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

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

Proposed Federal Budget Cuts Could Drama …

Congressman Ruiz, M.D. and Community Say No to Slashing Medicare and Medicaid

Local healthcare providers stand up for affordable care

DAP thanks Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D. (CA-36) for speaking out against the proposed federal budget for Fiscal Year 2021, which would cut $1.6 trillion from health care programs over the next 10 years. Dr. Ruiz brought attention to the steep cuts the proposed budget would bring to programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. We applaud the Congressman's commitment to ensuring our Coachella Valley community has access to quality and affordable healthcare. 

To learn more, please watch our live stream below or visit https://ruiz.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/trump-prepares-visit-palm-springs-area-congressman-raul-ruiz-md-takes

Where You Get Your Rx Filled Can Make a …

When your DAP clinician sends your prescription order to a participating pharmacy, DAP receives valuable cost savings that translate into better health outcomes for you and our whole community.

Already picking up your medications from our onsite Walgreens pharmacy at DAP? Great–you’re doing your part!

Please consider getting your prescriptions filled at DAP or at any participating pharmacy throughout the Coachella Valley.

There are almost 50 participating walk-in and mail order pharmacies you can choose from.

In addition to all Coachella Valley Walgreens, here are some other popular 340B pharmacies nearby:

Desert Hospital Outpatient Pharmacy 1180 N Indian Canyon Dr., Palm Springs, CA 92262

Vons Pharmacy #2384 4733 E Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs, CA 92264

Albertsons / Sav-On Pharmacy #1569 1751 N Sunrise Way, Palm Springs, CA 92262

Walgreens Store #01079 1700 E Vista Chino Road, Palm Springs, CA 92262

CVS #01520 68010 Vista Chino, Cathedral City, CA 92234

CVS #09804 425 S Sunrise Way, Palm Springs, CA, 92262

White Cross Pharmacy 1717 E Vista Chino Road Suite B2, Palm Springs, CA 92262

Kristin Chenoweth to Headline Steve Chas …

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Steven Henke

shenke@desertaidsproject.org

(760) 656-8401

‘The Chase’ 2020 Honors Humanitarians Removing Roadblocks to Human Potential

PALM SPRINGS, CA- January 1, 2020 – Desert AIDS Project (DAP) has announced that Kristin Chenoweth will headline its 26th Annual Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards on February 8 where Hank Plante, Garry Kief and Ambassador Deborah L Birx, M.D. will be honored for their work in removing roadblocks to human potential.

Emmy and Tony Award winning actress and singer Kristin Chenoweth’s career spans film, television, voiceover and stage. In 2015, Chenoweth received a coveted star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2009, she received an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her role in “Pushing Daisies”. In 1999, she won a Tony Award for “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown” and she was also nominated for her original role of Glinda the Good Witch in “Wicked” in 2004. Chenoweth has been nominated for two Emmy Awards and for a People’s Choice Award for her role on “Glee.”

Returning as co-chairs are Desert AIDS Project Board Members Kevin Bass, Patrick Jordan, and Lauri Kibby. Kibby recently shared the co-chairs vision. “This year’s Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards will focus on how Desert AIDS Project and the people who support the organization remove blocks to human potential,”she said. “The work we honor is deeply personal and about human well-being.”

Desert AIDS Project CEO, David Brinkman is expected to share DAP’s vision for the future during the event. “Desert AIDS Project’s story includes a long history of identifying and responding to epidemics,” he said. “We intend to pay forward what we’ve learned during our first 35 years by reaching more people and changing more lives. We have and continue to be a humanitarian organization which removes road-blocks to human potential.”

The last decade alone has seen DAP make substantial in-roads in addressing epidemics.

2010 2.7 million people worldwide were newly infected with HIV in 2010. DAP begins the decade focused on ending the epidemic.

2012 Annette Bloch donates $1 million to fund a cancer care center dedicated to specialized HIV-related cancer research, screenings, treatment and prevention.

2014 DAP launches Get Tested Coachella Valley as the nation’s first non-profit-led, region-wide HIV testing, prevention, education and linkage to care initiative.

2015 DAP launches The DOCK, a walk-in clinic that provides HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) testing, linkage to care and access to HIV preventative medication Pre-Exposure Prohylaxis (PrEP) and Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP).

2016 The DAP Hepatitis Center of Excellence opens to deliver comprehensive state-of-the-art expertise to manage, support and cure those afflicted with Hepatitis C.

