness.  

DAP Health understands that people experience being unhoused, but that it does not define them. Our Community Health team goes to where people need services, wherever that is. Find out more about our mobile services and outreach by calling 760-323-2118 or visiting daphealth.org. 

Find out more at https://www.usich.gov/news/people-experience-homelessness-they-arent-defined-by-it/ 

Five DAP Health clinicians recognized by …

Five DAP Health clinicians recognized by the American Academy of HIV Medicine

There are numerous names that Dan Ebeling must scroll through in his role as the Director of Credentialing and Technology for the American Academy of HIV Medicine (AAHIVM), he says one organization pops up often -- DAP Health.  

AAHIVM is a Washington D.C.-based agency and the nation’s leading independent organization of health care professionals dedicated to providing excellence in HIV care and prevention.  

This year, Ebeling credentialed 1,500 professionals. While he doesn’t know DAP Health on a personal level or the individuals who apply or renew their credentials specifically, he can surmise the level of commitment DAP Health exhibits.  

“They are committed to those high standards,” Ebeling said from his office in Washington D.C. “When an organization takes that extra step and says, ‘We’re going to help and support all of the people who work for us to earn this credential, it says something strong about that organization -- the organization is making a commitment to the highest standards of care.”  

This year, five DAP Health clinicians earned or renewed their credentials – Dr. David Morris (Chief Medical Officer), Dr. Tulika Singh MD (Director of Research, Associate Chief Medical Officer), Anthony Velasco (Senior Nurse Practitioner Specialist), Felipe Saavedra MD (Primary Care Physician) and Trent Broadus (Nurse Practitioner). 

“It’s not an easy process. It requires a lot of specialized knowledge in HIV care,” Ebeling says. “Going through the process  can be very rewarding.”  

The credentials are the first and only one of its kind offered domestically and internationally to physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and pharmacists specializing in advanced-level HIV care.  

In 2019, DAP Health, then known as Desert AIDS Project, distinguished itself as an organization when it won the Peter M. Fox Excellence in AAHIVM Credentialing Award, which recognizes organizations where all eligible practitioners  hold a credential. 

Being credentialed through AAHIVM helps ensure that medical professionals are up to date with new practices to provide optimal care.  

“It’s the gold standard. It’s what we want, it’s what we expect, and it’s what we do. It says that we reach for the top shelf,’ Dr. Morris says. “We expect our clinicians to be certified by the American Academy of HIV Medicine, and we proudly maintain that certification.”  

New DAP Health Sexual Wellness clinic op …

DAP Health expands Sexual Wellness in Indio, CA opening new clinic opening June 2022 and MISTR partnership expand the reach of health care services  

DAP Health made two significant moves to expand free testing and treatment to the East Valley by signing a lease to a new facility in Indio and partnering with MISTR to provide virtual PrEP services statewide.  

On Nov. 29, DAP Health signed a lease for a building in Indio to open a sexual wellness clinic.  The organization hopes to open the new space by June 2022.  

Free services will include STI (Sexually Transmitted Infections) testing and treatment (gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis), HIV prevention (pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP; post-exposure prophylaxis, or PEP), and HIV and hepatitis C testing.  

If anyone tests positive for HIV, the sexual wellness clinic DAP Health will provide that person with rapid start medication and linkage to care, an essential step in reducing new HIV infections and improving the health outcomes of the person living with HIV. While the cost of ongoing HIV treatment is not part of the free services, DAP Health offers financial assistance.  

In 2019, 25% of all HIV-positive test results at DAP Health were Hispanic men. “Many folks were driving from the East Valley to Palm Springs to utilize DAP Health’s sexual wellness services. We noticed not only a high volume of patients but most of those patients were already having symptoms of an STI or testing positive for HIV,” says C.J. Tobe, the Director of Community Health and Sexual Wellness at DAP Health. Tobe believes free testing and treatment, with the convenience of not having to drive a great distance, will encourage more people to get tested.   

DAP Health is changing the system to meet the person. Since eliminating the cost barriers in its Orange Clinic that houses its sexual wellness services in July 2021, DAP Health has seen ongoing STI increases while HIV has remained the same, according to Tobe.   

DAP Health knew access to these services would be vital while social activities increased.    

In the first four months:    

  • The Orange Clinic saw over 2,000 patients.   
  • On average, DAP Health is seeing 170 more patients per month than when patients were being charged for services.    
  • The clinic started the same number of people on PrEP during the four months than they did in the prior 12 months.    
  • There were over 50 appointments for rapid start to ensure people newly diagnosed with HIV, or returning to care, have access to HIV medications within 7 days.    

“We are proactively protecting the community’s health,” Tobe said. “Eliminating the cost barrier has proven to increase access to folks in our community for PrEP and STI services.”   

