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How Do I Sign Up For My Chart?

How Do I Sign Up For MyChart?

To sign up for a DAP Health MyChart account, just follow the simple steps below.

Versión en español a continuación

 

Visit the MyChart Website

Go to DAP Health’s MyChart sign-up page and follow the directions. You will be asked to enter at least your name, date of birth, legal sex, and email address.

 

Create Your Username and Password

Follow the instructions to create a MyChart username and password. Ensure your password is secure and meets the required criteria.

 

Verify Your Identity

You may be asked to verify your identity by answering security questions or receiving a verification code via email or SMS.

 

Set Up Security Questions

Choose and answer security questions to help protect your account.

 

Review and Accept Terms and Conditions

Read the MyChart terms and conditions, and accept them to complete the sign-up process.

 

Access Your MyChart Account

Once your account is created, you can log in using your username and password.

 

If you encounter any issues during the sign-up process, contact your DAP Health clinic by phone or in person at your next appointment.

 

To learn more about MyChart, please click on this link.

 

¿Cómo Me Registro en MyChart?

 

Para registrarse y obtener una cuenta DAP Health MyChart, simplemente siga los sencillos pasos a continuación.

 

Visite el Sitio Web MyChart

Vaya a la página de registro MyChart de DAP Health y siga las instrucciones. Se le pedirá que ingrese al menos su nombre, fecha de nacimiento, sexo legal y dirección de correo electrónico.

 

Crea tu Nombre de Usuario y Contraseña

Siga las instrucciones para crear un nombre de usuario y contraseña de MyChart. Asegúrese de que su contraseña sea segura y cumpla con los criterios requeridos.

 

Verifica tu Identidad

Es posible que se le solicite que verifique su identidad respondiendo preguntas de seguridad o recibiendo un código de verificación por correo electrónico o SMS.

 

Configurar Preguntas de Seguridad

Elija y responda preguntas de seguridad para ayudar a proteger su cuenta.

 

Revisar y Aceptar Términos y Condiciones

Lea los términos y condiciones de MyChart y acéptelos para completar el proceso de registro.

 

Acceda a su Cuenta MyChart

Una vez creada su cuenta, puede iniciar sesión con su nombre de usuario y contraseña.

 

Si tiene algún problema durante el proceso de registro, comuníquese con su clínica de DAP Health por teléfono o en persona en su próxima cita.

 

Para obtener más información sobre MyChart, haga clic en este enlace.

 

DAP Health Standardizes Electronic Healt …

DAP Health Standardizes Electronic Health Records Across its Entire Network

The upgrade to OCHIN Epic, Dax Copilot, and MyChart will greatly improve user experience for both patients and providers.

Versión en español a continuación

In the fast-evolving landscape of health care, embracing advanced technology is crucial for enhancing patient care and streamlining operations. DAP Health is proud to announce the organization-wide adoption of OCHIN Epic, a state-of-the-art electronic health record (EHR) system. Designed to improve health care delivery for both providers and patients, this comprehensive platform, along with its innovative components Dax Copilot and MyChart, promise to revolutionize the way we manage health information and interact with our patients.

Advantages for Providers

Seamless Integration and Efficiency

OCHIN Epic offers a robust and integrated solution that brings together various aspects of patient care into a single, user-friendly interface. Providers can access complete patient histories, lab results, and medication records in real time, reducing the need for multiple systems and paperwork. This integration ensures that health care professionals have all the information they need at their fingertips, enabling more accurate diagnoses and personalized treatment plans.

Enhanced Collaboration and Communication

One of the standout features of OCHIN Epic is its ability to facilitate better communication and collaboration among health care teams. With shared access to patient records, doctors, nurses, and specialists can collaborate more effectively, ensuring that every team member is on the same page regarding a patient’s care plan, whether those team members are at DAP Health or at other health organizations. This coordinated approach reduces the risk of errors, enhancing the overall quality of care.

Dax Copilot: Revolutionizing Documentation

The Dax Copilot component is a gamechanger for health care providers. This AI-powered assistant helps with clinical documentation (AKA charting), allowing providers to focus more on patient care and less on administrative tasks. By transcribing and organizing clinical notes in real time, Dax Copilot reduces the burden of documentation, improves accuracy, and frees up valuable time for providers to engage more meaningfully with patients.

Benefits for Patients

Empowerment Through MyChart

For patients, MyChart is a key feature of the OCHIN Epic system that offers a multitude of benefits. MyChart is an online portal that provides patients with secure access to their health records from a computer, tablet, or smartphone, enabling them to take a more active role in managing their health. While one does not have to have a MyChart account to remain or become a DAP Health patient, there are many advantages. Below are some of the ways MyChart empowers patients.

