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

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

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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COVID-19 Clinic at DAP

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 testing 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.

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/

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.

Desert AIDS Project Offers Medical Home …

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

Desert AIDS Project (D.A.P.) announced an alliance with Sanctuary Palm Springs (SPS), a transitional residential program providing housing and independent life skills for foster youth who are 18-to-21 years old. Residents will be able to turn to D.A.P. for their medical, dental, mental health, transgender care (both medical and psychological), HIV education, drug and alcohol counseling, employment counseling and pharmacy needs.

The alliance was showcased today at a ribbon cutting at the newly remodeled SPS residence in Palm Springs, with a keynote from Mayor Robert Moon, and congratulatory addresses by city councilmember Lisa Middleton, and D.A.P. chief executive officer David Brinkman.

“This is going to really help youth at risk to get on their feet,” said Mayor Moon. “We’re so grateful for our community supporting this.”

Several community members and supporters, including the Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce, local media, and volunteers stood in the front yard of the home for the ribbon cutting.

Embracing the humanitarian dedication of Sanctuary SPS founders LD Thompson and David Rothmiller, D.A.P.’s David Brinkman said the two organizations were perfect to unify for this endeavor.

“Together by leveraging all the goodness standing in this front yard today,” said David Brinkman, CEO, “we will help people actualize their full potential in life.”

Sanctuary Palm Springs is the creation of filmmakers and authors David Rothmiller and LD Thompson. Their goal is to provide LGBT teens in foster care a family home environment, a place of safety and stability. A caring and professional staff provide emotional support, in addition to an emphasis on education and the arts.

“Sanctuary Palm Springs is the first program of it’s kind,” said David Rothmiller, co-founder. “While providing housing, as well as education and employment opportunities to LGBT+ youth as they prepare to leave foster care, our home is a place of safety, where these kids can be who they were meant to be.”

Palm Springs interior designer Christopher Kennedy chose many of the fixtures, lighting and accessories for Sanctuary Palm Springs. All six bedrooms also are adorned with brand new MODE furniture, provided by Revivals Stores.

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.

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. (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/LGBTSanctuaryPalmSprings, www.twitter.com/sanctuaryps, and www.sanctuarypalmsprings.org to learn more.

Undetectable = Untransmittable at The Co …

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) verified in September that achieving viral suppression continuously for six months with antiretroviral therapy will prevent HIV transmission. But Bruce Richman, executive director of Prevention Access Campaign, had been telling people that for a while.

Come hear Richman talk about Prevention Access Campaign’s efforts to get the message out nationally about this monumental finding, and learn about what barriers still exist. He will also talk about strategies for safe loving and healthy living now that we know undetectable equals untransmittable!

The first 50 people will receive two complimentary drinks and free passed appetizers.

Safe-sex dolls campaign depicts real-lif …

By Will Dean, Desert Outlook

They are not the Ken and Barbie of your childhood fantasies – they’re more modern, relevant and, well, real.

On Jan. 1, Desert AIDS Project launched a new safe-sex campaign using dolls to illustrate the lived experiences of Coachella Valley residents. In an effort to help educate adults who are at risk for HIV and promote the use of PrEP as a safe-sex option, billboards and signs featuring the dolls have been strategically placed across the valley.

Read the full Desert Sun article here.

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