2017 DAP opens Transgender Health Program offering gender-affirming services and care.

2018 DAP kicks off Vision 2020, a capital campaign which will result in the agency more than doubling its ability to provide patient-centered primary, HIV Specialty, Dental and Behavioral Health care to our community.

2019 Desert AIDS Project Celebrates 35 Years of Caring for our community.

How Desert AIDS Project Removes Roadblocks to Human Potential:

  • Medical Care- 7,000 clients call DAP their patient centered medical home, and about half do not have HIV. In the earliest days of the AIDS crisis, DAP discovered health outcomes for our HIV positive clients increased when we provided health care to their life partners and family members who were acting as caregivers. Today, DAP offers leading HIV specialty care as well as primary care for our community members not living with HIV. Because there is enough love in this valley to help everyone thrive and also prevent new cases of HIV.
  • Transgender Care- DAP is guiding more and more transgender, intersex, and gender diverse clients on their gender journeys. In a little over a year, DAP has seen its client enrollment quadruple for these services. Too many transgender individuals in the Inland Empire assume they won’t ever access stigma-free and competent care. At DAP they never have to worry.
  • Hepatitis Center of Excellence- 202 clients have been cured of Hepatitis C since 2017. DAP averages 9 weeks to cure clients, and never turns people away if they do not have insurance. HCV is a silent killer, but DAP’s advocacy is a lot louder.
  • Dental Care- Dental access is vital for good health, especially for people living with HIV. DAP’s dental clinic had 5,354 visits last year, and continues to add clients. A healthy mouth helps clients stay ahead of HIV, and everyone smile wider.
  • The DOCK-- $25 STI screening and treatment. Free Confidential HIV and HCV testing. PrEP and PEP navigators to onboard new clients and help access cost assistance. Because we won’t stop the spread of HIV and STIs in the Coachella Valley if we don’t make testing and treatment available to everyone.
  • Behavioral HealthCare—Psychiatrists, Psychologists and Psychotherapists. Coping with HIV and life can be overwhelming. DAP Behavioral Health clinicians help clients find hope. Because with the right support, we can get through almost any storm.
  • Social Services –Case managers make accessing healthcare and support services a reality for DAP clients. Transportation, food, housing, and enrolling for federal, state and local resources to cover care. In a complex healthcare system, DAP takes the worry out of obtaining and keeping care. 
  • Housing - DAP helps clients into permanent residences, and is developing more opportunities. Housing assistance is part of our prescription. Because access to medication is not enough to treat HIV—it also requires a place to live.
  • Back to WorkDAP’s back to work program has assisted over 200 clients re-enter the workforce when they were ready. This includes computer access, resume coaching, and job placement. DAP helps clients determine readiness for employment, and supports them throughout the process. Because having a job can be powerful medicine.
  • Client Wellness—A range of services, classes and support groups make DAP a community hub. Chair massage, yoga, tai chi, acupuncture and reiki. Because the AIDS crisis taught us that holistic health works. Strength training, art, sculpting and sewing classes. Because curiosity is healthy. Aging with HIV, addiction and recovery advocacy, and many other support groups. Because DAP understands that when a few people get together to support each other, an entire humanitarian movement can be born.

2020 Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards Honorees:

Hank Plante will receive the Arts & Activism Award, Garry Kief will receive the Partners for Life Award and Ambassador Deborah L Birx, M.D. will receive the Science & Medicine Award.  

Henry A. "Hank" Plante is an American television reporter and newspaper columnist. He is on-air at NBC Palm Springs and he is a member of the Editorial Board of Gannett's Desert Sun newspaper in Palm Springs. Winner of the George Foster Peabody Award and multiple Emmys, he covered California for three decades for TV stations in San Francisco and Los Angeles. He now writes occasional columns for newspapers in California, usually focusing on politics or gay and lesbian issues. One of the first openly gay TV reporters in the United States, Plante is the recipient of various honors from LGBTQ rights advocacy organizations and trade groups. In addition, Plante was featured in the documentary "5B" 5B (film), which was honored at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. The film is about the first AIDS ward in the nation, which Plante covered as a reporter. A native of Detroit, Plante worked in both radio and television journalism, including 25 years at KPIX-TV (CBS 5) in San Francisco, before retiring in April 2010. Before that, he worked in print journalism, including at The Washington Post. At KPIX-TV, he interviewed a range of national and state political figures, including five U.S. Presidents and numerous Governors, legislators and opinion makers from Richard Nixon to Al Gore, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Barack Obama, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jerry Brown and Hillary Clinton.