Access to Health Information

Patients can easily view their medical history, immunization records, and test results (past and current) through MyChart. This transparency helps patients stay informed about their health status and understand their treatment plans better.

Appointment Management

Scheduling, rescheduling, or canceling appointments has never been easier. MyChart allows patients to manage their appointments online, providing convenience and reducing the need for phone calls or in-person visits.

Medication and Prescription Management

Patients can request prescription refills and review their medication lists through MyChart. This feature helps ensure that patients adhere to their prescribed treatments and reduces the risk of medication errors.

Communication with Providers

MyChart facilitates direct communication between patients and their health care providers. Patients can send messages, ask questions, and receive responses from their care team, enhancing their engagement and satisfaction with the care they receive.

Telehealth Integration

In an era where telehealth is becoming increasingly important, MyChart offers seamless integration for virtual visits. Patients can attend telehealth appointments, receive follow-up care, and consult with specialists from the comfort of their homes, ensuring continuity of care even during challenging times.

“Adopting OCHIN Epic, along with its powerful components Dax Copilot and MyChart, represents a significant step forward in our commitment to not only providing high-quality, patient-centered care, but to enriching the relationship between patients and their provider, and provider workplace experience as well,” says DAP Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Joseph Aquilina. “This advanced EHR system not only enhances efficiency and collaboration among providers, but empowers patients to take control of their health. By leveraging this technology, we aim to create a more connected, informed, and engaged community. Together, we can achieve better health outcomes and a brighter future for all.”

Please note that MyChart is not intended for urgent or life-threatening situations. In such cases, patients are urged to visit urgent care or the ER, or to call 9-1-1.

To learn more about MyChart, please click on this link.

DAP Health Estandariza los Registros Médicos Electrónicos en Toda su Red

La actualización integral a OCHIN Epic, Dax Copilot y MyChart mejorará enormemente la experiencia del usuario tanto para los pacientes como para los proveedores.

En el panorama de la atención médica en rápida evolución, adoptar tecnología avanzada es crucial para mejorar la atención al paciente y agilizar las operaciones. DAP Health se enorgullece de anunciar la adopción en toda la organización de OCHIN Epic, un sistema de registros médicos electrónicos (EHR) de última generación.

Diseñada para mejorar la prestación de atención médica tanto para proveedores como para pacientes, esta plataforma integral, junto con sus componentes innovadores Dax Copilot y MyChart, prometen revolucionar la forma en que administramos la información de salud e interactuamos con nuestros pacientes.

Ventajas Para los Proveedores

Integración Perfecta y Eficiencia

OCHIN Epic ofrece una solución sólida e integrada que reúne varios aspectos de la atención al paciente en una interfaz única y fácil de usar. Los proveedores pueden acceder a historiales completos de pacientes, resultados de laboratorio y registros de medicamentos en tiempo real, lo que reduce la necesidad de múltiples sistemas y papeleo. Esta integración garantiza que los profesionales de la salud tengan toda la información que necesitan al alcance de la mano, lo que permite diagnósticos más precisos y planes de tratamiento personalizados.

Colaboración y Comunicación Mejoradas

Una de las características destacadas de OCHIN Epic es su capacidad para facilitar una mejor comunicación y colaboración entre los equipos de atención médica. Con el acceso compartido a los registros de los pacientes, los médicos, enfermeras y especialistas pueden colaborar de manera más efectiva, asegurando que todos los miembros del equipo estén en sintonía con respecto al plan de atención de un paciente, ya sea que esos miembros del equipo estén en DAP Health o en otras organizaciones de salud. Este enfoque coordinado reduce el riesgo de errores y mejora la calidad general de la atención.

Dax Copilot: Revolucionando la Documentación

El componente Dax Copilot cambia las reglas del juego para los proveedores de atención médica. Este asistente impulsado por IA ayuda con la documentación clínica (también conocido como gráficos), lo que permite a los proveedores centrarse más en la atención al paciente y menos en las tareas administrativas. Al transcribir y organizar notas clínicas en tiempo real, Dax Copilot reduce la carga de documentación, mejora la precisión y libera tiempo valioso para que los proveedores interactúen de manera más significativa con los pacientes.

Beneficios Para los Pacientes

Empoderamiento a Través de MyChart

Para los pacientes, MyChart es una característica clave del sistema OCHIN Epic que ofrece una multitud de beneficios. MyChart es un portal en línea que brinda a los pacientes acceso seguro a sus registros médicos desde una computadora, tableta o teléfono inteligente, lo que les permite desempeñar un papel más activo en la gestión de su salud. No es necesario tener una cuenta MyChart para permanecer o convertirse en paciente de DAP Health, existen muchas ventajas. A continuación se detallan algunas de las formas en que MyChart empodera a los pacientes.

