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

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

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.

Possibilities of love, intimacy, hope an …

Possibilities of love, intimacy, hope and sex for PLWHA

This is the third in a series of four Q&A posts capturing founder Bruce Richman’s perspectives on our movement to end HIV stigma with U=U, Prevention Access Campaign, and all of us. Recently he talked with us on DAP LIVE.

Question:

I read that you ascribe to the Buddhist philosophy of ‘be happy and help others be happy’. Tell me about how that formed. I mean, what you've done is you've created this movement; you've created social impact. You've created social change.

I think a lot of people wonder how they can start in some small way to be part of the solution, if not in this movement, in another movement.

When I look at U=U it's like holding a sign that claims the intrinsic value of human beings, of all human beings. And that's so powerful.

Answer:

I was driven by the unfairness that this information was only getting to me. This is life changing, incredibly important information. It was getting to folks like myself; white, privileged and well connected. But, everybody needed to have this information. And I felt like it was bringing the possibility of love and intimacy and hope and sex to people. I was just driven by that—this made me happy. I want to help other people be happy.

Especially people who are already marginalized by healthcare systems that are not responsive to their needs, or are designed to eliminate them.

I couldn't understand why some people in the field wouldn't share the U=U message. It's so basic— when you go to a restaurant and you like the restaurant, you tell somebody.  You see a good movie, you want to share it, right? So why were you enjoying U=U for the last five years with your partner, but you didn't tell your own staff?

When you're starting a movement, you have to be driven by truth. Especially for something that's so radically challenging to the status quo in the medical establishment and within the community itself, with its norms, power structures, and alliances-- you just have to be driven by truth.

You just have to keep going. You just have to keep focusing on principles, like be happy and let other people be happy, and that the truth will set you free. We can't give up, even though it seems like sometimes we're not going to win, you know?

Question:

I've read language is really important to you. It's very important to be specific and clear about what U=U means, right? Talk to me about that specific language for someone who wants to share this information and use the right language. What is that language?

Answer:

It's important to be really clear when you talk about U=U,  especially if you talk about risk, because we're talking about the risk between one human being and another human being in the most intimate moments of our lives. And that language can either bring us so much joy, hope and freedom that we never thought would be possible, or it could destroy us.

So, when you say things like can't transmit, or no risk, that's great. We could even say zero risk as top scientists are saying. The CDC has said you can say U=U.

It gets dangerous when we say things like almost no risk or virtually no risk, or extremely low risk

this opens up a little window of risk, right?

And that's still a risk. And any window of risk puts our lives at risk for all kinds of harm, internal or external harm. So it's really important to be clear in that description. And then also not just in the language, but how you say it.

There are people whom you might've heard say, “I believe in U=U, but use a condom just in case.”

That but acts like a big eraser.

Another way of saying it is:

“I believe in U=U, and you might want to consider using a condom to prevent other STIs or an unintended pregnancy.”

Another fallacy?

“I believe in U=U, but you're only as good as your last viral load test.”

Nope. Viral loads do not shoot up to infectious levels with minor blips. If you're taking your medication and you get your labs done, you should have no problem. Blips are not anything of consequence. Just take your medication, get your labs done and stay connected to care.

One of the worst catch-alls is, “Oh, I believe U=U, but you never know.”

The truth is, we DO know, and it's okay. U=U.

Prevention Access Campaign offers a whole workshop on how to communicate about U=U, a helpful resource for anyone who wants to make sure they can speak the facts. Many who work in healthcare and social work still struggle with this topic.

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.

Looking Out For Each Other

Looking Out For Each Other

Weekend Wrap Message – Saturday, July 3 From David Brinkman, Desert AIDS Project CEO

Will your weekend plans expose you to COVID-19?

Our COVID-19 Triage Clinic has now provided care to more than 2,000 people seeking testing and medical support for their symptoms.

The team has noticed people testing positive are younger on average than when this crisis began. It’s a national trend, and we must keep reminding each other about our mutual obligation to take this health threat very seriously.

As he addressed his co-workers, our Director of Community Health, C.J. Tobe, shared his painful news that within a 24-hour period, he lost several friends under 40 to COVID-19 this week.

He urged his colleagues to consider: “Will my weekend plans expose me to COVID-19?”