“One of those barriers is cost. DAP Health learned many people testing positive for STIs and HIV had limited incomes. For them, the prior $25 fee for STI testing and PrEP was an impediment to care. DAP Health decided to remove that cost barrier to improve health equity.”  

In addition to the new Indio site, DAP Health now offers PrEP services virtually through MISTR, a discrete online service that provides access to PrEP, the once-daily pill regimen that prevents HIV. With its secure online platform, MISTR can determine if an individual is a candidate for PrEP and makes PrEP completely free. Moreover, MISTR manages all paperwork and back and forth with insurance companies and the various patient assistance programs, creating a seamless experience for the end-user.   

With the new clinic and the partnership with MISTR, DAP Health looks to make its services available to more people.  

DAP Health continues to make sexual wellness a priority by providing more people with more access to health services. It also continues to expand its ability to treat more people.   

"We welcome all people, period. And now we are eliminating more barriers to access sexual wellness services," Tobe said. “We are changing the system to meet the person. We continue to do this; First by eliminating the cost barrier and now opening a free sexual wellness clinic to people most impacted by HIV/STIs. That is health equity.”  

For more information, visit https://mistr.com/dap/ or https://mistr.com/dap-sistr/  

Outpatient Drug Free (ODF) treatment pro …

DAP Health’s Outpatient Drug Free (ODF) treatment program offers an alternative for individuals struggling with substance abuse.

The concept of going to stay at a rehab facility to treat a drug or alcohol addiction is something that we've all heard about. But another option is outpatient rehab where you visit a facility for recovery help, but don't stay overnight. Outpatient treatment is actually a very common option that allows individuals struggling with substance abuse to receive structured care while continuing to work and maintain their social connections.

At DAP Health, we aim to improve the quality of life for our patients by providing effective outpatient drug-free (ODF) substance use disorder treatment services integrated into our Behavioral Health Clinic. The goal is to help you reduce or eliminate alcohol and/or other drug use, address associated physical and/or mental health problems, and restore participants to maximum functional ability. "Our services are designed to treat the individual who meets the diagnostic criteria for Substance Use Disorder (SUD) and presents with the ability to participate in low intensity, outpatient treatment," says Dr. Jill Gover, DAP Health's Director of Behavioral Health.

The average participant in the ODF program, which last for 16 weeks, has 6.5 hours of treatment each week. That includes 1 hour of individual therapy; 1.5 hours, twice a week of ODF group therapy; 1.5 hours with a support group; and 1 hour at a 12-step meeting. The ODF program includes evidence-based curricula; the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) screening tools; measured progress of treatment outcomes; and referral resources.

All participants in the ODF program receive a client handbook with handouts that will help them get the most out of their treatment. Some handouts ask questions and have spaces for answers, while others ask you to read and think about a subject or an idea, and contain advice or reminders about recovery.

During each group treatment session, the counselor gives clients time to think about their responses and then the group discusses the handout. Everyone is encouraged to share their thoughts and ask questions. "The more participation you have in group therapy, the more benefit you will receive from it," says Dr. Gover. "Part of the work is reading, completing, and reflecting on the handouts."

To fully benefit from group therapy, Dr. Gover also advises that, among other things, participants attend every group session; listen carefully and respectfully to the facilitator and the other participants and be supportive; maintain confidentiality and don't share other clients’ personal information outside the group so that everyone feels comfortable sharing their thoughts and experiences; and complete the homework assignments.

But all of these specifics aside, remember that taking that first step and joining our ODF program is the most important one. As the introduction to our handbook says, "Congratulations! You have taken the first step towards your recovery. You should be very proud of your decision to enter treatment and your commitment to recovery."

To sign up for the ODF program, contact our Behavioral Health Patient Services Representative, at 760-323-2118, who will make an appointment for you with our intake coordinator. Once a comprehensive assessment intake has been completed, if appropriate, you will referred to the ODF group as part of their treatment plan.   

Anthony Velasco Elected Director-At-Larg …

Velasco Elected Director-at-Large for Association of Nurses in AIDS Care 

Anthony Velasco was reluctant to accept when the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (ANAC) approached him about joining its board of directors. Even though he is a founder and current president of the Palm Springs chapter, he wondered if he had impostor syndrome. His colleagues knew better, as they elected Anthony Director-At-Large with the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (ANAC).   

ANAC is made up of more than 40 chapters located around the world with over 2,200 members from 60 countries. Members include social workers, pharmacists, physician assistants, lawyers, and doctors from around the world committed to HIV/AIDS nursing.  

“ANAC is such a great venue to really connect with other people and see what they’re doing and compare what we’re doing,” Anthony says. “It’s so awesome to hear about the research being done on the national level and to see how it could potentially be applied at DAP Health.” 

