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

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

Hope is Theme of Desert AIDS Walk 2020

Media Contacts:

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

Steven Henke
shenke@desertaidsproject.org
760-656-8401

Hope is Theme of Desert AIDS Walk 2020 

Palm Springs, CA (September 8, 2020) – It’s that time of year again, and AIDS Walk 2020 is an exciting opportunity for everyone who cares about ending AIDS and opening up healthcare for all to carry on this important and life affirming tradition.  

Desert AIDS Walk 2020 will last for two days and will span cities across the Coachella Valley, October 23 & 24.

Festivities include an online wellness forum. This is an opportunity for entertainment and to learn more about DAP’s programs and services, dedicated community sponsors, and the extended work of its partners. Registration and more information is available at www.DesertAIDSWalk.org.  

Walk routes in surrounding desert cities are also offered, a new feature that lets everyone participate in Desert AIDS Walk 2020 while getting out and enjoying their own communities.  More info is at www.DesertAIDSWalk.org

This year, the traditional Palm Springs route remains a favorite pathway, and it’s been mapped out and is available for download.  

Capture and share your HOPE

Along the way there are plenty of opportunities for walkers to safely take selfies, like at new art installations, or designated stops to say hello to local businesses—all with the intention of sharing messages of HOPE via social media. 

In many ways, Desert AIDS Walk has always been virtual.  When it began thirty-four years ago, the first organizers say they did not know if the community would support it, but they knew the only way forward was together. Support from was instant, and their HOPE started to grow.  

 When walkers register, they will be given three clear reasons to walk in 2020:   

  • Healthcare Access for All 
  • HIV/AIDS Education, Prevention & Care 
  • COVID-19 Triage Clinic 

The reason for the Walk has never really been about balloon arches or walker t-shirts. It’s always been about the collective power of community and our shared vision of a future where everyone has the comprehensive care that they need to live their best lives.    

Desert AIDS Walk Paved Way For COVID Response

Because of community support, DAP developed the services needed to respond to the AIDS epidemic while creating a patient-centered model of care that helps people with HIV. 

Thirty-four years of walking created the roadmap DAP used to quickly open a COVID-19 Triage Clinic, which has provided testing and respiratory treatment to almost 3,500 residents since the pandemic began. Together we are boldly applying lessons from our past to today's crisis.  

Desert AIDS Project CEO, David Brinkman explains: "By opening one of California's first COVID clinics, DAP made a choice.  We are survivors; fear cannot rule us; when crisis sets it, we step forward."  

  • We have the ability to end epidemics, including HIV and COVID 
  • We integrate Behavioral Health and Addiction Treatment as critical components of Primary Care 
  • We address Social Determinates of Health, including racism and poverty, through our inclusive model of healthcare. 

With the ongoing courage and support of this community, our organization thrives.    

The AIDS crisis left unhealed wounds and it’s understandable that we may resist leaving our comfort zone.  But AIDS taught us a community response is the most effective response.  It taught us that we cannot turn our backs when communities are in need and in fear, that we must remember our humanity and the gift of giving back and be there to help.   

And as we’ve learned through our recent human rights and health equity movements, equality cannot be experienced by one until it is experienced by all.     You can find out more at www.DesertAIDSWalk.org.  

About Desert AIDS Project

Desert AIDS Project (DAP) is a humanitarian healthcare organization 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.org to learn more.




Hope is Theme of Desert AIDS Walk 2020

Hope is Theme of Desert AIDS Walk 2020  

Weekend Wrap Message – Saturday, September 12, From David Brinkman, Desert AIDS Project CEO 

HIV remains a substantial threat to public health in the Coachella Valley, and we are not letting COVID distract us from vigorously fighting it 

As we test more new positive cases, we are stepping forward and evolving our programs to test, treat, and prevent HIV in the age of COVID. 

Desert AIDS Walk 2020 is more important now than ever. You can find out more at  www.DesertAIDSWalk.org.  

The reason for the Walk has never really been about balloon arches or walker t-shirts. It’s always been about the collective power of community and our shared vision of a future where everyone has the comprehensive care that they need to live their best lives. 

Desert AIDS Walk 2020 is an important funding source for programs and services that help people thrive with HIV, while preventing new cases in our valley. It also supports Hepatitis C cures, behavioral health services, dentistry, food, housing, and other vital services. 