One-in-two COVID-19 patients have no idea who exposed them or when they contracted the virus in the two weeks leading up to symptoms. According to our team, this illustrates the danger from asymptomatic transmission and community spread.  We can guard against this with strong adherence to wearing face coverings, social distancing, and extra hand washing. For CDC guidance click here.

Currently, Riverside County is second in California for new COVID-19 cases. As we celebrate our nation’s independence on this long weekend, we beg you to ask yourself, “Will my weekend plans expose me to COVID-19?” If the answer is “yes,” please consider changing them to protect yourself and others.

We all have to be aware of new health restrictions in California this week; bars and restaurants must halt indoor service to customers. This also applies to sectors including wineries, movie theaters, zoos, museums and card rooms. These orders are expected to be in effect for at least three weeks. Read more here.

If you or anyone you know needs information on COVID-19 testing, please call us (760) 992-0407 to talk to an expert.

Study Examines How PLWHA Are Coping In New Normal

HARP-PS and the University of Southern California are conducting a study to find out how people living with HIV over 50 in our community are getting through this current health crisis. Many of our patients lived through the worst years of the AIDS crisis, and they report experiencing post-traumatic stress, as well as very real barriers accessing care and life sustaining services currently. Data collected will be used by healthcare providers to make care and access better for our HIV positive in the Coachella Valley.

Call (760) 408-6267 for more information.

Invest in PLWHA to Prevent New HIV Transmissions

We’ve shared the second in a series of four Q&A posts capturing Prevention Access Campaign founder Bruce Richman’s perspectives on our movement to end HIV stigma with U=U.

In this post Bruce talks about how keeping PLWHA in healthcare and connected to services yields a much broader benefit to the greater public health, and how stigma still gets in the way of people getting tested. Read more here.

Preventionaccess.org has a lot of information, including social shares that allies can use. It has tips about the language that we should all be educating ourselves about. 

Thanking Direct Relief for Covid-19 Relief Funding

We want to thank Direct Relief, in partnership with the National Association of Community Health Centers, for their grant funding of $50,000 to help sustain our COVID-19 Triage Clinic. This support helps us provide consultation, COVID-19 testing, and respiratory treatments to people in our community. By providing this service, DAP is taking pressure off of our overwhelmed emergency rooms and ICUs as the surge continues. Read more 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.

DAP Receives Emergency Grant from Direct …

DAP Receives Emergency Grant from Direct Relief to Bolster the Healthcare Safety Net in the Coachella Valley

DAP is so thankful for the recent infusion of $50,000 in emergency grant funding from the medical aid organization Direct Relief, in partnership with the National Association of Community Health Centers.

DAP was among 518 federally qualified health centers to receive funding through Direct Relief’s $25 million Covid-19 Fund for Community Health, which recognizes the profound effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the finances, services, staff, and patients of community health centers.

DAP will use the funds to continue operating its COVID-19 Triage Clinic in Palm Springs.

“Access to primary care is what keeps people healthy and out of the hospital, and the frontline work of DAP and other nonprofit community health centers across the U.S. is more critical than ever with the onset of Covid-19,” said Direct Relief President and CEO Thomas Tighe. “Direct Relief is doing everything possible to bolster the work and support the staffs at the safety-net health facilities on which so many patients and their families rely for excellent care and trust for advice in this public health emergency.”

Nearly 30 million (1 in 12) of the country’s most vulnerable residents -- including 1 in 3 individuals living in poverty, 1 in 5 Medicaid beneficiaries, -- rely on federally qualified health centers like DAP for their health care. That number is expected to rise as more people lose employer-sponsored insurance.

“We are grateful for this critical and immediate support as Community Health Centers work hard to keep communities safe during an unprecedented pandemic,” said Tom Van Coverden, President & CEO of the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC). “We are also deeply appreciative of our longstanding partnership with Direct Relief in these uncertain times and their efforts to ensure that health centers confronting multiple challenges in underserved communities have the resources when and where they need them. We know that many donors and contributors have helped to make this fund possible, and we further extend our appreciation to all of them.”

About Our Clients

DAP serves vulnerable low-Income persons and families living below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level inclusive of all races, ethnicities, gender orientation, and sexual identity, in addition to low-income people living with and at risk for HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). Over one-third of DAP's patients/clients who are living with HIV are aged 50 years and older. DAP is well aware of the needs of clients and patients confronted by numerous complications of surviving long-term with HIV, including subsisting on fixed incomes.

