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

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

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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Molly Bondhus and Wil Stiles Honor Barba …

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Steven Henke

shenke@desertaidsproject.org

(760)656-8401

PALM SPRINGS, CA- September 17, 2019 – Designers and fashion boutique owners Molly Bondhus and Wil Stiles will celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the WIL STILES store with an ‘Awesome Anniversary Sale!’ exclusively at Revivals Stores (www.RevivalsStores.com). Bondhus and Stiles are donating to Revivals Stores new men’s and women’s clothing valued at over $500,000. 100% of the proceeds will directly benefit Desert AIDS Project (DAP), honoring the late Barbara Keller’s selfless dedication to the organization. Beginning October 16, 2019, customers can shop for the collection exclusively at all three Revivals Stores locations. A special preview event is planned for media and invited guests the evening of October 15, at the Palm Springs Revivals location.

Bondhus and Stiles were part-time Palm Springs residents for five years beginning in 2004 and in 2009 made the desert their official home. WIL STILES first opened its doors the morning of the 2009 Desert AIDS Walk. As Carol Channing sang with a band across the street, crowds of energetic and cheerful walkers made their way down Palm Canyon and past the new store. Simultaneously smiling and teary-eyed as they watched from the doorway of their shop, Bondhus and Stiles knew that they had made the right decision to relocate to Palm Springs. During the past ten years, the store has enjoyed tremendous community support and become a favorite of locals and tourists, alike.

Dane Koch, Director of Retail for Revivals Stores explains the impact of the donation. Molly and Wil have supported us for many years, checking in with us regularly and reacting to our merchandise needs. We have sold thousands of dollars of their product and made a lot of shoppers happy as they have been able to buy upscale clothing at Revivals prices.  We believe this most recent gift will inspire others in the community to donate to Revivals and support the life-changing work at Desert AIDS Project.”

Desert AIDS Project lost one of its most important advocates and strong voices when Barbara Keller passed this year. Bondhus and Stiles hope to honor the legacy of Keller’s philanthropy with this special anniversary sales event. “When Wil and I were initially approached about being featured for our donations to Revivals, we hesitated.  The goal of our philanthropy is not recognition or seeing our names projected on a wall. We give and support because we believe in our community and giving back,” commented Bondhus, who went on to say, “It is up to all of us, not just the wealthiest, to do as much as we can to contribute. While direct donations get attention, the countless hard-working volunteers in the desert do the bulk of the heavy lifting to support the work of our great charitable organization.”

Bondhus and Stiles shared the impact Barbara Keller made in their lives and how she inspires them to continue giving back to the community. “For those of us who knew Barbara, her exceptional combination of intelligence, strength, and fearlessness got your attention from the moment you met her.  Combine those qualities with her innate glamour and charisma and you had the unstoppable Barbara Keller. Barbara’s commitment to social justice issues, and her ability to reach across the political spectrum to gather support for a worthy cause, was unmatched in the desert. All of us need to take Barbara’s passing as a personal call to step up and take action to improve the lives of others in our community.”

Bondhus and Stiles have 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.

About Revivals Stores and Desert AIDS Project

(Revivals Stores) Greater Palm Springs residents know and love Revivals Stores and have voted it as Best Resale \ Thrift \ Furniture \ Consignment\ or Vintage Clothing Store in four local reader contests this year.   Revivals Stores won Best Furniture Store and Best Consignment / Resale Store in Desert Sun’s 2019 Ultimate Pride Contest, Best Consignment / Resale Store in Desert Magazine’s 2019 Best of the Valley, Best Thrift Store in CV Independents 2019 Best of Coachella Valley Contest, Best Thrift Store in GED Magazines 2019 Out Awards Contest, and Best Consignment / Best Thrift Store and Best Vintage Clothing Store in Palm Springs Life’s 2018 Best of the Best Contest

Revivals Stores are reinventing today’s thrift store experience, offering selections of new furniture and accessories under their owned brand, Mode at Revivals while featuring national brands such as Scott Living and Ashley Furniture at affordable price-points. Shoppers at Revivals can choose from brand new furniture and accessories while mixing their new style with thrift store finds from the decade of their choice.

Revivals has three locations: Palm Springs, Cathedral City, and Palm Desert.  The stores are staffed by 180 volunteers who support the mission of Desert AIDS Project (DAP), enabling Revivals to make an annual $1 million contribution to DAP. DAP has earned a national reputation as one of the most comprehensive HIV/AIDS service providers in the United States. 