This year we are making it easy and fun for Valley residents to participate with downloadable walk routes, specialized for safe walking in their cities. We’re also including an online wellness forum that will provide entertainment and more about DAP’s programs and services, dedicated community sponsors, and the extended work of its partners. Registration and more information is available at www.DesertAIDSWalk.org.  

DAP Talks  

Suicide Prevention 

Preventing suicide during the COVID-19 pandemic is a major concern for mental health advocates everywhere. DAP’s Dr. Jill GoverBehavioral Health Manageraddressed the warning signs and other important information we all should be aware of in her latest DAP Talks. You can listen here.  

If you or someone you know needs to talk to a specialist about suicide, please don’t wait. The following services are availableday and night: 

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 800-273-8255.  

Riverside County HELPline, a free confidential crisis suicide intervention service (951) 686-HELP (4357). 

DAP In The News 

No matter what health profile we fit, it’s important to stay engaged in our healthcare during this crisis. Dr. Tulika Singh talked to The Standard about the top four neglected health habits she notices in her patients, plus realistic fixes for better outcomes. You can read more here. 

DAP Talks: Restoring Hope – Nation …

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have been experiencing anxiety, fear, frustration, sadness, and loneliness. And some, to the point that those feelings have become unbearable. If you’re feeling hopeless and having thoughts about suicide or you’re concerned about someone else, listen to Dr. Gover, Clinical Psychologist, talk about some ways to find help, and restore hope.

Suicide Prevention Resources:

If emergency medical care is needed, call 9-1-1 or go to the emergency room of the nearest hospital.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255. The phone lines are answered by trained professionals; the call is free and confidential.

Riverside County

If you need to be connected to mental health services in Riverside County, call the CARES Line at (800) 706-7500. You may also call or walk into a Riverside County 24/7 Mental Health Urgent Care location. Whether you are in crisis or just need someone to talk to, all services are voluntary. Counseling and nursing, as well as, psychiatric medications are available. All locations are open 24/7 and everyone is welcome regardless of insurance type or ability to pay.

The Trevor Project

The Trevor Project is a national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth and young adults, ages 13–24, over the phone, online and via text. Trevor Lifeline (24/7): (866) 488-7386, TrevorText: Text the word “Trevor” to (202) 304-1200 to text with a trained counselor on Fridays from 1–5 p.m., TrevorChat: Confidential chat service with a trained volunteer counselor available 7 days a week, from 12 noon –6 p.m. Learn more at https://www.thetrevorproject.org/

It Gets Better Project

This website is a place where young people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender can see how love and happiness can be a reality in their future. It’s a place where people can share their stories, take the It Gets Better Project pledge, watch videos of love and support and learn about resources. Visit https://itgetsbetter.org/ to learn more. What’s Up Safehouse What’s Up Safehouse is a 24/7, free, anonymous mental health crisis texting line. Get immediate support from a licensed mental health professional. Dedicated to helping support the residents of Riverside County through issues surrounding anxiety, substance abuse, depression, school pressure, peer pressure, LGBTQ struggles, relational issues, suicidal thoughts, bullying, and any other issue that is causing trouble. Text SHHELP to 844.204.0880 24/7 for immediate support and resources. Learn more at https://safehouseofthedesert.com/what…

DAP earns “LGBTQ Health Care Equality …

DAP earns “LGBTQ Health Care Equality Top Performer” Designation in Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Healthcare Equality Index

Palm Springs, CA (September 3, 2020) -- DAP has earned “LGBTQ Health Care Equality Top Performer” designation from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC). The designation is in the 13th edition of HRC’s Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), released in August. A record 765 health care facilities actively participated in the HEI 2020 survey. Of those included in the HEI, 193 earned an “LGBTQ Health Care Equality Top Performer” designation.

“When we started 36 years ago, HIV rights and the fight for medical access were synonymous with LGBTQ rights,” said David Brinkman, DAP CEO. “Opening our doors wider requires doing the work to always ensure that we hold ourselves accountable when it comes to honoring every letter in the acronym LGBTQ.” 

Every year, HRC recognizes the health care facilities that participate in the HEI for their dedication and commitment to LGBTQ inclusion. HRC also extends its deepest gratitude to these facilities for their courageous fight against COVID-19 and their commitment to addressing racism and injustice. As the final HEI surveys were submitted in March, health care facilities were kicking into overdrive to meet the challenges of COVID-19. Many faced a lack of equipment, staffing shortages and surging demand. Two months later, as the fight against COVID-19 continued, the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor by police officers thrust America’s structural racism into the spotlight. HEI participants issued strong statements on racial justice and equity, participated in White Coats for Black Lives demonstrations and announced new programs to address racial inequities in their institutions and their communities.

