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

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

Looking Out For Each Other

Looking Out For Each Other

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

Will your weekend plans expose you to COVID-19?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Study Examines How PLWHA Are Coping In New Normal

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

Call (760) 408-6267 for more information.

Invest in PLWHA to Prevent New HIV Transmissions

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

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

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

Thanking Direct Relief for Covid-19 Relief Funding

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

Get Access To the Care You Need

One Call is a service that can enroll callers in health insurance or Medi-Cal through Covered California, register them for medical and behavioral healthcare, and schedule their first appointment at DAP — all in approximately 45 minutes. This is a significant reduction in the amount of time this would normally take, thanks to a DAP Healthcare Navigator who will work one-on-one with each caller.

Callers can access One Call service by calling 760-992-0426, Monday – Friday, 9am – 4pm PDT.

Sexual Health Clinic - Palm Springs

1695 N. Sunrise Way Palm Springs, CA 92262

Monday - Friday 8:30 AM - 4:30 AM (Closed for lunch from noon-1:00 PM)

Call 760-992-0492 to schedule an appointment.

To reach our after-hours answering service, please call (760) 323-2118.

Transgender Care at DAP Is Here For You

Transgender Care at DAP Is Here For You 

Transgender residents in California seeking culturally competent, compassionate medical and behavioral healthcare in a stigma-free setting can always get it at DAP, with help navigating coverage through Covered California as well. 

Call (760) 323-2118or email TransCare@desertaidsproject.org for more information. 

We asked Anthony Velasco, Co-Chair of DAP’s Transgender Health Programto help allies understand a little more about transgender people’s experiences with healthcare, and how we all have an opportunity to help create spaces that all are welcome in. 

Question: Some in healthcare wear their pronouns on their nametags (i.e., she, her, hers) What does it mean to a trans person when they see this on someone’s name tag when they come in for services? 

Answer: Pronouns matter --- acknowledging someone’s pronouns and using their pronouns is a sign of respect and courtesy. Wearing our pronouns on our nametags, identifying the pronouns we use when we introduce ourselves, and adding pronouns in our signature lines also creates a safe space for individuals who have experienced misgendering or those who are afraid to be misgendered. Wearing our pronouns on our nametags also signals to our patient that --- we see you, we acknowledge you, and you are safe with us. 

Question: How can we help people understand why so many trans people face barriers to basic healthcare? 

Answer: We need to talk about the stigma experienced by trans people throughout their lives 

Cis-centered and heteronormative policies and practices greatly limit the resources and opportunities for them and their communities.  

Many have reported delaying preventative care due to discrimination they have experienced from their health care providers, including verbal harassment. Many also report having to educate their doctors about gender affirming care when it should be the other way around. 

I believe that gender-affirming care should be integrated in primary care, and that primary care clinicians should be able to provide gender-affirming primary care.  

Question: How do we create a world with more culturally competent healthcare clinicians providing reliable transgender care services? 

Answer: Stigma against gender-diverse individuals has permeated in different levels of our society, and we must fight it all. We start this by integrating LGBTQ-health related content in medical, nursing, and allied health curricula.  

At most colleges, the median number of hours in the medical curriculum on LGBTQ health is only 5 hours, and even less for nursing curriculaAt Desert AIDS Project, we enrich this, ensuring that nursing and nurse practitioner students, medical students, and residents are exposed to health-related issues unique to the LGBT community.  

Providing all team members an understanding of how transphobia, homophobia, and racism all have direct impacts on our clients’ health is a core training aspect with our future clinicians at DAP. By doing this, not only are we able to model the values of inclusiveness and diversity we stand for, but we also shape future clinicians to value inclusiveness and diversity once they start their own professions. 

More about HHS removing ACA protections  

The news about HHS removing ACA nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people for health care and insurance does not affect access to care and services at DAP.  

