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Weekend Wrap Up – May 30, 2020

Milestones Of Hope and Celebration

Weekend Wrap Message-Saturday, May 30, From David Brinkman, Desert AIDS Project CEO

COVID-19 Triage Clinic Update

Since it opened on March 16, we’ve now marked our first 1,000 patients receiving care for their symptoms at our COVID-19 Clinic, including testing if needed. As we’ve added antibody testing, interest is skyrocketing—in just one day, we had 400 phone calls requesting appointments for this testing. We are in this for the long haul to offer relief to our area hospitals and prevent needless suffering.

Revivals is safely reopening on June 1

We can now return to one of our favorite pastimes—treasure hunting! We’ve prepared our three Revivals stores to make sure that our customers, employees, and volunteers are set up for a safe and pleasant experience, starting this weekend. 

We are requiring all who enter Revivals to wear masks to show support for everyone’s health. Stores will be sanitized every two hours, and there will be sneeze guards at registers. Hand sanitizer and social distancing reminders will be prominent throughout the stores as well. You can find out more if you watch Dane Koch, our director of retail, talk with Steve Henke below.

DAP LIVE

We’re increasing the ways we reach our neighbors throughout the Coachella Valley, to inform them about all the ways DAP can help them build resiliency and community, and to inspire them to remain engaged in their health. 

We launched DAP LIVE, a weekly three-interview online show streaming on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. 

With Steven Henke as host, we’ll bring you conversations with people who are making a difference in our community. We think you’ll be inspired as they share some of their motivations for getting involved to make life better for others.  

In this episode we heard conversations with TV Personality Scott Nevins, DAP Director of Retail Dane Koch, and DAP Behavioral Health Manager Dr. Jill Gover.

Voices of Hope Countdown

Scott Nevins is going to help us all shake off the doldrums when he hosts “Voices of Hope: Together We Thrive”, a free, one-hour entertainment special that will broadcast across DAP’s social channels on Friday, June 5 at 7pm PT.

 “No more Debbie Downer-this is all about feeling good and celebrating life.”

We’re so thankful that when Scott asked stars like Betty Buckley and Kristen Chenoweth to be featured in the online broadcast, they committed to helping support our COVID-19 Triage Clinic immediately. You can watch Scott Nevins tell Steven Henke more in the DAP LIVE clip above. 

To learn more about the show and restaurant ideas, click here.

Revivals Volunteers Needed 

Our volunteers make up 80 percent of our Revivals workforce, but some will not be able to return during this health crisis. We support and cherish all of our volunteers, including when their safety or comfort requires them to remain home.

We are looking for volunteers to help run Revivals. The minimum time requirement is just four hours per week for the chance to help support the community we all want to create. It’s easy to find out more by clicking here.

DAP In the News

Winston Gieseke for The Desert Sun covered Voices of Hope, plus the exciting news about Revivals opening on June 1. Read more here. 

Larry Buhl for The Body covered DAP offering HIV self-testing, access to PrEP and PEP, and continuous operations throughout this health crisis. Read more here.

Broadway and Hollywood come together for …

Broadway and Hollywood come together for Voices of Hope: Together, We Thrive Benefitting Desert AIDS Project

Palm Springs, CA May 22, 2020  Desert AIDS Project will present ‘Voices of Hope: Together, We Thrive’  - a star-studded live streaming event for the community on Friday, June 5 at 7:00 pm. 

The event will be co-produced and hosted by TV Personality and OUT100 Honoree, Scott Nevins, and feature some of the biggest names from the entertainment industry. The one-hour entertainment special will broadcast across Desert AIDS Project’s social channels including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. The event is free, but registration is encouraged, and proceeds support DAP’s COVID-19 response.  Viewers are encouraged to enhance their viewing by ordering take-out or delivery before the show, a move to support local restaurants. Learn more at DesertAIDSProject.org/Hope

“We want to bring people together around a message of hope during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said David Brinkman, CEO. “We also want to support local restaurants with this entertainment experience. We thank our patrons who support them by ordering takeout or delivery on that day.”

DAP has provided continuous primary healthcare to its patients throughout this health crisis and embraced the new normal to open its doors wider. Telehealth is making everyone safer by giving patients the power to choose between an in-person doctor visit or a Virtual Visit. The technology rollout is also helping DAP clients access therapy more than ever, from California licensed clinical psychologists. 

The fight to end HIV in the Coachella Valley hasn’t taken a break, either. DAP has made free HIV home-testing by mail available for anyone who can’t come to the DAP campus for testing. And counselors quickly turned to Virtual Visits when it became clear they could continue offering access to HIV and STI prevention, testing, and treatment in the face of a crisis.

A full list of restaurants providing take-out can be found at the DiningOutForLife/PalmSprings website.

Top Talent Will Dazzle

Performers scheduled to appear include; Emmy and TONY Award-winning actress and singer Kristin Chenoweth, TONY Award Winner Betty Buckley, EMMY, Golden Globe and Tony Award Nominee Matthew Morrison, Tony Award Nominee Megan Hilty & Brian Gallagher, TONY Award Nominee Ann Hampton Callaway, TONY Award Nominee Max von Essen, TONY Award Nominee Saycon Sengbloh, Television and Film stars Erich BergenCarla Jimenez, Emerson Collins, and Blake McIver, plus celebrity vocal impressionist and YouTube sensation, Christina Bianco.