Acceso a la Información de Salud

Los pacientes pueden ver fácilmente su historial médico, registros de vacunación y resultados de pruebas (pasados ​​y actuales) a través de MyChart. Esta transparencia ayuda a los pacientes a mantenerse informados sobre su estado de salud y comprender mejor sus planes de tratamiento.

Gestión de Citas

Programar, reprogramar o cancelar citas nunca ha sido tan fácil. MyChart permite a los pacientes administrar sus citas en línea, brindando comodidad y reduciendo la necesidad de llamadas telefónicas o visitas en persona.

Gestión de Medicamentos y Recetas

Los pacientes pueden solicitar resurtidos de recetas y revisar sus listas de medicamentos a través de MyChart. Esta característica ayuda a garantizar que los pacientes cumplan con los tratamientos prescritos y reduce el riesgo de errores de medicación.

Comunicación con Proveedores

MyChart facilita la comunicación directa entre los pacientes y sus proveedores de atención médica. Los pacientes pueden enviar mensajes, hacer preguntas y recibir respuestas de su equipo de atención, lo que mejora su compromiso y satisfacción con la atención que reciben.

Integración de Telesalud

En una era en la que la telesalud se está volviendo cada vez más importante, MyChart ofrece una integración perfecta para las visitas virtuales. Los pacientes pueden asistir a citas de telesalud, recibir atención de seguimiento y consultar con especialistas desde la comodidad de sus hogares, lo que garantiza la continuidad de la atención incluso en tiempos difíciles.

“La adopción de OCHIN Epic, junto con sus potentes componentes Dax Copilot y MyChart, representa un importante paso adelante en nuestro compromiso no solo de brindar atención de alta calidad centrada en el paciente, sino también de profundizar la relación entre los pacientes y su proveedor, y la experiencia en el lugar de trabajo del proveedor. también”, dice el Dr. Joseph Aquilina, director médico de DAP Health. “Este avanzado sistema EHR no sólo mejora la eficiencia y la colaboración entre los proveedores, sino que también permite a los pacientes tomar el control de su salud. Al aprovechar esta tecnología, nuestro objetivo es crear una comunidad más conectada, informada y comprometida. Juntos podemos lograr mejores resultados de salud y un futuro más brillante para todos.”

Tenga en cuenta que MyChart no está destinado a situaciones urgentes o que pongan en peligro la vida. En tales casos, se insta a los pacientes a visitar la atención de urgencia o a la sala de emergencias, o llamar al 9-1-1.

Para comenzar a usar MyChart, haga clic en este enlace para ver un video instructivo.

Dr. Joseph Cerjan Named Permanent Princi …

Dr. Joseph Cerjan Named Permanent Principal Provider at DAP Health's Borrego Medical Clinic  

The bilingual physician, eager to serve patients in Borrego Springs and the surrounding areas, fills a long-vacant role, bringing a sense of permanence and stability.

Words by Daniel Vaillancourt

 

Dr. Joseph Cerjan — a physician with more than 30 years of experience in a variety of settings, who is fluent in both English and Spanish — has been hired to fulfill the long-vacant role of permanent principal medical provider at DAP Health’s Borrego Medical Clinic.

In that capacity, he will oversee disciplines such as family medicine, pediatrics, women’s health (including OB-GYN), behavioral health, and sexual wellness at the center, located at 4343 Yaqui Pass Road in Borrego Springs, California.

“The people in and around Borrego Springs have long needed and deserved a permanent medical provider whom they can grow to trust, admire, and appreciate,” says DAP Health CEO David Brinkman. “Thanks to his deep well of professional expertise and his wide array of real-life experiences, I believe Dr. Cerjan is the perfect physician to help eradicate barriers to care while broadening programs and services. All of us at DAP Health — and every member of the communities we serve in Borrego Springs — are fortunate to have found him.”

It is with great enthusiasm that Dr. Cerjan looks forward to serving at Borrego Medical Clinic. “I don’t really see myself as a seed that’s being planted,” he says. “I’m a tree that’s being grafted. It has to be pruned, branch out, and hopefully produce the fruit — the benefits to everyone — that we’re hoping for. We’re establishing continuity of care for the area’s patients. Expanding some services. It’s going to be a fun challenge. Personally, this might be the seventh or eighth inning for me, but it might be the best part of my game.”

