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

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

DRESS FOR WHO YOU ARE

DRESS FOR WHO YOU ARE

Words by Ellen Bluestein

June 13, 2022

At DAP Health, professionalism is paramount. For some of our employees, this requires wearing medical scrubs for their jobs. For others, it’s about dressing to represent the organization or for comfort to better serve patients. “I feel like when you’re fashionable and you look good and you’re professional, people respect you,” said Karen Zelaya, an endoscopic nurse, who has worked at DAP Health for five years. Housing Case Manager Alexis Gonzalez Ramos expressed a similar sentiment. “Every work environment is guided by a specific mission and values,” he said. “I have always valued decency, professionalism, and fashions that significantly match my current work environment.” As Gonzalez Ramos often interacts with community partners outside of DAP Health, it is important for him to represent the organization in the best possible light. “The first impression always determines the business’s success, which starts with the dress code,” he said. “So, I tend to keep my fashion simple yet trendy.”

While some may think wearing scrubs is anything but trendy, that’s not true for Zelaya. “I’m one of those people who dresses up her scrubs,” she said. “I like colors. I feel like they make people happy. They make me happy. I’ll wear hot pink Nikes with lime green scrubs. It doesn’t have to match. It’s the mood.”

Mood is exactly what plays into six-year DAP Health Clinical Site Specialist Chris Bates’s fashion choices when he gets dressed for work in the morning. “I use fashion as an extension of emotion,” he said. “When I’m feeling bright and cheery, I’ll wear something that’s more colorful, like yellow or orange. If I’m kind of feeling a little gloomy, maybe it’d be like a neutral color, like a navy blue or gray, but it’s just an extension of my emotions and how I’m feeling that particular day.”

Newly hired DAP Health Chiropractor Alyssa Romero concurs. “I believe that what we wear is a direct reflection of how we feel,” she said. “So oftentimes, you’ll see me wearing cute, casual, comfy clothes because I can move in them. I can perform my job duties in them, and it makes me feel good.” Romero added: “I like to switch it up with different colors and different patterns. The thing about being a chiropractor, we’re always moving, always kind of down in a squat position or doing something to try and adjust people and get them moving. So, my style is definitely a mixture of professional and practical in the workplace.”

But in their free time, it’s so long to scrubs and hello to hiking boots and heels. “I’m in scrubs most of the time,” said Jennifer Mata Alanis, a medical assistant in the primary transgender care and HIV clinic who has been with DAP Health for three years. “As a transgender, Latino female, I’m really proud of who I am. And while it all depends on where she’s going, fashion, she said, “helps you express yourself, especially being transgender.” Expressing his identity through fashion is also important to Gonzalez Ramos. “I tend to mix a bit of feminine and masculine aspects in my fashion,” he said, “This is an expression of the appreciation of both genders and to confuse the audience about my gender. “It will not be a surprise to find me in a pink-colored outfit because I have quite a lot of them. But I know how to play around with the feminine and masculine colors to create a perfectly blended outfit.” Romero also doesn’t like her fashion choices to solely define her. “If you had to choose a Spice Girl, I would definitely say that I’m more Sporty Spice,” said Romero. “But I’m also not afraid to wear a super cute pair of heels and jeans, or a cute bodysuit... It kind of depends on if I’m being active or if I’m going out on a Friday night.”

When Zelaya goes out, she opts for fitted clothes and body-conscious fashion that accentuates her curves and shows her figure, along with sandals with kitten heels and the occasional wig. “I’m very girly,” she said. “I’ll wear wigs sometimes — braids or big Diana Ross hair — it depends on the mood I’m in. There are no rules.” “Fashion is fun, it’s creative,” added Mata Alanis. “It makes me feel good that I got up and took care of myself,” Zelaya said. “I tried.” “To me, fashion is an art, a way of life, and a peace promotion tool,” said Gonzalez Ramos. “It is the only way to reconcile individual differences and appreciate those around us regardless of their race, culture, or gender.”

Outfits thrifted at Revivals.

