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

Celebrating the Life of Marvin Sholl

Celebrating the Life of Marvin Sholl

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

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

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

   

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

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

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

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

 

8 reasons why it’s time to get the COV …

8 reasons why it’s time to get the COVID-19 vaccine 

Have you gotten the jab? 

More than half of Californians have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the California Department of Public Health. 

Many of those who haven’t been vaccinated have reservations about getting the COVID-19 vaccine, which is understandable. The good news, however, is these vaccines have been thoroughly tested, and they’ve proven to be safe and effective 

The CDC recommends that people should get a vaccine as soon as possible. Unlike a few months ago, the state now has millions of doses available and has opened eligibility to those aged 12 and above. 

DAP Health offers two different COVID-19 vaccines (Moderna and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen). All eligible community members are now able to get one of these vaccines at our health clinic. 

Here are eight reasons why now is the best time to get vaccinated. 

  • Community matters. Be part of the solution. 
  • All COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the United States have been shown to be safe and effective at preventing COVID-19. 
  • Based on what we know about vaccines for other diseases and early data from clinical trials, experts believe that getting a COVID-19 vaccine helps keep you from getting seriously ill if you get COVID-19. 
  • Getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. 
  • After you are fully vaccinated for COVID-19, you may be able to start doing some things that you stopped doing because of the pandemic. For example, you can gather indoors without masks with other people who are fully vaccinated. 
  • None of the COVID-19 vaccines contain the live virus that causes COVID-19, so a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19. Learn more facts about COVID-19 vaccines. 
  • Getting COVID-19 may offer some protection, known as natural immunity. Current evidence suggests that reinfection with the virus that causes COVID-19 is uncommon in the months after initial infection but may increase with time. The risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 far outweighs any benefits of natural immunity. COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you by creating an antibody (immune system) response without having to experience sickness. 
  • Hugs feel good. Everyone loves a hug from someone they love, especially if they’re vaccinated.  

If you or someone you know needs to be vaccinated, please make an appointment today at DAPHealth.org/vaccine-request. 

 

DAP Health Unveils New Les Dames du Sole …

DAP Health Unveils New Les Dames du Soleil Wellness Space

By Jack Bunting

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Before there was crowdfunding, there was Les Dames du Soleil

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Affordable Giving Can Move Mountains

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fans Supported the Cause Tirelessly

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

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

“Everyone was welcome,” says Marshall.

Giving Back Worked Both Ways

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

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

“Now this, I can do!”

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

Talented Design Team Infused Heart

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Foley and Stinnette

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

The Trevor Wayne Pop Art Store and Galle …

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

by Robert Hopwood

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Health Equity Drives the 2021 Steve Chas …

Health Equity Drives the 2021 Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards  

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

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

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

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

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

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

Themes in 2021 Serve the Greater Good 

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

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

Health Equity Means Access  

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

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

Increasing Access Takes a Commitment to Cultural Humility  

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

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

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

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

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

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

COVID Response 

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

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

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

Behavioral Health Expansion 

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

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

Thriving with HIV and Ending the Epidemic 

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

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

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

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

Find Out Why Hope Begins with Health 

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

About DAP Health  

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

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

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

Visit www.daphealth.org to learn more.      

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Including Sex Workers for Health Equity

Including Sex Workers for Health Equity 

Stigma and criminalization have always created barriers for sex workers seeking safety, healthcare, and services, and DAP Health is increasing outreach to this community for care and a variety of ongoing services. The Community Health department has started recruiting for community health educators with sex worker experience, a move to continue building cultural competence in a community growing more desperate for relief as the pandemic continues 

With social distancing causing in-person business to drop off, and criminalization of their work making collecting unemployment impossible, sex workers are facing increased health equity challenges that threaten them and their partners. 

“We understand and care about people who survive through sex work,” says C.J. Tobe, Community Health director. “Stigma surrounding sex is very much alive and this pandemic has exacerbated the spotlight on it.” 

STI rates remain the highest they have been for California in three decades, and many in the Coachella Valley continue facing new barriers to care and treatment as COVID continues.  

Current and former sex workers experience more violence, legal involvements, and social stigmatization than most people, making it harder to obtain healthcare. Other serious barriers are closely linked to poverty, substance use, disability, immigration, sexism, racism, transphobia, and homophobia. Experts say due to this, opportunities to access mental health resources are considered extra beneficial for sex workers, although they are usually unavailable. 

So Much More Than Medical Care 

Throughout 2021,  the DAP Health Behavioral Health department is doubling its capacity to see patients for therapy by California licensed psychotherapists, as well as a variety of peer groups. The team is skilled at addressing many of the challenges affecting sex workers, and services are available in-person as well as via Virtual Visit.  

DAP Health’s holistic model aims to address social determinants that lead to negative health outcomes, especially those related to the pandemic — this includes food and housing insecurity, joblessness, isolation and access to health care.   

Read more about DAP Health, plus its expanding role in public health and health equity here.   

To become a patient, click here.  

About DAP Health  

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

DAP opened one of California’s first COVID clinic 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.       