 

About Dr. Joseph Cerjan

Dr. Joseph Cerjan (sir-JAHN) is a seasoned physician with a distinguished career spanning more than three decades. Born in Youngstown, Ohio, he has dedicated his life to providing exemplary medical care and service to communities across the United States and beyond.

He began his academic journey at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, where he pursued a B.A. in biochemistry. During his undergraduate years, he received prestigious honors, including membership in Bucket and Dipper, the freshmen men’s honorary, and Romophos, the sophomore men’s honorary.

Eager to expand his horizons, Dr. Cerjan pursued his medical education at the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara in Guadalajara, Mexico, graduating with distinction in 1981. Following medical school, he completed several postgraduate years, including internship, social service, and externship, further honing his skills and knowledge.

Dr. Cerjan continued his training with a residency at University Hospital, University of Cincinnati, where he served as chief resident in his final year. Board-certified by the American Academy of Family Physicians since 1989, the good doctor has maintained an active and unwavering commitment to excellence in patient care.

Throughout his illustrious career, Dr. Cerjan has held various positions in prestigious medical institutions, including the Share Reese Stealy Medical Group in San Diego, and the Yuma Regional Medical Center in Yuma, Arizona, where he served in the department of emergency medicine for an impressive 26 years.

In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Cerjan has demonstrated a passion for serving underserved populations, including periods as the house physician at the Fresno County Jail and as a physician at California’s Chuckwalla Valley State Prison.

Fluent in both English and Spanish, Dr. Cerjan is dedicated to breaking down language barriers to ensure the highest quality of care for all patients. His commitment to medicine is underscored by his active licensure in Arizona and California, as well as his current ACLS certification. With a wealth of experience and a compassionate approach to patient care, he continues to make a profound impact on the field of medicine, enriching the lives of those he serves.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About …

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About DoxyPEP

Words by Daniel Hirsch

 

A hefty dose of antibiotics. A big syringe in the derrière. Getting treated for an STI is not fun — to say nothing of the symptoms and risks involved with contracting one like syphilis, gonorrhea, or chlamydia. With the CDC reporting rising numbers — gonorrhea is up 11% over the last five years, syphilis is up 79% — risk of infection is on the rise.

 

However, clinicians around the country, spurred by recently released guidance from the CDC, are recommending the antibiotic doxycycline as a means of post-exposure prophylaxis (DoxyPEP for short) to prevent the spread of STIs. I spoke with DAP Health Chief of Community Health C.J. Tobe about this prevention strategy.

 

Let’s start with the basics. What is DoxyPEP?

DoxyPEP, or doxycycline, is a 200 milligram pill that can be taken within 24 to 72 hours after sex. It reduces a person’s chance of contracting either chlamydia, gonorrhea, or syphilis by up to 70%. Doxycycline has been around for quite some time and is used to treat STIs and acne.

 

How sexually active do you need to be to justify a prescription?

It’s going to look different depending on a person’s lifestyle and the conversation with their provider. For example, if you have sex Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, you can take DoxyPEP that Monday morning and you’re good. Let’s say you’re having sex five times a week, then you should probably talk to your doctor about switching to DoxyPrEP.

 

And what’s DoxyPrEP?

DoxyPrEP would be taking 100 milligrams of doxycycline daily as a preventative measure. That’s typically for people who either want to make sure they’re protected, or they’re having frequent sex, or they may be a sex worker.

 

Are there side effects? Isn’t doxy tough on the GI tract?

A lot of the side effects that get reported are GI issues. So we recommend people take the medication with food or a carbonated drink. When people take a higher dose of doxycycline, like 200 milligrams twice a day, the side effects increase. If you go on DoxyPrEP, that’s just 100 milligrams once a day. And I can tell you it’s such a low dose that the majority of folks don’t have side effects.

 

One of my worst nightmares, and it’s one shared by the World Health Organization, is that an STI becomes resistant to antibiotics. Is that a concern with people regularly taking doxy?

Part of the medical community is hesitant to embrace this strategy because they don’t know what could happen in terms of drug resistance. The other half are saying, “We need to get people on it right now because it’s an important preventative tool.” There’s always going to be a risk of drug resistance when people don’t follow the dosing recommendation of a doctor. As a public health person seeing the rise in STIs, I think a patient who is having sex should have that conversation with their doctor and see if DoxyPEP is right for them. Personally, I’ve been on doxy since 2020 and it’s been a lifesaver.

Desert Care Network Donates $2.5 Million …

DESERT CARE NETWORK DONATES $2.5 MILLION TO DAP HEALTH IN SUPPORT OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING

The generous gift, part of DAP Health’s Vision Forward campus expansion, will go toward programs and services for residents of the organization’s second on-campus housing complex, Vista Sunrise II, enabling residents to access lifesaving care in their own backyard.