Header photo:

Alyssa Romero, D.C., Doctor of Chiropractic is wearing
Top: Vintage butterfly sequined
Pants: Dr. Romero’s own
Shoes: Only Madden

Top left photo:

Chris Bates, EHR Clinical Site Specialist is wearing
Top: Zara
Jeans: Scotch & Soda
Shoes: Chris’ favorite Vans
Bracelet: Leather bracelet with glass bead weaving
Sunglasses: Round metal Ray-bans

Top right photo:
Karen Zelaya, LVN Special Procedures  is wearing
Shawl: THML
Pants: Insight
Tee: Karen’s own
Everyday Tee
Shoes: Madden

Bottom right photo:
Jennifer Mata Alanis, Certified Medical Assistant is wearing
Jacket: CQ by CQ
Pants: Jennifer’s own

Bottom left photo:
Alexis Gonzalez Ramos, Housing Case Manager is wearing
Jacket: Silk bomber with appliqué
Shell: Gracia gold sequin
Shorts: Alexis’ favorite biker shorts
Boots: Madden

Reproductive Care is Health Care

The Intersection of LGBTQ Health Care and Reproductive Rights  

Prioritizing Patients Over Politics 

DAP Health is an advocacy-based humanitarian organization that believes women’s rights are human rights. Women played a critical role in our founding and continue to help lead our organization today. 

DAP Health stands in support of sexual and reproductive health care for women -- whether born cisgender, trans, non-binary, or lesbian.  

DAP Health supports a woman’s right to choose. We believe all women should receive access to health care tailored to their needs, not policies or politics. We believe that health care access for LGBTQ individuals and reproductive health care are uniquely linked because challenges to each are often based on political or ideological arguments that fail to prioritize patient-centered care. 

For 38 years, DAP Health has been advancing LGBTQ health care. First by focusing on HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, then on testing and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, and most recently on gender-affirming care. We continue to expand our ability to provide culturally competent primary care and mental health care services.  

We see health outcomes improve when barriers like shame are removed. And we see the impact of anti-LGBTQ legislation on our community's mental health. We advocate for stigma-reducing person-centric language while providing patient-centered care, free from judgment. 

Access matters. According to the World Health Organization, lack of access to safe, affordable, timely, and respectful abortion care, and the stigma associated with abortion, pose detrimental risks to women’s physical and mental well-being throughout their lives.  

The Federal Policy Director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), Julianna Gonen, wrote in 2019: "The movements for reproductive freedom and LGBTQ equality share deeply linked interests and concerns. We are all seeking control over our own bodies – the freedom to decide whether to become or remain pregnant, whether and with whom to have intimate relationships, and whether to seek medical care to help our bodies align with our gender identities. We seek the freedom to form our families on our own terms – to partner with and marry whom we love, to have children or not, and to live as our true selves as determined by us, not by someone else." 

The LGBTQ Community Finds Care at Reproductive Wellness Centers  

In Palm Springs, the LGBTQ community has enjoyed affirming health care at DAP Health since 1984. But in rural areas across California, and the nation, that same community often turns to reproductive wellness centers for judgment-free access to routine and preventative HIV and STI testing and treatment; gender-affirming care, and services related to reproductive healthcare.  

Roe v Wade and Marriage Equality  

We as a grassroots organization, founded in part because of denied access to health care and discrimination, firmly and ardently support the rights of every individual to make decisions based on their own personal needs. 

If the court does indeed overturn Roe v Wade, legal advocates say it has implications for other rights rooted in privacy, such as the rights pertaining to private sexual activity, and marriage equality.  

This includes the 2015 SCOTUS Obergefell v. Hodges ruling which affirmed that the Constitution grants same-sex couples equal protection and equal rights under the law. These rights cover access to employer-funded medical insurance coverage for same-sex couples and their dependents, family medical leave, and hospital visitation rights.  

Why DAP Health Focuses on Culturally Competent Care 

LGBTQ people experience worse health outcomes than the population overall due to barriers including high rates of health care discrimination, stigma, and humiliation; all of which are compounded by racism and poverty. 

Delayed preventive and medical care directly impact health outcomes for the LGBTQ community. Removing barriers to care while standing alongside our partners in reproductive health is the vital work that remains to be done to improve the health and well-being of everyone in our community. 

Wellness as a Way of Life

Wellness as a Way of Life

THE WELLNESS CENTER AT DAP HEALTH OFFERS MORE THAN TWO DOZEN OPTIONS.

