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

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

Stepping Up For Patient Access Now and T …

Stepping Up for Patient Access Now and Tomorrow

Weekend Wrap Message – Saturday, October 24 From David Brinkman, Desert AIDS Project CEO 

Anal Cancer ANCHOR Study at DAP 

Living with HIV puts many of our patients at higher risk for anal cancer, even if they are on successful antiretroviral therapy (ART). This type of cancer is on the rise for PLWHA, but DAP patients can receive long term screenings and treatment, thanks to our designation as an ANCHOR Study site.  

Our medical and research teams worked to secure DAP a place in this nationwide study, and participants can take pride knowing that they are helping improve care for future patients. ANCHOR Study seeks to stop cases of preventable anal cancer in PLWHA by establishing testing and treatment protocols. We have almost 40 participants enrolled so far, and we are welcoming more. Click here to read more here.

Advocacy Keeps Our Patients on Top  

COVID has increased poverty and is exposing more inequities in healthcare for PLWHA. Whether fighting to decriminalize HIV, securing access to telemedicine for patients, or funding for our most vulnerable programs, DAP advocacy in Sacramento and Washington, D.C., improves our patients’ quality of life. 

Carl Baker, our director of legislative and legal affairs, wants to urge everyone to remember that our politicians work for all of us, especially the patients of DAP. He shared about his activities to amplify DAP’s voice and how he can help patients communicate their needs to our politicians directly. You can listen to Carl in this DAP Talks 

Not Too Late for Desert AIDS Walk 2020 

Even though it happens this weekend, you can still register and participate in Desert AIDS Walk 2020. Steven Henke, our director of brand marketing, talked to Taylor Martinez on NBC and shared messages from community members about why they walk. You can watch him here 

DAP Makes Hope Mobile with Orange Van Tour  

Part of what makes DAP so important to this community are the skilled clinicians and community health team members who use our distinctive orange van to bring hope and health to many in our Valley who cannot make it to our campus. C.J. Tobe, director of Community Health, and Izabel Doublin, PrEP navigator, gave Taylor Martinez of NBC Palm Springs a tour. You can watch them here. 

Hope is Theme of Desert AIDS Walk 2020

Hope is Theme of Desert AIDS Walk 2020  

Weekend Wrap Message – Saturday, September 12, From David Brinkman, Desert AIDS Project CEO 

HIV remains a substantial threat to public health in the Coachella Valley, and we are not letting COVID distract us from vigorously fighting it 

As we test more new positive cases, we are stepping forward and evolving our programs to test, treat, and prevent HIV in the age of COVID. 

Desert AIDS Walk 2020 is more important now than ever. You can find out more at  www.DesertAIDSWalk.org.  

The reason for the Walk has never really been about balloon arches or walker t-shirts. It’s always been about the collective power of community and our shared vision of a future where everyone has the comprehensive care that they need to live their best lives. 

Desert AIDS Walk 2020 is an important funding source for programs and services that help people thrive with HIV, while preventing new cases in our valley. It also supports Hepatitis C cures, behavioral health services, dentistry, food, housing, and other vital services. 

This year we are making it easy and fun for Valley residents to participate with downloadable walk routes, specialized for safe walking in their cities. We’re also including an online wellness forum that will provide entertainment and more about DAP’s programs and services, dedicated community sponsors, and the extended work of its partners. Registration and more information is available at www.DesertAIDSWalk.org.  

DAP Talks  

Suicide Prevention 

Preventing suicide during the COVID-19 pandemic is a major concern for mental health advocates everywhere. DAP’s Dr. Jill GoverBehavioral Health Manageraddressed the warning signs and other important information we all should be aware of in her latest DAP Talks. You can listen here.  

If you or someone you know needs to talk to a specialist about suicide, please don’t wait. The following services are availableday and night: 

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 800-273-8255.  

Riverside County HELPline, a free confidential crisis suicide intervention service (951) 686-HELP (4357). 

DAP In The News 

No matter what health profile we fit, it’s important to stay engaged in our healthcare during this crisis. Dr. Tulika Singh talked to The Standard about the top four neglected health habits she notices in her patients, plus realistic fixes for better outcomes. You can read more here. 