About Desert AIDS Project

Desert AIDS Project (DAP) is a Federally Qualified Health Center in Palm Springs, CA offering DAP Total Care – a combination of medical, dental, counseling, social services, support groups, alternative therapies, in-house pharmacy and lab, and other health and wellness services. DAP’s sexual health clinic, The DOCK, offers STI testing and treatment, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), and HIV and HCV testing. DAP’s Get Tested Coachella Valley campaign, the nation’s first region-wide free HIV testing and access to care initiative, was recognized by the White House for helping to bring about an AIDS-free future. DAP has earned a “Four Star” rating from Charity Navigator for the twelfth consecutive year – landing DAP in the top 6% of nonprofits rated. The distinction recognizes that we exceed industry standards in terms of our financial health, accountability, and transparency.

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

###

Invest In The Wellbeing of PLWHA To Prev …

Invest In The Wellbeing of PLWHA To Prevent New Transmissions

This is the second in a series of four Q&A posts capturing founder Bruce Richman’s perspectives on our movement to end HIV stigma with U=U, Prevention Access Campaign, and all of us. Recently he talked with us on DAP LIVE.

Question

We don’t talk enough about how stigma can prevent us from getting HIV testing.

If someone who’s HIV positive can access medication, they can live a very long life. But if they don't know that they have HIV and they don't access medication, there can be all kinds of complications.

Tell me about U=U’s role in ending the epidemic. Because if we don't know our status, and if we don't have access to the medication we need, we're not going to end the HIV epidemic. Also, why is stigma still so prevalent?

Answer

Initially I didn't understand that U=U had a role in ending the epidemic in terms of preventing new transmissions. I always really focused on improving the lives of people with HIV and ending the stigma that we have faced for so long. But in terms of ending the epidemic, U=U is essential. Dr. Fauci says, “U=U is the foundation of being able to end the epidemic,” because the more people who are on treatment and undetectable, the fewer new transmissions there'll be.

So in the United States, when you realize half of the people living with HIV are not on treatment and not in care, and they're not getting the treatment and care or the services, they need to stay healthy.

They're also not getting those services that they need to stay un-transmittable. So if we really want to end the epidemic and save lives, we're going to make sure that we invest in the wellbeing of people living with HIV, so they can stay healthy and prevent new transmissions. We need to link investing in the wellbeing of people living with HIV to ending the epidemic. Because when you invest in the wellbeing of people with HIV, you prevent new transmissions. And that's a big deal.

HIV stigma is intertwined with all kinds of stigma. There's sex negativity, homophobia, transphobia, stigma against people who inject drugs and sex workers. And that deep-seated negativity against all kinds of STIs. HIV stigma is particularly embedded in this country because of the last 35 years of mass fear-based messages. And what we remember since the early days of the 1980s.

It’s something that is really hard to unlearn decades of fear of HIV and people living with HIV. It'll take a long time. That's why we have to keep saying it— “U=U.”

People living with HIV cannot pass it on if you make sure that all of us have the treatment and the care that we need to stay healthy. We're not going to pass on HIV. There's no fear. You can have sex,  babies, love—all with no risk.

Question:

When you started this, did you think it would become a global human rights movement?

Answer:

We launched U=U four years ago. No, I didn't think it was going to be like this. I've always been really behind the scenes with my work in the past. I just knew this had to be done. We had targets, we had the CDC, we had UN AIDS, World Health Organization, public health associations, and research associations.

We were very focused in terms of who we needed to move forward and our advocacy. And we had numbers, I think at the end of the first year, we're going to have 75 in the U.S. and we had already had 200 at that point.

This just goes to show the power, the passion and the brilliance of people living with HIV around the world who are standing up to change the narrative about their bodies. And to reclaim our lives from public health systems that are deeply, inherently flawed, racist and paternalist—all those “isms” that prevented this life changing information from getting to us all those years.

It's almost a thousand organizations in 101 countries. Now it's just, it's phenomenal. And so many different languages.

Preventionaccess.org has a lot of information, including social shares that allies can use. It's got tips about the language that we should all be educating ourselves about. It’s science-based, and values fact over fear.

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.