His experience includes reporting and anchoring at TV stations in various cities, including KHJ-TV in Los Angeles, KRIV in Houston, KMSP-TV in Minneapolis and WVEC-TV in Norfolk, Virginia. He also served as Assignment Editor at WTTG-TV in Washington, D.C., and as News Editor at WRC (NBC) Radio in Washington D.C. He began his career as a journalist in Washington, D.C. at the Sentinel Newspapers, where he was managing editor, and at The Washington Post, where he worked on the city desk.  His awards have included several local and national Emmys, as well as the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award, in 1986, as part of CBS 5's "AIDS Lifeline" reporting team. He has also been awarded the Pioneer Award at the GLAAD Media Awards, and the James R. Harrison Award from the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. He was also named "Reporter of the Year" by the Associated Press (APTRA'S "Chris Harris Award"). Hank was inducted into the Emmy Silver Circle by the National Television Academy, which honors individuals who have made a significant contribution to broadcasting. In addition, his work has been singled out for praise by The New York.

Garry Kief is a former DAP Board Member and currently serves on the boards of the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center, Palm Springs International Film Festival, McCallum Theatre, and the Annenberg Theatre Counsel. In addition, Kief has served as National President and Chairman of the Trustees of his national fraternity – Sigma Phi Epsilon, raising money for programs and scholarships to support undergraduate men. Kief is President/CEO at Stiletto Entertainment Group and President of Barry Manilow Productions. He has produced ‘A Gift of Love’ for four years raising millions of dollars for local charities. Kief also oversees the Manilow Music Project which empowers underfunded school music programs to provide quality music education. By donating instruments and equipment and providing scholarships nationwide, it gives disadvantaged young people the opportunity to experience community, passion, and creativity through the gift of music.

Ambassador-at-Large, Deborah L. Birx, M.D., is the Coordinator of the United States Government Activities to Combat HIV/AIDS and U.S. Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy. Ambassador Birx is a world-renowned medical expert and leader in the field of HIV/AIDS. Her three-decade-long career has focused on HIV/AIDS immunology, vaccine research, and global health. As the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, Ambassador Birx oversees the implementation of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the largest commitment by any nation to combat a single disease in history, as well as all U.S. Government engagement with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Serving as the U.S. Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy, she aligns the U.S. Government’s diplomacy with foreign assistance programs that address global health challenges and accelerate progress toward: achieving an AIDS-free generation; ending preventable child and maternal deaths; and preventing, detecting, and responding to infectious disease threats.

In 1985, Ambassador Birx began her career with the Department of Defense (DoD) as a military-trained clinician in immunology, focusing on HIV/AIDS vaccine research. From 1985-1989, she served as an Assistant Chief of the Hospital Immunology Service at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Through her professionalism and leadership in the field, she progressed to serve as the Director of the U.S. Military HIV Research Program (USMHRP) at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research from 1996-2005. Ambassador Birx helped lead one of the most influential HIV vaccine trials in history (known as RV 144 or the Thai trial), which provided the first supporting evidence of any vaccine’s potential effectiveness in preventing HIV infection. During this time, she also rose to the rank of Colonel, bringing together the Navy, Army, and Air Force in a new model of cooperation – increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the U.S. Military’s HIV/AIDS efforts through inter- and intra-agency collaboration. Then known as Colonel Birx, she was awarded two prestigious U.S. Meritorious Service Medals and the Legion of Merit Award for her groundbreaking research, leadership, and management skills during her tenure at DOD.

From 2005-2014, Ambassador Birx served successfully as the Director of CDC’s Division of Global HIV/AIDS (DGHA), which is part of the agency’s Center for Global Health. As DGHA Director, she utilized her leadership ability, superior technical skills, and infectious passion to achieve tremendous public health impact. She successfully led the implementation of CDC’s PEPFAR programs around the world and managed an annual budget of more than $1.5 billion. Ambassador Birx was responsible for all of the agency’s global HIV/AIDS activities, including providing oversight to more than 400 staff at headquarters, over 1,500 staff in the field, and more than 45 country and regional offices in Africa, Asia, Caribbean, and Latin America. Recognized for her distinguished and dedicated commitment to building local capacity and strengthening quality laboratory health services and systems in Africa, in 2011, Ambassador Birx received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the African Society for Laboratory Medicine. In 2014, CDC honored her leadership in advancing the agency’s HIV/AIDS response with the highly prestigious William C. Watson, Jr. Medal of Excellence.