Anthony, who chairs DAP Health’s Transgender Health Program, says the synergy helps both organizations.  

“I’ve told ANAC about the work we do at DAP Health and the great interdisciplinary culture we have here, including social work, community health, medical, and mental health,” he says.  

DAP Health provides holistic, compassionate, and comprehensive care.  

Anthony believes that DAP Health’s approach to care should be the model everywhere. This includes culturally competent care for transgender patients he serves, and more opportunities for nurses of color.  

While Filipinos make up about 20 percent of the nursing population in California, Anthony wants them to reach into leadership, research, and academia. (U.S. Census Bureau) 

He remembers noticing that there were never Filipino professors teaching his nursing classes as he completed his undergraduate and graduate school degrees in California. 

“Representation is one of the motivations I have,” Anthony says. “If a young Filipino nurse entering the field sees someone who looks like them in a leadership position, they will know that they can be in that position someday.”   

He provides compassionate care to people living with and without HIV. Caring about people who need special care does not stop there for Anthony.  

He provides comprehensive gender-affirming care and works to create more access to safe and gender-affirming spaces for all. At DAP Health and elsewhere, he has improved the health care experiences of many transgender patients in the Inland Empire.   

He belongs to the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH).  

Anthony is passionate about global health equity and has served on medical missions in Haiti and Honduras. Annually he gives his time and talent in the Philippines with Global Health Force, a non-profit organization providing access to free health care in underserved communities around the world.   

A Nurse Practitioner and credentialed HIV Specialist at DAP Health, Anthony has been working in HIV care since 2010. He is pursuing his doctorate in nursing at the University of Colorado. 

Celebrating the Legacy of Ryan White on …

KT File Photo

Ryan White on His 50th Birthday 

Ryan White is not alive to celebrate his 50th birthday, which is December 6. But thousands of people living with HIV crossed the half-century mark recently. They might not realize it, but most of them have been helped in some way by Ryan. It could be from the anti-stigma movement sparked by his short life and untimely passing in 1990. Or maybe it is just the luxury of complaining about middle age. Thanks to the HIV Continuum of Care, people with HIV can go from diagnosis to achieving and maintaining viral suppression quickly, regardless of their insurance or income.  

Serving more than half a million people today, the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program honors this teen’s courage and toughness in the face of life-shattering discrimination after his HIV diagnosis. Along with mom Jeanne White-Ginder and HIV activists from across the country, Ryan White achieved the unthinkable. He put a human face on HIV, and it changed the world, starting with the U.S.  

Ryan has missed a lot of milestones, in addition to his upcoming birthday. He missed his high school graduation, and he missed seeing the federal Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program named after him signed into law by Congress. He would marvel that people now can live long and fulfilling lives because of effective treatment and that more than half of people with HIV in the U.S. today are over fifty. 

“I’m acutely aware of how much better my life is today because of Ryan White,” says Sven, a DAP Health patient who just turned fifty and has lived with HIV since 2001. Getting care and services early in his diagnosis laid a foundation for his own thriving with HIV, he says.  

Accessing Health Through Ryan White Today 

People with HIV have more opportunities than ever to stay in control of their health, thanks to the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program and DAP Health. The uninsured are never turned away, and low-income or under-insured patients who qualify can access the program for high-quality, comprehensive care.  

It is easy for anyone to find out if they qualify for Ryan White programs for ongoing care and a variety of other needs with a short online form or by calling (760) 323-2118. To learn more, visit daphealth.org. 

DAP Health has been providing care and services to people living with HIV since 1984, the same year Ryan White was diagnosed with AIDS. At a time before HIV was even acknowledged as an epidemic, DAP Health medical staff, psychologists and social workers created their own road map for helping patients live with HIV, and they kept improving it.  

Living with HIV requires ongoing, complex, and intensive management, but many patients do not have the financial resources required for adequate care. DAP Health offers patients and clients access with the following, thanks to Ryan White Program grants:  

  • Early Intervention Services,  
  • Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), 
  • HIV and primary medical care, 
  • Medications, 
  • Help for youth transitioning into adult HIV care,  
  • Rapid Start Antiretroviral Therapy (ART),  
  • Outpatient medical care,  
  • Food vouchers,  
  • Career development assistance, 
  • Medical transportation,  
  • Psychosocial support groups,  
  • and temporary housing assistance. 

The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program is the third-largest source of federal funding for HIV-related care, after Medicare and Medicaid. About half of DAP Health clients living with HIV use the program as they stay engaged in medical care and services for viral suppression and a much better quality of life.  

“Everyone wants to protect the Ryan White Program because it works so well at helping people live with HIV,” says Carl Baker, DAP Health director of Legal and Legislative Affairs. “Its efficiency has always made it a financial and administrative success.” 