Changing Lives With Our Stories

Changing Lives With Our Stories

Weekend Wrap Message – Saturday, July 25 From David Brinkman, Desert AIDS Project CEO

People living with HIV everywhere have had their continuum of care and prevention interrupted throughout this health crisis, and the Coachella Valley is no exception. DAP clients haven’t experienced any loss of services, but other complications from living in the new normal are making it challenging for them to remain engaged in care.

That is why it was so powerful when our director of development, James Lindquist shared about his own HIV journey. Finding out he was HIV positive at a time when he was experiencing other major losses in life derailed him completely. So many of our clients have experienced the same, and we want them all to have the same chance to succeed by becoming clients at DAP.

By accessing support from an AIDS service organization in his area, James re-built his life and went on to honor his own plans for professional and personal growth. For years now, he’s chosen to pay it forward by working to offer the same to anyone whose life is being turned upside down because of HIV. You can listen to his DAP Talks here.

DAP in the News

Living With HIV During COVID-19

It was moving to see our clients’ needs around COVID-19 explored in a New York Times story featuring Dr. Jill Gover and members of our long-term survivor community. This health crisis is triggering PTSD for many as they cope with aging with HIV, staying in recovery, and the anxiety over being at high-risk for Coronavirus. The article also takes a look back on the AIDS crisis, and it presents some new ways that PLWHA are finding their power today in the Coachella Valley.

STI and HIV Epidemic Awareness

We continued getting the word about the dangerous STI and HIV epidemic still raging in our Valley.  We’re experiencing a 20% spike overall compared to calendar year 2019, but thankfully C.J. Tobe pointed out all the new ways his team is making it easy for everyone to stay on top of their sexual health during COVID-19. You can watch the KESQ interview here.

Plasma Donation Is Making a Difference

Dr. Singh shared her experience donating plasma locally at LifeStream, as well as her personal experience with COVID-19. We are so proud of her for choosing to share her story so that everyone can learn about this hopeful new approach for treating COVID-19 in the sickest patients. You can watch the KESQ interview below.

Celebrating and supporting our community …

Celebrating and supporting our community during COVID-19

Weekend Wrap Message-Saturday, May 2, From David Brinkman, Desert AIDS Project CEO

Getting Insurance and Care with DAP -- in just One Call

Starting this week, we’ve launched a service that requires just one telephone call to enroll in health insurance or Medi-Cal, as well as register for medical and behavioral healthcare at DAP.

Large numbers of people in our Valley are losing their jobs and insurance. To respond, DAP team members are shepherding callers through the insurance enrollment process - offering access to care that strengthens physical and mental resiliency.

Our team of Infectious Disease experts is on the cutting edge of the ever-changing nature of this pandemic and how to protect and treat members of our community best. I want to share feedback that shines a light on the difference our courageous healthcare workers are making.

“I just got home and the first thing I wanted to do was write you a thank you note.  I am sure this is a difficult period for everyone connected with healthcare but you are definitely a cut above. Why?  I could not get tested for COVID at local clinics and I tried twice.  You not only tested me but had me admitted to the hospital all in the same day.  Because of my serious health issues, I fear to think what might have happened to me if I had waited one day more.  For the record, I believe you saved my life and for this I am so grateful….”

Thank You For Vital PPE Donations

When we asked the community to donate badly needed PPE, we were once again shown the generous spirit that the Coachella Valley is famous for.

So far, we have received 10,000 individual pieces of PPE, such as a masks, shoe covers, and face shields. This amount of giving has touched us deeply, and it will go a long way. Our team in the COVID-19 Clinic is increasing the numbers of patients it sees and innovating ways of accommodating more.

As we brace for the continuation of this health crisis, we will continue to need donated PPE to protect our frontline healthcare workers and their patients.

#GivingTuesdayNow Next Week on May 5 

You can hear Joe Smith on NBC Palm Springs explain a little bit about the difference this year with Giving Tuesday—he will be talking to Steven Henke more in-depth this Tuesday on air.