 

Desert Care Network (DCN) continues its longstanding support of DAP Health with a significant $2.5 million contribution toward the nonprofit’s Vision Forward campus expansion campaign and soon-to-be-unveiled affordable housing complex, Vista Sunrise II. The generous gift reflects DCN’s dedication to addressing the needs of the diverse communities both organizations serve. This commitment will help provide equitable housing solutions for individuals facing challenges such as homelessness and chronic illnesses.

“At Desert Care Network, we are deeply committed to improving the health and well-being of all residents in the Coachella Valley,” says Desert Regional Medical Center & Desert Care Network CEO Michele Finney. “Our 40-year partnership with DAP Health, and this donation toward its Palm Springs campus expansion, focus on much-needed affordable housing, and align perfectly with our mission to provide comprehensive care to our most vulnerable residents. To support the health of our entire community, we know we are better together.”

“Thank you, Desert Care Network, for understanding — as we do — that housing is health care,” adds DAP Health CEO David Brinkman. “Together, we are transforming lives and building a healthier, more compassionate community. By focusing on health equity and social drivers of health, we highlight the connection between housing and superior health outcomes. The ability of Vista Sunrise II residents, most of whom have no means of reliable transportation, to access primary and mental health care — not to mention wraparound social services such as nutrition, health education, and so much more — within a short walk next door is a game-changer for some of our most marginalized neighbors.”

Vista Sunrise II, a collaborative effort between DAP Health and developer Coachella Valley Housing Coalition, will provide affordable housing while incorporating thoughtful design elements and sustainable construction practices. This innovative project will feature 61 units, with 30 dedicated to rapid rehousing for individuals experiencing homelessness and 30 units allocated to those with chronic illnesses and/or low incomes. Key features include:

Thoughtfully Designed Living Spaces: The units will offer a variety of configurations, including one- and two-bedroom layouts, with a housing manager’s home also onsite. Each unit has been designed to prioritize comfort and functionality, featuring large windows for natural daylight, office nooks for work-from-home opportunities, and mobility-accessible options for residents with special needs.

Sustainable Construction Practices: The project incorporates environmentally friendly practices such as density housing on an existing site to minimize land clearing, “cool roof” materials to reduce energy costs, and all-electric appliances to decrease reliance on fossil fuels. Additionally, carports with solar panels will offset the complex’s power grid electrical needs, further enhancing its sustainability.

Unique Amenities: Vista Sunrise II offers a range of amenities to foster community engagement and well-being, including rooftop terraces with mountain views, outdoor courtyards, a community center for gatherings and learning, and on-site case management services for residents. The proximity to DAP Health programs and services, grocery stores, shops, and an adjacent park will encourage residents to lead a healthy, active lifestyle.

Vista Sunrise II represents a beacon of affordable housing innovation, combining compassionate care with sustainable practices to create a thriving community for all residents. With Desert Care Network’s generous contribution, this project will continue to make a positive impact on the lives of individuals and families in Palm Springs for decades to come.

 

About DAP Health

DAP Health, which celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2024, is an internationally renowned humanitarian health care organization and federally qualified health center (FQHC) whose goal is to protect and expand health care access for all people — especially the disenfranchised — regardless of who or where they are, their health status, or whether they have health insurance.
 
In 2023, the nonprofit made a successful bid to absorb the Borrego Health system, enabling its 950 employees to serve more than 85,000 patients of all populations, genders, and ages — from newborns to seniors — at a total of 25 Southern California clinics located within 240 rural and urban zip codes from the Coachella Valley to the San Diego coast.

For years, DAP Health’s programs and services have included primary care, infectious diseases, gender-affirming care, LGBTQ+ care, mental health, dentistry, harm reduction, recovery services, affordable housing, social services, and HIV prevention, testing, and treatment. The additional disciplines now under its vast umbrella include family medicine, women’s health (including OB-GYN), pediatrics, veterans’ health, geriatrics, urgent care, and pharmacy services.

The organization was founded as Desert AIDS Project in 1984 by a group of volunteers. Thanks to nearly 40 years of experience caring for those affected not only by the HIV epidemic but by various other public health emergencies (COVID-19, mpox), DAP Health has the physical and intellectual resources, the drive, and — most importantly — the vision to effect even greater change by positively impacting its diverse patient populations’ social drivers of health (SDOH).
 
According to the World Health Organization, SDOH are “the non-medical factors that influence health outcomes. They are the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age, and the wider set of forces and systems shaping the conditions of daily life.”
 