Headline performer, Kristin Chenoweth is a passionate supporter of charities that dedicate their time and efforts to helping those in need. 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 in a labor of love, Kristin launched an annual Broadway Bootcamp in 2015, providing young Broadway hopefuls with the opportunity to take classes, hold performances and learn from top mentors in the entertainment industry including Kristin herself. In her lifelong mission to cultivate arts education across the globe, Chenoweth has also created “Places! The Kristin Chenoweth Tour Experience," a unique educational program for young singers that puts them right next to her performing on stage. Each concert in Chenoweth’s ongoing tour will feature local participants from higher education conservatories, universities, and colleges for the immersive educational experience.

Chenoweth recently released her latest album “For The Girls,” debuting at #3 on the Current Pop Albums chart and #11 on the Billboard Top Albums chart. The album is a heartfelt tribute to the great female singers throughout history, particularly some of Kristin’s heroes and friends. Guest artists include Ariana Grande, Dolly Parton, Jennifer Hudson and Reba McEntire. The album includes Chenoweth’s personally charged interpretations of classic songs identified with such iconic artists as Barbra Streisand, Lesley Gore, Linda Ronstadt, Dinah Washington, Dolly Parton and more.

2020 Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards Sponsors

PRODUCING: Harold Matzner, Walgreens

MAJOR: Elgart Aster & Paul Swerdlove, Desert Care Network, Desert Sun, Eisenhower Health, Grace Helen Spearman Foundation, Living Out, LULU California Bistro

STAR: Mark Adams, Steven Anders/The Elizabeth Firth Wade Endowment, Annette Bloch, Desert Oasis Healthcare, NBC Palm Springs, Saks Fifth Avenue

SUPPORTING: Blackbook, Jim Burba & Bob Hayes, Diageo, Lynn Hammond, Lauri & Charles Kibby, Neil Lane Jewelers, Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel, UC Riverside School of Medicine, Wells Fargo Foundation

BENEFACTOR: Anthem Blue Cross, Carolyn & Daniel Caldwell, Colleen Crowley & Jack Martin, Coachella Valley Health Personnel, Diageo, Freehold Communities, Gilead Sciences, Annette Guzman, Heffernan Insurance Brokers, Image360, Patrick Jordan, Kaiser Permanente Foundation, Frank Kurland, Laboratory Corporation of America, Perry McKay, Supervisor V. Manuel Perez, Revive Wellness, Ann Sheffer & Bill Scheffler, Sysco Riverside, White Cross Pharmacy

MEDIA: CV Independent, Gay Desert Guide, LOCALE Magazine, Palm Springs Life, PromoHomo.TV, Rage Monthly, The Hollywood Times, The Standard Magazine

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 Free 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 sixth 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, www.thedockclinic.org, and www.gettestedcoachellavalley.org to learn more.

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For growing STI crisis, HIV, HCV and Pov …

Contact: Jack Bunting
jbunting@desertaidsproject.org
(760) 656-8472

At a time when the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) reports a 30 year high in STIs in California —particularly syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia—Desert AIDS Project (DAP) affirms that in addition to HIV and HCV, these are among the most serious public health issues facing Californians today.

DAP is in a unique position to apply the lessons it has learned over 35 years in HIV prevention, testing and treatment. With the increasing prevalence of Californians suffering from two or more of these infections simultaneously, we must no longer approach HIV, HCV, and STIs as if they belong in separate silos. Nor can we continue to overlook the roles that poverty and social isolation play in this crisis.

To end these epidemics, Californians need:    
   • Routinized education, testing and treatment for all five infections: HIV, HCV, syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia.       
   • Access to ongoing medical and behavioral healthcare, and stable housing.
   • Community and wellness services for psychosocial support to avoid isolation and poor medical treatment adherence.

We represent our community’s voice in state and federal discussions, and constantly looking at new developments, models and funding sources to deploy new efforts in the Coachella Valley. Regardless of access to funding, our commitment to outreach through our community health department enables us to reach at-risk populations.