Millions of us will be standing up, helping out, giving back, and healing on #GivingTuesdayNow, a global day of giving planned for May 5, 2020. This people-powered event brings together humans around the world for a day of action, giving and community building.

Click Here to 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.

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. https://www.desertaidsproject.org/givingtuesdaynow/

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

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

Weekend Wrap Message – Saturday, A …

DAP Logo Weekend Wrap

Weekend Wrap Message - Saturday, April 11, From David Brinkman, Desert AIDS Project CEO

This week Desert AIDS Project refocused and expanded healthcare access. I could not be prouder of our team and their work to ensure everyone in our valley has the opportunity to receive care.

As of Friday, our COVID-19 Triage Clinic conducted over 200 tests with an eleven percent positivity rate. But our care doesn't end with a test. Each person receives a personal call and when needed is provided access to ongoing medical care, a therapist, support groups and food delivered to their doors.

DAP launched Drive-Up Testing outside our COVID-19 Triage Clinic. With this expansion:

  • DAP can double the number of people served each day;
  • divert patients, who are not seriously ill, from emergency departments;
  • and conserve space inside our COVID-19 Triage Clinic for people whose symptoms are more severe.

An appointment is required for Drive-Up Testing. Call our COVID-19 hotline at (760) 992-0407 to speak with a DAP healthcare worker. Getting respiratory illness symptoms checked by a clinician is important, especially a dry cough or a fever of 100.4 or higher.

“These are the folks who have been told to stay home with their symptoms,” said Dr. Christopher Foltz, leader of the COVID-19 Triage Clinic at DAP. “We don’t want to miss anyone.”

Accessing Primary, Behavioral & Sexual Health:

  • Our Blue Clinic and Green Clinic teams spent the week reaching out to DAP patients to ensure a continuum of primary care, virtually or in person.120 primary care Virtual Visits were conducted in the last six days.
  • Our Behavioral Healthcare team used virtual health to respond to patients’ stress and anxiety, conducting 94 Behavioral Health Virtual Visits in the last six days.
  • Our Community Health team developed a strategy to use our mobile testing van to make sure no one experiences interrupted access to HIV and STI testing and treatment, or access to PrEP and PEP. Parked in the DAP back parking lot, we welcome walk-ins for these services, as well as follow-up services, utilizing our Get Tested mobile testing van. 

About Me Testing Positive:

And I decided to share my personal story about testing positive for the COVID-19 virus via The Desert Sun which published on Thursday, April 9. I followed up with NBC Palm Springs and Kitty Alvarado on Friday. 

Valley Voice:  DAP is responding to coronavirus for our Coachella Valley community 

I was tested for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new strain of coronavirus, at Desert AIDS Project’s COVID-19 Triage Clinic, and that test came back positive on March 29. My doctor recommended I get the test after I developed symptoms - cough and fatigue. I’m grateful to be recovering while working at home.

At first, I chose to keep this private because I did not want to take any focus away from the care team at DAP who are responding to this crisis and serving our patients.  

At this time, I am reflecting on the men and women who worked at DAP at the beginning of the AIDS pandemic. They could not have seen the future in the midst of the AIDS crisis. 

Then, like now, some are struggling with fear and fear can lead to inaction, depression, withdrawal, stigma, substance abuse, and eventually death. We know, because the founders of DAP taught us that fear has never been and will never be the solution.

I believe DAP’s founders would tell us today that we have a choice. We can chose to be fearful or hopeful and brave. We can believe that every moment of our life was preparing us for today. Because it was.  

The history of DAP provides a glimpse into the future.  Our history shows that we will dramatically decrease the loss of lives from COVID-19 in our community and we will prevent new infections. We will respond with compassion and we will rely on facts instead of fear in our response.  

It’s in the very DNA of Desert AIDS Project to respond quickly to public health crises using science and medicine to create a humanitarian response. We are using our tested roadmaps from the HIV and HCV epidemics to respond to COVID-19. Helping people survive epidemics 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 expert medical care, anchored by a deep understanding of Coachella Valley epidemiology.

I truly believe the work we’re doing at DAP right now will be a case study for how to respond in a public health crisis for decades to come. As a team, and an organization, DAP is showing what is possible when we work together to change the course of this pandemic and help navigate our community through it.