Free COVID-19 Antibody Testing From DAP …

Media Contact

Jack Bunting

(760) 323-2118

COVID-19 Triage Clinic Hotline:

(760) 992-0407

Free COVID-19 Antibody Testing From DAP at FIND Free Mobile Market Community Food Distribution

When: This Thursday, June 25, 2020, from 3:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Where: James O. Jessie Desert Highland Unity Center 480 W Tramview Rd, Palm Springs, CA 92262

This Thursday, DAP will be providing no-charge asymptomatic COVID-19 antibody testing and educational materials to the public during FIND’s free Community Mobile Market food distribution at the James O. Jessie Desert Highland Unity Center. This testing will take place from inside the DAP Mobile Testing Van.

DAP is committed to offering COVID-19 rapid antibody testing to our community, especially people facing financial challenges during this time. Our team will also be able to talk to anyone about our One Call program. This service helps people into insurance enrollment and healthcare services by making just one phone call to DAP at (760) 992-0426.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed gaps in healthcare access in the United States. CDC data shows that the death rates among Black and LatinX people are much higher than for white people, in all age categories.

According to CDC data, Black Americans account for a higher proportion of new HIV diagnoses and people with HIV, compared to other races and ethnicities. In 2018, Black Americans accounted for 13% of the US population, but 42% of the 37,832 new HIV diagnoses in the United States and dependent areas.

For anyone interested, free HIV and HCV testing will also be available from DAP staff at that location that day. Community members who are unable to attend the June 25 event are encouraged to call DAP's COVID-19 Triage Clinic hotline to schedule a test by calling (760) 992-0407.

FIND Food Bank distributes food the 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month at the James O. Jessie Desert Highland Unity Center. DAP typically provides HIV and HCV testing at this venue, and regularly partners with FIND for the health of the community. Read more about FIND Food Bank here.

Accessing healthy food in the Desert Highland Neighborhood has always been a challenge for residents. But after public outcry and a supporting health study by Loma Linda University Health and Desert Health Care District, providing nutritious options for people there has become top-of-mind for local leadership and community organizations. Read more here.

Hurdles Accessing Enough Food

Food Insecurity is an economic or social indicator of the health of the community with a direct correlation to poverty levels and poor health outcomes. At least 50% of our clients receive Supplementary Security Income, based on disability, which renders them ineligible for the CalFresh food "stamp" program. Other clients who are eligible for Cal-Fresh receive $16-$30 per month; amounts that are insufficient to fully alleviate food insecurity. Since DAP's founding, food assistance has been a vital component of our integrated approach to service delivery, based on the Chronic Care Model, a system of care that emphasizes patient self-management skills, and the Patient-Centered Medical Home model, which facilitates partnerships between patients and their healthcare providers.

About Our Clients

DAP serves vulnerable low-Income persons and families living below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level inclusive of all races, ethnicities, gender orientation, and sexual identity, in addition to low-income people living with and at risk for HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). Over one-third of DAP's patients/clients who are living with HIV are aged 50 years and older. DAP is well aware of the needs of clients and patients confronted by numerous complications of surviving long-term with HIV, including subsisting on fixed incomes.

About Desert AIDS Project

Desert AIDS Project (DAP) is a Federally Qualified Health Center in Palm Springs, CA offering DAP Total Care – a combination of medical, dental, counseling, social services, support groups, alternative therapies, in-house pharmacy and lab, and other health and wellness services. DAP’s sexual health clinic, The DOCK, offers STI testing and treatment, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), and HIV and HCV testing. DAP’s Get Tested Coachella Valley campaign, the nation’s first region-wide free HIV testing and access to care initiative, was recognized by the White House for helping to bring about an AIDS-free future. DAP has earned a “Four Star” rating from Charity Navigator for the twelfth consecutive year – landing DAP in the top 6% of nonprofits rated. The distinction recognizes that we exceed industry standards in terms of our financial health, accountability, and transparency.

Visit www.desertaidsproject.org and www.thedockclinic.org to learn more.

###

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.

Surge Warning: Heightened COVID-19 Aware …

Surge Warning: Heightened COVID-19 Awareness Required

COVID-19 Surge Means Vigilance Must Be Top Of Mind

The Coachella Valley is experiencing a significant surge in COVID-19 infections, especially in the Eastern portion of the County, which accounts for half of all cases. A serious surge is happening throughout our state.