Revivals employees and dedicated volunteers create a unique retail experience for the 29,000 people who shop the stores each month looking for a unique thrift store find while shopping brand new furniture and accessories. “There’s an excitement in our stores that you don’t feel at traditional retailers.  Part of that is the thrill of the hunt, but there’s something else happening and I think that is connection to community.  Our volunteers have created a unique community of neighbors helping neighbors inside Revivals three store locations.  They know we are selling product with a purpose,” says Director of Community Development, Steven Henke.

Visit revivalsstores.com and desertaidsproject.org to learn more.

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Hepatitis Center of Excellence Opens at …

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
David Brinkman, CEO
Desert AIDS Project (D.A.P.)
Tel: 760-992-0418
Email:  dbrinkman@desertaidsproject.org

Hepatitis Center of Excellence Opens at Desert AIDS Project

Desert AIDS Project collaborates with Desert Oasis Healthcare to make state-of-the art Hepatitis testing and treatment accessible to the community.

PALM SPRINGS, CA, (December 5, 2016) –  Desert AIDS Project (D.A.P.) has opened the doors today to the Hepatitis Center of Excellence – a new clinic designed to address a serious and growing need for Hepatitis care in the local community.  D.A.P. is collaborating with Desert Oasis Healthcare (DOHC) to staff the new Center with Infectious Disease Physicians and Pharmacists who specialize in Hepatitis care.

Hepatitis Center of Excellence
at Desert AIDS Project
1695 N. Sunrise Way (at Vista Chino)
Open Monday through Friday (except holidays) from 8AM-5PM
By appointment only; to make an appointment, call 760-992-0426
Patient entrance:  Through loading dock ramp on south side of building
Check-in at The DOCK reception desk

Located at D.A.P.’s main campus in Palm Springs, the new Hepatitis Center of Excellence will deliver comprehensive, state-of-the art expertise to manage, support and cure those afflicted with Hepatitis. Services will include non-invasive diagnostic testing and staging, improved access to curative treatments, and compassionate support for the many complex issues associated with a Hepatitis diagnosis.

The new Center anticipates its major emphasis will be testing and treatment of Hepatitis C (HCV), a contagious liver disease that ranges in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious, lifelong illness that attacks the liver. Hepatitis C can lead to liver cancer, the need for liver transplants, and increased risk of death.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that every American born from 1945 through 1965 get a blood test for Hepatitis C.  Thanks to recent medical breakthroughs, Hepatitis C can now be cured with anti-viral medication(s).

The collaboration between D.A.P. and DOHC was first suggested to the administration of both organizations by Shubha Kerkar, MD, MACP.  Dr. Kerkar has served both healthcare organizations for more than 20 years and has been a lead provider of HCV care for both agencies.

“This collaboration is bringing the effective model of HCV care we’ve developed at DOHC, to the community served by D.A.P., which is an FQHC,” she explained, referring to D.A.P.’s status as a Federally Qualified Health Center.  The new Center, which will make testing and care accessible to a broader population, accepts most private insurance, Medicare and Medi-Cal.   Uninsured income-qualified patients can receive care at reduced costs.

While systematic valley-wide testing would be needed to determine HCV prevalence in the Coachella Valley, it is estimated that as many as 4,000 Coachella Valley residents currently live with chronic HCV.  Approximately 3.5 million people in the US live have HCV – with somewhere in the range of 40% to 85% unaware that they are infected.  It is estimated that 2-3% percent of the global population, or 150 million individuals, are infected with HCV.

There are parallels between the HCV and HIV epidemics, and co-infection of the two viruses is common.  Per David Brinkman, CEO of Desert AIDS Project, “The number of people in the U.S. living with HCV is about triple the number living with HIV. Approximately 20% of D.A.P.’s HIV patients are co-infected with HCV. While the symptoms of HIV can take up to 10 years to appear, a person can have Hepatitis C for many decades without symptoms,” he continued. “As with HIV, the only way to know if you have Hepatitis C is to get tested.”

One highly significant difference between the two diseases is that HCV can now be cured.  However, “If people wait until they have symptoms of HCV, it’s too late,” emphasized Dr. Kerkar.  “We’re now seeing patients in their sixties, seventies and eighties with HCV, and it seems to be just the tip of the iceberg,” she cautioned.   “Stage 4 Hepatitis C is irreversible.  We need to find people at stages zero, one, two and three.”