Complete Star Bios

TONY® and EMMY® Award-winning actress and singer Kristin Chenoweth’s career spans film, television, voiceover and stage. Stage, (“You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”, “Wicked”, “On the Twentieth Century”), film (“Rio 2”, “My Little Pony: The Movie”, “Four Christmases”) and television (“Trial & Error”, “The West Wing”, “Pushing Daisies”, “Glee”, “Descendants”, “Hairspray” and “American Gods”). Her latest album “For The Girls,” was released in September 2019 and was a heartfelt tribute to the great female singers throughout history. To celebrate the release of her new album “For The Girls,” Chenoweth returned to the Broadway stage this past November in an eight-performance concert engagement at the Nederlander Theatre. Recently, Chenoweth starred alongside Scott Wolf in the holiday film “A Christmas Love Story,” which premiered on Hallmark Channel in December 2019.  Along with the holiday season, Chenoweth released her latest stand-alone Holiday e-single titled “White Christmas.” Upcoming, Chenoweth will star in the film “Holidate,” which will premiere on Netflix in 2020. In addition to starring in, Chenoweth will also executively produce the upcoming comedy series “The Biggest Star in Appleton,” which is currently in the works at Disney Plus. Last December, Chenoweth performed with iconic The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra in their annual Christmas concert, which aired this past December. Previously in 2009, Chenoweth wrote an upliftingly candid, comedic chronicle of her life so far, “A Little Bit Wicked,” which debuted on the New York Times Hardcover Non-Fiction Best Seller List. Chenoweth received a coveted star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame in the category of Live Performance, Stage/Theatre in 2015. Chenoweth is a graduate of Oklahoma City University with a Master’s degree in Opera Performance. She formed a charity partnership with the Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center (BAPAC) Foundation in her home state of Oklahoma. Chenoweth's accomplishments were honored by her hometown with BAPAC naming "The Kristin Chenoweth Theatre" in 2012. Partnering with the BAPAC, she launched an annual Broadway Bootcamp in 2015. Chenoweth is an inductee into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, as well as the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.

Betty Buckley is known as a legendary, multi-award-winning Actress/Singer whose multi-faceted career spans theater, film, television, and concert halls around the world.   She won a Tony Award for her performance in “Cats,” is a 2012 Theatre Hall of Fame inductee and the 2017 recipient of the Julie Harris Award for Artistic Achievement from The Actor’s Fund.  She received her second Tony Nomination for “Triumph of Love.”  Most recently she starred in the National Tour of the new Broadway production of  “Hello, Dolly!”  She co-starred with James McAvoy in M. Night Shyamalan’s International Box Office hit “Split” and guest-starred in Season 3 of the AMC hit show “Preacher”. She has been nominated for two Emmy Awards for her work in television.  A two time Grammy Nominee, she has recorded 18 solo CDs. She has received two Honorary Doctorates and has been a teacher for over 40 years of Scene Study and Song Interpretation.  

Matthew Morrison is a versatile actor who is recognized for his work on-stage and on-screen. He has been nominated for Tony, Emmy, and Golden Globe Awards. 

Morrison studied musical theater, vocal performance and dance at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. He made his debut on Broadway in “Footloose” but his big break came when he was cast as heartthrob Link Larkin in the hit “Hairspray.” Morrison was later nominated for a Tony Award for his role in “The Light in the Piazza,” and received a Drama Desk Nomination for Outstanding Actor in a Musical for “10 Million Miles.” He also starred in the Tony-winning revival of “South Pacific” at Lincoln Center Theater in New York. 
In 2010, Morrison became a true household name when he was cast as a series regular in FOX’s musical comedy television series “Glee,” where he starred as the director of the glee club, “Mr. Schuester.”  The show was created by Ryan Murphy and received the Golden Globe award for “Best Television Series – Comedy or Musical” in 2010 and 2011.  The series wrapped in 2015 after six successful seasons.

Morrison’s most recent Broadway credit is starring as “J.M Barrie” in the musical “Finding Neverland” from March, 2015 through January, 2016.  The Broadway production is an adaptation of the 2004 film written by David Magee. The story follows the relationship between Barrie and the Davies family, who became the author’s inspiration for the creation of Peter Pan. Morrison received two Drama Desk nominations for his role, and won the category of Favorite Actor in a Musical in the Broadway.com Audience Awards.

Morrison has teamed up with Disney Music Group to release a carefully curated album of Disney classics, set for release in March 2020.  The album, whose songs were personally picked from Morrison’s fondest Disney memories, will cover several eras of classic films.  The album is available for pre-order now. The first single, “Go The Distance” was released on January 10, along with its official music video.

Megan Hilty rose to prominence for her roles in Broadway musicals, including her performance as Glinda the Good Witch in Wicked, Doralee Rhodes in 9 to 5 the Musical, and her Tony-nominated role as Brooke Ashton in Noises Off. She also received rave reviews for her portrayal of Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Annie Oakley in Annie Get Your Gun as part of the Encores! staged concert series at City Center. Last year she fulfilled a lifelong dream of playing Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. She's probably best known for starring as Ivy Lynn on the musical-drama series, Smash. Megan has released three full-length albums, It Happens All The Time, Megan Hilty: Live At The Cafe Carlyle, and A Merry Little Christmas. Megan's voice can be heard as KC the Koala on the Disney Jr series, T.O.T.S., the garden fairy, Rosetta, in the animated Tinkerbell series, the singing voice of Snow White in Shrek the Third, and on several other Disney, Nickelodeon, and DreamWorks series. She has performed with renowned symphonies all over the world including the New York Pops, the National Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, and the Boston Pops, and just recently headlined her own show at the Sydney Opera House.