More than half of people with HIV in the U.S. received services through Ryan White programs in 2019, and more of them (88.1%) reached viral suppression compared to the national average (64.7%). (HRSA) 

High rates of viral suppression mean that more people with HIV are taking their medication as prescribed and reaching and maintaining an undetectable viral load. This means they have no risk of sexually transmitting the virus to an HIV-negative partner.  

Living With HIV Isn’t Always Easy 

Sven says he was trying to make sense of being a young gay man in Hollywood when he found out about his HIV. In 2001, his hard-partying ways had made adulting a real challenge and he needed special support.  

“I had this instinct to survive,” he says, “and I took advantage of the help that was offered to me through Ryan White funded programs.”  

These included housing, food, HIV specialty care, medical transportation, and help dealing with addiction. Today, Sven is married to the love of his life George and living a sober and full life. Those difficult days in Hollywood have been in his rearview mirror for years now, and he is grateful for that.  

“How do you look at HIV as a disease when it’s given you so much life?” says Sven. “I’ve had access to a lot of help, all because of HIV advocates who decided to honor Ryan White’s legacy.”  

Why Is the Ryan White Program Still Important? 

Not all states have expanded access for people living with HIV. Especially in states without Medicaid expansion, people living with HIV/AIDS frequently are poor with unstable living conditions, and they are likely to be uninsured or underinsured. It is also common for them to suffer from numerous comorbidities, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and hepatitis C. Treatment for these is also covered. Designed to fill gaps in the existing HIV care system, the Ryan White Program provides uninsured and underinsured people living with HIV/AIDS with access to HIV-related care and delivers high-quality, comprehensive care. 

Learn More About the Ryan White Program 

For more about the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program and his personal story, visit https://hab.hrsa.gov/about-ryan-white-hivaids-program/about-ryan-white-hivaids-program 

Palm Springs AIDS Memorial Sculpture Tas …

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact: Jeff Hocker
(760)409-1530
jeffhocker1@gmail.com

Palm Springs AIDS Memorial Sculpture Task Force Launches Capital Campaign During World AIDS Day

(Palm Springs, CA) November 30, 2021… The Palm Springs AIDS Memorial Sculpture Task Force is excited to announce that the AIDS Memorial Sculpture is one step closer to becoming a reality. The Palm Springs City Council recently unanimously approved the acceptance of the Sculpture to be placed in the new Downtown City Park. The Task Force has also partnered with DAP Health to provide a dedicated link to enable community members to help fund the Palm Springs AIDS Memorial Sculpture, visit https://www.daphealth.org/aids-memorial-fund/.

“December 1, World AIDS Day was chosen as the launch, as it signifies the remembrance of those we’ve lost to HIV/AIDS and gives renewed hope that one day, the virus will be eradicated. It is our responsibility to remember their lives and to continue to tell their stories, so that they are never forgotten,” said Mike Richey, Co-Chair National AIDS Memorial. “AIDS has affected every community across the world, and it is for this reason that AIDS Memorials should be established to honor & remember those lost.”  

The Task Force’s vision is to provide the AIDS Memorial Sculpture as a gift to the City of Palm Springs and people of the Valley. Internationally acclaimed artist based in the Coachella Valley, Phillip K. Smith, III, has been commissioned to design the memorial, which will provide an opportunity for reflection, remembrance and hope once its placed in the new City of Palm Springs Downtown Park.

“The AIDS Memorial Sculpture will be a touchstone for unity, hope, grief, and healing in the Coachella Valley.  As a monolithic, singular stone sculpture, the carved surfaces will dance with light, shadow, and reflection.  Through rotating grooves cut into the gloss surface as matte marks signifying unity through struggle or the soft curve of undulating forms evoking healing over grief, this is a memorial to be touched, to be felt. It is a timeless, enduring landmark delicately placed on the land. It is heavy, but light -- lifting hope, lifting struggle, and lifting up what is important,” described Phillip K. Smith, III.

The Palm Springs AIDS Memorial Task Force’s mission is to ensure the lives of those lost are never forgotten, and that their stories and lives are remembered into the future.  We also envision an opportunity to use this memorial as a means to educate the public about HIV prevention, diagnosis and treatment options available to everyone who seeks information and to help direct individuals to resources available to them throughout the city, and the country.

The goal of the Task Force is to raise the necessary funds to support the creation, installation and ongoing resources to maintain this sculpture for generations to come.  Given the impact that HIV/AIDS has had on our community, we believe there will be great support for securing the necessary funds to make this AIDS Memorial Sculpture a reality. 

Donations to the Palm Springs AIDS Memorial Fund can be done by visiting https://www.daphealth.org/aids-memorial-fund/. For more information contact:  Dan Spencer, Member Palm Springs AIDS Memorial Sculpture Task Force at dan@danspencerstudio.com.

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