The next epidemic hasn’t surfaced — yet. But just as DAP Health met earlier community health crises decisively and successfully, its experts stand at the ready.

 

About Vision Forward

Vision Forward is DAP Health’s 10-year strategic plan that will see the organization grow from serving 10,000 individuals annually today at its Sunrise campus to 25,000 patients and clients a year by 2025. So far, this broadminded expansion has encompassed:

  • The purchase of the Annette Bloch CARE Building and the opening of its three clinics.
  • The opening of a DAP Health sexual wellness clinic in Palm Springs.
  • Construction of Vista Sunrise II, which will feature 61 new units of affordable housing, to be completed in the second quarter of 2024.

Still to come is the Tenet Health Pavilion, a structure that will bridge the Barbara Keller LOVE Building and the Annette Bloch CARE Building, and which will include:

  • A transit- and pedestrian-friendly pathway.
  • A central registration area for all patient services.
  • A cafe open to the public that will be staffed and managed by clients of DAP Health’s Return-to-Work program.

 

About Desert Care Network

Desert Care Network is your health care resource in the Coachella Valley and Morongo Basin regions of Southern California. We are three hospitals: Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs, JFK Memorial Hospital in Indio, and Hi-Desert Medical Center in Joshua Tree. Working together, we bring advanced health care to our communities.

We operate a Level 1 trauma center at Desert Regional, the highest possible. And Level 4 trauma centers at JFK and Hi-Desert.

We have created a network of stroke-ready hospitals, anchored by Desert Regional Medical Center — our valley’s only nationally accredited comprehensive stroke center — and supported by the primary stroke center at JFK and the certified stroke-ready hospital at Hi-Desert.

Desert Regional is home to the only Level 3 neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for newborns in the Coachella Valley. We also operate a hospital-based clinic that provides high-risk care for expectant moms.

DCN has an unwavering commitment to our community. We train the next generations of physicians through our residency program, and those doctors staff mobile clinics that provide services to the underserved, unhoused, and refugee populations across the desert.

DCN provides over a hundred million dollars in free and discounted health care to patients in need each year. In the last three decades, we have given millions of dollars in charitable donations and sponsorships to local organizations, including DAP Health, FIND Food Bank, the Women Leaders Forum, Volunteers in Medicine, and many more.

We are dedicated, driven, and proud to serve the health care needs of the Coachella Valley, the Morongo Basin, and everyone who visits our desert.

 

About Coachella Valley Housing Coalition

The Coachella Valley Housing Coalition was founded in 1982 by a group of community advocates, the local community, and business leaders, to address the substandard living conditions farmworkers and other low-income persons were enduring in the Eastern Coachella Valley.

Their innate sense of compassion for the human condition inspired them to help hundreds of families move out of inadequate living conditions — which included makeshift power poles in unpermitted mobile home parks, contaminated drinking water, and other crude housing additions made of cardboard — into safe, decent, and affordable housing. With a $10,000-dollar seed grant from the Aetna Foundation, the board of directors established the Coachella Valley Housing Coalition (CVHC).

Today, CVHC is an award-winning tax-exempt 501 (c)(3), nonprofit affordable housing development organization that has been named amongst the Top 50 Affordable Housing Developers in the country. Every CVHC housing community is built with a solid commitment to partnerships, vision, and extensive community planning. CVHC is a Neighbor Works® America chartered member and a Rural LISC partner. It has developed affordable housing throughout Riverside and Imperial Counties, and has developed more than 5,000 multi-family and single-family residences, making it the largest affordable housing developer in Riverside County.

Key Programs

Rental Housing: Through its Multi-Family Housing Development department, CVHC builds affordable rental housing for working families (in hospitality, retail, and health care), farmworkers, retired farmworkers, migrant farmworkers, veterans, and families/individuals with special needs — the elderly, people with disabilities, and chronic illnesses. With more than 41 affordable rental communities totaling 2,953 units developed throughout Riverside County, CVHC offers an array of housing options for renters who are looking for a steppingstone to homeownership, or who are in need of affordable rental housing. CVHC is proud to partner with DAP Health on the development and operations of Vista Sunrise II, a 61-unit special needs development located in the city of Palm Springs. The development will include 29 units for chronically homeless individuals and 31 units for chronic illnesses. The Vista Sunrise II development will be CVHC’s fifth special needs development constructed in Riverside County.