Although D.A.P. has provided HCV testing and treatment for many years, the new Center enables the agency to offer its patients DOHC’s state-of the-art model of Hepatitis C care, delivered by Physicians and Pharmacists who specialize in Hepatitis.  The DOHC model has been published and presented in State and Regional US forums.  Additionally, the agency’s own unique D.A.P. Total Care model — which holistically integrates case management, counseling, and other healthcare services – will help patients to maintain their Hepatitis C medication regimens.

With the opening of the new Center, DOHC will continue to operate its existing Hepatitis clinic in Palm Springs which has treated more than 200 of its members.

Hepatitis C is usually spread when blood from a person infected with the Hepatitis C virus enters the body of someone who is not infected. Today, most people become infected with the Hepatitis C virus by sharing needles or other equipment to inject drugs. Before 1992, when widespread screening of the blood supply began in the United States, Hepatitis C was also commonly spread through blood transfusions and organ transplants.

People can become infected with the Hepatitis C virus during such activities as

  • Sharing needles, syringes, or other equipment to inject drugs
  • Needlestick injuries in heath care setting
  • Being born to a mother who has Hepatitus C

Less commonly, a person can also get Hepatitis C virus infection through

  • Sharing personal care items that may have come in contact with another person’s blood, such as razors or toothbrushes
  • Having sexual contact with a person infected with the Hepatitis C virus

No vaccine for Hepatitis C is available. Research into the development of a vaccine is under way.

The CDC recommends that individuals talk to their doctor about being tested for Hepatitis C if any of the following are true:

  • You were born from 1945 through 1965.
  • You are a current or former injection drug user, even if you injected only one time or many years ago.
  • You were treated for a blood clotting problem before 1987.
  • You received a blood transfusion or organ transplant before July 1992.
  • You are on long-term hemodialysis treatment.
  • You have abnormal liver tests or liver disease.
  • You work in health care or public safety and were exposed to blood through a needlestick or other sharp object injury.
  • You are infected with HIV.

For more information about Hepatitis C from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, visit  http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hcv/cfaq.htm

About Desert AIDS Project
Desert AIDS Project (D.A.P.) is a Federally Qualified Health Center in Palm Springs, CA offering D.A.P. Total Care – a combination of medical, dental, counseling, social services, support groups, alternative therapies, in-house pharmacy and lab, and other health and wellness services.  D.A.P.’s sexual health clinic, The DOCK, offers STD testing and treatment, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), and free HIV and HCV testing. D.A.P.’s Get Tested Coachella Valley campaign, the nation’s first region-wide HIV testing and access to care initiative, was recognized by the White House for helping to bring about an AIDS-free future.  D.A.P. is rated a “Top 20 HIV Charity” by About.com. Visit www.desertaidsproject.orgwww.thedockclinic.org, and www.gettestedcoachellavalley.org to learn more.

About Desert Oasis Healthcare (DOHC)
Desert Oasis Healthcare is a healthcare organization that serves the residents of the greater Coachella Valley and surrounding desert communities of Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. DOHC is not an insurance health care plan. Rather, health care plans (Medicare, Medicare Advantage, and Commercial) contract with DOHC who in turn contracts with a network of over 100 Primary Care Providers, over 200 specialists, hospitals and diagnostic centers, and a continuum of health care systems. The DOHC network serves over 70,000 members/patients.

Reflective of the ever changing healthcare world, DOHC has been evolving since 1981. Desert Oasis Healthcare is a member of Heritage Provider Network (HPN), and was the first organization of HPN formed in 1981 as Desert Medical Group. In 1992, Oasis Independent Physician Association was formed and in 2006, the organizations merged to form Desert Oasis Healthcare.

DOHC continues to grow its extensive network that includes Home Health, Family Hospice Care, Palliative Care, and Accountable Care Organizations to complement the network of agencies ready to serve you.

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Meet the Provider: Dr. David Hersh – L …

Dr. David Hersh, M.D., Chief Clinical Officer, joined Desert AIDS Project in early 2013 as a staff Psychiatrist and accepted the position of Chief Clinical Officer in January 2016 after serving as Director of Clinical Services for the prior two years.  He continues to manage a patient caseload in addition to his administrative duties.

As Chief Clinical Officer, Dr. Hersh oversees the development, delivery, and integration of all medical, behavioral health, home health, social, and dental services.  He also supervises Informatics & Compliance to include medical records and information technology. His primary duties consist of the development, implementation, and monitoring of policies and procedures, quality improvement, meeting goals of fiscal efficiency through billing and budget management, and leading initiatives to enhance collaboration and communication with internal and external stakeholders.