DAP opened our COVID-19 Triage Clinic on March 16. The uninsured are never turned away. If you believe you might be symptomatic or need information about testing, please call our COVID-19 hotline at (760) 922-0407

This experience has reinforced my belief that no person in our valley should be without healthcare. If you or someone you know needs access to primary or behavioral health care, DAP is here for you.

This Weekend Wrap for March 28th feature …

DAP Logo Weekend Wrap

This Weekend Wrap for March 28th features updates from Desert AIDS Project’s Chief Executive Officer, David Brinkman

We are living in unprecedented times. It’s been two weeks since DAP opened its COVID-19 Triage clinic and put out the first call for community support to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. In that time, we've seen over 90 patients in the urgent clinic, screening and treating each one, and testing only those who were sickest.

All week long, we've been sharing updates on our website, Facebook and Instagram pages but in case you missed it, here are some of our top stories.

Clinical & Programming Updates

  • DAP launched Tele-Health services for patients and clients who are not able to come to our campus for care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Starting Monday, patients can access their medical, psychotherapy, and psychiatry healthcare through their smartphones, iPads, or desktop computers.
  • DAP is still welcoming new clients during the COVID-19 health crisis. Services available include:
    • Primary Care

    • Specialty Care for HIV and Hep C

    • Behavioral Healthcare

    • Sexual Health at The DOCK

    • Social Services like case management, food assistance, transportation, housing and home care.

    • COVID-19 Triage Clinic

  • The DOCK, temporarily housed in DAP’s Green Clinic, continued to see patients who have questions about their sexual health, testing for STI's and HIV while our PrEP navigators continued to work with those who want access to the prevention technique.
  • DAP's Social Service and Community Health teams launched home delivery of essential supplies, including food for our most vulnerable home-bound clients ensuring they don't need to leave their home to go to the grocery store during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • DAP created a series of Spanish language videos and blog content to ensure everyone has access to the same life-saving information.
  • DAP's Client Wellness team launched a series of ZOOM meetings to connect clients in recovery to the groups that met at DAP before the COVID-19 pandemic.  Yoga sessions and guest speakers will roll-out next week.
  • DAP has had to re-adjust its operations in the wake of COVID-19. It has meant:
    • Making Telemedicine available to our clients through our MyChart client portal, which will enable them to continue in care if they are required to stay at home.

    • Suspending non-urgent dental appointments at our Dental Clinic, in accordance with the American Dental Association recommended guidelines.

    • Halting housecleaning, cooking and laundry for our Home Health clients, after the California Department of Public Health and other regulatory organizations issued strict guidelines protecting workers.

DAP in the News

Community Updates

Through email and phone calls, we’ve continued to share with you updates from the frontline of our clinical work, having tested our first positive cases and the stories from grateful patients. In response to all of these, nearly 300 of you have answered our call. THANK YOU!  We could not be more grateful. With $300,000 raised we have $1,150,000 left to raise.

Through these calls for your support, I have also received responses of concern asking, “why such a financial emergency?” And “How could a healthcare organization lay off staff in the middle of an emergency?”.

  • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, DAP was forced to close our three Revivals stores and our Dental Clinic foregoing the revenue from each.

  • We've had to cancel our Dining Out for Life fundraiser which raised $360,000, last year alone.

  • With many of our patients being in a high-risk group due to their age, our paid clinical visits and behavioral health clinic visits are down as well.

  • We responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by opening a Triage Clinic to screen, test, and treat respiratory illness.

  • Altogether, we anticipate revenue losses from now through June 30, 2020, of $2.5 million. Hence, we took swift action to stabilize the organization financially so that our core work of serving the 7,000 community members who call DAP their healthcare home remains uninterrupted during and after this crisis is over.

Be assured, our frontline clinical teams remain intact to provide daily care as well as COVID-19 triage services.

If you questions about COVID-19, please visit our COVID-19 FAQ's for information in both English and Spanish. If you believe you might be symptomatic or need information about testing, please call our COVID-19 hotline at (760) 992-0407.

David Brinkman
Chief Executive Officer

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