Words by Lawrence Karol

DAP Health’s mission is to enhance and promote the health and well-being of the community. But there’s a lot more behind that effort than just providing primary and specialty medical care. From acupuncture to urban yoga, DAP Health has a whole host of wellness programs that address every aspect of its patients’ lives — whether it’s physical, spiritual, emotional, or intellectual — and help patient health outcomes.

“Our wellness services offer a spectrum of complementary and alternative wellness programming,” says Cory Lujan, DAP Health’s client wellness manager. “Our goal is to support conventional and routine medical care. Services such as yoga, chair massage, and acupuncture specifically help with pain management and stress, anxiety, and a host of other ailments.”

Harvard Health Publishing, which is the consumer health education division of Harvard Medical School, notes that yoga, in particular, “promotes physical health in multiple different ways. Some of them derive from better stress management. Others come more directly from the physical movements and postures in yoga, which help promote flexibility and reduce joint pain.”

At DAP Health, Kristin Olson’s Urban Yoga Studio is located in the main building. (Olson has owned her yoga studio for

decades and employs many yoga instructors.) There are three weekly classes that are ideal for beginners or those with decreased mobility. The classes are free for DAP patients, while there is a fee for the general public.

Despite being less well-known than yoga, DAP Health’s sound bath classes have also developed a devoted following. Like yoga, sound bath sessions can help reduce anxiety and stress — and, despite their name, they do not involve water or a bathtub. Lujan explains that sound bath is a music meditation where the attendees are immersed in the sound of various frequencies of singing bowls. “Our Reiki specialist, Sarah Stern, leads the sound bath and uses multiple instruments, including gongs, rain drums, and chimes.”

Speaking of Reiki, this Japanese energy-healing technique is another patient wellness program that helps with stress reduction, relaxation, and also promotes healing. “It’s very popular among those who are into spirituality,” says Lujan. “The Reiki practitioner does not touch her patient. She uses energy healing to realign the body’s energy. Patients usually report the same feelings as that of meditation and they come out feeling spiritually moved and some are in tears.”

If all these wellness programs leave you primed to take on more activities, be sure to check out the wide variety of other events offered at DAP Health — everything from a knitting group to a book club to the Soles on Sunrise walking group.

For questions about DAP Health wellness services, contact the Wellness Center Administrative Assistant at 760.323.2118.

Raul Ruiz Wins Health Equity Award

Raul Ruiz Wins Health Equity Award

Recognition scheduled at The Chase for fighting for health access

Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D. (CA-36) will be presented with the inaugural DAP Health Equity Award at the 28th Annual Steve Chase Humanitarian Gala on April 9 at the Palm Springs Convention Center.  The accolade honors Rep. Ruiz for his long commitment to health justice locally and nationally. The DAP Health Equity Award honors leaders who have reduced health disparities locally, especially improving access for people who traditionally are economically and socially disadvantaged. 

To buy tickets for The Chase or learn more about sponsorship and volunteer opportunities, go to www.daphealth.org/thechase   

Leveraging his platforms as a physician and a U.S. Representative, he has called out health disparities, influenced broad support for change, and secured more funding for care and education. He stays engaged in each issue he supports in the Coachella Valley to make sure promises are kept and change happens. 

“Dr. Ruiz understands that calling attention to specific barriers in healthcare is the first step in removing them,” said David Brinkman, DAP Health CEO. “DAP physicians offer the highest standard of health for more than 10,000 patients, helped by funding, public support, and the advocacy consistently provided by our friend.”

For years, Congressman Ruiz has been a strong health advocate for the people of Coachella Valley, and the impact of his work is sizeable. He has consistently voted to increase health center funding since coming to Congress. When COVID emerged, he fought for additional funding so that all health centers could stand up to the challenge. DAP Health has received over $8 million in federal grants, thanks to his advocacy. 

Dr. Ruiz also works to ensure his advocacy in Washington is put to good use here in the Coachella Valley where he grew up. 