In the 2020 report, an impressive 495 facilities earned HRC’s “LGBTQ Health Care Equality Leader” designation, receiving the maximum score in each section and earning an overall score of 100. Another 193 facilities earned the “Top Performer” designation for scoring from 80 to 95 points. With 90% of participating facilities scoring 80 points or more, health care facilities are demonstrating concretely that they are going beyond the basics when it comes to adopting policies and practices in LGBTQ care.

The remarkable progress reflected in the 2020 HEI includes:

  • 92% of participants met the HEI's training requirements, completing more than 150,000 hours of staff training in LGBTQ patient-centered care.
  • 99% of HEI participants documented that they include both “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” in their patient non-discrimination policy.
  • 99% of HEI participants documented that they include both “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” in their employment nondiscrimination policy.
  • 53% of HEI participants indicated that their facility has a policy or policies that specifically outline procedures and practices aimed at eliminating bias and insensitivity, and ensuring appropriate, welcoming interactions with transgender patients.
  • After many years of trailing their corporate counterparts in the provision of transgender-inclusive health care benefits for employees, HEI participating healthcare facilities are nearly on par with the HRC Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index (CEI) participants as 80% have at least one health care plan that offered this benefit. The latest CEI noted 85% of participants having such benefits.

In addition to active survey participants, the HRC Foundation proactively researched the key policies at over 1,000 non-participating hospitals. Unfortunately, the adoption rate at these researched hospitals stands in stark contrast to the near-perfect adoption by active participants. Among the researched hospitals in which we were able to find or obtain enumerated patient non-discrimination policies, only 67% have policies that include both “sexual orientation” and “gender identity,” and only 63% were found to have an LGBTQ-inclusive employment non-discrimination policy. The equal visitation policy, at 93%, is the only one that comes close to matching the rate of the participating facilities.

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the education arm of America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

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Working Towards COVID-19 Testing For All

Working Towards COVID-19 Testing For All

We should offer Coronavirus testing to everybody, to guide re-opening with data driven decisions. We are committed to the work it will take to make that a reality in this community, and we are proud that our COVID Clinic has been able to test thousands of people already with rapid antibody and Nasal swab testing. But we have a way to go before universal testing is a reality.  

Our COVID Clinic prioritizes symptomatic patients for testing over asymptomatic patients who have had a high-risk exposure, and this is because we are forced to triage resources for those who are most in need. This is not our first choice, given what we know is possible if we test everyone who requests one.

We are still fighting to end HIV, and we will never forget the difference we made once we were able to offer testing to anyone who wanted one, regardless of ability to pay.

If you or anyone you know have questions about testing for COVID-19, please call our hotline at (760) 992-0407 .

For our Q&A about Coronavirus, click here.

Get Access To the Care You Need

One Call is 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, Monday – Friday, 9am – 4pm PDT.

Sexual Health Clinic - Palm Springs

1695 N. Sunrise Way Palm Springs, CA 92262

Monday - Friday 8:30 AM - 4:30 AM (Closed for lunch from noon-1:00 PM)

Call 760-992-0492 to schedule an appointment.

To reach our after-hours answering service, please call (760) 323-2118.

Did You Know Volunteering Gives You Life …

Did You Know Volunteering Gives You Lifelong Personal Growth and Well-Being? 

One of the main benefits of volunteering, besides helping others, is the lifelong personal growth and well-being. Doing good in your community helps you work together towards equity and equality for everyone. It gives you a sense of purpose in life and it also strengthens your ties with your local community. Depending on where you decide to volunteer, you will make a real difference in the lives of others. Every volunteer can make a difference. However, the more you volunteer the more happy and complete you feel within.  

Five benefits from volunteering: 

  1. Helps you share your skills and develop new ones- Many times when volunteering, you discover hidden talents as you share your skills with your team. You may learn one’s from others’ expertise and may spark other interests for you. It also helps boosts your skills and expand your network. It’s a win-win situation. 
  2. Connects you with others in your community- You’re providing a valuable service to the community and giving back through social responsibility. You become part of a change to continue build a new, better community. 
  3. Helps you build self- confidence and self-esteem- Your role as a volunteer can give you a sense of pride and identity. The more you feel good about yourself, the more you will transmit positive vibes to those around you. 
  4. Gives you a sense of purpose- Many studies have shown helping others kindles happiness. Whatever age or life situation, volunteering will help take your mind off your own worries. It will also keep you mentally stimulated.  
  5. Important for your career- if you’re considering a new career, volunteering can help you get the experience needed and open doors for you in that field. If changing careers is not your plan, volunteering will also give you the opportunity to practice important skills used in the workplace. 