Brian Gallagher is a singer/songwriter, musician, and occasional actor whose album All That's Ahead debuted at #1 on the iTunes blues charts to rave reviews. Just last year, he released his second LP, BROWNSTONE, a gritty, bluesy, horror-inspired concept record about a haunted, four "story" brownstone in Manhattan's East Village. He's co-written several songs that have been released over the last several years with partner, Matt Cusson, and is currently putting the finishing touches on his next two full-length concept records, The Grind Show and XIV. Recent theater credits include the Broadway revival of Jekyll & Hyde and the NYC premiere of the rock musical, Chix 6.

Ann Hampton Callaway is one of America’s most gifted artists in pop and jazz. A leading champion of the great American Songbook, she’s made her mark as a singer, pianist, composer, lyricist, arranger, actress, educator, TV host and producer. Voted by Broadwayworld.com as “Performer of the Year” and two years in a row as “Best Jazz Vocalist,” Ann is born entertainer.  She is best known for Tony-nominated performance in the hit Broadway musical “Swing!” and for writing and singing the theme song to the hit TV series “The Nanny.”  She made her feature film debut opposite Angelina Jolie and Matt Damon in the Robert De Niro film “The Good Shepherd", performing the standard "Come Rain or Come Shine" and recorded "Isn't It Romantic?" and "The Nearness of You" for Wayne Wong's “Last Holiday", starring Queen Latifah. Ann also wrote songs for the upcoming movie musical “The Man Who Saved Paris" starring Stanley Tucci and can be heard singing her original song “Pourquoi” in the soundtrack of “Blind” starring Alec Baldwin and Demi Moore. Callaway is a Platinum Award-winning writer whose songs are featured on seven of Barbra Streisand's recent CD's. The only composer to have collaborated with Cole Porter, she has also written songs with Carole King, Rolf Lovland, Amanda McBroom and Shelby Lynn to name a few.  Ann has recorded over 50 CDs as a soloist and guest and her new CD Jazz Goes to the Movies debuted at #12 on the Billboard Jazz Chart and has been in high rotation on Siriusly Sinatra.  Callaway’s performances and recordings have garnered her The Theater World Award, 15 MAC Awards, several Bistro Awards, The Mabel Mercer Award, The Johnny Mercer Award for Songwriting and The Blanton Peale Award for Positive Thinking. 

Max von Essen recently starred on Broadway as Gleb Vaganov in Anastasia and then toured the country as Marvin in the Lincoln Center production of Falsettos. His debut album, Call Me Old Fashioned: The Broadway Standard, was released on April 5th, 2019.

In 2016, Max completed his run in An American in Paris at The Palace Theater as Henri Baurel, a performance which earned him a nomination for the 2015 Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award. He also performed in the revival of Evita, playing the role of Agustin Magaldi and frequently stepping in for Ricky Martin in the role of Che. Other broadway appearances include Enjolras in the first revival of Les Misérables, Alfred in the ill-fated Dance of the Vampires, starring alongside Michael Crawford, Jean Prouvaire in the closing company of the original Les Misérables, and as a disciple in the 2000 revival of Jesus Christ Superstar. In that production, Max understudied the role of Jesus and performed it many times.

Among his numerous New York appearances are Yours Unfaithfully at The Mint Theater, Alfred Dreyfus in The Dreyfus Affair at BAM, Maury Yeston’s Death Takes a Holiday at the Roundabout Theatre Company, The Transport Group’s revival of Michael John LaChiusa’s Hello Again (Drama League nomination), Jerry Springer: The Opera at Carnegie Hall, Finian’s Rainbow at the Irish Repertory Theatre, and The Fantasticks at the Sullivan Street Playhouse.  Max has also found himself roller skating across the country in the first national tour of Xanadu as Sonny Malone, as Mary Sunshine in the national tour of Chicago, as Tony in West Side Story throughout Europe and as a backup singer for the legendary Liza Minnelli.

Tony-nominated actress, Saycon Sengbloh can be currently seen as Jules, a tough, no-nonsense homicide detective in the CW series, “In the Dark.”She recurred on ABC/Shonda Rhimes’ drama “Scandal” as FBI Director Angela Webster. And co-stars in the Upcoming Aretha Franklin Biopic, RESPECT! Recent Drama Desk award nominee for The Secret Life of Bees musical and fave Broadway credits include Eclipsed (Drama Desk Award, Tony Award nomination), Holler If Ya Hear Me, Motown: The Musical, FELA!; Wicked and more! Saycon is the Host of podcast SayconTalks podcast AND YouTube channel!

Actor, Singer, Writer, and Producer, Erich Bergen is best known as the trusty assistant Blake Moran on the hit television show Madam Secretary, which recently completed 6 seasons on CBS. He is also well known for his critically acclaimed performance as Bob Gaudio in the film Jersey Boys, a role he previously played on stage in the National Tour and Las Vegas casts of the Tony Award-winning musical. 

In 2018, Erich made his Broadway debut playing Dr. Pomatter in the hit musical Waitress, written by Sara Bareilles.
In concert, Erich has performed everywhere from Shreveport to Singapore. His original music is available on Spotify, Amazon, Apple Music, and all other major digital music outlets. Follow Erich on Instagram/Twitter: @erichbergen 

Carla Jimenez was a series regular on THE MICK, playing Alba. Her recent credits include recurring roles on “Single Parents”, “Life in Pieces”,  and lending her voice to the newly released Animated Feature Film “Spies In Disguise” starring Will Smith.  Upcoming projects include the feature film “Friendsgiving”.  Her additional television credits include recurring roles on the comedies “Raising Hope” “Last Man Standing,” “Growing Up Fisher,” “Better Off Ted” and “Desperate Housewives,” as well as guest-starring roles on BONES, “The Mindy Project,” “My Name Is Earl” and “Little Britain USA.”