  • Understanding the importance of educational opportunities, Dr. Ruiz has been a long-time advocate of the Teaching Health Center Program. He has led efforts to increase funding, which has happened twice under his leadership. The program also helps meet area staffing needs.
  • When COVID hit, underserved farmworker communities in our region immediately experienced disparities in vaccination rates. Dr. Ruiz increased local awareness by speaking out and helped secure thousands of tests and vaccines. He also led public health education events in the fields to meet people where they are. 
  • Dr. Ruiz’s support was vital to the success of Get Tested Coachella Valley/Hazte la Prueba Valle de Coachella public health initiative. This groundbreaking 3-year, $5 million effort sought to dramatically reduce HIV through education and routine testing for more than 81,000 individuals and provided linkage to care for 88% of newly diagnosed HIV patients. The 2014-2016 project united more 150 community partners, making it the nation’s first community-based initiative of its kind. It was recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the California State Office of AIDS, and at two White House conferences.

To learn more about Congressman Raul Ruiz, visit https://ruiz.house.gov/

 

The Chase Sponsors

Presenting Sponsor: 
Amazon 

Producing Sponsor: Eisenhower Health            

Major Sponsors: Desert Care Network, Steven Anders\The Elizabeth Firth Wade Endowment, Kevin Bass & Brent Bloesser, Jim Burba & Bob Hayes, The Desert Sun\Local IQ, Patrick Jordan, NBC Palm Springs, Steve Tobin & Johnny Krupa\Grace Helen Spearman Charitable Foundation 

Star Sponsors: Neil Lane Couture, David Zippel & Michael Johnston 

Guaranteed Income Pilot

DAP Health and Queer Works Receive Support from City of Palm Springs to Research and Design a Guaranteed Income Pilot

Two nonprofit organizations are partnering to study best practices of successful initiatives nationwide and design pilot program.

On Thursday, March 24th, the Palm Springs City Council unanimously approved the request of local nonprofit organizations DAP Health and Queer Works for $200,000 in funding to support the initial research and program design of a guaranteed income pilot program.  The objective of the pilot program will be to provide direct financial assistance to marginalized local individuals in need for a likely period of 18 months.

The initial financial support from the City of Palm Springs will enable the two organizations to study best practices of successful initiatives nationwide, conduct local research, and gain local input to inform their design process. The organizations are also receiving pilot design guidance from the national agency Mayors for a Guaranteed Income (MGI).

The potential guaranteed income pilot’s research and design phase is expected to last up to six months. One of the key outcomes of this phase will be a proposal that the two organizations will use to engage potential government and philanthropic financial underwriters for the pilot, including the State of California.  The current state budget includes $35 million in funding for guaranteed income pilot programs. The California Department of Social Services is in the process of finalizing their funding criteria and is expected to issue their formal request for applications in the next several months. They have preliminarily indicated that a 50% funding match from other donors will be required.

“Based on the early success of other guaranteed income pilots around the country and state – including Stockton, San Diego, San Francisco, L.A., and West Hollywood – we’re eager to pilot this approach here,” said David Brinkman, CEO of DAP Health. “Helping people in need to better their life circumstances by directly providing them with income is an approach that’s showing great promise.”

“We hope that the pilot we design will inspire the City of Palm Springs to join together with DAP Health and other funders to bring significant state funding to Palm Springs,” Brinkman continued. “Our goal is to develop a model that impacts the greatest number of individuals possible. We hope our pilot will help confirm that guaranteed income is a cost-effective way to create positive outcomes.”

While the research and design phase for this pilot is now at the starting line and most specifics have yet to be determined, DAP Health and Queer Works have already indicated their intent to prioritize support for local individuals who are Transgender and Non-Binary.

“People who are Trans and Non-Binary are highly marginalized in our society in general, especially economically,” said Jacob Rostowsky, CEO of Queer Works.  A recent study by McKinsey & Company confirmed that Transgender adults are twice as likely as cisgender adults to be unemployed, and Transgender individuals who are employed make 32% less money than their cisgender counterparts – even with similar education levels.

About DAP Health 

DAP Health is an advocacy-based health center in Palm Springs, CA serving over 10,000 patients, offering medical and mental healthcare, STI testing and treatment, dentistry, pharmacy, and lab 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.  Click here to read more about our commitment to health equity.     

DAP Health opened one of California’s first COVID clinics and hotlines to offer screening, testing, and treatment. DAP Health 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 health care. 

DAP Health’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 Health in the top 6% of nonprofits rated. The distinction recognizes that DAP exceeds industry standards in terms of financial health, accountability, and transparency.     