All people in California are now required by law to wear face coverings in most public indoor settings, plus in other situations where exposure is likely. Examples include waiting in line outside, using public transportation, and working with the public. For more guidelines from California Department of Public Health, click here.

Wearing masks, washing hands, and social distancing are making all the difference in preventing new infections. It is extremely important that everyone take heightened measures to protect themselves and others.

By mid June, we surpassed 1,560 clients receiving care at our COVID-19 Clinic since opening in March, and we continue to see numbers rise as more people seek testing and consultations. Our staff are receiving as many as 400 calls per day for information and appointments.

We’re adding a new swab test to our protocol, and it will enable us to serve even more people in our community during this crisis, in less time, and with a lot less discomfort.

The more testing and services DAP can offer means fewer people in our community will have to be hospitalized for this virus. It will also require everyone doing their part to keep themselves and others safe.

Please read our COVID-19 Q&A for regularly update information. Call the COVID-19 Hotline (760) 992-0407 if you’d like to talk to someone about staying safe, or coming in for testing.

Surge Warning, plus Civil Rights Wins an …

Surge Warning, plus Civil Rights Wins and Challenges

Weekend Wrap Message - Friday, June 19 From David Brinkman, Desert AIDS Project CEO

COVID-19 Surge Means Vigilance Must Be Top Of Mind

The Coachella Valley is experiencing a significant surge in COVID-19 infections, especially in the Eastern portion of the County, which accounts for half of all cases.

Wearing masks, washing hands, and social distancing are making all the difference in preventing new infections. We urge everyone to take heightened measures to protect themselves and others as we begin this Father’s Day weekend.

This week we surpassed 1,560 clients receiving care at our COVID-19 Clinic since opening in March, and we continue to see numbers rise as more people seek testing and consultations. Our staff are receiving as many as 400 calls per day for information and appointments.

We’re adding a new swab test to our protocol, and it will enable us to serve even more people in our community during this crisis, in less time, and with a lot less discomfort. The more testing and services DAP can offer means fewer people in our community will have to be hospitalized for this virus.

Please read our COVID-19 Q&A for information. Please call the hotline (760) 992-0407 if you’d like to talk to someone.


Unexpected Justice: Supreme Court Protects LGBTQ Rights to Work

It was a landmark day for LGBTQ equality and our community when the United States Supreme Court codified our civil rights in places of employment this week. This changes the world and it provides the leadership that the United States should be and can be known for. We still have plenty of work to do. Health and Human Services has also rolled back civil rights for transgender Americans accessing healthcare through the Affordable Care Act (ACA).


Transgender Care Program at DAP Is Here For You

The news about HHS removing ACA nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people for health care and insurance does not affect access to care and services at DAP. Anyone can still access Transgender Care at DAP. Thanks to our own state’s insurance practices and civil rights law, LGBTQ people remain protected. Call (760) 323-2118 or email TransCare@desertaidsproject.org for more information.


Rejoicing With Dreamers

DAP stands with DACA recipients locally and across the U.S. We welcome this week’s Supreme Court decision upholding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA). We acknowledge their ongoing contributions to this community and our nation, and we remain committed to supporting them as they make good on their own life dreams.


Celebrate Juneteenth

Juneteenth (June 19, 1865) is the oldest commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Desert AIDS Project continues to stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and the peaceful protests which continue to energize the movement around the world.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed gaps in healthcare access in the United States. CDC data shows that the death rates among Black people are much higher than for white people, in all age categories. Read more here.


VOICES OF HOPE - Together, We Thrive – Happening TONIGHT

We invite you to join us at 7:00pm tonight (Fri Jun 19) for this star-studded event livestreaming on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. Co-produced and hosted by TV Personality and OUT100 Honoree, Scott Nevins, VOICES OF HOPE features some of the biggest names from Broadway and Hollywood. Find out more here.

DAP Celebrates Juneteenth

DAP Celebrates Juneteenth

Friday is Juneteenth, the oldest commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Desert AIDS Project continues to stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and the peaceful protests which continue to energize the movement around the world.

"Juneteenth is an opportunity to commemorate the contributions of Black individuals who have inspired, guided, and driven our work at DAP, but also to recommit to our mission of ensuring everyone has access to healthcare information, testing, and treatment," said Desert AIDS Project CEO David Brinkman.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed gaps in healthcare access in the United States. CDC data shows that the death rates among Black people are much higher than for white people, in all age categories.

