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

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

DAP Transgender Health Program Earns ELE …

Palm Springs, CA (December 5, 2019) — Desert AIDS Project (DAP) has earned certification in ELEVATE gender-affirmation healthcare training by Annenberg Center For Health Sciences at Eisenhower Health. This nationwide initiative sets a high bar for cultural competence in healthcare professionals involved in primary care and HIV care for the transgender, intersex and gender diverse clients. 

Transgender and gender non-conforming (TGNC) people are disproportionately affected by HIV in the U.S. and globally. ELEVATE certification shows that DAP clinicians and personnel have the empathy and expertise to welcome and retain members of our TGNC community in HIV care.

“This designation reflects the commitment we have as an organization to our transgender, intersex and gender diverse clients,” said Anthony Velasco, NP and Co-Chair of DAP’s Transgender Health Program. “Our services and programs are most effective when we address intersectionality issues that contribute to stigma and discrimination unique to their struggle.”

The ultimate goal of ELEVATE is to improve linkage to and retention in HIV care for TGNC patients. In addition to barriers accessing primary healthcare and sexual health check-ups, competent HIV care is commonly elusive for them.

This is especially troubling, as the percentage of transgender people who received a new HIV diagnosis was 3 times the national average in 2017. (CDC)

Not enough health care clinicians receive proper training or are knowledgeable about TGNC health issues. This can lead to limited health care access and negative health care encounters. (CDC) DAP is seeking to reverse this trend, especially in the Coachella Valley.

“By providing services designed to empower and engage our clients in ongoing relationships with their primary care clinician, we address the full spectrum of health and wellness needs,” Velasco said. “We also seek opportunities to equip all of our staff with the knowledge and skills to achieve cultural competency and cultural humility.”

About ELEVATE

The Annenberg Center has established a special designation certificate program to recognize individuals and healthcare practices for environments that ensure optimal, culturally sensitive, and culturally competent care for TGNC patients. ELEVATE is a nationwide initiative to create welcoming, gender-affirming healthcare environments for transgender and gender-nonconforming (TGNC) patients. By improving the cultural competencies of healthcare professionals and personnel involved in primary care and in HIV care, the ultimate goal of ELEVATE is to improve linkage to and retention in HIV care for transgender and gender-nonconforming (TGNC) patients. To learn more, visit www.elevate.annenberg.net

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.

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Dr. Christopher Foltz Earns AAHIVM HIV S …

Palm Springs, CA – Desert AIDS Project is proud to announce that Dr. Christopher Foltz has been credentialed by the American Academy of HIV Medicine as AAHIVM HIV Specialist™. This designation further establishes him as an expert in HIV care, dedicated to evolving with advances in HIV technology so that his clients receive the very best care.

This important accomplishment by Dr. Foltz means that the entire team of clinicians practicing HIV medicine at Desert AIDS Project is now AAHIVM certified.

The credentialing program has three simple — but important — objectives:

  • To improve the quality of HIV care,
  • To broaden patient access to quality care, and
  • To expand the number of HIV-specialized medical care providers.

Becoming an Academy-credentialed HIV care provider is a way to remain current, and evolve with changes in HIV technology, discoveries of new treatments and shifts in the nation’s health care system. It requires specialized training and experience, followed by rigorous examination process.

To find out more about The American Academy of HIV Medicine (AAHIVM) visit: aahivm.org.

About Dr. Christopher Foltz

Christopher’s main focus is on general infectious disease and HIV primary care. He is Board Certified in Infectious Disease and Internal Medicine and handles basic LGBT primary care as well. He’s also involved in per diem work with inpatient infectious disease, specifically in the solid organ and bone marrow transplant population.

For his internal medicine residency, Christopher completed his three-year training at Cedar-Sinai Medical Center. He then pursued a two-year infectious disease fellowship at UCLA.

Before joining DAP in 2017, Christopher was a Physician, General Internal Medicine at Brentview Medical Urgent Care in West Hollywood; Attending Physician, General Internal Medicine for Saban Community Clinic in Los Angeles; and Physician, Infectious Disease, at CSMG Infectious Disease, also in Los Angeles.

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.