Visitwww.daphealth.org to  learn more.     

About Queer Works

Queer Works, a 501c (3) organization with headquarters in the Coachella Valley, works towards ameliorating disparities faced by members of the LGBTQ+ community in Southern California. We are especially focused on those who are homeless, impoverished and in need of access to mental health and medical services. In July of 2021 we launched the "TransPower Project", which gives completely free therapy and housing navigation services to the transgender and non-binary community. Visit www.queerworks.org to learn more.

Contact:

Susan Unger

Tel: 760-250-2801

Email:  susan@masterstrategy.com

Mental Health Impacts Physical Well-Bein …

Mental Health Impacts Physical Well-Being 

Mental health was at the forefront of the sports world in 2021 as two of the most prominent athletes had to withdraw from major competition.  

Naomi Osaka, the highest-paid female athlete in the world according to Forbes Magazine, announced she would not participate in press conferences at the French Open to preserve her mental health. But as backlash built, Osaka decided to withdraw from Roland Garros, one of tennis’ four major championships.  

A few months later, American gymnast Simone Biles, who was supposed to be the poster child for the American Olympic contingent, withdrew from the competition because of mental health despite being the gold medal favorite.  

Both incidents were a microcosm of how mental health is treated in this country.  

Dr. Jill Gover, the Director of Behavioral Health at DAP Health, said if an athlete suffered a sprained ankle that prevented them from competing, no one would blink an eye. When Osaka and Biles withdrew because of their mental health, they were roundly criticized.  

“They would punish her like somehow, she was weak, or that, that she was letting down her team. This is something you just pull yourself up by your bootstraps and you keep going. It is not as real as a physical injury. But in every sense, it is,” Gover said. “The fact that she recognized that she needed to take care of her mental health in the same way that she would need to tend to a sprained ankle was really, truly brilliant of her.” 

Through the criticisms, Biles and Osaka helped trigger a larger discussion about mental health and how it is critical, especially in these challenging times. 

Osaka returned to the Coachella Valley this month to compete in the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, the world’s fifth-largest tennis tournament and the site of her breakthrough title in 2018. 

“It always helps when celebrities come forward and speak openly about their personal struggles with mental health issues,” Gover said. “It normalizes the experience and gives others permission to come forward and acknowledge their need for help. When famous people talk about mental health issues, it reduces stigma.”  

And Osaka triggered a change. The WTA women’s tennis tour designed a program for the players’ mental health. And credit to Osaka’s sponsors, they stuck by her despite taking a break from the tour and televised matches.  

In fact, she added 10 more brand sponsors, according to Forbes.  

But if two beloved athletes who are set financially for life and at the top of their professions are suffering mental health, what does that mean for the rest of the population? 

Gover thinks the anxiety people face is unprecedented. Americans are dealing with the pandemic and there’s uncertainty about the war in Ukraine. On top of that, there are economic inequities that are plaguing the middle class, such as student debt and inflation on top of challenging work environments for many professions during the pandemic.  

“There are so many things to be incredibly anxious about,” Gover said. “We live in a very anxiety-provoking time period with so much going on. I cannot think of a more critical issue. There needs to be what I call mental health parity. We need to recognize that it is equal to our physical health and integrated with our physical health. There is no way you can have one without the other.” 

In fact, Gover points out that mental health issues impact physical well-being.  

“Mental health issues manifest somatically in the body,” Gover said. “For example, when people suffer from anxiety, they often have heart palpitations, dizziness, and other physical symptoms that are caused by their anxiety. When people are depressed, they frequently manifest the depression with fatigue and lethargy in the body.”  

In addition to DAP Health, local mental health resources include: 

RUHS Mental Health Urgent Care: 2500 N. Palm Canyon Drive Suite A4, Palm Springs, CA 92262 

No need to call or schedule an appointment Open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day 

Phone: 442-268-7000 

Riverside County Crisis/Suicide Line:  951-686-4357 (951-686-HELP) 

Riverside County Mental Health Outpatient and Crisis Clinic: 47825 Oasis Street, Indio, CA 

Phone: 760-863-8455 

Riverside Country “CARES” Line/Substance Abuse Referrals: 800-499-3008 

More Healing with Chiropractic

More Healing with Chiropractic 

DAP Health added a new doctor to its Chiropractic team, a move to make it easier for patients to get care. Alyssa Romero, DC, brings clinical expertise with a background in sports medicine, and a passion to help people heal in a community setting. 