DAP is also part of End The Epidemics, a statewide working group of approximately 160 public health and community organizations urging Governor Newsom and the California Legislature to empower key stakeholders as soon as possible to fund and implement California’s strategy to end the HIV, HCV, and STI epidemics.

“Funding is essential to fight the spread of newly acquired STIs in California, but it will not fix the entire problem,” said Carl Baker, director of legal and legislative affairs at DAP. “To test and link people to care, we have to meet them where they are; not where we wish they were.”

DAP staff provide testing and education in jails, prisons, drug rehabilitation centers and where our homeless neighbors live.

It also links clients to Pre Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) as key strategies to decrease new infections. We know that regular STI testing that is part of the PrEP protocol identifies people who are infected with STIs who would not have been tested otherwise. 

In the Coachella Valley, and Palm Springs in particular, STIs are historically higher than the rest of the county, and have been rising steadily. Higher poverty rates than in the rest of California, plus a thriving tourism industry create an atmosphere for STIs to spread.

In 2018, Riverside County reported syphilis cases ran about 12 per 100,000 people. In the Coachella Valley: 32 cases per 100,000.

The numbers sharply increase in Palm Springs, with over 100 cases per 100,000, and especially North Palm Springs, with 185 cases per 100,000 people. (Riverside University Health System)

To address this trend, in May 2018 DAP lowered the price for testing and treatment for STIs to just $25, and no charge in extreme cases of lack of funds. Access to these services at other organizations in the Coachella Valley cost about seven-to-ten times as much, and prevents many from accessing testing and treatment.

Currently we are noticing about 30 additional clients per week at The DOCK for STI testing and treatment.

“Who knows how many of our clients would wait longer to get screening and treatment if they had to pay as much as ten times what The DOCK charges?” said C.J. Tobe, interim director of community health. “If our clients test positive, we can get them on treatment which is vital to stop the epidemics, and we can even go further, offering them ongoing primary medical and behavioral healthcare and other services.”

DAP knows from experience, and the CDC agrees, that our clients experience better health outcomes when they can access stable housing, and when they receive support to fight drug abuse, poverty, and stigma.

Besides accessing primary and behavioral healthcare, nutritious food and fighting isolation by connecting to other humans is also essential. Wellness services like yoga and chiropractic, and re-entering the workforce have shown to be essential to our clients as they rebound from an array of health challenges.

What Is A Syndemic?

Together, HIV, HCV and STIs create a syndemic—a set of linked health problems that interact synergistically and exacerbate poor health outcomes.

For example, having an STD increases the likelihood of acquiring HIV.  Among people who are living with HCV and HIV, HCV progresses faster and more than triples the risk for liver disease, liver failure, and liver related death. These epidemics are also driven by similar social and economic conditions and disproportionately impact many of the same disadvantaged communities.

About End The Epidemics

The California HIV/AIDS Policy Research Centers, together with HIV, viral hepatitis, and STD community-based organizations across California, have launched a community-driven effort to inform development of a statewide plan to end the HIV, HCV, and STD epidemics in California. What makes this initiative innovative and unique – in addition to community leadership – is its ambitious goal of addressing these health conditions as a syndemic – a set of linked health problems that interact synergistically and exacerbate poor health outcomes. The syndemic approach differs from the biomedical approach in that it treats diseases concurrently and also addresses the social determinants of health that drive these epidemics. To learn more, visit: www.chprc.org/end-the-epidemics/

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 STD testing and treatment for only $25 per visit, 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 sixth 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
www.thedockclinic.org
www.gettestedcoachellavalley.org
to learn more

Long-Term Behavioral Health Advocate Dr. …

Contact: Jack Bunting

jbunting@desertaidsproject.org

(760) 656-8472

Palm Springs, CA – (September 18, 2019) — Desert AIDS Project (DAP) is proud to welcome Dr. Jill Gover as Behavioral Health Manager. In this role, she will enrich the department and the agency with her expertise and proven commitment to putting clients first. Affectionately known in the community as “Dr. G”, she brings decades of expertise and compassion in helping people living with HIV / AIDS (PLWHA).

At DAP, she will steer operations of the department and the Behavioral Health clinic, supervise staff, and see clients in a therapeutic capacity.

Most recently, Dr. Gover served as a clinical psychologist and director of the Scott Hines Mental Health Clinic @ The Center in Palm Springs, providing eight years of tireless service to clients.

She has emerged in the Coachella Valley as a steady voice calling for more resources and vigilance around mental health issues facing the LGBTQ community, especially PLWHA.