Christina Bianco’s singular voice and comedic charm have brought audiences around the world to their feet. Bianco captured international acclaim as a YouTube sensation with her ‘diva’ impression videos, gaining over 25 million views. Dubbed ’The Girl Of A Thousand Voices,’ she’s performed on major television programs including, The Ellen Degeneres Show and The Today Show in the US, and The Paul O’Grady Show and This Morning, in the UK. 

A Two-Time Drama Desk Award nominee, Christina made her West End debut in Forbidden Broadway at the Vaudeville Theatre. Most recently, Christina played the iconic role of Fanny Brice at the Theatre Marigny’s celebrated production of Funny Girl in Paris, earning unanimous rave reviews. 
Television credits include iTV’s The Imitation Game, the POPtv’s Impress Me, Hallmark’s Signed Sealed, Delivered, and frequent voice work for RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Christina has performed her critically acclaimed concerts across the U.S. and abroad, including two UK tours and extended runs in London, Scotland, South Africa and Australia at the Sydney Opera House. Christina frequently performs with US and Canadian symphonies. Her live album, Life Of The Party was released last year.

Emerson Collins is an actor/producer/director known for four seasons of BRAVO’s “The People’s Couch” and “RENT” on FOX.  He produced and starred in the films “A Very Sordid Wedding” and “Southern Baptist Sissies.” He produced and starred in the national tour of Sissies and Sordid Lives. Emerson won the Desert Theatre League Award for Best Actor in a Comedy for the regional premiere of the one-man show Buyer & Cellar with Coyote Stageworks. Collins co-produced and recurred in LOGO’s “Sordid Lives: The Series” and produced “Blues For Willadean.”  He directed Del Shores’ one-man play “Six Characters In Search Of a Play” on stage and for film.

Blake McIver has been performing since the age of six when he won Star Search as Junior Vocalist Champion and he has been working as a professional singer, actor and entertainer ever since in film, television and theatre.  His film work began with a breakout performance as “Waldo” in The Little Rascals.  In television, he starred as a series regular for three seasons as “Derek” on Full House opposite Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen and went on to guest star on The Drew Carey ShowCluelessHome Improvement, and The Nanny.

Blake played “Edgar” in the United States Premiere of the musical Ragtime with the original production team including composer Steven Flaherty, lyricist Lynn Ahrens and librettist Terrence McNally.  He was the youngest person to ever be nominated for a Los Angeles Stage Alliance Ovation Award for his performance.  Other theatre highlights include Freddie in Chess, Fabrizio in The Light In The Piazza, Radames in AIDA and Link in Hairspray.

Blake has also worked extensively in voiceover and animation including TarzanThe Little Mermaid IIAnastasiaRecess, and as the beloved “Eugene” on Hey Arnold.  Blake has also worked extensively as a session vocalist, backup singer and featured soloist for recording artists such as Michael Jackson, David Foster, Natalie Cole, Phil Collins, and Barry Manilow. 

Blake recently starred on 4 seasons of BRAVO’s hit social series The People’s Couch, toured nationally as director and choreographer for recording artist Ariana Savalas, and made his Off-Broadway debut with his critically acclaimed one-man show, Blake Sings Barbra: The 1994 Concert.

Scott Nevins is an award-winning TV/Radio personality, host, producer, writer, comedian, news pundit, and LGBTQ/HIV awareness activist. Best known for being one of the breakout stars and original cast members of Bravo TV’s series “The People’s Couch”, and formally from truTV’s hit show “truTV Presents: World’s Dumbest…”, he has hosted hundreds of live events, performed his acclaimed solo shows to sold-out audience around the country, and has worked with some of the industries biggest names, both on stage and on camera. He has appeared on national TV on NBC, FOX, BravoCNN, CNN International, HLN, truTVThe Style Network, Fuse TV, LOGO, and MNN Television. He has hosted several red carpet events for TVLand.com, received high praise for his work as the co-host of “The Ann Walker Show with Scott Nevins” (Universal Broadcasting Network), as a fill-in host on Sirius Satellite Radio and KNews Radio, and most recently as a regular contributor for NewNowNext.comBy the age of 24, Scott headlined his own shows at the famed Carolines on Broadway in NYC, and went on to win critical and audience raves for his solo comedy tours. Scott also Produces and Hosts the hugely successful yearly fundraiser “SPARKLE: An All-Star Holiday Concert”, benefiting The Actors Fund. In addition, Scott has proudly donated his talents to numerous organizations like HRC; PFLAG; God’s Love We Deliver; Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids; The Matthew Shepard Foundation; Desert AIDS Project and many more. Scott was chosen as an honoree for OUT Magazine's prestigious OUT100 list and is the recipient of the Out There Award and the Silver ADDY Award (from the American Advertising Federation) for his work as an LGBTQ and HIV Awareness Activist. He was chosen by New York Magazine in their ‘Best of New York’ issue and has appeared as the cover story for INSTINCT magazine.

About Desert AIDS Project
Desert AIDS Project (DAP) is a humanitarian healthcare organization in Palm Springs, CA offering– a combination of medical, dental, counseling, social services, support groups, alternative therapies, in-house pharmacy and lab, and other health and wellness services. DAP’s sexual health clinic, The DOCK, 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  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. 

Visit www.desertaidsproject.orgwww.thedockclinic.org, and www.gettestedcoachellavalley.org to learn more.

