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

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

DAP and Trenton Ducati announce a new co …

DAP and Trenton Ducati announce a new collaborative for sexual stigma busting in the age of COVID-19.

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

Media Alert:

Who: DAP and Trenton Ducati

What: Teaming up to talk about sex in the age of COVID-19

Where: Online and radio

When: Throughout spring 2020

Why: Despite social distancing in the age of COVID-19, people are putting themselves and others at risk by seeking in-person hookups, using social media apps.

How:  Coming to the community in a series of live online events, ads and blog posts

Palm Springs, CA March 30, 2020 -- Desert AIDS Project (DAP) and Trenton Ducati announce a new collaborative for sexual stigma busting in the age of COVID-19.  Exploring new ways of sexual expression that adhere to social distancing, both will bring their expertise in their fields in an effort to keep sexual wellness on the minds and lips of anyone who might be at risk.

DAP has been fighting sexual stigma in the Coachella Valley for 36 years and will provide fact-based, sex-positive information through leaders like C.J. Tobe, Director of Community Health at DAP.

Trenton Ducati is a leading gay adult film star who’s also established himself as a producer and promoter. He owns adult brands like Ducati Studios, Gentlemen’s Closet, Nasty Daddy, and TrentonDucati.com. He will share insights from trends he sees in the adult entertainment industry.

“COVID-19 has changed the world, including our sex lives,” said C.J. Tobe, Director of Community Health at DAP. “We want our community to continue talking openly and honestly about sexual health in this new era.”

Desert AIDS Project offers judgement free HIV testing, PrEP/PEP services, and STI testing and treatment regardless how you practice social distancing.

“I’m ecstatic to work with DAP to get the message out,” said Trenton Ducati. “Let’s save our community by turning on some porn and staying home.”

For a look at DAP’s kick-off piece A Guide to Sex during COVID-19 click here.

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.

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DAP Announces First Three Positive Test …

MEDIA ALERT
Contact: Steven Henke
shenke@desertaidsproject.org
(760) 656-8401

DAP Announces First Three Positive Test Results at COVID-19 Triage Clinic 

(Palm Springs, CA) March 20, 2020-- Desert AIDS Project (DAP) announced tonight that three patients at its COVID-19 Clinic have tested positive for the virus. The patients visited the clinic after it was determined in a telephone screening with DAP medical staff that they met certain symptom criteria and should come in for testing.  Two patients are greater than age 55 and are believed to be community spread without travel or direct known exposure to a confirmed case. A third patient greater than age  30 also tested positive after coming to the clinic with a minor cough and recent international travel.  All three cases are mild and the patients are choosing to self-quarantine at home.

DAP clinicians will continue to care for the patients via telemedicine.  DAP case managers will deliver food, household supplies, and any needed medications.

DAP has put safeguards in place to protect non-infected people from COVID-19 while they are on the DAP campus. This includes heavily restricting exits and entrances to the COVID-19 Clinic and controlling pedestrian flow.  Clients receiving care are monitored by staff while they are onsite, and anyone entering DAP buildings is screened for symptoms and given masks when appropriate. 

DAP believes that offering treatment at the same site as screening and testing is essential to flatten the curve of an epidemic and especially Coronavirus. With every visit to the COVID-19 Clinic at DAP, clients will be evaluated for multiple upper and lower respiratory diseases.

While screening and some testing for COVID-19 are starting to become more available throughout the Coachella Valley, the COVID-19 Clinic at DAP is the only clinic offering treatment for other respiratory illnesses that can present in a similar manner. The uninsured are never turned away.

For more information about Desert AIDS Project's COVID-19 triage clinic and  how the innovative approach creates a model for other cities across U.S, click here.

Call (760) 992-0407 Before Visiting COVID-19 Clinic

Before being seen at the COVID-19 Clinic, patients must be screened and referred by a DAP clinician after calling the COVID-19 hotline: (760) 992-0407.

DAP is NOT offering on-demand testing for a-symptomatic clients. Anyone who thinks they might be suffering from COVID-19 should call (760) 992-0407 for information and the opportunity to talk to DAP clinicians about their symptoms.

Raising Funds for COVID-19 Clinic

DAP has launched its COVID-10 Clinic without the budget to do so and has just started a campaign to raise funds. The anticipated cost is at least $575,000 in the coming months to provide this service to the community. Please click here to learn more. 

Keeping up on COVID-19 

For DAP’s regularly updated Questions and Answers on Coronavirus page, click here.  
Preguntas y Respuestas del Coronavirus 

For The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) COVID-19 page, click here.

DAP Staff Ready for Coronoavirus

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 twelfth consecutive year – landing DAP in the top 6% of nonprofits rated. The distinction recognizes that we exceed industry standards in terms of our financial health, accountability, and transparency.

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

DAP Doubles Impact at COVID-19 Clinic wi …

Contact: Jack Bunting
(408) 323-2118
jbunting@desertaidsproject.org

DAP Doubles Impact at COVID-19 Clinic with Treatment Plus Testing

Innovative approach creates model for other cities across U.S.

(Palm Springs, CA) March 20, 2020 -- DAP believes that offering treatment at the same site as screening and testing is essential to flatten the curve of any epidemic, and especially Coronavirus. With every visit to the COVID-19 Clinic at DAP, clients will be evaluated for multiple upper and lower respiratory diseases.

