Weekend Wrap Message - Saturday, April 4, From David Brinkman, Desert AIDS Project CEO
This week began with National Doctors Day - a day that, after this pandemic, we may want to consider making a Federal Holiday to honor the health professionals around the world who have shown a commitment to saving lives during the COVID-19 crisis.
Ambassador Deborah L. Birx MD, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, and tireless champion in the fight against HIV/AIDS since the earliest days, said this about the importance of community response to the pandemic.
“It’s communities that will do this. There’s no magic bullet. There’s no magic vaccine or therapy. It’s just behaviors. Each of our behaviors translating into something that changes the course of this viral pandemic over the next 30 days." - Ambassador Deborah L. Birx
I truly believe the work we’re doing at DAP right now will be a case study for how to react in a public health crisis for decades to come. As a team, and an organization, DAP is showing what is possible when we work together to change the course of this pandemic and help navigate our community through it.
The team at Desert AIDS Project has been adaptive in their approach and quick in their response to ensure continuous care for our patients and clients.
- Desert AIDS Project proudly launched MyChart Virtual Visit, a digital solution that ensures our patient's continuum of care from the comfort of their home. MyChart Virtual Visit is an easy and reliable way for them to meet with their clinicians. Click here to learn more about MyChart Virtual Visit.
- Our patients still have the option for an in-person meeting with their clinician in our Blue Clinic or Green Clinic on the DAP campus.
- MyChart Virtual Visit offers more choices to access the great care they've become accustomed to from DAP. It's one more way we deliver Patient-Centered Care to our community.
- Testing and symptom treatment in DAP's COVID-19 Triage clinic continues daily.
Desert AIDS Project in the News.
DAP has been committed to providing essential health information and services to the Spanish speaking community of the Coachella Valley for 36 years.
DAP COVID-19 Triage Clinic clinician Nayeli Torres engaged Univision journalist Regina Yurita on precautions people need to take, especially in areas of the Coachella Valley where air quality is poorest and most of the population are Spanish speakers.
Launch of a Peer Fundraising Campaign
So we may continue our work, nearly 300 friends and neighbors have answered our emergency fundraising call with donations of medical supplies and financial gifts approaching $300,000. Still, we have $1,150,000 left to raise.
To ensure we reach this critical goal, we launched a Community Champions peer-to-peer fundraising effort.
We ask you to enlist you friends, neighbors, and family in this most urgent call. If you’ve not participated in online fundraising with DAP in the past, click here to visit our Peer-to-Peer fundraising platform.
Please join us by registering with your Desert AIDS Walk credentials. If you are already in the system, simply fill out the form that will establish you as a DAP COVID-19 Community Champion.
New Approaches to Sexual Wellness During COVID-19
DAP launched a Sex and COVID-19 information campaign starting a frank conversation about practical alternatives to hooking up in-person. Partnering with Trenton Ducati, we started by sharing a video message. Upcoming is a series of more videos, an Instagram live, and infographics that provide community education.
- In less than two weeks, 6 new people were diagnosed with HIV at The Dock. We are thankful they chose to get tested, and we are committed to providing them continuous and holistic care going forward.
- Our work to end HIV and STIs continues, and our sexual health clinic The DOCK is still open the public on the DAP campus.
The Community Health team has been stepped up during this crisis to help keep the lifelines at DAP open. Team members are:
- Providing clients extra telephone support to ensure concerns and needs for vital information are addressed.
- Bolstering our Home Health team by providing home delivery services to our most vulnerable patient population.
- Collaborating with the UCR Street Medicine Team to assemble and distribute much needed hygiene and safer sex kits to at-risk populations in shelters and in-the-field.
Talk Therapy For Clients
Increasing access to talk therapy support, DAP Behavioral Health has opened up virtual therapy services for all DAP clients. Dr. Jill Gover leads a team of compassionate and competent practitioners who are ready to help our community. Please click here to call 760-992-0450 to discuss pre-authorization, and schedule an intake appointment with one of our therapists.
Many of our support groups continue via Zoom conferencing, and more are on the horizon. Next week, we will launch a COVID-19 Support Group via Zoom that will enable members of our community who test positive to exchange perspectives and information to make it through this time. For more information, call Cory Pulver at 760-992-0469 .
DAP called for personal protective equipment (PPE) donations, and many in the community are answering. We continue to desperately need items such as unused medical gowns, gloves, goggles, masks, sewn cloth masks, and shoe covers. If you’d like to donate, please click here to contact Shelia Barnett via email or click here to call 760-818-5219.
Our Social Services staff is making sure our clients can obtain and retain their Ryan White services by using the phone, e-mails, and fax, when shelter-in-place means they cannot come to DAP to fill out paperwork.
Assistance continues, including food, transportation, and housing programs for eligible clients, regardless of HIV status.