Allied  for We Will Lift: Regional Ple …

Allied for We Will Lift: Regional Pledge for Housing and Opportunity 

Not everyone is accessing affordable housing and economic opportunities, and COVID is making the disparity even worse. That is why we have answered the call from our friends at Lift to Rise, pledging to continue this work in the Coachella Valley. The We Will Lift: Regional Pledge for Housing and Opportunity represents our shared vision and commitment to radically change the trajectory for our community by acting now.  

The pledge is a regional agreement to a shared vision around housing affordability and economic opportunity – and Lift to Rise is the facilitator of this collaboration. 

We Will Lift: 
The We Will Lift: Regional Pledge for Housing and Opportunity represents our shared vision and commitment to radically change the trajectory of opportunity and affordability in the Coachella Valley. Signing the We Will Lift pledge represents a commitment to support a shared, concrete and forward-thinking plan that will: 

  • Advance a community-valued pipeline of projects 
  • Work with city, county, and state governments to implement affordable housing-friendly policies 
  • Drive a regional investment vehicle 
  • Build pathways to economic mobility and security for residents 

About Lift to Rise 

Lift to Rise is a cross-sector, community-driven movement to improve life in Southern California’s Coachella Valley for the majority of residents who do not experience the opulence and luxury for which the area is known. With input from more than 50 collaborative partners and countless community members Lift to Rise created a 2020-2022 Action Plan—a roadmap to radically increase housing stability and advance economic opportunity for all Coachella Valley residents. We envision a future where all Coachella Valley families are healthy, stable, and thriving. 

About DAP Health 

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

DAP opened one of California’s first COVID clinic 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.      

Honoring Black History with Health Acces …

Honoring Black History with Health Access 

 

As we pay tribute to generations of Black Americans who struggled for a place at the table in American society, we must call attention to serious health inequities threatening them today around COVID.  

According to the CDC, only five percent of all COVID vaccines so far have gone to Black Americans, who continue to suffer from unacceptable gaps in healthcare access in the U.S.  

DAP Health’s vaccine framework is rooted in health equity, ensuring communities and populations disproportionately affected by COVID-19 have priority access to the vaccine. Outreach to our patients age 65 and over has already begun.  

In 2021, we are increasing opportunities for health in Black neighborhoods with enhanced mobile services that offer linkage to ongoing medical care, vital during this pandemic.  

“COVID has pushed us to do even more to reach people living in minority neighborhoods,” said David Brinkman, CEO.  “so that African Americans know DAP is a committed BLM partner and here to help.” 

We welcomed a specialized nurse to assist the mobile team, and we added Virtual Visit technology to our Mobile Testing Van so DAP Health doctors can beam in during visits when helpful.  

Accessing care and services will be easier in 2021 because we are offering case management (traditionally reserved for our HIV-positive clients) to a broader segment of the community who may be needing help getting into care. 

We are also providing smartphones and WiFi access to clients unable to afford them so that telehealth visits can continue and grow. 

“Increasing health services via our mobile unit for patients in Black neighborhoods will help anyone who may be fearing racism or stigma from traditional healthcare,” said C.J. Tobe, Community Health director. “Our clinics are welcoming, but DAP Health is also willing to meet people where they are at, especially during this pandemic.” 

DAP Health’s holistic model aims to address social determinants that lead to negative health outcomes, especially those related to the pandemic — this includes food and housing insecurity, joblessness, isolation and access to health care.  

Read more about DAP Health, plus its expanding role in public health and health equity here.  

To become a patient, click here. 

About DAP Health  

DAP Health (DAP) is an advocacy-based health center in Palm Springs, CA serving over 8,000 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 clinic 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.      

Building Hope on Solid Ground

Building Hope on Solid Ground  

New housing on DAP campus gets city approval, Dr. Kekar says trust vaccines, and Dr. G offers practical wisdom on getting through the holidays this year. 

City Council Approval Feels Like Home 

Even though COVID shook us in 2020, we did not give up on our promise to build additional safe and affordable housing as we expand our campus. We are thankful to the Palm Springs City Council for its unanimous approval last week for us to add 61 affordable housing units and 18,500 square feet of healthcare space at our campus.  

We are proud to call the Coachella Valley Housing Coalition our partner in developing these beautiful new living spaces, with 29 units reserved for residents coming out of homelessness. 

We couldn’t agree more with Palm Springs City Councilwoman Lisa Middleton when she said the expansion is “a stunningly beautiful project, and anyone would be proud to be able to call it home.” You can read more in The Desert Sun’s coverage here. 

Dr. Kerkar Urges: Trust COVID Vaccines 

Now that vaccines to fight COVID are becoming available, convincing everybody that they are safe and effective is crucial if we are going to eradicate this infection. DAP Director of Infectious Diseases Dr. Shubha Kerkar shared about why she trusts them, looking at other vaccines in recent memory that helped eradicate polio and smallpox. You can read more here. 

Get Through Holiday Blues with Dr. Gover 

The holidays can be a difficult time, and this year COVID is compounding feelings of stress, anxiety, and sadness for many in our community. Paying extra attention to our emotional health is important this holiday season, and it just got easier with practical strategies from Dr. Jill Gover, DAP’s behavioral health manager.  