“We feel immense gratitude to have Dr. Gover join the Behavioral Health staff at DAP,” said David Brinkman, CEO. “Living with HIV is overwhelming for many of our clients, but she has mastered the understanding required to give them the vigilance and support they deserve.”

In particular, Dr. Gover is one of this community’s loudest voices calling for heightened awareness around suicide prevention, and there is a compelling reason.

  • In the 2014 Riverside County Public Health LGBT Health and Wellness Profile study, LGBTQ+ adults reported having two-to-four times as many suicidal thoughts as heterosexual peers, with bisexuals at highest risk. 
  • In the 2015 Inland Empire Transgender Health and Wellness Profile Report, transgender adults were asked, “Have you ever seriously considered committing suicide?”  Seventy-five percent of the participants responded, “Yes” compared to six percent of the general population. 

These are truly shocking statistics, according to Dr. Gover. But by choosing to join DAP, she plans to continue her lifelong work to help humankind.

“I have been assisting people living with HIV / AIDS, both personally and professionally, since the early days of the epidemic as a gay rights and AIDS activist,” said Dr. Gover.  “This is my community and I cannot think of an agency that is a better fit for the work I love to do.”

Experience From Decades Of Treating People Living With HIV / AIDS

Dr. Gover completed schooling and started her psychology practice in the earliest years of the AIDS crisis in California. She has practiced in the Bay Area, Northern California, and the Inland Empire. 

By spending decades treating her clients living with HIV / AIDS, she understands their suffering, and offers approaches for them to find hope and wellness.

As she explains, for PLWHA, the AIDS epidemic has been a series of traumatic events. Sustained trauma can present as a myriad of symptoms, such as anger, hypervigilance and anxiety, depression, insomnia and nightmares, survivors’ guilt, substance abuse, sexual risk-taking, low self-esteem, hopelessness, emotional numbness and social withdrawal. 

According to Dr. Gover, behavioral health strategies that develop a new, positive “internal narrative” of self-talk are crucial to combating the challenges and fears that overwhelm so many people living with HIV.

“I want to establish a safe environment in therapy where patients can learn and practice the tools and skills needed to make the changes they want to make in their life.” 

Her Therapeutic Approach

Dr. Gover believes that the story we tell ourselves can often be distorted, and because of that, we experience unnecessary emotional distress.  As a cognitive behavioral therapist, she is interested in exploring the mistaken beliefs, unhelpful schemas (rules we live by), and faulty thinking that causes problems in our lives. 

With curiosity and without judgment, she invites the patient into a collaborative approach to investigate the evidence and efficacy of particular thought patterns, and helps patients reconstruct a “new narrative” of self-talk that improves quality of life.

More about Dr. Gover

Jill Gover, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, specializing in addiction, anxiety, depression, aging, chronic pain, HIV, and LGBT+ issues. For 15 years she was the Coordinator of Student Assistance Programs for the Vallejo USD, responsible for developing a large internship program and bringing mental health services into the schools. For the next 13 years, she was the Director of Mental Health Services for an FQHC community health center, responsible for integrating behavioral health into a primary care setting. In 2011 she joined the staff at The LGBT Community Center of the Desert, where she created a clinical internship program for mental health professionals and established The Scott Hines Mental Health Clinic to provide low cost mental health services to the community. Dr. Gover oversaw clinical internship training and several treatment programs for the LGBT community, including a Long-term Survivors (LTS) therapy group for gay men living with HIV. She has been an active member of HARP-PS (HIV and Aging Research Project) for the past five years. 

Dr. Gover has published numerous articles and developed psycho-educational curricula on anger management, suicide prevention, adult children of alcoholics, HIV, and healthy aging. She is a well-respected presenter on various issues related to mental health, and has delivered numerous workshops and trainings throughout California.

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 STD 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 sixth 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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MyChart Users – Important Information

Desert AIDS Project (DAP) has transitioned from “OCHIN” to a Desert AIDS Project MyChart log-in page.
 
What do I need to do?
 
1. Switch from the OCHIN MyChart selection on your phone application to the new Desert AIDS Project MyChart selection
 
2. If using MyChart from a PC / Device, update any saved URL (web address) to this new URL (web address): https://mychart.ochin.org/mychartdap/
 
Call 760-323-2118, ext 711 and ask for Albert or Curtis if you have trouble with your username or password or if you have questions about the new MyChart.