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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

Everyday Heroes Honors Individuals Who I …

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Steven Henke

shenke@desertaidsproject.org

(760) 656-8401

Everyday Heroes Honors Individuals Who Inspire

December 1st Event Marks World AIDS Day

PALM SPRINGS, CA – October 22, 2019 — Greater Palm Springs will come together on Sunday, December 1, 2019  to celebrate Desert AIDS Project’s Everyday Heroes honorees, at the Palm Springs Cultural Center. The annual event, now in its sixth year, shines a spotlight on local individuals who inspire. This year’s honorees include Molly Bondhus and Wil Stiles, Brett Klein, Fiona Foyston, and John Bingle Thompson.

Everyday Heroes was born six years ago and, since then, the annual event has sought to share the inspirational stories of local volunteers and the countless different ways people make a difference in our community, in addition to or instead of writing a check as a show of support. The work of each year’s honorees is heroic and deserves the type of recognition traditionally reserved for major philanthropy in our valley. 

Desert AIDS Project’s CEO, David Brinkman, believes “Everyday Heroes connects deeply to the humanitarian work of Desert AIDS Project because each of the honorees, in their own way, helps DAP do the work we do to remove roadblocks to human potential.”

This year’s event will honor the humanitarian legacy of Barbara Keller by introducing a Community Action Award bearing her name. The award this year will be presented to Bondhus and Stiles, and will honor a different individual’s legacy in the years that follow.

Co-chaired by Terri Ketover, Ann Sheffer, and Tom Truhe.  The event will be produced by Frank Goldstin of Momentous events and feature short films of the honorees created by Abiel Hernandez, and images of the honorees by famed photographer John Paschal.

Broadway star Davis Gaines will perform live during the show. Gaines performed the title role in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera over 2,000 times, during his run on Broadway, in Los Angeles, (where he remains LA’s longest-running Phantom), and in San Francisco, (where he received the Bay Area Critics’ Award for Best Actor). Subsequently, he was chosen by Hal Prince and Lloyd Webber to play the leading role in the World Premiere of Whistle Down the Wind. Gaines has sung for five U.S. Presidents and with every major symphony orchestra in North America, including the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl. His voice can be heard over 30 cast recordings and compilation albums, as well as two solo CDs, Against the Tide and All My Tomorrows: Songs of Sammy Cahn.

The Honorees:

Molly Bondhus and Wil Stiles recently celebrated their boutique’s 10th Anniversary by donating $500,000 worth of new fashion to Revivals Stores, to raise funds for Desert AIDS Project.  The couple has been active in volunteering and fundraising for LGBTQ and AIDS-related charities in both Minneapolis and Palm Springs for over 23 years. Past efforts included several years of coordinating fashion shows at major fundraising events for Design Industry Foundation Fighting AIDS (DIFFA) in Minneapolis. Since the WIL STILES Store opened ten years ago, all excess inventory has been donated to Revivals Stores in support of Desert AIDS Project, as well as cruiser bicycles and gift certificates to various Palm Springs charitable auctions. Bondhus previously served on the board of AIDS Assistance Program (AAP). The couple provides direct financial support to: Sanctuary Palm Springs and NCLR, Friends of the Palm Springs Animal Shelter, Planned Parenthood, Southern Poverty Law Center, RAICES and the Brooklyn Community Bail Fund.

Brett Klein is active in local LGBTQ, and HIV + Aging healthcare. Klein has served in many leadership and committee roles. He currently serves as President of the HIV+Aging Research Project – Palm Springs (HARP-PS), which is focused on HIV+Aging research studies to improve the lives of those living with and affected by the disease. Klein says, “I am motivated by the need to help educate the community regarding issues that are personal to me; cycling and pedestrian safety, HIV+Aging concerns, and helping nonprofits at the grassroots level.”  This year, Klein is honoring his 58th birthday by launching his AIDS/LifeCycle 2020 participation.

Fiona Foyston is a long-time volunteer at Desert AIDS Project having worked on behalf of the organization for nineteen years. In addition to DAP, Foyston volunteers her time and talent at the Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs International Film Festival, Palm Springs Pride, HRC, Palm Canyon Theater and Modernism Week.  She’s also active in One-PS, representing her neighborhood of Rogers Ranch.