At DAP, we offer our transgender and non-binary community culturally competent, compassionate medical and behavioral healthcare in a stigma-free setting. We also help them navigate through Covered California, our state’s insurance exchange, for access to MediCal or other options. We do not turn anyone away because they don’t have insurance.  

Anyone can still access Transgender Care at DAP. Thanks to our own state’s insurance practices and civil rights law, LGBTQ people remain protected. Unfortunately, transgender people do not have the same rights across the U.S.  

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Get Access To the Care You Need

One Call is a service that can enroll callers in health insurance or Medi-Cal through Covered California, register them for medical and behavioral healthcare, and schedule their first appointment at DAP — all in approximately 45 minutes. This is a significant reduction in the amount of time this would normally take, thanks to a DAP Healthcare Navigator who will work one-on-one with each caller.

Callers can access One Call service by calling 760-992-0426, Monday – Friday, 9am – 4pm PDT.

Sexual Health Clinic - Palm Springs

1695 N. Sunrise Way Palm Springs, CA 92262

Monday - Friday 8:30 AM - 4:30 AM (Closed for lunch from noon-1:00 PM)

Call 760-992-0492 to schedule an appointment.

To reach our after-hours answering service, please call (760) 323-2118.

Safe Chiropractic Services Open Again at …

Safe Chiropractic Services Open Again at DAP

Clients can once again access safe chiropractic therapy on Tuesdays and Thursdays between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Appointments can be requested on MyChart or by calling (760) 323-2118.

Dr. Jim Cox is noticing that his clients have new aches and pains that seem to go along with sheltering in place. Read more, including tips for keeping our backs healthier. 

Now that chiropractic services at DAP have resumed, what are some common problems your clients are noticing, and what can you tell us about the causes?  

Working from home: A LOT of sore and stiff necks and shoulders due to bad ergonomics, and not having a proper desk set up. 

Walking or hiking a lot more than ever before: Low back and hip pain from exercise their bodies aren’t used to. 

Getting to those projects that have been put off: Shoulder pain from lifting all those rocks or boxes.

Anxiety and stress over the whole situation: General aches and stiffness all over, a physical manifestation, which also can be from inactivity (REALLY staying in).

How safe is it to come see you at DAP? 

Very safe.  We’re screening at the door.  Everyone is masked and surfaces are wiped down thoroughly between patients.

Will you be doing things differently in your practice? 

Wiping down surfaces was always our protocol, so the screening and masks are the only thing new.  No modifications to treatment protocol. 

Any tips for folks to preserve their backs when hunkering down means they cannot see their favorite Dr. of Chiropractic? 

Move it or lose it!  Within tolerable levels of course. 

  • Stretch often. 
  • Yes, it’s a “stay at home” order but that doesn’t mean you can’t go for a walk.  The heat now poses a challenge, so get up early and take a nap later. 
  • Maintain a healthy diet as much as possible.  Carb loading with inactivity is the perfect recipe for joint inflammation.

DAP Food Program Nourished With Grant fr …

DAP Food Program Nourished With Grant from Bank Of America

Palm Springs, CA – April 24, 2020 – As the Coronavirus creates unprecedented demand and challenges for our services, Desert AIDS Project (DAP) is deeply grateful for a $20,000 grant from Bank of America to help us provide continuous access to nutrition for our clients as we respond to COVID-19. This grant will help ensure our at-risk clients will continue receiving fresh produce and grocery vouchers from our Nutrition Program.

At a time when sources of financial support to fund healthy staples and fresh produce have dried up or remained flat due to the virus, this grant from Bank of America greatly supports DAP’s commitment to providing hunger relief in our community – providing approximately 30,000 meals to clients of DAP who are eligible for food distribution and grocery vouchers.

DAP was awarded this grant because it is working on the frontlines of the pandemic in our community, and the array of wrap-around services DAP offers its clients.

“DAP is thankful to Bank of America for supporting our programs that build community health through good nutrition in this crisis,” said Zayda Welden, director of Social Services. “Uninterrupted access to fresh produce and groceries means that our clients who are most at-risk can worry less about the basics, thanks to this kind help.”