Dr. Gover says that having a plan for how you will spend them is important, even if you are isolating at home to keep safe. You can read more here

Coping with the Holiday Blues in 2020

Coping with the Holiday Blues in 2020  

Palm Springs, CA (December 17, 2020) — The holidays can be a difficult time, and this year COVID is compounding feelings of stress, anxiety, and sadness for many in our community. Paying extra attention to our emotional health is important this holiday season, says Dr. Jill Gover, DAP’s behavioral health manager.  

“For many LGBTQ+ folks, the holiday season is a trying time, especially if you are estranged from your biological family,” says Dr. Gover.  “Many of us have opted for chosen family, and this year we cannot be with our chosen families, either.” 

Having a plan for how you will spend the holidays is important, even if you are isolating at home to keep safe. 

Get started by acknowledging your feelings. 

Feelings of discontent are normal but dwelling in denial is dangerous.  

It’s normal to feel sad if you cannot be with loved ones this year. It’s also normal to swing from feeling happy and excited about the holiday season, to feeling sad and disappointed.  

This year the holidays will definitely feel bittersweet,” says Dr. Gover, who wants to remind everyone: 

It’s important to express your sad feelings.  

If you don’t, says Gover, they can bottle up inside you. If you try to be stoic about it and you keep saying “it’s fine, it’s fine,” the difficult feelings will seep out in other ways that may be harmful to you.  

Don’t pretend to be happy just because it’s the holiday season.  

“It’s OK to acknowledge there’s some sadness here as well.” Celebrating the holidays will look different this year, and due to social isolation, stress and uncertainty around the pandemic, it’s a difficult time. 

This holiday season, things will be different, “and that’s OK,” says Dr. Gover. Her advice is: “Be realistic and let go of previous expectations.” 

Things to keep in mind: 

  • The holidays don’t have to be perfect 
  • It’s OK to change your annual ritual to reduce stress 
  • Recognize that the new normal is not the same as the old normal 

Strategies to work through the holiday season that anyone can use are: 

Set Aside Differences 

Accept family and friends as they are. Recognize that others are experiencing holiday stress and depression, too.  

Stick to a budget  

You don’t have to overspend to compensate for not being with the ones you love, especially if it will create a financial crisis later for you.  

Try these alternatives: 

  • Donate to charity– nonprofits need our help right now 
  • Give homemade gifts 
  • Instead of individual gifts for each family member, consider just one gift for the entire family to use together. This will reduce stress. 

Plan Your Holidays 

Decide how you want to spend your holidays“Think about how you want to spend the holidays now, so they don’t sneak up on you,” says Dr. Gover. “You don’t want to wake up on the special day and feel bereft.”  

If alone, plan to do something specialThis could include setting up a structured time for a Zoom visit with loved ones, taking a hike, watching the sunrise, or making a special meal 

Learn to Say No 

“It’s so important to set limits.” If you feel vulnerable or overwhelmed, it’s OK t to say “no” to an event. 

Set boundaries 

Stay away from people, places and things that are not emotionally or physically safe 

Keep healthy habits  

Don’t forfeit what you’ve been doing during this pandemic to keep yourself healthy.  

  • Get plenty of sleep 
  • Maintain a regular exercise routine  

Don’t Forget Seasonal Affective Disorder  

We are in the darker part of the year, with the days ending earlier. Less sunlight can cause Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)—health experts warn us that these symptoms are worsening due to the required isolating we all have to practice. Read more about SAD here 

Take a breather—create enough time for selfcare.  

Give yourself downtime 

  • Take a walk 
  • Listen to soothing music 
  • Do a guided imagery relaxation 
  • Read a “fun” book 
  • Take a bath 
  • Play with your pet 
  • Meditate or do yoga 

About Therapy at DAP 

Desert AIDS Project is proud to offer in-person psychological services, as well as Virtual Visits and phone visits via your laptop, tablet, or smartphone.  If you or someone you know would like to find out more about therapy at DAP, please call (760) 992-0450 or log on to daphealth.org. 

About Dr. Jill Gover 

Dr. Jill Gover leads a team of compassionate and competent California licensed clinical psychologists who are ready to help our community. 

Dr. Gover is passionate about social and environmental justice advocacy and LGBT political activism and she has volunteered with various political causes and campaigns such as the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Human Rights Campaign, and Equality California. Learn more about Dr. Gover here. 

About DAP Health Center    

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

DAP’s sexual health clinic offers STI testing and treatment, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), and HIV and HCV testing. DAP’s Get Tested Coachella Valley campaign, the nation’s first region-wide free HIV testing and access to care initiative, was recognized by the White House for helping to bring about an AIDS-free future. DAP has earned a “Four Star” rating from Charity Navigator for the twelfth consecutive year – landing DAP in the top 6% of nonprofits rated. The distinction recognizes that we exceed industry standards in terms of our financial health, accountability, and transparency.    

Visitwww.desertaidsproject.orgto learn more.    

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