If you’re ready to make new friends, share your skills while gaining others and improving your health, then this is the time for you to get involved in volunteering. Your life will change to the better, but you will change the lives of others forever. Start volunteering today! 

Want to be part of our team of Volunteers? 

Put your talent and time to work and make a difference in the lives of our neighbors.  Revivals support Desert AIDS Project, a federally qualified healthcare center that 7,000 of your neighbors call their healthcare home. 

Our volunteers are changing the world one hour at a time. We need your help. Please go to www.revivalsstores.com to fill out a short interest form. We look forward to seeing you soon! Support the community you want to create. 

DAP Focused on Equal Access to Lifesavin …

DAP Focused on Equal Access to Lifesaving Information During Pandemic 

(Palm Springs, CA) August 12, 2020 -- More than ever, people need information to make the best choices for their health, and DAP has launched two new resources on its website aimed at keeping our community informed in a timely manner.  

“The pandemic proves that access to healthcare and information has not been equal in every community,” said DAP CEO David Brinkman. “And that inequality is driving poor health outcomes for people of color and people living in poverty.”

Created by DAP subject matter experts, these resources provide need-to-know information for anyone interested in the services DAP is known for, as well as anyone looking for resources to report about DAP or Revivals Stores for news stories. Materials are offered in English and en Español. 

DAP is making information about its life sustaining services more available than ever by bringing our collection of patient literature onto our website with our new Community Health Resources page.  

Each piece of literature can be viewed or downloaded as a PDF to save or share.  And if you’re a member of the media looking for story resources like B-roll, stock photos, plus a lot more, our new online DAP Media Kit has many of the elements needed to tell new stories about DAP or Revivals Stores. 

We Support Vigorous Storytelling 

About DAP Online Media Kit 

The DAP Media Kit is your one stop resource if you are a member of the press working on a story about DAP or Revivals Stores.  

In addition to media contact information, the kit offers: 

  • help with your newsgathering efforts
  • information on setting up an interview
  • DAP and Revivals Stores logos, images, and video for your story
  • social media channels

What the Community Health Resource Page Provides 

Topics include a COVID-19, HIV, STIs, Transgender Health, HCV and more. They include: 

COVID-19 Resource Guide 

Thriving with HIV: 

  • Living with HIV
  • HIV After Diagnosis

Preventing new cases: 

  • HIV Prevention
  • PrEP
  • PEP

Transgender Healthcare 

  • Safer Tucking
  • Safe Binding 
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy 

Hepatitis C 

Sexual Health 

  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea
  • Syphilis

Youth Resource Guide 

DAP has learned a lot in 36 years of providing healthcare to the Coachella Valley, with an emphasis on helping people with HIV thrive, and ending new transmissions in our community. We invite you to use and share the resources on these pages. If you would like more information on any health topic, please call to speak to a specialist at 760-323-2118

About Desert AIDS Project 

Desert AIDS Project (DAP) is a humanitarian healthcare organization 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.

DAP Docs: HIV Won’t Stop COVID-19 Vacc …

Dr Tulika Singh

DAP Docs: HIV Won’t Stop COVID-19 Vaccine Trial Participation 

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

PLWH are commonly overlooked as subjects in pharmaceutical studies and vaccine research, so our doctors practice extra caution when choosing medicines for patients. But when they learned that PLWH were being left out of two COVID-19 vaccine trials, they mobilized.

Thanks to our team joining forces with other LGBTQ and HIV advocates, biotech companies have reversed their policies. In a study protocol change, people living with stable HIV will now be included in the trials.

Reasons for excluding this group include assuming that PLWH are weakened physically, but after more than a decade of providing HIV care, Dr. Singh knows this to be a generalization. Today, people on antiretroviral medications have strong immune systems, thanks to viral suppression. They are suitable candidates for these studies.

According to Dr. Singh, there is a risk when PLWH are not included in these studies.