“We're confident Dr. Romero coming on board will alleviate some of the scheduling pressure and shorten wait times,” says Dr. Jim Cox, head of DAP Health Chiropractic Clinic.  

Dr. Romero’s work first impressed Dr. Cox when they worked together in the mobile Chiropractic Clinic during AIDS/LifeCycle. 

Both were part of the medical team monitoring more than 2,500 cyclists and an additional 600 roadies as they completed the 545-mile journey from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Set up at various checkpoints along the way, they needed to be ready for anything. 

Dr. Romero handled a lot of patient intake.  

“It's a daunting task that she handled with professionalism and grace,” says Dr. Cox. “Always a smile on her face, expressing genuine concern for anyone's needs.” 

The experience at AIDS/LifeCycle showed that Dr. Romero is suited for the patient-focused care that DAP Health provides. 

“I noticed her immediate grasp of any job at hand and the ability to connect with people, “ says Dr. Cox.She'll do just fine in the busy setting that DAP can often be.” 

Dr. Romero described how her experience with Dr. Cox during AIDS/LifeCycle made her want to work with him full time.   

A cyclist hobbled over to our treatment tent in quite a bit of distress and needed treatment immediately, she says.  

“We rushed him back and Dr. Cox actually worked on his lower back in order to get him out of the acute pain so he could ride that day,” says Dr. Romero.  

“He is one of the most caring people I have met, and he genuinely loves to help patients get better,” she says. “He brings a smile and laughter to work, and that energy is what made me want to work alongside him at DAP Health.” 

The level of help DAP gives its patients and clients also was a motivator for Dr. Romero. A surprise to many, DAP helps with food and housing insecurity, joblessness, isolation, and ongoing health care.  

“I was like, I want to be a part of that too!” she says.  

A Coachella Valley native, Dr. Romero is putting her sports medicine expertise to good use to help non-athletes make their bodies function better.  

I might not be doing sports-related things here in this office, but I still have to teach patients how to properly sit, to stand and have form,” she says.  

For her patients who are piecing together how to embrace living without masks and getting more exercise, she has sound advice.  

“It is important to remember to listen to your body, gradually increase your activity level, find an exercise activity you love and simply do it more.” 

DAP Health patients can request chiropractic appointments on MyChartor by calling (760) 323-2118. 

DAP Health Leans in with Client Advisory …

DAP Health Leans in with Client Advisory Board 

It takes more than good intentions to offer medical care that changes a person’s life. With an emphasis on listening, doctors and nurses can assess what their patients truly need. DAP Health is known for this, but the listening does not stop there. With a thriving partnership between the Client Advisory Board (CAB) and management, the health center is in a dialogue about what is going well, and what can be improved. 

“There are more than 10,000 other people getting care right now at DAP Health, and on the CAB, we are just like each of them,” says Michael O’Neill, CAB co-chair, and DAP Health patient. “We speak through the experiences we’ve had.” 

Few are accustomed to the number of services and healthcare options offered under one roof. Accessing everything that DAP Health offers can be a challenge.  

“I did not know the breadth and scope of services available to me when I got to DAP Health,” Michael says.  

But members of the CAB are determined to make it easier for other patients and clients to have it all. They say their gratitude motivates them to help others fully take advantage of DAP Health.  

“After the journey, we’ve all been on for years at DAP Health, we’d like to offer shortcuts to other patients seeking better health,” Michael says.  

Management says the relationship is a vital part of understanding the community it serves. 

“The CAB brings opportunities to the table in the patient experience that we do not always see,” says C.J. Tobe, Community Health director. “We take their advice seriously as we keep patient care and experience at the forefront.” 

Besides the complexity of the healthcare system, C.J. says he and his team consider any social determinants of health that a patient or client may be facing. Understanding a patient’s life circumstances is important for offering the best care and services, and the CAB offers a telling sample of all DAP patients. 

Each person is on a unique healthcare journey, and every voice offers valuable insight about patients and clients at DAP Health. 

To C.J., the CAB is extremely important for maintaining quality within DAP Health.   

