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DAP Health Opens Third Free Sexual Welln …

DAP Health Opens Third Free

Sexual Wellness Clinic


Joining existing clinics in Palm Springs and Indio, the latest facility — headquartered at Stonewall Medical Center in Cathedral City — will emphasize services for women and members of the LGBTQ+ community, including those seeking gender-affirming navigation and care.


On Tuesday, December 12, DAP Health will officially open the doors to its third free sexual wellness clinic, this latest outpost to be headquartered at Stonewall Medical Center, located at 68555 Ramon Road in Cathedral City.

Thanks to the nonprofit’s absorption of the Borrego Health system almost six months ago, its capacity to provide sexual health services to women and to LGBTQ+ people (including those seeking gender-affirming navigation and care) has vastly increased.

DAP Health’s first such clinic was originally known as The Dock when it debuted within the Barbara Keller LOVE Building on the organization’s Sunrise campus in Palm Springs in 2015.

The Dock was renamed the Orange Clinic in January 2023, when it relocated to the newly renovated, former county structure now known as the Annette Bloch CARE Building, across the way from the LOVE Building.

A second sexual wellness clinic, in Indio, was unveiled in July 2022. The two present clinics currently serve almost 1,100 patients per month.

Sexual health is of prime import to DAP Health. Just some of the organization’s achievements in this area include:

  • The Dock initially charging a flat fee of $125 for those without insurance, a significant step in increasing access. All sexual wellness clinics now offer most HIV and STI testing, and related services, at no cost.
  • Its June 2020 licensing of a mobile medical unit for STI testing.
  • Its July 2021 establishment of free sexual wellness services.
  • Its 2023 Creativity & Innovation Award, from the Inland Empire Health Plan, for its 2022 mpox response.
  • Its 2023 Center for Quality Improvement & Innovation Quality Award for Leadership in Quality Improvement of its Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program.
  • A partnership with gay dating app Mistr to provide statewide virtual PrEP and virtual HIV care.
  • The reduction in wait times so that anyone with HIV — or anyone wanting to start PrEP — can obtain medication within 72 hours.
  • The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) recent announcement of the recipients of its 2023 Community Health Quality Recognition (CHQR) badges, which recognize outstanding health center performance in a variety of clinical areas, including behavioral health, maternal health, cancer screening, and HIV prevention and care, as well as overall quality performance. DAP Health was one of eight health centers recognized, in the HIV prevention and care category. 

In the nine months since its opening, the Orange Clinic has had:

  • 6,403 patient visits.
  • Almost 500 people started on PrEP for the prevention of HIV.
  • Almost 1,500 people treated for one or more STIs.

“With DAP Health’s free sexual wellness clinics in Palm Springs and Indio at capacity, there clearly was sufficient patient demand to support a third location,” says DAP Health Chief of Community Health C.J. Tobe. “When we factor in the continued rise of sexually transmitted infections, duplicating our Orange Clinic model — where a free sexual health clinic is located at the same site at which DAP Health provides ongoing general clinical services — simply makes sense.”

Formerly part of the Borrego Health system, Stonewall Medical Center has long provided quality and compassionate health care to both the LGBTQ+ community and members of the general population. Its infectious disease specialists focus on patients with HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C, and STIs. Stonewall also provides transgender health care, PrEP and PEP HIV prevention, behavioral health, and dental services.

As is the case in Palm Springs and Indio, Cathedral City’s sexual wellness clinic at Stonewall will be open Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., with a one-hour lunch break closure for staff between 11:45 a.m. and 12:45 p.m.

All services will be free, and will include:

  • HIV / hepatitis C / STI testing.
  • STI treatment.
  • Pregnancy testing.
  • Birth control.
  • PrEP & PEP for HIV prevention.
  • Doxy PrEP and PEP for STI prevention.
  • A patient’s first two RapidStART visits once diagnosed with a new HIV infection.
  • The JYNNEOS vaccine to prevent mpox.

