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Meet The CEO


There’s no place like Desert AIDS Project … and nowhere else I’d rather be!

D.A.P. CEO David Brinkman

As I approached my eighth anniversary of leading D.A.P., I decided the time was right to “recharge my batteries” by taking a sabbatical, from July 15 – October 15, with the blessing of our amazing board of directors.

I know that wouldn’t have been possible without the assistance of each and every board member … the leadership team and entire staff at Desert AIDS Project … and the support of the incredible donors and volunteers who have made it possible for D.A.P. to provide “holistic-care-done-right” since 1984.

During my tenure at D.A.P., all of you have helped us reach some very significant markers of even greater success:

  • We have achieved status as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) lookalike, helping to improve the “medical home” we’ve created for our patients by providing integrated access to medical care and other services, all under one roof. The enhanced Medicare reimbursement this provides helps to create diversity in D.A.P.’s revenue stream for providing these essential services. One of our near-term goals is full-FQHC-status, to even further strengthen this funding stream.
  • Get Tested Coachella Valley is off to a great start! We couldn’t be more pleased at how our “community champions” – Carolyn Caldwell, Barbara Keller, and Rep. Raul Ruiz, MD – have rallied significant support for the nation’s first region-wide HIV testing effort to bring about an “AIDS-free generation.” These efforts have been lauded by both President Bill Clinton – praising the campaign’s public/private partnership – and Senator Barbara Boxer, who will be presenting the Humanitarian Award to D.A.P. board chair Barbara Keller and the Vanguard Leadership Award to long-time D.A.P. supporter Andy Linsky at the 2014 Palm Springs Equality Awards this Saturday evening.
  • Desert AIDS Project has been named one of the “Top 20 HIV/AIDS Charities of 2014” by About.com, the largest source for expert content on the Internet, helping 85 million users each month. This is the second year About.com has assembled this list and D.A.P. has been on it both years! They have cited Desert AIDS Project for our high percentage spent on programs vs. overhead (82% in both 2013 and 2014,) our fundraising efforts (raising $100 for every $15 spent,) and our financial transparency. We’re proud to be in the company of HIV/AIDS charitable organizations like the Elton John AIDS Foundation, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, and amfAR, as well as international HIV/AIDS leaders.

I’m happy to say that while on my sabbatical, my friends and family once again responded to my plea to continue supporting client services at Desert AIDS Project through our 27th Desert AIDS Walk that happens this Saturday morning at Ruth Hardy Park. Many of those reading this letter either formed their own Walk team or donated to someone else who did. Big, BIG thanks to key fundraisers like Rick Draughon, Patrick Jordan, Barbara Keller, Keith Markovitiz, and Steve Tobin who are helping us close in on our fundraising goal of $295,000!!

Thank you, one and all, for continuing to be here for Desert AIDS Project. I’m re-energized and happy to be back. I hope to see you all at the Walk this Saturday – I’ll be the one with a big smile on my happy, well-rested face – looking forward to seeing each of you!

Until there’s a cure … and beyond!

David Brinkman, MBA
CEO, Desert AIDS Project


Fall 2014