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

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

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: The Development Department Inc.

Phone Number:  760-669-3366

PSAMS@devdeptinc.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. 

To help facilitate that fundraising goal, the Task Force has enlisted Paul Clowers and Ellen Wolf of The Development Department Inc. to lead the project. The Task Force has also partnered with DAP Health to act as the fiscal processing agent for donations which can be made by visiting daphealth.org/aids-memorial-fund. For addition information or donation assistance please contact The Development Department Inc. at PSAMS@DevDeptInc.com or call 760-669-3366.

DAP Health sees large uptick in HIV and …

DAP Health sees large uptick in HIV and STI testing since offering free service  

Eliminating cost barrier has drawn more people to get tested and care in past four months 

PALM SPRINGS, CA – Since eliminating the cost barriers in its Sexual Wellness Clinic/Orange Clinic, DAP Health has seen an ongoing STI increases while HIV has remained the same, according to CJ Tobe, the Director of Community Health and Sexual Wellness.  

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 amount 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.” 

Free services include STI 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 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. 

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 while explaining why DAP Health has decided to offer free sexual wellness services. 

“One of those barriers is cost. DAP Health learned many people testing positive for STIs and HIV had limited incomes,” Tobe says. “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.”

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.    

 

 

Revivals Back Alley Event 2021 Shines a …

Revivals Back Alley Event 2021 Shines a Light on Leather Community

This community is ready to start coming out again, and the numbers prove it.

The Revivals Back Alley After Dark event brought in $13,000.00 for patient services at DAP Health, more than double from last year’s, and $3,000 more than the team’s goal. In its first collaboration, co-sponsoring was Palm Springs Leather Order of the Desert (PSLOD), a significant fundraiser for HIV and health equity in the Coachella Valley. PSLOD will also host Palm Springs Leather Pride Weekend, from October 28-31.

Event organizers and partners say After Dark’s healthy turnout is a sign that people are feeling safer and eager to re-connect with others.

“These sales numbers are unheard of,” says Revivals volunteer Mark Musin.

Eager for the hunt, 278 shoppers didn’t mind queuing up at the Palm Springs Revivals for almost three hours before doors opened at 6 p.m. More than 700 shoppers had made purchases by closing time.

Very little was left after two hours and more than 1,000 clothing items, including leather jackets, chaps, vests, and hats were scooped up.

It was easy for shoppers to fill containers with leather and other treasures after finding them neatly displayed on racks by friendly volunteers who offered sizing and selection advice. This included an impressive amount of revamped and shiny leather shoes and boots.

Check-out lines never stopped moving, and volunteers engaged customers to collect hangers and help guide them as they finished.

Volunteers Make the Difference

After Dark brought together 30 volunteers from all four Revivals stores, ten more compared to last year.

“We all like working together so much,” says Mark. “It was a wonderful opportunity for volunteers to see each other and even for some to meet for the first time.”

When Mark saw volunteers from other Revivals locations working so naturally with the Palm Springs team to straighten and restock items, plus help customers, he knew it was all worth the effort.

“It’s about the community they love to serve, and it’s the camaraderie they share,” he says. “It had them all joining in, and they did a great job!”

Saving Best Inventory for Back Alley Event

Leather themed clothing and gear is always costly, and many find exploring the subculture intimidating.  But at Revivals, shoppers were able to pick up leather chaps for $20 used, instead of $400 new. Leather jackets were plentiful and started at $10 instead of $500 new.

Harnesses, suspenders, and belts sold out in the first ten minutes.

Special toys for grownups, gay literature and nude magazines, movies,  and framed art that need new homes wind up at Revivals year-round. Saving them for an appropriate and safe venue like After Dark means that these items can be re-used, and members of this community continue to enjoy great care from DAP Health. 

The idea for Back Alley After Dark was born over three years ago as Revivals Stores took a stand on recycling and decided that tossing donations that were considered too racy was not an option. And the more Revivals talked to the community it serves, the more it learned this gently used merchandise is in demand in a valley where economic disparities abound.

“We live in a desert mirage of two valleys,” says Steven Henke, director of brand marketing at DAP Health and in charge of marketing and communications for Revivals. “There are lucky folks with great jobs, who can afford to buy new leather gear and brand new anything they want, and there are other folks who need to find things on a budget.”