John Bingle Thompson is a volunteer at Revivals Palm Springs store where he has been lending his talent since 2015. He handles all of the new clothing merchandise and assists customers in styling when he’s present in the store. Thompson has been featured in magazines for his design work of his homes and consults on the layout of Revivals stores. Thompson also volunteers for Modernism Week, Palm Springs International Film Festival, American Documentary Film Festival and ShortFest.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

5:30 PM – Champagne Reception

6:30 PM – Awards Show and Entertainment

8:00 PM – After Party

2019 Everyday Heroes Sponsors

Major Sponsors
KESQ

Ann Sheffer and Bill Scheffler

Gilead

Momentous Events

LuLu California Bistro

Palm Springs Cultural Center

The Desert Sun

Event Sponsors

Contempo Lending

Grace Helen Spearman Foundation

Gay Desert Guide

CV Independent

The Standard Magazine

John Paschal Photography

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.org, www.thedockclinic.org, and 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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Aging Positively – 4th Annual HIV  …

Event Contact: JP Allen
(760) 992-0440
Desert AIDS Project
jallen@desertaidsproject.org

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

When: Wednesday, September 18, 2019, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: Joslyn Senior Center 73750 Catalina Way Palm Desert, CA 92260

Complimentary beverages, snacks and lunch provided.

Please RSVP your attendance to J.P. Allen phone: (760) 992-0440 or email: jallen@desertaidsproject.org. Please also RSVP for FREE Shuttle service from Desert AIDS Project Campus to/from Joslyn Senior Center as well as for ASL services. Thank you!

Palm Desert, CA — Aging Positively, the annual Coachella Valley conference aimed at providing practical information as well as inspiration for those aging with HIV, will explore Self-Care, Sexual Isolation, Loneliness and Medicare/Prescription Drug Coverage. And this year, the 4x Gold Medal Olympic Champion Greg Louganis will provide an uplifting and inspirational keynote address.

People with HIV are living longer lives, thanks to advancements in scientific research and medical treatments; about half of HIV positive individuals in the US are age 50 and above. This is in stark contrast to the days when Desert AIDS Project was founded (1984), when HIV was a death sentence.

Speaker line-up

  • Moderator: Brad Fuhr, California Oasis Marketing Group and Gay Desert Guide
  • Keynote: Olympic Champion Greg Louganis
  • “Own Your Future: Essential Conversations You Must Have Now” by LKAPS Social Committee Co-Chair Richard Bass and Dr. Brian De Vries, ProfessorEmeritus of Gerontology, SFSU.
  • “Sexual Isolation & Loneliness” by Jill Hingston, PhD, The LGBT Center Palm Springs
  • “Medicare & Prescription Drug Coverage” by Brian Bilhartz, Bilhartz Desert Insurance

About Greg Louganis

Greg Louganis is simply the greatest diver in history. You would be hard pressed to find a person who watched either the 1984 or 1988 Olympics who was not enthralled by the poetry that was Greg Louganis: the beauty and power of his diving captured the world. 2016 marked the 40th Anniversary of Greg’s first Olympic win- a silver medal at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, in platform diving, at the tender age of 16. Eight years later he became the first male diver to get double gold in springboard and platform in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, and again in the 1988 Seoul Olympics. He has earned a total of 5 Olympic medals, 5 World Championship titles and 47 national titles — more than any person in U.S. history. His records remain unbroken.

In 1988 Greg Louganis also tested positive for HIV. Coming out as a gay athlete in a time when it simply was not done, his 1995 autobiography, Breaking the Surface, spent five weeks at Number One on the New York Times bestseller list and his PGA and Emmy nominated Documentary Back on Board is receiving rave reviews nationwide and can now be seen on HBO. In 2016 General Mills announced that Greg would receive a Wheaties Box for his achievements, and that development was so significant it warranted a New York Times exclusive. He had the honor of being included in ESPN’s 2016 annual Body Issue, and in 2017 was the first openly gay Grand Marshal of The Rose Parade. In 2019, he continues to serve as Sports Director for Red Bull Cliff Diving, a division of Red Bull, one of the world’s best known brands.

The story of Greg’s life, is a story that has inspired millions, and he regularly speaks to the most significant organizations and companies in the world to share that story. Today, as a speaker, author, actor, activist, humanitarian and designer, he continues his tradition of excellence in every field he touches.