“What seems like a great idea could actually have ripple effects on a select set of patients or clients,” he says. “For example, the CAB helped us determine our after-diagnosis packet for HIV felt too clinical, and so we improved it to make it feel more personal.” 

Thanks to CAB input, the guide is even better suited to offer support for anyone with HIV, including their family and friends. It includes education on HIV, resources, and the enduring message that with DAP, it is not necessary to be alone with HIV.  

The CAB also influences marketing and patient information programs by sharing its viewpoint with management. In agreement with DAP clinicians, the CAB loudly supports U=U messaging for helping destigmatize HIV. With many long-term survivors from the worst years of the AIDS crisis, the DAP CAB knows HIV stigma can have deadly effects. It consults closely with management on new opportunities to spread this important message.  

Service Motivated by Gratitude  

Michael O’Neil is well suited to his co-chair position on the CAB, he says, because he has benefitted so much from an array of important services at DAP. He knows firsthand how much better life can be with DAP. 

“I wanted to give back to DAP,” Michael says. “And I’m grateful to be involved.” 

Surviving with pancreatic cancer was not enough to make Michael want to stop working, and neither was having HIV. 

“Everyone at DAP opened their arms for everything I needed, and also for my husband, who did not have HIV.”  

But when his beloved husband passed away unexpectedly, Michael needed the support of a community that understood him and could help him continue thriving with HIV. He says he benefitted greatly with bereavement counseling through DAP Behavioral Health and keeping in close contact with his primary care physician.  

Michael wanted to do more, and the CAB offered him an opportunity.  

“I could tell the skills I’d learned throughout my life and career could benefit this organization,” Michael says. “When you’ve lost your sense of self, giving back can be the best medicine.” 

Making sure that DAP is keeping its patients informed is one of Michael’s favorite things, but it is all part of the DAP paradigm for him.  

“DAP has worked on my teeth, my body, my mind,” he says.  

With his work on the CAB, “Now, DAP’s given me goals and some sense of self again.” 

If you would like to find out more about the Client Advisory Board at DAP Health, visit: https://www.daphealth.org/about-us/client-advisory-board/ or contact Curtis Howard at choward@daphealth.org or (760) 656-8414.  

New videos prompt a surge of interest in …

February 28, 2022

New videos prompt a surge of interest in DAP Health's free, at-home HIV test

Written by Lawrence Karol 

A new media campaign promoting DAP Health's free, at-home HIV test is receiving a boost from the well-known adult entertainer Trenton Ducati, whose given name is Zach Ivey. Three other popular adult actors—Boomer Banks, Reign, and Masyn Thorne—appear alongside Ivey in videos that were launched in February on DAP Health's website, as well as gay dating apps and social media channels such as TikTok and Snapchat. Almost immediately after the videos were released, influencers shared them with over one million of their followers and DAP Health experienced a significant increase in requests for the tests. 

The videos were directed by Bob Koherr, who has directed episodes of The Conners, Anger Management, Raven’s Home, and Dads, among many other television programs, and were shot at Snap Studios, a Palm Springs production facility owned by Ivey. "We wanted to shoot a variety of ideas to kind of tell the story," says Ivey. Those scenarios include a guy who checks his test results before having sex; another where someone gets a text message from a hookup but isn't concerned about his own status because he's done an at-home test; and a third one featuring Ducati getting ready for a date and going through the steps of his normal routine such as taking a shower, doing his hair, etc., and also checking his at-home test result before heading out the door. 

This isn't the first time Ivey has collaborated with DAP Health. "Originally we were trying to figure out ways to make it safer for actors in the adult community to access health care," he says. "I went and spoke with them and had the best meeting ever because they were the most pro, open, thoughtful group of people and were so sex positive. I was really inspired to try to figure out ways that we could work together because they totally get it about sex work is work and let's just try to make it a safer place for our group of people." 

One initiative that sprang from those meetings was the Next Step Program in which Ivey worked with DAP Health to connect adult performers to health care, STI testing, and PrEP. He also helped their Mental Health Clinic develop a questionnaire that adult models fill out on set before a shoot. For example, they answer queries about their current mental health and their living situation. "It's an overall checkup of their lives in general and I feel like that's a good [way to find out] if there are any issues that could be addressed," says Ivey. "The plan was to have sex-positive people [at DAP Health] answer the phone so [the actors] feel encouraged to call, they don't feel excluded, and they feel it's okay." 