RAP Foundation Grant Strengthens D.A.P. …

Contact:
Sanctuary Palm Springs
Tim O’Bayley
tim@obayley.net
(760) 788-3525

Desert AIDS Project
Jack Bunting
jbunting@desertaidsproject.org
(760) 656-8472

Palm Springs, CA – (May 13, 2019) Desert AIDS Project (D.A.P.) and LGBT Sanctuary Palm Springs (Sanctuary) have received a $25,000 grant from The Regional Access Project (RAP) Foundation in Palm Desert. This funding will fortify the collaboration between Sanctuary and D.A.P. to provide care and services for vulnerable LGBT transitional-aged youth (TAY) placed in Sanctuary’s extended foster care program for TAY ages 18-21.

This collaboration will ensure that Sanctuary residents are referred for and obtain continuous access to health care, behavioral health care, medications, and other supportive services, mitigating the high risk of poor health outcomes among LGBT TAY. Sanctuary provides single home residential placement, case management and services to assist LGBT TAY to transition to independent living.

“We are so thankful for this much needed support,” said Rob Woronoff, Sanctuary Executive Director. “The RAP Foundation has made a huge difference in our work to ensure these vibrant young people have the resources and support they need to live healthy and happy lives once they leave foster care.”

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with D.A.P. where our residents receive the expert healthcare that all young people deserve,” Woronoff said.

TAY is a specialized area of foster care under the California Fostering Connections to Success Act (AB 12). This legislation provided a continuum of support for transitional aged youth while they begin their journey to independence. To be eligible for extended foster care, youth must be working or in school, or both.

LGBT youth in foster care are subject to bias, discrimination, rejection and bullying as a result of their LGBT status, compounding their exposure to trauma. They are less likely than their straight peers to find a permanent home and are especially vulnerable to abuse even within the child welfare system that is supposed to protect them.

“Working with Sanctuary as it breaks barriers to bridge foster youth to independent living as adults is in line with our mission,” said David Brinkman, CEO. “This gift from the RAP Foundation will make a huge difference in our work to address the unmet needs of this vulnerable population.”

D.A.P. has been providing residents of Sanctuary with healthcare, behavioral healthcare, clinic case management, HIV/STI prevention education, support groups, job placement and transportation to D.A.P. for services since spring 2018.

About Sanctuary Palm Springs
Sanctuary Palm Springs (SPS) is a Transitional Housing Program specifically designed to meet the needs of the LGBTQ community of foster youth transitioning to adulthood. If you are 18 – 21 and are – or have been in – foster care and you would like to have a safe, welcoming home in which to successfully transition to adulthood, Sanctuary Palm Springs is the place for you.

Call us today to begin the application process at (760)766-3500. If you know someone who needs the additional support available through the THP+FC program, please share this site with them.

To find out more about Sanctuary Palm Springs, visit www.facebook.com/LGBTSanctuaryPalmSpringswww.twitter.com/sanctuaryps, and www.sanctuarypalmsprings.org to learn more.

About Desert AIDS Project
Desert AIDS Project (D.A.P.) is a Federally Qualified Health Center in Palm Springs, CA offering D.A.P. 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. D.A.P.’s sexual health clinic, The DOCK, offers STD testing and treatment, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), and HIV and HCV testing. D.A.P.’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. D.A.P. has earned a “Four Star” rating from Charity Navigator for the sixth consecutive year – landing D.A.P. 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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Desert AIDS Project Announces Substantia …

For Immediate Release
Contact: Jack Bunting, PR Specialist
Tel: (760) 656-8472
Email: jbunting@desertaidsproject.org

Desert AIDS Project Announces Substantial Fee Reduction for STD Screening And Treatment

HIV, HCV Screenings and PEP remain free-of-charge

Amid an alarming spike in syphilis cases in the Coachella Valley, Desert AIDS Project is further removing barriers to access for sexual health services by lowering fees for STD screening from $80 to $25 at its DOCK clinic. This price includes labs and treatment.  Anyone at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level is eligible for a sliding fee scale for these services.

Desert AIDS Project has long been a resource for compassionate and non-judgmental STD care. Remaining free-of-charge are screenings for HIV, Hepatitis C (HCV), and access to post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP).