About The Aging Positively Conference

The Aging Positively Conference is conceived and sponsored by medical and service providers, researchers, community groups, and media groups from the Coachella Valley:

Borrego Health

Desert Arc

Desert AIDS Project

Desert Care Network

Desert Oasis Healthcare

Eisenhower Health

Gay Desert Guide

HIV + Aging Project – Palm Springs

Jewish Family Service of the Desert

Let’s Kick ASS Palm Springs (LKAPS)

PromoHomo.TV

The DOCK

The LGBTQ Community Center (AKA The Center)

The Joslyn Center

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

Desert AIDS Project earns “LGBTQ Healt …

Nationwide 147 health care providers earned “Top Performer” designation in the Healthcare Equality Index

WASHINGTON — Desert AIDS Project announced its “LGBTQ Health Care Equality Top Performer” designation from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC). The designation was awarded in the 12th edition of HRC’s Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), released mid-month. A record 680 health care facilities actively participated in the HEI 2019 survey, with HRC Foundation proactively researching key policies at 1000 additional non-participating hospitals. Of those included in the HEI, 147 earned a “LGBTQ health care Equality Top Performer” designation.

“The fight for LGBTQ equality and access has come a long way, but not enough for us to be satisfied,” said DAP CEO David Brinkman. “DAP knows from experience that stigma prevents people from seeking medical care when they need it most.”

DAP started offering palliative care to people dying of AIDS 35 years ago. It evolved to offer medical, behavioral and holistic healthcare for people once HIV became treatable. Today DAP offers care to residents of the Coachella Valley regardless of HIV status. It also is active in LGBTQ advocacy.

“Our transgender and non-binary siblings throughout the Coachella Valley face extreme difficulty accessing competent and compassionate healthcare,” said Mr. Brinkman. “We see their struggle as our own, which is why we are humbled and thankful for this designation from HRC.”

HRC President Alphonso David raised concerns for LGBTQ protections at the national level.

“As the Trump-Pence administration continues to attack the most fundamental rights of LGBTQ people, including rolling back non-discrimination protections in the Affordable Care Act and promoting a license to discriminate in health care, it is more important than ever that health care institutions stand with the LGBTQ community,” said HRC President Alphonso David.

“The health care facilities that participate in HRC’s Healthcare Equality Index are making clear that they stand on the side of fairness and are committed to providing inclusive care to their LGBTQ patients. Going beyond inclusive non-discrimination policies, these health care facilities are adopting best practices in the areas of LGBTQ patient care and support, employee policies and benefits, and LGBTQ patient and community engagement. We commend all of the HEI participants for their commitment to providing inclusive care for all.”

The 12th edition of the HEI assesses participants on four criteria: Non-Discrimination and Staff Training, Patient Services and Support, Employee Benefits and Policies, and Patient and Community Engagement.

In the 2019 report, an impressive 406 facilities earned HRC’s “LGBTQ Health Care Equality Leader” designation,receiving the maximum score in each section and earning an overall score of 100. Another 148 facilities earned the “Top Performer” designation for scoring from 80 to 95 points. With 81% of participating facilities scoring 80 points or more, health care facilities are demonstrating concretely that they are going beyond the basics when it comes to adopting policies and practices in LGBTQ care.

The remarkable progress reflected in the 2019 HEI includes:

  • Over half of HEI participants now have written gender transition guidelines;
  • 75% of hospitals surveyed offer trans-inclusive benefits — an impressive eight percentage point increase over last year, and numbers that bring them on par with their corporate counterparts, as measured by HRC’s 2019 CEI;
  • A 35% increase in training hours recorded — clocking in at more than 94,000 hours of LGBTQ care training provided;
  • A 60% increase in the number of HEI participants whose electronic health records capture a patient’s sexual orientation, and a 40% increase in the number of HEI participants whose electronic health records capture a patient’s gender identity.

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

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, complementary 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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Dining Out for Life Coachella Valley 201 …

A powerful story about the impact of a community in action

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Steven Henke

shenke@desertaidsproject.org

(760)656-8401

Palm Springs, CA – Eighty-three local restaurants, bars, bakeries and coffee shops participated in Dining Out for Life on April 25 donating 33% or more of their food, beverage, and liquor gross sales to support Desert AIDS Project. Setting a record this year, fifteen participants donated 50% or more. The local event, which raised $307,000, was part of the larger Dining Out for Life program which occurs on the last Thursday of April each year.  In 2019, there were 49 Dining Out For Life events throughout North America. 2,459 restaurants participated, and with the support of 4,000 volunteers and 400,000 diners, more than $4 million was raised to support local HIV services.

Harold Matzner donated 100% of Spencer’s gross revenue in honor of his friend, Barbara Keller who championed the mission of DAP and for whom DAP’s main building will be renamed ‘The Barbara Keller LOVE Building’.  Matzner’s restaurant was the top fundraising location in North America for the second year in a row joined by Lulu California Bistro and Trio Restaurant as the top three fundraising locations.  Jointly, the three locations raised over $74,000.