With Revivals After Dark, anyone who wants to be part of the leather community or even just buy the look can find truly affordable deals, he says.

“That is so on-brand for DAP Health, because we are all about inclusivity, collaboration, and bringing folks together in a positive way,” Steven says.

Health remains the driving motivation for this event, with proceeds funding comprehensive medical care at DAP Health, including through Desert AIDS Walk, and a donation to PSLOD.

“We are so grateful for this collaboration with Palm Springs Leather Order of the Desert,” says Steven. “We can’t wait to see what the future holds through partnering.”

More freedom this year to socialize

Thanks to vaccinations, masks, and a public eager to experience our Southern California fall, outdoor events like Desert AIDS Walk 2021 and Palm Springs Gay Pride 2021 will return to being “peopled” for the first time since the pandemic began.

And for largely indoor events like Palm Springs Leather Pride, safety protocols ensure everyone in attendance can enjoy and explore without forfeiting safety.

This is good news for a very in-person community beginning its social season. After more than 18 months of avoiding crowds, people want to see each other again.

“It’s becoming so nice to approach people whom I haven’t seen since the pandemic started, simply to say, ‘I’m happy you’re here still here’,” says Dan Smith, co-chair of Leather Pride Weekend.

Charitable PSLOD Helps Members Honor True Selves

Palm Springs Leather Order of the Desert has raised and donated over $250,000.000 for HIV services and health equity in the Coachella Valley in its almost 30-year history. The organization is honoring more diversity within the LGBTQ population here, and Dan Smith, co-chair of Leather Pride Weekend, is ready.

“We’re really looking forward to re-inventing the club, including making it a place for everyone,” Dan says.

More inclusion for PSLOD means welcoming more people of color, more women, and more transgender folks as new members. It also means challenging longstanding assumptions about what it means to be “leather”.

According to Dan, if it isn’t about pursuing your own authenticity, it’s time to challenge your perception.

“There’s this idea that a leather person has to be male, macho, hairy, have a beard, and be gruff—the whole hyper masculine image,” he says.

The truth is that there is room for everyone, no matter what they look like, he says.

“I just want people to be who they are, and we all struggle with that.”

PSLOD is experiencing a surge itself with 12 new members joining in the last two months and counting.

“I don’t want anyone prevented from exploring the leather community,” Dan says. One of his trusted methods for helping first timers feel OK exploring new things is simple; be friendly. 

“I would rather step up our hospitality, rather than have someone come to an event and experience no one talking to them,” Dan says. “People are starving for some type of connection.”

Find out more about Palm Spring Leather Order of the Desert (PSLOD) and Palm Springs Leather Pride Weekend [October 28-31, 2021] here.

About Revivals

The very first Revivals store was opened in 1995, in a back corner of the Desert AIDS Project office on Vella Road. Since those earliest days, the funds raised through selling donated goods at Revivals has gone back to support comprehensive care at DAP Health, while also providing a great volunteer opportunity for those who wanted to support the organization with their time and retail talents. Today, all of the stores are largely volunteer-run, enabling Revivals to make a significant financial contribution to the annual budget of DAP Health.

About DAP Health

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.  Click here to read more about our commitment to health equity.     

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

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

Visit www.daphealth.org to learn more.     

Coachella Valley Housing Coalition Secur …

Coachella Valley Housing Coalition Secures Funding for Special Needs Housing Development on DAP Health Campus

October  6, 2021 (Indio, CA) – The Coachella Valley Housing Coalition (CVHC) in partnership with  DAP Health, announced today the successful award of $10,809,380 in federal tax credits and $8,107,033 in State tax credits from the California Debit Limit Allocation Committee and the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee. The successful award of financing is needed to begin construction of the 61-unit special needs affordable housing development known as Vista Sunrise II.  The Vista Sunrise II development will be constructed on the DAP Health campus at Sunrise and Vista Chino in Palm Springs.  This new development consists of studios and one-bedroom units for individuals and families who experience chronical illnesses, physical or mental disabilities, or those who are homeless.