Another successful effort between Ivey and DAP Health debuted on the organization's website in March 2020 during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic. It explored new methods of sexual expression that people could enjoy while adhering to social distancing guidelines. A personal video message from Trenton Ducati was embedded in the post which garnered more than 23,500 views. "I have a little bit of a following so I could really speak directly to the community that we are trying to get to," says Ivey. "And I do feel that a blunt statement like that coming from me makes more sense. I could pull that off because I'm a producer in the adult industry and I've been doing porn for 10 years. So I was happy to do it and I felt like it was a really smart thing to do." 

On the personal front, Ivey, who lives in Cathedral City, is busy with Snap Studios. "It's a full-stop production company," he says. "We can handle productions from photo and film, from small to large, we have an equipment rental company in house, and we have a partnership with Palm Springs Grip and Lighting." A few of Snap Studios' clients have included Adidas, Nike, Nordstrom's, and eBay—as well as various fashion shoots. "The idea is that we want to attract more moviemaking out here to the desert and there isn't really a facility that has shooting space, gear rental, and then access to verify talent and editors and camera operators. So we are trying to cover all bases and then be the destination place in the desert for all of these services." 

In the meantime, both Zach Ivey and his alter ego Trenton Ducati have enjoyed their partnership with DAP Health and seem ready to help out with future endeavors. “[They] been a close ally of mine and I just wanted to do anything where I was involved with them." 

To receive your free, at-home HIV test, visit daphealth.org; or call 760-567-2431, Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM. The self-tests are saliva-based and take about 20 minutes to process at home. 

Free HIV testing is also available at DAP Heath’s Sexual Wellness Orange Clinic from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday to Friday. Call 760-992-0492 to make an appointment. 

Revivals and The Bobs

Fighting e-waste with “the Bobs” at Revivals 

Revivals Stores agrees with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and sees the value of electronics that can be reused, refurbished, or recycled to minimize the actual waste that might end up in a landfill. This helps prevent polluting at unprotected dump sites in the Coachella Valley, and at locations abroad where it might be shipped.  

There is good reason for this concern. Although electronics waste (e-waste) represents 2% of America's trash in landfills, it equals 70% of overall toxic waste, due to the presence of heavy metals. (EPA) 

The EPA also says donating used (but still operating) electronics for reuse helps prevent waste and pollution. Embracing resale extends the lives of valuable products and keeps them out of landfills. And if fewer new units need to be manufactured to meet consumer needs, our carbon footprint falls more. 

Revivals Stores has been fighting e-waste in the Coachella Valley for years by helping shoppers find useable electronics in great condition for a low price. But before items make it to the sales floor, sometimes they need to spend time in rehab with a pair of volunteer repairmen who have been compared to the dynamic duo.  

“The Bobs” help make Revivals Stores a go-to for historic electronics pieces that work like new, plus newer items ready for use. 

“We’re both electronic nerds,” Bob H. says.  

Busy year-round, their work receives extra attention during Palm Springs Modernism Week every February and October when period-specific pieces are in highest demand.  

“The Bobs” are driven to give back to their community by helping fight e-waste while expanding access to healthcare for patients at DAP Health.  

“We have a small footprint in our work area with the highest return for DAP Health, and all that money goes to services,” Bob L. explains. “You can't get much better than that.” 

Both say that volunteering for Revivals Stores has provided them with something meaningful and fulfilling, on top of their career accomplishments.  

“When I retired, I wanted to find something that enables me to have this feeling that I am giving back something to my community,” says Bob H. “You walk out of here at the end of the day and feel like you've accomplished something.” 

Volunteering helps Bob L. tap into motivation he felt during his earlier career.  

“I have tried to always find a place in my career that when we finish, the community's in a better position, people are healthier and they're safer.” 

Volunteering at Revivals gives that to him. 

“The thing about DAP Health is it has a very dynamic ability to respond to the needs in the community as they change, to evaluate them and deliver services, whether it's medical assistance or counseling or support.” 

For store locations or to learn more about Revivals, please visit their website: revivalsstores.com