Hearing messages of hope all around us

Hearing messages of hope all around us

Weekend Wrap Message-Saturday, May 23, From David Brinkman, Desert AIDS Project CEO

Voices of Hope on June 5, 7pm PT

We’re bringing our community together around a message of hope with the help of Broadway and Hollywood stars while we continue supporting our local restaurants. “Voices of Hope: Together We Thrive” is a free, one-hour entertainment special that will broadcast across DAP’s social channels on Friday, June 5 at 7pm PT.

Let Kristin Chenoweth, Betty Buckley and about a dozen other stars entertain you in your home. Complete your experience by ordering take-out or delivery from local eateries before the show, and you’ll know you’re preserving one of this area’s finest gems—its restaurant scene.  

To learn more about the show and restaurant ideas, click here.

DAP Talks – Hearing the message of hope

You can hear this DAP Talks by clicking here.

Anxiety and depression are getting in the way of many people’s health and resiliency, especially with isolation from social distancing and sheltering in place. We started the audio series DAP Talks to give people one more way to receive the message of transformation from healers like Dr. Jill Gover. Her first audio installment is “Taking Care of Your Mental Health During COVID-19” and more are coming.

COVID-19 Triage Clinic Update

We saw almost 200 clients this week for antibody and diagnostic testing for COVID-19 and treatment for respiratory symptoms.

We are taking what we’ve learned so far on the frontlines fighting COVID-19, and we are sharing it with the County of Riverside as we continue partnering in this health crisis. As the County looks at an antibody program and contract tracing, the hard work from Dr. Foltz and his team will help others avoid suffering. Through this tragedy, we are working to be part of a solution.

The Coachella Valley Weekly featured our COVID-19 Triage Clinic as its cover story. You can read it here.

Gratitude for Drop-Off Donations Resuming at Revivals

It felt great being reminded of how much this community cares after the first week of contact-free donation drop-offs at all three Revivals. We put the safety of our volunteers, clients, and staff first, and changing the way we accept donations was the first step.

We’re changing the way we work so Revivals can outlive COVID-19 and carry on as this community’s favorite place to find treasures new and old. We’re looking at new ways that you will be able to ‘Find Yourself at Revivals’, whether that’s online or through contact-free curbside services like order pickup.

We’re preparing for when the city of Palm Springs and the state of California clear us to re-open. That includes being armed with effective sanitization measures and protocols, and only opening if we have confidence we can ensure the safety of our employees, volunteers, and customers.

Antibody and diagnostic testing availabl …

Antibody and diagnostic testing available   

Weekend Wrap Message-Saturday, May 16, From David Brinkman, Desert AIDS Project CEO

Dr. Foltz In-Depth on NBC Palm Springs

Dr. Christopher Foltz talked with Gino LaMont  of NBC Palm Springs about his own journey with COVID-19 and the current race to develop treatments to save lives, harkening back to the worst days of the AIDS crisis.

Also remembered from that terrible time was the outdated U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulation that still prevents gay men from donating blood.

Dr. Foltz shared his story about being turned down for donating blood to a potentially lifesaving plasma study. Gino said he cannot believe the ban is still in effect, and neither can we.

DAP In the News

Clients Increase at COVID-19 Triage Clinic

The rise in people seeking services from our COVID-19 Triage Clinic isn’t stopping. We saw about 40 clients daily this week, as testing was given to asymptomatic patients and those displaying symptoms. Our staff continues to make sure each patient knows about the behavioral and primary care they can access at DAP, not to mention more.

We’ve moved testing inside the COVID-19 Triage Clinic so that we can protect our patients and staff from the desert heat as temperatures begin to rise.

Donation trucks rolling again, drop-offs resume at all Revivals

We're getting ready to roll again - Schedule your curbside donation pick-up or enjoy contact-free donation drop-off at one of our three stores.

We opened our donation drop-off location in Palm Springs last week and will open donation drop-off sites at our Cathedral City and Palm Desert stores on May 18.

DONATE THIS WEEKEND IN PALM SPRINGS: Donation drop-off hours are Monday thru Saturday from 9 am to 4 pm and on Sunday from 10 am to 3 pm -and we'll see you at our donation centers in Palm Desert and Cathedral City starting Monday.

You have a unique opportunity during this pandemic to help fund comprehensive care at Desert AIDS Project.  Just by donating the things you no longer need.  Your gently used housewares, clothing, and furniture will fund comprehensive care at DAP - care that includes primary care, therapy, COVID-19 testing, STI testing, HIV specialty care, and so much more. 

We provide a contact-free drop or pick-up off allowing safe social distancing and our driver and staff continue to wear masks. 

If you are dropping donations off at our stores;

Receipts will be available should you need one for your records.

Voices of Hope – June 5 at 7pm

We’ve always believed in joining people together for entertainment and community, and bringing it online is part of the new normal. On June 5 we’re reminding everyone that Together, We Thrive, with a one-hour star-studded streaming event that will keep everyone on the edge of their seats with top entertainment. Kristin Chenoweth, Betty Buckley are among the show’s stars. Voices of Hope will be hosted by Scott Nevins.

Advocacy at home for the chance to defea …

Advocacy at home for the chance to defeat a pandemic

Weekend Wrap Message-Saturday, May 9, From David Brinkman, Desert AIDS Project CEO

DAP to FDA: Let Gay Men Donate Blood Now

This week we called upon the FDA to drop its archaic ban on gay blood donation. Recently Dr. Christopher Foltz fully recovered from COVID-19 himself, only to be blocked from participating in a groundbreaking plasma study that could help save his patients.