Serving on staff will be:

  • Director of Specialty Programs Dr. Jason Halperin, whose focus will be on gender-affirming care as well as on those living with, or at risk of, contracting HIV.
  • Director of Gender Health and Wellness Jacob Rostovsky.
  • Gender Health and Wellness Manager Mita Beach.
  • Gender Health and Wellness Navigator Mateo Williamson, who will provide linkage to gender-affirming care, and assistance with transportation, insurance, medication coverage, housing/wellness/food referrals, and other support.
  • Family Nurse Practitioner Brandi Teegarden.
  • Sexual Wellness Registered Nurse Jody Cap.
  • Licensed Vocational Nurse/Prescription Coordinator Tiffany Burdett.
  • Early Intervention and PrEP Specialist Alexis Rocha, who will provide linkage to care and support for HIV and hepatitis C patients, and assistance with transportation, insurance, medication coverage, housing/wellness/food referrals, and other support.
  • PrEP navigators who can provide help with transportation, insurance, medication coverage, housing/wellness/food referrals, and other support.
  • Patient Service Representative Jadira Hernandez, who will help with scheduling, take incoming phone calls, and facilitate patient check-in and checkout.

“It’s always all about access,” continues Tobe. “Having a new free sexual wellness clinic provides folks in and around the Cathedral City area a place closer to home where they can access no-barrier, no-red-tape, no-shame, and no-stigma sexual wellness care.”

He adds: “While the sheer existence of this new sexual wellness clinic makes me very happy, I think I’m most excited to be able to offer a gender health and wellness team at Stonewall, whose lifesaving gender-affirming care navigation services will be entirely free and accessed through the new sexual wellness clinic as well.”

“Trans health care isn’t typical health care,” says Gender Health and Wellness Manager Mita Beach, who identifies as nonbinary and queer, in the just-released fall issue of DAP Health magazine. “Typically, when people go to the clinic, it’s because they’re sick or because they have to go once a year for a check-up.” But trans people often need to see a provider more frequently, especially if they are receiving gender-affirming hormone therapy, which needs to be monitored.

“People of trans experience and nonbinary communities have increased rates of HIV acquisition, especially those of color,” says Director of Specialty Programs Dr. Jason Halperin, in the same article. “We know that racism and stigma play the greatest role in driving these increased rates. Furthermore, when structures of power such as the police — or increasingly, legislatures — target and stigmatize communities, we will inevitably see worsening health outcomes due to exclusion.”

Halperin goes on to stress that DAP Health “must commit even more to this work. We must shine our light bright and far. Our clinics need to ensure easy and supportive accessibility to gender-affirming care. We must also continue to work in solidarity with those across our country.”

Those interested in making an appointment at Cathedral City’s new Stonewall sexual wellness clinic may call 760.969.5740.

New, more convenient hours at The DOCK!

Staying in control of your sexual health just got a whole lot easier!

The DOCK, a sexual health clinic staffed by and situated at Desert AIDS Project in Palm Springs, has announced a new, more convenient schedule beginning Tuesday, September 6th, the day after Labor Day.

Our new, more convenient schedule hours will make it easier for people to access the care they need – when they need it.

The new hours will be Monday-Friday from 10:00AM to 6:30PM for all services. The new schedule will make it easier for people to access services after work, or even during their lunch break. As an added convenience, patients can walk in, with no appointment necessary.

The DOCK New Hours

“When our patients ask, we listen,” said David Morris, MD, Medical Director of The DOCK. “For sexual health treatment and prevention services, accessibility and convenience aren’t trivial – they’re key to better health outcomes.”

The DOCK provides STD testing and treatment, free and confidential HIV and Hepatitis C testing, and Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) to prevent the acquisition of HIV.

As the clinic has become better known and more popular, an increasing number of patients and community members have asked the clinic to stay open all day (with no lunch break) and to extend hours into the early evening.

The DOCK is located at 1695 N. Sunrise Way, Palm Springs. Its unique, trademark entryway is via the loading dock ramp on the south side of the Desert AIDS Project building.

For more information, please visit www.thedockclinic.org.