Bank of America recently announced a $100 million commitment in support of communities facing unprecedented challenges related to the coronavirus pandemic. 

“Now more than ever, we need to take care of one another. Thanks to the responsive leadership of incredible Coachella Valley nonprofits like Desert AIDS Project, we can together help address this health and humanitarian crisis,” said Al Arguello, Inland Empire market president, Bank of America.

By providing a comprehensive continuum of healthcare and social services, including Nutrition Services to support retention in care and adherence to medical treatment, DAP keeps clients connected to medical care, despite existing barriers or challenges that may arise.

Hurdles Accessing Enough Food

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

About Our Clients

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

About Desert AIDS Project

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

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

Silver Linings Found in the New Normal

Silver Linings Found in the New Normal

Weekend Wrap Message- Saturday, April 25, From David Brinkman, Desert AIDS Project CEO

When a Unicorn arrives holding a sign of support for DAP’s healthcare workers, you know it's a signal to look for the silver linings in our 'new normal'.

Twice weekly, our Emergency Response Team reviews the accomplishments of each DAP department.  Working as a unified response, we are innovating to find new ways to beat COVID-19.

  • As isolation and loneliness increases for our home-bound clients, Zoom is being used by our Social Services, Health Center and Behavioral Health Teams to support and care for people.
  • When we suspended the DAP Farmers Market, for safety reasons, we upped visits from the mobile pantry to provide fresh produce to our clients and any member of the community.
  • Hundreds of people are coming to receive care at our COVID-19 Triage Clinic - for many it's their first time at DAP. For those who do not have a doctor and/or insurance, many, after experiencing our whole-person approach, are enrolling in DAP for their ongoing healthcare. 

Expansion: Opening our Doors Wider

To increase access during this crisis, the DAP Behavioral Health Clinic opened up Virtual Visit counseling to anyone who is appropriate for outpatient therapy. People no longer need to be a current patient of DAP’s Health Center to receive this care.

Like nutrients for our bodies, therapy builds resiliency to cope with multiple stressors. By accessing therapy from DAP licensed clinical psychologists, clients develop tools for living that improve the quality of their lives. 

Expansion: Essential Therapy from Wherever You Are

Our Behavioral Health Team and our IT Dept. developed new ways to deliver counseling by offering in-person psychological services, as well as, Virtual Visits and phone visits via a patient’s laptop, tablet, or smartphone. 

Therapy is a gift we give ourselves to promote our own well-being and wellness in times of stress,” Dr. Jill Gover, Manager of DAP Behavioral Health.

Rapid Antibody Test Added to DAP's Protocol at COVID-19 Clinic

We added rapid antibody testing at our COVID-19 Triage Clinic. Used in conjunction with swab diagnostic testing, the combination provides more thorough information to our clinicians to provide patients with the individualized care they need.

The rapid test can identify people with past infection, as well as those in the mid-to-late stages of the disease.  Anyone who thinks they might be suffering from COVID-19 can call (760) 992-0407 for information and the opportunity to talk to a DAP clinician, who will determine if coming to DAP is the next best step.

Speed is always important in a pandemic,” said Dr. Christopher Foltz, Director of the COVID-19 Clinic. Rapid test results in 10 mins. are definitely beneficial.”

Click here to read our full Press Release Here 

DAP In the News

DAP - We're Here For You

DAP believes access to healthcare is critical for every member of our community.  And yet, we know many lack insurance, a primary care doctor, or the ability to schedule an appointment with a therapist.  

This week DAP launched a new campaign leveraging low-cost tactics which include social media, our own digital billboard on the corner of Sunrise and Vista Chino, donated space in print publications, and radio PSA's courtesy of Alpha Media.

The campaign features our doctors and therapists delivering important messages for community members.