“This is a disservice to them, as what works for non-positive people might not work in PLWH,” she said. “But we wouldn’t know until it fails or is unsafe in this population, and it’s too late by then.”

Without having PLWH represented in COVID-19 vaccine trials, we won’t have an accurate picture of how PLWH will respond to the intervention in the real world, according to Dr. Singh.

It’s important to know, because despite the miracle of modern ART, doctors still monitor their patients for immune dysfunction, persistent inflammation, and evolving host microbiome issues caused by the HIV virus and medications.

Please click here to learn more about Research at DAP, including ANCHOR Study, which is resuming soon.

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 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.

Continuing The Care We Are Known For

Continuing The Care We Are Known For

Weekend Wrap Message – Saturday, August 8, From David Brinkman, Desert AIDS Project CEO

People With HIV Need Unique Care During COVID-19

People living with HIV, and especially anyone aging with HIV, need options that keep them continuously in care in spite of COVID. Since the beginning of DAP, our doctors have shared their experience with providers everywhere on best practices for providing excellent HIV care for their patients. When doctors help each other learn, patients always come out on top.

Dr. Jill Gover continued this on a panel by HealthHIV that examined managing HIV during the COVID-19 pandemic. She explored the impact of mental and sexual health on HIV care, based on decades of experience and feedback from the Behavioral Health Department at DAP. You can find out more here.

DAP In The News

Staying On Top Of Sexual Health

C.J. Tobe and his team’s work to tackle the current STI and HIV surges were featured in an article in The Standard. The story also explains the dangerous syndemic nature among HIV, STIs, and HCV, and the work being done by End The Epidemics to keep Californians safer. You can read more here.

Born to Be Film Screening

We know our transgender siblings face unimaginable alienation in healthcare settings, and a recent study from UC Riverside researchers in the School of Medicine backs that up.  Only 15% of individuals reported it was easy to find a provider with sufficient knowledge and experience on issues related to transgender people. That isn’t the case at DAP, and we’re committed to fighting this stigma by sharing stories of transgender people as they navigate their journeys of transformation.

We’re partnering with the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care - Greater Palm Springs to host a free virtual screening of Born To Be on August 13. It’s a documentary that follows the trans and gender non-conforming individuals who are changing their lives at the groundbreaking  Mount Sinai Hospital. Learn more and RSVP at https://bit.ly/BORNTOBE #BornToBeFilm

Greater Kansas City or Coachella Valley, …

Greater Kansas City or Coachella Valley, Dr. Foltz lives to heal his community

For the Coachella Valley, it is a good thing that Dr. Christopher Foltz was on staff at Desert AIDS Project as the COVID-19 health crisis unfolded.

Already an integral member of the Infectious Disease team since 2017, he conceived the idea for a COVID-19 Triage Clinic at DAP and inspired a team of healthcare professionals to launch it successfully with him. He also managed validation testing for the antibody test, an important step to establish reliability, as clinicians everywhere grapple with unproven testing products. 

As the crisis unfolds, he continues to innovate with his team to serve more people with options like drive-up services and asymptomatic testing. Within a few weeks of opening, the COVID-19 Triage Clinic had already saved lives, alleviated pressure on local emergency rooms, and helped calm frazzled nerves among patients.

But the physician credited with spearheading the operation started building his skillset long beforehand in Kansas City, heavily influenced by its community values and its learning institutions. It would require spending five years in L.A. first, but Dr. Foltz has come to find that he sees Kansas City emulated the most here in the Coachella Valley. He’s pleased with that. 

Surprisingly similar: the Coachella Valley and Kansas City

For all of their geographical differences, Kansas City and the Coachella Valley are a lot alike if you are living in poverty, cut off from medical and behavioral healthcare, or other life essentials. Much of the populations live farther away from the city centers where services are offered. Issues like poor transportation, inadequate childcare, and problems with phone and internet access create unique barriers to access.

Many of the social determinants affecting both populations also remain the same. Higher instances of substance abuse and mental health issues create areas of need that are not commonly addressed in the traditional healthcare system. And a high population of undocumented and legal immigrants struggle to access services amid language and cultural barriers.

One of the silver linings no matter where he practices, according to Dr. Foltz, is the gratitude that most patients express when they receive competent medical care, some for the first time in their lives.

Feels like Kansas City right here in the Coachella Valley

Another similarity between Kansas City and the Coachella Valley is the feeling of a tight knit community, even though people are spread out.