Homeownership Through the Mutual Self-Help Housing Program: Since 1989, CVHC has been helping families fulfill their dream of homeownership. Creating affordable homeownership opportunities for low-income families is a part of CVHC’s mission. The mutual self-help housing program means homes are built in part by homeowners. In the mutual self-help program, families work together and collectively build each other’s homes by using their sweat equity in place of a down payment.    Mutual self-help housing essentially builds communities based on a shared commitment of hard work, mutual support, and lifelong bonds. CVHC is the largest mutual self-help developer in the nation. To date, over 2,160 single-family homes have been constructed throughout Riverside and Imperial counties.

Community Engagement: CVHC also provides enrichment and educational programs at its Multi-Family developments. These include early childhood education centers, afterschool kids clubs, computer Instruction + technology centers, ballet folklorico dance instruction, mariachi music instruction, alternative high school diploma and GED programs for adults, community gardens + wellness for seniors, health and wellness educational classes + events, and English as a second language.

John F. Mealey College Scholarship Fund: In 2020, CVHC created the JFM Scholarship Fund in honor of its founding executive director. The scholarship is awarded annually to students living in CVHC developments who are seeking a higher education at any accredited college, university, or vocation school. To date, more than $962,000 in scholarships have been awarded, benefiting more than 889 students, supporting their dreams, and helping them persevere to complete their degrees.

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March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Mon …

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Here’s the 101 so that you can keep yourself and those you love safe.

Words by David Russo

 

“Colon cancer is the battle we can win with early detection and regular screening.”

                                                                                                               — Unknown

DAP Health’s Associate Chief Medical Officer Dr. Silas Gyimah is fond of that inspiring citation of unknown derivation. As the founder of the Palm Springs-based, queer-led nonprofit Cheeky Charity — whose mission is to facilitate colorectal and anal cancer prevention, early detection, and support, with a focus on the young and LGBTQ+ populations — so am I.

“At every visit, we verify records to see if a patient is due for a screening,” Gyimah says. “If they are, we schedule them, focusing on FIT [fecal immunochemical test] and colonoscopies as our primary screening methods. This is a true implementation of the quote above.” 

Let’s delve more deeply into this largely preventable and curable disease.

 

Colorectal Health: Understanding and Prevention

Colorectal cancer (CRC), once predominantly a concern for older adults, is now increasingly affecting younger individuals. This shift necessitates a renewed focus. Understanding the nuances of colorectal health is vital for individuals of all ages.

 

Understanding Colorectal Cancer

CRC originates in the colon or rectum, part of the digestive system. It usually begins as small, noncancerous (benign) clumps of cells called polyps that form on the inside of the colon. Over time, some of these polyps can become colon cancers.

 

Symptoms To Be Aware Of

CRC might not cause symptoms right away, but if they occur, they may include changes in bowel habits, rectal bleeding or blood in the stool, persistent abdominal discomfort, a feeling that the bowel doesn’t empty completely, weakness or fatigue, and unexplained weight loss. It’s important to consult a health care provider if any of these symptoms are experienced.

 

Risk Factors

Certain factors increase the risk of developing CRC. These include older age, a personal or family history of CRC or colorectal polyps, inflammatory intestinal conditions, a low-fiber/high-fat diet, a sedentary lifestyle, diabetes, obesity, smoking, and alcohol use. Genetics also play a role, with some inherited genes increasing the risk.

 

Prevention Strategies

Prevention of CRC starts with lifestyle changes. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains — and low in red and processed meats — can reduce risk. Regular physical activity is crucial. Maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding smoking, and moderating alcohol consumption are also recommended.

 

The Importance of Screening

Screening for CRC is one of the most powerful weapons for preventing the disease. It’s generally recommended to begin screening at age 45. Screening can find precancerous polyps, which can be removed before they turn into cancer. For people at higher risk, such as those with a family history, screening may be recommended earlier.

 

Navigating the Rising Trend in Young Adults

The rising incidence of CRC among young adults is a complex issue that involves a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. It’s important for young adults to:

  • Be aware of their family history.
  • Minimize known risks.
  • Incorporate healthy preventative habits into their lifestyle.
  • Regularly check for symptoms.
  • Discuss screenings with their health care providers if they have risk factors.

 

Conclusion

As our understanding of colorectal health evolves, it becomes clear that CRC is not just a concern for the elderly. The increase in cases among younger adults emphasizes the importance of awareness and proactive health measures across all age groups. Through lifestyle modifications, regular screening, and early detection, the impact of CRC can be significantly reduced.

 

Resources

Colorectal Cancer Alliance, colorectalcancer.org

American Cancer Society, cancer.org/cancer/types/colon-rectal-cancer

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal

Cheeky Charity, cheekycharity.org

 

In a partnership between DAP Health and Cheeky Charity — and in honor of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month — 50 eye-catching banners will be flown throughout downtown Palm Springs during March to help raise awareness and reduce stigma.