  • We are Here for You
  • We Care For You
  • Welcoming New Primary and Behavioral Health Patients
  • Therapy and Psychotherapy Available for Our Community 
  • Doctors Make Virtual House Calls
  • The Future of Healthcare Has Arrived with Patient-Centered Model of Care and Virtual Visits. 

If you or someone you know needs care. Call (760) 323-2118 to schedule your first appointment or email care@desertaidsproject.org

#GivingTuesdayNow Save The Date 

We sent out our first save the date email for #GivingTuesdayNowa global day of giving, which is planned for May 5, 2020. It's a people-powered event that brings together organizations and individuals around the world for a day of action, giving and community building. Millions of us will be standing up, helping out, giving back, and healing. 

Learn More About How You Can Make an Impact and Give Today

Desert AIDS Project's Giving Tuesday Now efforts start right now. While DAP faces its own financial challenges related to COVID-19, we are committed to ensuring our community emerges from the pandemic stronger than ever.

FOOD is LOVE!  Please help make a difference between now and May 5th!

Take Out. Give Back
The economic impact on our restaurant community has been especially harsh and the stimulus is not trickling down to many. Over the years, they have generated millions of dollars for our valley's causes, including DAP, so we ask you to TAKE OUT. GIVE BACK. You can help by choosing a restaurant for take-out/delivery. Let's turn the tables and support our restaurant community with breakfast, lunch, and dinner orders. 100% of your receipt goes to the restaurants. Contact them directly to place your order. For a full list of restaurants open, please visit: https://www.visitgreaterpalmsprings.com/stay-in-take-out/

Help DAP Feed Our Most Vulnerable Clients 
Many of DAP's most vulnerable clients are over 65 and/or have fragile immune systems. We are keeping them safe by delivering packaged food, fresh produce, and toiletries to their homes.

For $40.00 per person, we are able to deliver this life-sustaining nutrition. If you’re in a position to help, please consider how many of our patients you can feed.  

PPE Still Needed

DAP still needs support to keep our nurses and doctors safe with proper PPE as they test and treat those in our community exhibiting symptoms of Coronavirus. 

We would greatly appreciate your support for all of these efforts in our COVID-19 Emergency Response.  

With gratitude and the hope that you too are finding your silver linings.

David Brinkman

Rapid Antibody Test Added to DAP Protoco …

Rapid Antibody Test Added to DAP Protocol at COVID-19 Clinic

(Palm Springs, CA) -- April 22, 2020 -- Desert AIDS Project is adding rapid antibody blood testing to its current approach for testing patients at its COVID-19 Triage Clinic. Used in conjunction with swab diagnostic testing, the combination will provide more thorough information so that clinicians can provide patients with the individualized care they need.

Because of its detection of antibodies, the blood test can identify people with past infection, as well as those in the mid-to-late stages of the disease. The DAP Infectious Disease team is validating the test currently by pretesting a control group of DAP employees who have either tested positive for COVID-19 already or who are likely to be negative, without prior exposure.

On its own, the rapid antibody test cannot be used to diagnose or prove previous exposure to COVID-19, but it is an important step in understanding the complexity of this disease to combat it in our community.

Anyone who thinks they might be suffering from COVID-19 is invited to call (760) 992-0407 for information and the opportunity to talk to DAP clinician, who will determine if coming to DAP is the next best step for them.

“Speed is always important in a pandemic,” said Dr. Christopher Foltz, director of the COVID-19 Clinic. “Anything we can do more rapidly is definitely beneficial.”

That means a few things. Not only will the test enable clients to learn their results in as little as 10 minutes, it’s enabling clinicians like Dr. Foltz to begin piecing together the true progression of this disease in our community.

While it remains unproven if those who recover from COVID-19 build immunity, data from the new laboratory test will support work to determine how much of the Coachella Valley has been exposed to COVID-19, an important step in combatting the disease.