While screening and some testing for COVID-19 are starting to become more available throughout the Coachella Valley, the COVID-19 Clinic at DAP is the only clinic offering treatment for other respiratory illness that can present in a similar manner. The uninsured are never turned away.

DAP opened the COVID-19 Clinic to alleviate anticipated pressure on local emergency rooms and hospitals. As is the trend nationally, sick people needing emergency care for unchecked respiratory illness are expected to increase greatly in the Coachella Valley. Yesterday it was reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that the number of confirmed U.S. COVID-19 cases surpassed 10,000, doubling over two days.

 “It’s in the very DNA of Desert AIDS Project to respond quickly to public health crisis using science and medicine to create a humanitarian response,” said David Brinkman, CEO. “We are using our tested roadmaps from the HIV and HCV epidemics to respond to COVID-19." Helping people survive epidemics is in the Coachella Valley has been the core specialty of DAP for 35 years. With the largest infectious disease team of clinicians in this region of California, DAP offers modern medical care, anchored by a deep understanding of Coachella Valley epidemiology.

Although largely due to increased testing, the numbers send a clear message that to mitigate calamity due to COVID-19 in our valley, we must act now to test, treat and monitor those who are suffering.

By linking those who need it to care immediately, we are able to stop the spread of respiratory illness and alleviate suffering.

DAP’s approach to COVID-19 in our valley is:

  1. Educating the public via 760-992-0407, desertaidsproject.org and all social media channels,
  2. Testing those who are screened and found to be at risk,
  3. And treating mild-to-moderate symptomatic patients.

Treatment provided for upper and lower respiratory infections at DAP’s COVID-19 Clinic includes:

  • Oxygen Therapy for patients who have lower than normal levels
  • Nebulizer treatments to open airways and address shortness of breath
  • IV Fluids for dehydration
  • Fever control with medication
  • Community Acquired Pneumonia Treatment – Injection of antibiotics and ability to prescribe medications to our DAP Walgreens (overnight home delivery available)
  • Influenza A & B testing and treatment
  • Strep Throat testing and treatment

Useful Links

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 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.

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Where You Get Your Rx Filled Can Make a …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kristin Chenoweth to Headline Steve Chas …

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Steven Henke

shenke@desertaidsproject.org

(760) 656-8401

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How Desert AIDS Project Removes Roadblocks to Human Potential:

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

2020 Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards Honorees:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Headline performer, Kristin Chenoweth is a passionate supporter of charities that dedicate their time and efforts to helping those in need. She formed a charity partnership with the Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center (BAPAC) Foundation in her home state of Oklahoma. Chenoweth's accomplishments were honored by her hometown with BAPAC naming "The Kristin Chenoweth Theatre" in 2012. Partnering with the BAPAC in a labor of love, Kristin launched an annual Broadway Bootcamp in 2015, providing young Broadway hopefuls with the opportunity to take classes, hold performances and learn from top mentors in the entertainment industry including Kristin herself. In her lifelong mission to cultivate arts education across the globe, Chenoweth has also created “Places! The Kristin Chenoweth Tour Experience," a unique educational program for young singers that puts them right next to her performing on stage. Each concert in Chenoweth’s ongoing tour will feature local participants from higher education conservatories, universities, and colleges for the immersive educational experience.

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

2020 Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards Sponsors

PRODUCING: Harold Matzner, Walgreens

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

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

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

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

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

About Desert AIDS Project

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

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Dr. Tulika Singh Elected ACP Fellow

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

Palm Springs, CA  -- Tulika Singh MD, MS, AAHIVS, practicing in Palm Springs, has been elected a Fellow of the American College of Physicians (ACP), the society of internists. The distinction recognizes achievements in internal medicine, the specialty of adult medical care.

She was elected upon the recommendation of peers and the review of ACP’s Credentials Subcommittee. She may now use the letters “FACP” after her name in recognition of this honor.

Dr. Singh is Associate Chief Medical Officer at Desert AIDS Project (DAP) in Palm Springs. She also serves as Director of Research at the organization.

Working in HIV care since 2009, Dr. Singh has maintained certification and credentialing by the American Academy of HIV Medicine since 2016. She was also awarded a seat at the faculty of UC Riverside School of Medicine in March.

Prior to joining DAP, she worked as a Primary Care and Infectious Disease Specialist at North Ottawa Community Hospital in Grand Haven, Michigan, and as an HIV Specialist at Mercy Health Partners of Muskegon, Michigan.

Dr. Singh derives great joy from building relationships with her clients and from collaborating with all members of DAP's transdisciplinary team to offer caring, comprehensive, and compassionate care. She enjoys the opportunity to see her clinical ideas become reality and she revels in working with her patients who teach her something new every day.

She received her Medical Degree from Kasturba Medical College in Manipal, India and then served her Internal Medicine Residency and Chief Residency at St. Elizabeth Health Center in Ohio. Dr. Singh also completed an Infectious Disease Fellowship at The Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. In addition, she also holds a M.S in Health Care Administration from the University of New Haven.

During her time in Michigan, Dr. Singh worked pro bono at a charity medical clinic for uninsured patients. She is excited to be a part of the HIV Primary Care Guidance panel for the HIV Medicine Association where she is working with others to contribute to and update the organization's HIV Primary Care Guidance.

About ACP

ACP is the largest medical specialty organization and the second-largest physician group in the United States. ACP members include 143,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter and Facebook.

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.

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.

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