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.    

 

 

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 self-care.  

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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Regulating Emotions for Elevating Your M …

Regulating Emotions for Elevating Your Mood  

I hope everybody is doing their best to stay safe and working to manage self-care a little bit better during this very stressful time. Today I want to talk about the concept of emotional regulation. Before we begin, I want to stress that emotional regulation does not require ignoring your authentic feelings or suppressing them. In fact, it can help us get more in touch with them.  

Oftentimes when we are overwhelmed, we can get stuck in various emotional states. We can get stuck in rumination and inaction. Or we might experience a negative emotional state, such as extreme depression or extreme anxiety. 

Remaining in these states can pull us down into rabbit holes. If we ruminate about the negative, it can become very hard for us to pull ourselves out of it. My goal today is to help you understand the practice of regulating our emotions a little bit better, which can oftentimes improve our mood. When we do this, we tend to react in healthier ways, and with practiceit’s effective in managing our mental health more effectively.  

Technique One: Opposite Action  

This comes from dialectical behavior therapy, which initially was created to assist individuals who experienced emotions in very extreme ways. And the goal was to help them not avoid the emotion. And we don't want to suppress something that is natural, but we want to learn to regulate it in a healthy way. Rather than feel an emotion at intensity level 10, we want to teach ourselves to feel the same emotion at around a 5 or 6; low enough that we can still cognitively make decisions that are healthy for us. 
 
When we are overwhelmed by emotion, we have urges that tend to lead to unhealthy behaviors. For example, some people might turn to drugs or alcohol in situations where they're feeling overwhelmed. To them, that unhealthy behavior is suppressing or masking the feeling that is uncomfortable to them.  

Again, the goal with opposite action is not to suppress the feeling, but rather to help identify the feeling first.  

For example, imagine I'm feeling overwhelmed and sad, but I also want to regulate it. I'm going to think opposite.  

I’d ask myself what's the opposite of sadIt’s happy.  

I’d also ask myself what’s the opposite action from sad. If I'm sad, I might turn to drugs or alcohol, but a healthy and opposite option is exercise, meditating, or journaling 

Iwe're able to work through a few steps, we can identify what we are feeling, and then we can visualize the opposite of that. From there, we can pick a healthy action to take that delivers us to a better place, opposite of where we might normally go in terms of unhealthy choices. 

Technique TwoVisual Grounding  

Grounding is very much tied to mindfulness and using visual description to ground is simple and accessible. We can use it anywhere, and it brings us to a place of peace. It brings that emotional regulation much lower so that we can think through things in a healthier way. Again, wdon’t want to suppress the emotion. Rather, we want to manage it more effectively, so that our mood is actually improved in the long run. The technique begins by stopping wherever you are.  

You can be in your office. You could be outdoors, or you can be in your bedroom.  

Start by looking around. Then, start describing everything that you see. Your inner dialogue might sound like:  

I have a computer in front of me; next to that is a frame that has a golden rim around it. And below that is my watch, which is black; next to that is a mouse that is white, and to the left of the computer is my desk lamp, which is black; next to that is a speaker; and so on and so on.  

Do that for a couple of minutes. You will find that you focus so much on describing things that you've naturally lowered the overwhelming emotion that you were feeling. This will help you regulate enough to be much more present and in control.  

Seniors Need Protection – Less Isolati …

Seniors Need Protection – Less Isolation

Specialists say social isolation can be as harmful as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, but many people over age 65 in our community are trapped with long-term social seclusion, worsened by this pandemic. We’ve created a medical home for them, with specialized doctors and therapists they can access from home, and a social services team to link them to programs and coverage.  

Seniors make up almost 30 percent of this Valley’s population, about double the national average. Because many already identified as physically vulnerable pre pandemic, seniors are experiencing added isolation from adhering to current social distance rules. 

As the length of this pandemic takes a toll on even the most resilient seniors, advocates like Dr. Jill Gover, our behavioral health manager contributed to a story in The Desert Sun:

"(Older people) are not willing to take the risk and so they are much more isolated — it was a major problem to begin with and COVID has only exacerbated it." (read more here)

Get Access To the Care You Need

One Call is a service that can enroll callers in health insurance or Medi-Cal through Covered California, register them for medical and behavioral healthcare, and schedule their first appointment at DAP — all in approximately 45 minutes. This is a significant reduction in the amount of time this would normally take, thanks to a DAP Healthcare Navigator who will work one-on-one with each caller.

Callers can access One Call service by calling 760-992-0426, Monday – Friday, 9am – 4pm PDT.