Dr. Foltz says he and his infectious disease colleagues at DAP are piecing together how COVID-19 is affecting the population of the Coachella Valley. This test will enable them to uncover additional important data that will support health organizations defeating Coronavirus.

DAP is NOT offering on-demand testing for asymptomatic clients at this time.

About the COVID-19 Clinic at DAP

DAP’s COVID-19 clinic is open to any community member experiencing symptoms, regardless of insurance coverage. With every visit to the COVID-19 Clinic, clients will be evaluated for multiple upper and lower respiratory diseases.

The process begins with a quick phone call to our COVID-19 hotline for assessment and scheduling. You must discuss your symptoms with a clinician by calling (760) 992-0407—they will advise you if you should come in for an appointment and will set it up for you.

We provide two appointment options for testing: drive-up testing or testing inside our clinic.  Your phone assessment will determine which option is right for you.

The COVID-19 Triage Clinic does not accept walk-ins.

The COVID-19 Clinic at DAP is the only clinic offering treatment for other respiratory illness that can present in a similar manner.

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

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

Location and Hours
COVID-19 Clinic at Desert AIDS Project
1695 North Sunrise Way in Palm Springs, Palm Springs, CA
Monday – Friday, 8am – 4:30pm

Before you arrive, call (760) 992-0407 to speak with a member of our care team.

Currently, 7,000 people in the Coachella Valley get primary and specialty care from DAP, plus other services like behavioral health, dentistry, wellness, and social services. Learn more at https://www.desertaidsproject.org/about-us/

 

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COVID-19 Positive Support Group at DAP

Six people holding hands, casting shadows

Desert AIDS Project's COVID-19 Positive Support Group will begin on Tuesday, April 07, 2020, at 10 a.m.

This virtual group for those who have tested positive for the novel Coronavirus. You'll receive support, connection to others and encouragement in an online group setting. Occasional guest speakers will include infectious disease specialists to answer any questions for group members.

Registration required. Participants must contact Cory Pulver at (760) 992-0469 to enroll.

Patient-Centered care from the comfort o …

Mobile phone, laptop screen and tablet screen

Patient-Centered care from the comfort of your home.

We are proud to offer a digital solution that ensures your continuum of care from the comfort of your home. MyChart Virtual Visit is an easy and reliable way for you to meet with your clinician.

You still have the option for an in-person meeting with your clinician in our Blue Clinic or Green Clinic on the DAP campus.

More choices to access the great care you’ve become accustomed to from DAP is one more way we deliver Patient-Centered Care to our community.

It’s my first time doing a Virtual Visit with DAP – what do I need to start?

To begin your Virtual Visit:

Download the MyChart App Click here to download the MyChart app for iOS or click here to download the MyChart app for android.

Login to DAP’s MyChart  https://mychart.ochin.org/mychartdap/Authentication/Login?, scroll down to the bottom of the welcome page and click PRECHECK-IN, complete the check on steps, then click BEGIN VIDEO VISIT.

Need help getting started with Virtual Visit?

Please click here to call 760-656-8412.

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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You can quit smoking. We can help.

Join the American Lung Association’s eight-week quit smoking program, conveniently held at the Desert AIDS Project. Hundreds of thousands of people have become smoke-free through a Freedom From Smoking® Group Clinic which offers a structured, systematic approach to quitting smoking.

Overseen by a certified facilitator, you will learn:

  • How to know if you’re really ready to quit
  • Medications that can increase your success
  • Lifestyle changes to make quitting easier
  • How to prepare for your quit day
  • Coping strategies for managing stress & avoiding weight gain
  • How to stay smokefree for good

Freedom From Smoking Group Quit Program

Fridays (beginning on October 4, 2019) at 2:00 p.m.

Call (760) 992-0469 or email cpulver@desertaidsproject.org to RSVP. Our first session starts on Friday, October 4th at 2:00 p.m.

Visit Lung.org/ffs for more information about the program or our online Freedom From Smoking® Plus if a Group Clinic isn’t right for your quit.

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