The award comes just weeks after the announcement by the Riverside University Health System-Behavioral Health (RUHS-BH) that the development would be awarded $6,769,577 in No Place Like Home Funds (NPLH). One million dollars of this award was allocated directly through the NPLH Riverside County allocation for RUHS-BH, the remaining funds were awarded through a competitive state application where the project was one of the highest scoring applications in this funding round. In late June, the Federal Home Loan Bank announced that the project was awarded $900,000 in Affordable Housing Program funds. Earlier this year the City of Palm Springs committed $3,600,000 in Housing Homeless Assistance and Prevention (HHAP) funds along with a 100% reduction in development impact fees. 

Vista Sunrise II was also awarded 35 project-based section 8 vouchers from the Housing Authority of the County of Riverside; the award of these vouchers will allow individuals who might otherwise not have any resources to pay rent, even at rates which are lower than fair market rents, to obtain an apartment. The Vista Sunrise II development will cost just over $30M to construct and would not be possible without the collaboration of numerous funding sources and the partnerships of CVHC and DAP.

The City of Palm Springs is making major efforts to address the housing crisis as well as the mental and physical health disparities that are often linked to inadequate housing. Partnerships with the CVHC (the largest provider of affordable housing in the Inland Empire) and DAP Health (a premier Federal Qualified Health Center serving over 10,000 patients annually) are perfect as it relates to reducing homelessness and increasing decent and safe housing. Residents of the development will live only steps away from many of the critical services they need on the campus of DAP Health. In conjunction with RUHS-BH, DAP will provide wrap-around supportive services for residents and their families.

This project benefits the community in multiple ways beyond providing affordable housing. It also:

  • Brings jobs to the community: the project provides prevailing wage construction jobs to locals
  • Energy Efficient: This community also meets energy standards through the Energy Star Program, Build It® Green—Green Point Rated Program and Green Property Management. It will also offer the same energy-efficient standards through its refrigerators, dishwashers, stoves/ovens, and other appliances.
  • Outdoor recreation: A dog park and green space which will offer seating for Vista Sunrise II residents, Vista Sunrise I residents, and DAP Health staff and visitors will be constructed as part of the development.
  • Computer Center: All residents will have access to the computer center located in the community room.
  • Demonstration Kitchen: Residents will learn to prepare healthy meals through free classes and workshops offered at the demonstration kitchen located within the community room.

 “For our community to achieve health equity, affordable housing must be a part of the healthcare continuum.  Partnering with CVHC allows us to strengthen the housing stability safety net for residents in Palm Springs.  We are fortunate to have a strong and like-minded partner in CVHC,” says David Brinkman, CEO of DAP Health.  

“It takes a village to be able to build high quality affordable housing development for a well-deserved special needs population.  CVHC is extremely grateful to all the funding agencies that are financially supporting this much needed development in the city of Palm Springs.  Thank you to DAP Health for choosing to partner with CVHC to develop this much needed affordable housing project and to provide supportive services to the residents. We look forward to begin construction of this development in the coming months” says Pedro S. G. Rodriguez, Interim Executive Director of CVHC.

####

Coachella Valley Housing Coalition (CVHC) is a nonprofit community development corporation serving farmworkers, veterans, families, seniors, and other low-income residents.  Founded in 1982, CVHC's mission is to improve low-income individuals and families' living conditions by constructing and operating affordable housing infused with community services programs and other opportunities that enrich, build, and grow their lives. 

For more than 39 years, CVHC has been providing affordable housing and community development programs to hundreds of individuals and families.  To date, CVHC has developed close to 5,000 homes and apartments throughout Riverside and Imperial counties. In addition, CVHC provides its residents access to a variety of programs, including early childhood education centers, after-school and recreational programming, medical clinics, cultural music, art and dance classes, computer technology instruction, STEM-blended Lego Robotics, an Alternative High School and GED Diploma program, Financial Literacy, English as a Second Language courses, homeownership counseling and other opportunities that improve their lives and livelihoods.  For more information, please visit www.cvhc.org.

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.     

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

DAP’s sexual health clinic offers STI testing and treatment, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), and HIV and HCV testing.

DAP has earned Charity Navigator’s highest rating for the twelfth consecutive year – landing DAP in the top 6% of nonprofits rated. The distinction recognizes that DAP exceeds industry standards in terms of financial health, accountability, and transparency.  

X