“One of the things I attribute most to being from the Midwest is the sense of community and caring that was always around,” he said. “This is something I now feel very similarly in Palm Springs.”

After a three-year internal medicine residency at Cedar-Sinai Medical Center and a two-year infectious disease fellowship at UCLA, although thankful, Dr. Foltz felt anonymous in the second largest city in the U.S.

“In L.A., there was a sense of being a small fish in a big pond,” said Dr. Foltz. “In the Midwest it always seemed the opposite.”

“As a resident of Kansas City and a supporter of Desert AIDS Project, I am proud that a young doctor from KUMC is leading Palm Springs’ COVID-19 response at DAP,” said humanitarian and philanthropist Annette Bloch. “Kansas City and the Coachella Valley share a lot in common, most importantly people who care about one another.”

Dr. Foltz was made for this crisis—roots sprouted at JayDoc Free Clinic

Before he would go on to complete his Internal Medicine residency at Cedar-Sinai Medical Center, and then an infectious disease fellowship at UCLA, his work ethic and skillset had been melded with the values of Midwest America—hard work, mixed with caring for your community.

Dr. Foltz knew his passion was serving those struggling with poverty, and he was able to hone his skillset at the JayDoc Free Clinic, located at the University of Kansas in Kansas City. Serving about 1,000 patients annually since its launch in 2003, it provides urgent and primary care to the underserved and uninsured populations of Greater Kansas City.

By the time he arrived on the West Coast, Dr. Foltz was already groomed to lead a clinic—not just the nuts-and-bolts operations, but as a strategic leader. He started at JayDoc as Assistant Director of Research and then served as an Executive Director. He went on to serve on its Board of Directors during his time in medical school at the University of Kansas. 

According to him, Dr. Foltz gravitated to the field of Microbiology early in his college career, fascinated that such simple things like bacteria, fungi, and viruses could create such havoc on civilizations. As time went on, that fascination shifted to how the study of these simple organisms could lead to antibiotics and vaccines.

“That’s when I knew Infectious disease was going to be my specialty, because I could see in real time how this knowledge could make a difference,” he said.

JayDoc Free Clinic is completely Medical student managed and operated, and that’s no small fete. The leadership team were responsible for everything: grant writing, finances, administration, volunteers, and operations.

“It was truly rewarding, and that experience really cemented my desire to work on behalf of the underserved community.”

Dr. Foltz built his career excelling at direct patient care, but his practical experience at JayDoc gave him the unique skillset to conceive of DAP’s COVID-19 Triage Clinic, and then to oversee its opening and manage its current functioning. Combined with his clinical knowledge as a board-certified Infectious Disease physician, he is making a measurable difference in the lives of his patients, as well as his staff and the community.

And true to his Midwest roots, sharing credit with others comes naturally to him.

“I am just one member of an incredible team of clinical, administrative, and operational staff.”

Dr. Foltz himself is no stranger to gratitude.

“More than ever I am incredibly thankful for that background,” he said. “I am using all these skills in real-time as we study characteristics of SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19 disease, Coronavirus testing, and potential therapeutics and prevention methods.”

A certain humanitarian is also part of that background.

When JayDoc Free Clinic would close down for the day, Dr. Foltz and his colleagues were permitted to see patients in the evenings at a very special community clinic, thanks to the generosity of its founder and lead physician, Dr. Sharon Lee.

“I got to work very close with her the two years I served administrative positions at JayDoc,” Dr. Foltz said. “Her work ethic and passion for her mission and community is something I still to this day try to aspire to.”

Southwest Boulevard Family Health Care was founded in 1989 by Dr. Sharon Lee to help alleviate suffering for people coping with HIV and AIDS. Just as with DAP, the great care provided became a staple in that community for everyone, and the clinic became a Federally Qualified Health Center.

“She was truly remarkable and one of the hardest working women in medicine I have ever met,”
 Dr. Foltz said. “She would do anything to help us at the drop of a hat.”

Recently the FQHC was renamed Sharon Lee Family Health Care, in honor of its founder.

Get Access To the Care You Need

One Call is 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, Monday – Friday, 9am – 4pm PDT.

Sexual Health Clinic - Palm Springs

1695 N. Sunrise Way Palm Springs, CA 92262

Monday - Friday 8:30 AM - 4:30 AM (Closed for lunch from noon-1:00 PM)

Call 760-992-0492 to schedule an appointment.

To reach our after-hours answering service, please call (760) 323-2118.

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