Locally, the event generates great community pride of place.  Greater Palm Springs raised more funds than cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington DC, and San Francisco.   “This is a powerful story about the impact of generous restaurants and our local community.” Said Desert AIDS Project’s Chief Development Officer, Darrel Tucci who credits the generosity of Great Palm Springs business owners for raising a record amount this year for client services at Desert AIDS Project (DAP).  “Palm Springs is the smallest participating market, but because of their commitment to DAP, we were second in overall fundraising again this year.  No other market can boast the level of commitment shown in Greater Palm Springs.”

Beyond fundraising to support DAP’s clients and services, the event generates community awareness of HIV/AIDS and supports Desert AIDS Project’s mission to enhance health and well-being of its community. Desert AIDS Project provides compassionate care for 6,500 patients and clients.  Desert AIDS Project’s goal and specialty is helping people achieve overall health. DAP is in the midst of a capital campaign, D.A.P. Vision 2020, which when fully funded, will enable it to double the number of patients and clients served.  Desert AIDS Project CEO, David Brinkman explains why the expansion is so important.  “There are 27,000 transgender individuals in our service area that need culturally competent care.  40,000 low income residents near DAP are still without healthcare and our neighbors facing a mental health crisis often wait weeks or months for an appointment.  Treatment for addiction, is often out of reach and affordable housing is almost non-existent in Palm Springs.  The future of DAP is humanitarian, moving individuals into care and onward toward a life of wellness.

Brinkman reflected on the impact of Dining Out for Life Greater Palm Springs. “Few other events bring DAP closer to our tap root of community action. DAP was founded on unconditional love and guided by community members who defined and funded solutions to help those in need. I hope the community shares our great sense of pride in being home to the top three fundraising restaurants in North America for the third year in a row.”  Over 10,000 residents ‘made one meal matter’ at participating locations throughout the day sporting their ‘I Dined’ badges of honor. 

Sponsors of Dining Out for Life Greater Palm Springs included Sysco Riverside, Nonstop Wellness, NBC Palm Springs, The Desert Sun, CV Independent, Standard Magazine, Gay Desert Guide.  The date for Dining Out for Life Greater Palm Springs 2020 is Thursday, April 26.

Dining Out for Life Greater Palm Springs

Donated 100%

Donated 69%

Donated 60%

Donated 50%

Donated 33%

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

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Desert AIDS Project is 2019 California N …

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

Palm Springs, CA (June 5, 2019) – Desert AIDS Project (DAP) is proud to announce that it has been selected as a 2019 California Nonprofit of the Year by California State Senator Jeff Stone, serving the 28th district.

Carl Baker, director of legal and legislative affairs, and Zayda Weldon, director of social services, will join with one hundred other nonprofit leaders being honored by their state senators and assembly members during a celebration luncheon as part of California Nonprofits Day today in Sacramento.

DAP is a federally qualified health center in Palm Springs, CA that has been nurturing the community since 1984. Founded with love and compassion during the worst years of the AIDS crisis, DAP has created a roadmap for offering competent care to all members of the community, regardless of HIV status.

Approximately 6,500 Coachella Valley residents are receiving primary, dental and behavioral healthcare today, in addition to other vital services. That number will almost double, as the organization is in the midst of its largest expansion ever. To find out more, please visit: dapvision2020.org.

“Nonprofits are often hidden in plain sight,” explains Jan Masaoka, CEO of the California Association of Nonprofits (CalNonprofits). “California Nonprofits Day is an opportunity for our elected officials to celebrate the good work they see nonprofits doing in their districts, and for everyone to appreciate the collective impact of nonprofits in our communities.”

Additional Background

California Nonprofits Day, now in its fourth year, was formally recognized by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 62, authored by the chair of the Assembly Select Committee on the Nonprofit Sector, Assemblywoman Monique Limón (Santa Barbara), who will speak at the celebration luncheon. Senator Holly Mitchell will keynote the luncheon. The day is organized by Assemblymember Limón and CalNonprofits.

According to “Causes Count,” a 2016 report commissioned by CalNonprofits, the nonprofit sector is the 4th largest industry in the state, employing nearly one million people. Each year, California nonprofits generate over $200 billion in revenue and bring in $40 billion in revenue from outside of California. The unpaid labor contributed by volunteers at nonprofits is equivalent to 450,000 full-time jobs every year.

More 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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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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