Since this crisis began, national supplies of blood are dangerously low and we need everyone to be able to donate. DAP views this ban as a human rights violation. No one should be denied from contributing to the wellbeing of their community in a time of crisis, including gay men.

Those suffering from COVID-19 whose lives could be saved from convalescent plasma transfusion therapy and others needing regular blood transfusions deserve to have supplies ready. Lifting this ban will save lives.

Read more about Dr. Foltz’s journey with COVID-19 and the plasma study here.

Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing

We announced even greater access to health by opening up asymptomatic testing to our community for COVID-19, and the response has been incredible. In just one day, our Patient Registration team scheduled 140 appointments, and more than half of them are newly enrolled patients at DAP now, able to access primary and behavioral healthcare plus much more.

Our order for 2,500 additional asymptomatic COVID-19 testing kits might be delayed due to supply chain issues. We have plenty of tests to accommodate appointments we’ve already set through May 15 for asymptomatic testing.  We are keeping in close contact with our supplier and will keep the community updated.

One Call services brought clients into care

Callers accessed One Call services by calling 760-992-0426, and they cut the amount of time it took to get enrolled in insurance or Medi-Cal through Covered California and into care at DAP by about two-thirds.

“When accessing services becomes difficult, people are more likely to give up on participating in their own health,” said C.J. Tobe, director of Community Health. “We’re not going to lose people in this community because we failed to keep them connected.” 

We also made sure that our Spanish speaking residents of the valley got this important information by working with Univision. 

Outreaching about therapy in a pandemic

Dr. Jill Gover wrote a Valley Voice column for The Desert Sun yesterday about how much your mental health matters during this health crisis, and she offered hope for building ways of coping.  You can read the column in its entirety by clicking here.

Because of you ... Desert AIDS Project's homebound and immunosuppressed patients will continue receiving care packages of nutritious meals and toiletries, DAP's frontline clinicians remain safe with proper PPE, and neighbors will be tested and treated for symptoms of COVID-19.

Together, we raised $40,000 matched by Mark Hamilton & Juan Francisco for a total of $60,000. You ordered breakfast, lunch, and dinner from local restaurants. You rallied with others all across the Valley, and the world, to ensure we all rally back stronger from the challenges of the pandemic.
WE ARE GRATEFUL.

Good mental health also vital in coronav …

Good mental health also vital in coronavirus pandemic. A therapist can help.

COVID-19 has triggered fear and grief for many as we grapple with multiple losses. The fear of getting sick, losing one’s job, paying the bills, not being able to protect or care for elderly parents, etc., is compounded by the loss of routine, familiarity, consistency, and confidence. Uncertainty and the disruption of daily norms only increases grief and anxiety. 

Now, more than usual, most of us could benefit from the expertise provided in therapy. People need support during this very challenging time, and mental health professionals are offering the tools necessary to help people cope.

The good news is that it's easier to access therapy now, because psychologists are using Virtual Visits and teleconferences to hold therapy sessions with their clients. Waiting lists are actually dwindling, and clients are getting help.

During this unprecedented time, therapy can help us distinguish the rational from the irrational. We may not even be consciously aware of own negative thoughts and how they make our situations worse. Therapists can help us identify the erroneous negative self-talk and faulty thinking that causes so much unnecessary emotional distress. 

We are able to increase awareness of this negative self-talk that causes stress, and develop a new, more accurate and positive perspective. Therapy provides a chance for people to think deeply about their emotional well-being, and prioritize their mental health. Collaboratively with the support of a therapist, we are able to face our fears and develop action plans that will move us through the paralysis of fear to empowerment. 

More than anything, psychotherapy is a reflective process that helps us better understand our experience so we can shape positive outcomes. Right now, we all need the opportunity to reflect on how COVID-19 has impacted us. It is a global, collective trauma the world has never seen in this century. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the enormity of what we’re facing, and to slide into self-destructive behaviors. 

In therapy we learn how to engage positive coping skills instead of relying on destructive, negative strategies, such as overeating, or substance use. Therapists can assist us develop solutions to reduce stress. In the safety of a therapeutic alliance, we access internal and external resources and as a result, avoid negative consequences. 

Would you like to talk to a therapist in person or virtually? Desert AIDS Project offers essential therapy from wherever you are. Our therapists are here to care for you. Call (760) 992-0450 to find out more.

DAP to FDA: Let Gay Men Donate Blood Now

Press Contact

Jack Bunting
(760) 323-2118
jbunting@desertaidsproject.org

DAP to FDA: Let Gay Men Donate Blood Now

Archaic FDA Ban Locks DAP Doctor Out Of Promising Plasma Study for COVID-19

Palm Springs, CA –May 8, 2020-- After he fully recovered from the same disease, the physician leading DAP’s COVID-19 Clinic is being blocked from participating in a groundbreaking plasma study that could help save his patients. An outdated FDA regulation left over from the worst days of the AIDS crisis still prevents gay men from donating blood at a time when national supplies are dangerously low, due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

DAP calls on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to end this wasteful and unscientific ban that is based on old fears and outdated testing algorithms. Doing so poses no threat to the nation’s blood supply, but it would help replenish today’s dangerously low reserves across the U.S. and reverse decades old discrimination policy.

Symptoms are different for everyone suffering with the virus. Dr. Christopher Foltz says he did not have the respiratory complaints or typical cold or flu symptoms. He described feeling very “off” with extreme fatigue, and chills but no fever. He got tested, and the symptoms went away. When he got a positive test result the next day, he was already feeling back to normal.