According to CDC data, Black Americans account for a higher proportion of new HIV diagnoses and people with HIV, compared to other races and ethnicities. In 2018, Black Americans accounted for 13% of the US population, but 42% of the 37,832 new HIV diagnoses in the United States and dependent areas.

On Friday, digital marquee signs at DAP on the corner of Sunrise and Vista Chino, and at Revivals Cathedral City store located on Hwy 111, will recognize the day by displaying the emancipation flag.

Additionally, DAP will be using its social media platforms to educate its followers about the meaning of Juneteeth as we continue our work to end systemic poverty via nutrition, housing, and police safety.

Revivals Stores will be encouraging its shoppers to explore the rich variety of Black-owned businesses in Greater Palm Springs. https://www.pslocalsonly.com/

Further, to engage our employees, there will be a special all-staff virtual gathering on Friday to reflect upon and discuss the importance of Juneteenth’s historic and current significance.

Yesterday, DAP joined Human Rights Campaign and 350 LGBTQ organizations united in calling for transformational change in policing. The letter reads in part, "We cannot sit on the sidelines, we cannot acquiesce, and we cannot assign responsibility to others. We, as leaders in the LGBTQ movement, must rise up and call for structural change…” You can read the full letter here.

And, most importantly, DAP continues to listen to persons of color in the community in which we serve to learn how DAP can become a stronger ally and co-worker in the movement to end racism.

Finding Hope in Uncertainty

Finding Hope in Uncertainty

Weekend Wrap Message - Saturday, June 13, From David Brinkman, Desert AIDS Project CEO

Back on: VOICES OF HOPE -Together, We Thrive.

In solidarity with Black Lives Matter, we delayed the original Voices of Hope streaming date.

As we move forward together, we invite you to join us at its rescheduled date and time: Friday, June 19, at 7:00pm, livestreaming on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.  Co-produced and hosted by TV Personality and OUT100 Honoree, Scott Nevins, VOICES OF HOPE features some of the biggest names from Broadway and Hollywood. Find out more here.

U=U = Freedom to love without shame over HIV

We all live with uncertainty, and when we can focus on fact, science and certainty it is very affirming. With a science-based message, Bruce Richman and Prevention Access Campaign have radically improved the way people living with HIV look at themselves, and this transformative campaign has gone global.

U=U, short for Undetectable = Untransmitable, is helping people unlearn decades of fear about people living with HIV, and it’s even helping lessen fear around getting tested. Bruce was interviewed by Steven Henke on DAP LIVE this week, and I urge you to watch it below, or read the excerpts that we’ll be sharing in our News section in the coming weeks.

Applying Prevention Access Campaign values locally

When we hear experts like Bruce Richman say that half of Americans with HIV are not accessing the type of treatment and services they need to thrive and prevent transmitting to others, I immediately think about the people of this valley who need our services.

Our Community Health Director C.J. Tobe wrote about the practical work he and others at DAP are doing to help Coachella Valley residents become undetectable if they have HIV, as well as other methods for preventing and treating HIV in our community. You can read that here.

Safe Chiropractic Services back on at DAP campus with Dr. Jim Cox

Hunkering down is the right thing to do for many, but our clients are developing back and shoulder pain because of the new normal. That’s why we were so happy to have Dr. Cox resume safe chiropractic services onsite at DAP. You can read more about hours and some tips on preserving your back from him by clicking here.

Clarifying how we charge for antibody testing

Our ability to offer rapid antibody testing to the uninsured and underinsured of the Coachella Valley and Riverside County was made possible because of a generous grant.

Our clients with commercial PPO coverage will notice we are billing their insurance company. This should not result in a direct bill to the client. There is no co-pay, and no additional expense to worry about.

Please call the hotline (760) 992-0407 if you’d like to talk to someone about your coverage and the cost of COVID-19 testing at DAP. We will always work to provide you the quickest and most reliable testing option possible. You can read more in our Coronavirus Q&A by clicking here.

More ways to shop at Revivals        

The new tag says it best—home means more now. Our team at Revivals has opened up all three stores for safe in-person shopping, and they’re also bringing the joy of the hunt to residents of our valley with a new online shopping site featuring its best-selling brand new Mode furniture items. Revivals is a significant financial contributor to DAP client services. You can see what the team has created by clicking here.

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