Dr. Hersh has been practicing medicine for 27 years, becoming a Diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in 1992.  After graduation from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Dr. Hersh received his medical degree from the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey – Rutgers Medical School, followed by post-doctoral work in psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut.

Dr. Hersh has been a professor of psychiatry at the University of Connecticut Health Center, and at University of California – San Francisco. Prior to his work at Desert AIDS Project, Dr. Hersh served as Medical Director of Substance-Use Treatment Services for the San Francisco Department of Public Health.

Desert AIDS Walk October 22 Ruth Hardy P …

The 30th Annual Desert AIDS Walk

PALM SPRINGS, CA (October 13, 2016) – In 1987, former First Lady Betty Ford, actor Kirk Douglas and his wife Ann lead the first steps of the Desert AIDS Walk. On October 22 over 2,000 community members will unite in Ruth Hardy Park to walk in the 30th Desert AIDS Walk in support Desert AIDS Project, presented by Desert Regional Medical Center.

Desert AIDS Project has grown from a small group of volunteers who founded D.A.P. in 1984 to one of the most comprehensive and respected AIDS service providers in the country. In the past 12 months, individuals seeking care at D.A.P has grown by an astounding 65%. 50 new patients walk thru the door every month.

This year’s walk events begin at 8 am on Saturday, October 22 in Ruth Hardy Park. DJ JC DiStefano will energize the park while walkers sign-in and explore the Health & Wellness Festival featuring over 40 vendor booths and a kids activity zone. The main stage will be emceed by 2016 Queen of the Desert, Tommi Rose and 2016 Queen of the Desert Fan Favorite Pinkie Meringue Shimmer.

Prior to stepping off on the walk, which follows a 2.5 mile route through downtown Palm Springs, walkers will enjoy live entertainment from headliner Pepper Mashay and local talent Marina MacDesert Winds Freedom Band will perform along Palm Canyon Drive as walkers pass by.

Congressman Raul Ruiz and Palm Springs Mayor Robert Moon lead the group of distinguished community leaders and D.A.P. partners making remarks prior to the walk stepping off at 9:30am. Joining them will be Desert AIDS Project CEO David Brinkman, D.A.P. Board Chair Steve Kaufer Carolyn Caldwell, CEO of Desert Regional Medical Center, presenting sponsor of the 2016 Desert AIDS Walk.

 SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

8:00    DJ welcomes walkers with energizing music.
Breakfast courtesy of Koffi

Health & Wellness Festival opens

8:30     David Brinkman, CEO Desert AIDS Project

Steve Kaufer, D.A.P. Board Chair

8:35     Robert Moon, Mayor Palm Springs

8:40     Raul Ruiz, Congressman

Carolynn Caldwell, CEO Desert Regional Medical Center

8:45     Urban Yoga Warm-Up

Marina Mac Performs

9:00     Pepper Mashay Performs

9:30     Walkers Step Off

10:30   Walkers Return to Park | Health & Wellness Festival | Live Performances Continue

Gay Mens Chorus Performs

Marina Mac Performs

Pepper Mashay Performs


2016 Desert AIDS Walk Sponsors

Presented by Desert Regional Medical Center.

Major sponsors: Grace Helen Spearman Foundation, Gilead, Wells Fargo, Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, Eisenhower Medical Center, City of Palm Springs, MDVIP, The Desert Sun, KMIR, Desert Oasis Healthcare.

Other Sponsors include: Revivals, Jus Chillin, Koffi, The Old Spaghetti Factory, Zin American Bistro, United Way of the Desert, VIP Mobile Suites, The Standard Magazine, Gay Desert Guide, and CV Independent

About Desert AIDS Project

Desert AIDS Project (D.A.P.) serves our community with primary and HIV-specialty services, including medical care, case management, and social services, including food, housing, and counseling. D.A.P. also provides HIV prevention education and free and confidential HIV testing at dozens of community test sites and events through its Get Tested Coachella Valley campaign. They also offer The DOCK, a sexual health clinic, whose services include STD testing and treatment; PEP & PrEP education and referral to treatment; free and confidential HIV testing; and well woman exams. With new advances in treatment, improved access to care through health reform and new prevention technology, including pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), D.A.P. is committed to bringing the HIV epidemic to an end.

About Pepper Mashay

Pepper MaShay exploded on the dance scene in the summer of 2000 with her mega smash hit “Dive in the Pool” (the un-official theme song from Showtime’s Queer As Folk & best described as the “It’s Raining Men” of the 21st Century).

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