“I consider myself extremely lucky that I had such a mild case of COVID-19, which for many is not the case,” said Dr. Foltz. 

Dr. Foltz believes he was exposed after visiting friends who had recently traveled internationally and does not believe he got it through community spread or at the clinic.

“Being a healthcare worker, and with such mild symptoms, I was very fortunate to recover so quickly and only be out of work for 7 days to complete quarantine.”

Patients who have recovered from COVID-19 may have immune-boosting antibodies in their plasma; that plasma—called “COVID-19 convalescent plasma”—could be used to treat critically ill COVID-19 patients. The treatment is not proven but may have some impact in preliminary studies. (Click here to learn more about the LifeStream Convalescent Plasma Program)

“As soon as plasma donation became promising, which was right during my recovery, I knew I wanted to donate,” said Dr. Foltz. “And the fact I was an infectious diseases doctor on the frontlines just made it all the more perfect.”  

Dr. Foltz’s Kansas City, (KS) roots and his background in microbiology, infectious diseases, and community health had led him to the Coachella Valley to serve a community that desperately needs him. He conceived of the COVID-19 Triage Clinic and launched it successfully, and also managed the validation testing for antibody tests. Plasma donorship would have rounded out his contribution to this pandemic’s demise nicely, but he was stopped.

“I applied for plasma donation only to find out that I was rejected because of the FDA regulations stating men who sleep with men can essentially not be donors for 12 months,” he said.

Despite all he had done to help his community, Dr. Foltz was being told the same old lie that LGBTQ people have been told everywhere: You are not enough. He knew better.

“Here I had the opportunity to potentially save a life and I was made to feel like something was intrinsically wrong with my blood,” said Dr. Christopher Foltz. “The other option was to lie about my medical and personal history, but the ethical physician in me just couldn’t do that.” 

Current safety protocol throughout the United States for donated blood already requires stringent testing to ensure HIV and other infectious diseases do not make it into the supply, rendering the current ban utterly unnecessary.

“I cannot believe we are here in this day and age,” said Dr. Shubha Kerkar.  An Infectious Diseases specialist, she has been on the frontlines in the Coachella Valley for decades treating patients with HIV and AIDS, hepatitis C, and cancer. She keeps rounds at several local hospitals and offers specialized care at DAP with skilled management of her patients’ conditions.

Given that there is no scientific or even anecdotal justification to continue a ban on donating blood for men who have sex with men, according to Dr. Kerkar, only one explanation is left: homophobic discrimination.

“We have to call it what it is,” she said. “Why beat around the bush?”

Dr. Kerkar remembers from experience what it is like to watch the demise of her patients due to AIDS, speeded along by archaic and homophobic policies and attitudes that stalled meaningful advancements for treatments, and blocked access to medical care itself for people suffering most.

Until recently, there was a lifetime ban on donating blood if you were a man who had ever had sex with another man (yes, once in college counted). During the Obama Administration, the FDA modified it to a 12-month required abstinence, before lowering it again to a three-month abstinence period to donate blood recently.

Lowering the waiting period to three months might seem like progress, but it merely reinforces the homophobic dog whistle—any amount of gay sex, even between two long-term married men, creates a public health threat.

“As a humanitarian organization, DAP views this ban as a human rights violation,” said David Brinkman, DAP CEO. “No one should be denied from contributing to the wellbeing of their community in a time of crisis, including gay men.”

Those suffering from COVID-19 whose lives could be saved from convalescent plasma transfusion must be given every chance to access this therapy. The United States is suffering from a dangerous shortage of whole blood, necessary to make plasma.

Lifting this ban quite frankly will save lives.

About LifeStream Blood Bank

LifeStream has served the Inland Empire and surrounding areas since 1951 providing lifesaving blood products and services to more than 80 Southern California hospitals and medical facilities. As a non-profit organization, LifeStream relies upon the generosity of more than 600 volunteer blood donors daily.

About Desert AIDS Project

Desert AIDS Project (DAP) is a Federally Qualified Health Center in Palm Springs, CA offering DAP Total Care – a combination of medical, dental, counseling, social services, support groups, alternative therapies, in-house pharmacy and lab, and other health and wellness services. DAP’s sexual health clinic, The DOCK, 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.

Visit www.desertaidsproject.orgwww.thedockclinic.org, and www.gettestedcoachellavalley.org to learn more.

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Obtenga seguro médico y atención con D …

Obtenga seguro médico y atención con DAP — En una solo una  llamada

Contacto:

Navegador de Salud

(760) 992-0426

Acceso a estos servicios para residentes del Valle que han sido despedidos

Palm Springs, CA - Mayo 6, 2020 - Desert AIDS Project (DAP) ha lanzado “One Call”, un servicio que puede inscribir a las personas que llaman a un seguro de salud o Medi-Cal a través de Covered California, registrarlas para atención médica y de salud conductual, y programar su primera cita en DAP-- todo en un tiempo aproximado de 45 minutos. Esta es una reducción significativa de tiempo a comparación de lo que normalmente tomaría, gracias a un navegador de atención médica de DAP que trabajará uno a uno con cada persona que llama. Personas pueden acceder al servicio “One Call” llamando al 760-992-0426, Lunes a Viernes 9am-4pm PDT.

DAP lanzó “One Call” en apoyo a cada trabajador del Valle de Coachella que ha perdido sus ingresos laborales, así como cualquiera que busca cuidar mejor su salud durante esta crisis de salubridad. La complejidad de acceder a la atención médica mientras se da sentido a la “nueva normalidad” puede ser abrumadora, pero DAP está ofreciendo un acceso oportuno y conveniente a servicios al eliminar gran parte de la frustración y las presunciones.