In Riverside County, syphilis cases run about 12 per 100,000 people, and the Coachella Valley has 32 cases per 100,000. But the numbers show highest concentrations in Palm Springs, with over 100 cases per 100,000, and North Palm Springs, with 185 cases per 100,000 people. (Riverside University Health System)

County health officials have scheduled the Riverside County Syphilis Community Collaborative today from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Demuth Community Center, located at 3601 East Mesquite Avenue, Palm Springs. An array of community members representing faith-based organizations, health organizations, medical providers, schools, and insurers will convene to exchange ideas on how together they can help beat this epidemic. Also attending will be officials from the California Department of Public Health.

“Public funding for healthcare is harder to find every day,” said David Brinkman, D.A.P. CEO. “But making STD screening and treatment attainable for all members in our community is how we can do our part to confront this syphilis epidemic head-on.”

While syphilis disproportionately affects gay men and HIV positive gay men, it also has a devastating effect on women, especially those giving birth. According to the California Department of Public Health, the number of infants born with congenital syphilis increased for the fifth year in a row. In 2017 alone, 30 babies in California were stillborn due to being infected. When babies survive, they often live with permanent disabilities like blindness, deafness, bone problems, and ruined teeth.

In addition to syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea are also on the rise, making regular screening and access to treatment even more vital.

“We are very concerned about the rising rates of STDs in California,” said Dr. Heidi Bauer, M.D., M.P.H., Chief, STD Control Branch, California Department of Public Health. “Last year, over 300,000 cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and early syphilis were reported, a 45% increase over the past 5 years.”

The DOCK accepts walk-ins Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., although appointments are recommended. Due to demand, caregiver schedules can fill up quickly.

For more information, visit thedockclinic.org.

About Desert AIDS Project 
Desert AIDS Project (D.A.P.) is a Federally Qualified Health Center in Palm Springs, CA offering D.A.P. 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.  D.A.P.’s sexual health clinic, The DOCK, offers STD testing and treatment, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), and free HIV and HCV testing. D.A.P.’s Get Tested Coachella Valley campaign, the nation’s first region-wide HIV testing and access to care initiative, was recognized by the White House for helping to bring about an AIDS-free future.  D.A.P. is rated a “Top 20 HIV Charity” by About.com.

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

At White Party 2018: HIV and HCV Tests, …

Desert AIDS Project and Riverside University Health System-Public Health want to make sure the roughly 30,000 fun seekers who descend on Palm Springs for the 2018 White Party know their HIV and Hepatitis C status during the event. And this year, vaccinations for Hepatitis A will be offered to those interested.

Starting in 2017, Hepatitis A outbreaks in San Diego, Los Angeles and Santa Cruz have left California cities struggling to contain the spread of the virus, which primarily affects the homeless, drug users, and individuals involved in high-risk sexual behavior. But since the virus can be passed by consuming contaminated food, water or ice, it is possible for people outside these groups to contract it.

“We see offering HIV and HCV testing as integral to stomping out both epidemics,” said Bruce Weiss, director of Community Health at D.A.P. “The more people know their status, the less likely they will accidentally spread either virus, and we can link them to care.”

Desert AIDS Project’s Get Tested Coachella Valley team will be on hand to conduct HIV and HCV testing and to assist those affected to find treatment, all three days of the event. Riverside University Health System-Public Health will be offering vaccinations for the Hepatitis A virus on Friday and Saturday.

“The collaboration between Public Health and D.A.P. is one example of community partners coming together to tackle some critical health issues,” said Kim Saruwatari, director of Public Health. “We agree that getting tested and learning your status is empowering and a key to slowing the spread of illness.”

Please see below for the schedule of testing and vaccination information.

Friday, April 27            10:30a.m. to 6p.m.
Renaissance Hotel        Mobile Van, Valet Parking Lot
D.A.P. for HIV and HCV
Riverside University Health System-Public Health for Hep A vaccine

Friday, April 27             10p.m. to 2 a.m.
Renaissance Hotel- Pueblo Room
D.A.P. for HIV and HCV

Saturday, April 28        10a.m. to 6p.m.
Renaissance Hotel- Pueblo Room
D.A.P. for HIV and HCV
Riverside University Health System-Public Health for Hep A vaccine

Sunday, April 29           3p.m. to 6 p.m.
Inside T-Dance (next to Impulse tent)
D.A.P. for HIV and HCV

To learn more about hepatitis care at D.A.P., click here.
To learn more about STI screening at D.A.P., click here.

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