“Cuando el acceso a los servicios se vuelven difíciles, es más probable que las personas renuncien a participar en su propia salud”, dijo CJ Tobe, Director de Salud Comunitaria. “No vamos a perder personas en esta comunidad porque no hemos podido mantenerlos conectados”.

Los clientes de DAP recientemente iniciaron a conectarse y acceder a la atención en visitas virtuales a través de “MyChart” donde se comunican con sus médicos y terapeutas como una alternativa para no acudir a DAP en persona.

Accediendo a una buena atención desde donde se encuentren, los clientes están utilizando esta herramienta fácil en teléfonos inteligentes, tabletas, PC y MAC con conexión a internet y cámara web.

Get Insurance and Care with DAP — In J …

Get Insurance and Care with DAP — In Just One Call

Contact:

Healthcare Navigator

(760) 992-0426

Accessing services quicker for Valley’s struggling and laid-off

Palm Springs, CA – May 5, 2020 – Desert AIDS Project (DAP) has launched One Call, 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, M-F 9am – 4pm PDT.

DAP launched One Call in support of every worker in the Coachella Valley who has lost employment income, as well as anyone seeking to take better care of their health during this crisis. The complexities of accessing care while making sense of the “new normal” can be overwhelming, but DAP is offering timely and convenient access to services by removing a lot of the frustration and guesswork.

“When accessing services becomes difficult, people are more likely to give up on participating in their own health,” said C.J. Tobe, director of Community Health. “We’re not going to lose people in this community because we failed to keep them connected.”

The DAP campus is open for in-person visits. Also, many clients have started connecting and accessing care with Virtual Visits, accessed through MyChart with their doctors and therapists as an alternative to coming to DAP in person.

Accessing great care from wherever they are, clients are using this easy tool on smartphones, tablets, PCs and Macs with an Internet connection and a web cam.

Asymptomatic Testing Now Available at DA …

Asymptomatic Testing Now Available at DAP for COVID-19

Contact:

DAP COVID-19 Triage Clinic

(760) 992-0407

(Palm Springs, CA) – May 4, 2020 – The COVID-19 Triage Clinic at Desert AIDS Project (DAP) is now offering testing to asymptomatic people who want to know if they are infected or have been exposed to Coronavirus. Until now testing was limited to people showing specific symptoms, although treatment was offered for upper and lower respiratory illnesses at the Clinic to everyone.

The COVID-19 Triage Clinic does not accept walk-ins.

An appointment is still required to access COVID-19 testing at DAP by calling (760) 992-0407.

The right testing based on possible exposure

For accuracy and reliability, DAP will administer testing based on the following criteria:

Antibody testing only: Asymptomatic individuals with 1) No symptoms of a cold or flu-like illness in the last 4 weeks. 2) No Laboratory confirmed contacts to anyone who tested positive to COVID-19 in the last 4 weeks.

Antibody testing + Diagnostic (swab) testing: Asymptomatic individuals who had symptoms or a confirmed exposure within the last 4 weeks.

The DAP Infectious Disease team validated the testing approach on a control group of DAP employees and clients over more than a week. Those tested had either tested positive for COVID-19 or were likely to be negative, without prior exposure, symptoms and a negative swab test.

Dr. Foltz says that four weeks is a longer period to review for client exposure when compared to other testing sites, but data shows antibodies can take longer than expected to form, and this window increases the accuracy of the test. 

With this window, testers can make more informed decisions on whether to administer both tests, or just one.

It remains unproven if recovering from COVID-19 builds immunity.

Anyone who thinks they have COVID-19 is invited to call (760) 992-0407 for information and the opportunity to talk to DAP clinician, who will provide accurate and reliable information and offer next steps.

About the COVID-19 Clinic at DAP

DAP’s COVID-19 clinic is open to any community member experiencing symptoms, regardless of insurance coverage. With every visit to the COVID-19 Clinic, clients will be evaluated for multiple upper and lower respiratory diseases.

The process begins with a quick phone call to our COVID-19 hotline for assessment and scheduling. You must discuss your symptoms with a clinician by calling (760) 992-0407—they will advise you if you should come in for an appointment and will set it up for you.

We provide two appointment options for testing: drive-up testing or testing inside our clinic.  Your phone assessment will determine which option is right for you.

The COVID-19 Triage Clinic does not accept walk-ins.

The COVID-19 Clinic at DAP is the only clinic offering treatment for other respiratory illness that can present in a similar manner.

Treatment provided for upper and lower respiratory infections at DAP’s COVID-19 Clinic includes:

  • Oxygen Therapy for patients who have lower than normal levels
  • Nebulizer treatments to open airways and address shortness of breath
  • IV Fluids for dehydration
  • Fever control with medication
  • Community Acquired Pneumonia Treatment – Injection of antibiotics and ability to prescribe medications to our DAP Walgreens (overnight home delivery available)
  • Influenza A & B testing and treatment
  • Strep Throat testing and treatment

Location and Hours
COVID-19 Clinic at Desert AIDS Project
1695 North Sunrise Way in Palm Springs, Palm Springs, CA
Monday – Friday, 8am – 4:30pm

Before you arrive, call (760) 992-0407 to speak with a member of our care team.

Currently, 7,000 people in the Coachella Valley get primary and specialty care from DAP, plus other services like behavioral health, dentistry, wellness, and social services. Learn more at https://www.desertaidsproject.org/about-us/

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